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Sindicato Natural belicoso

We find out if the Sindicato Natural flagship line is a worthy partnership.

Manufacturer provided promotional photo of Sindicato cigarThis photo is a from the Sindicato web site, and is not of the Natural belicoso which we had. We picked these up a year ago at the IPCPR show shortly after they were released. While at the show we spoke with Jim Colucci, the CEO of Sindicato Cigars. In this interview he told about the beginnings and distinctive philosophy of the company.

We have also posted our thoughts about another Sindicato cigar, the Hex, here.

Wrapper: Shade Grown Corojo from Jalapa, Nicaragua
Double Binder: Esteli, Nicaragua
Filler: Esteli & Jalapa, Nicaragua

Draw: This Sindicato Natural has a closed foot. Taking it out of the humidor and the Sindicato zipper-lock (it is not cellophane-wrapped), it shocks me by appearing very yellow, almost green. Not a candela – I mean, it’s still brown – but maybe the gold metallic of the band is pulling this greenish cast from the leaf. Anyway, prensado belicoso, truly invisible seams except near the cap. It also has a closed foot, so far as the wrapper folds over by about ¼ inch all the way around the foot. It is simply pressed down and folded over, so technically some air can pass through before being lit. It’s very firm with no soft spots. The tapered head is finished with a tight pigtail. Also unusual in my experience is the barcode printed on the back of the band.

Punch: Not being in cello took a toll from mine getting it back from the show. (Click the image for a closer view.)Sindicato Natural belicoso cigar damaged in transportationI’m going to give it a go in spite of the wrapper damage it has incurred. I agree with your color observation – it does have a slight yellow-green cast. A conservative bevel cut gives me a medium plus draw. I’m getting a slight wintergreen on the cold suck.

D: I couldn’t get anything on the cold pull; it was too closed.

P: I guess that is the benefit I have from having a damaged foot. 🙂

D: That’s a fact you can stand on … or not. On lighting, I find the draw fairly light. Brown bread toast, green bean, toasted almond – toast is a theme – in fact, what best describes the flavor is dark-toasted pumpkin seed. In a green chile oil.

P: I get a nuttiness with bread in the beginning. And pumpkin seed! That really is there. After warming up this has a mild-medium flavor intensity with what I find to be a subtle complexity composed of nutty bread and a hint of floral.

D: Over the length of the first third, that pumpkin seed faded somewhat, leaving a lot of pepper in the aftertaste. This isn’t to say it doesn’t have flavor, but the aftertaste is really dominating, and it’s really strong pepper. I’ve opened my cut one more time and the draw is reasonable, however I am probably hot-boxing it more frequently because the pull seems tight.

P: Ooo baby, nearing the start of the second third the flavor is coming on the pipe. Vegetal complexity is ramping up to join the bread and there is slight skunk. The flavor intensity is up a few notches, to medium-full, at least. I’m just starting to get some mild pepper, too, adding to the balance. I have to use a lot of self-control to not over-toke this thing and stoke it into oblivion.

The Sindacato web site has a modern, responsive theme which is location aware. It volunteered two locations in town where I can get these while I was perusing their product lines.

D: Yes on the flavor! For me, the pepper is finally fading some. I can taste your skunk, a lot of chlorophyll (suggesting, together, Colume), and some floral sweetness akin to clover honey. There is a leather base, and this is carrying the almondesque tone.

P: A lazy side is begging me to touch it up. I’m not even to the halfway mark and I’m starting to feel it. Danger Will Robinson!

D: Danger ahead! Yes, I’m feeling it too. Right now, it’s a nice easy cruise. I cut mine yet again, and finally achieved a draw I can live with. The side effect is faster burning, and I caution you to roll this Sindicato Natural prensado frequently, to avoid peninsulas.

P: By the start of the last third the flavor intensity is down to medium and the profile is much simpler and well blended with few stand out flavors.

D: Agreed, its less intense. More veggie starch, and a slight munge without purging. With purging, the flavors persist in a well-blended profile. Still almondy-honey sweet, with meaty leather and skunky beans.

P: Yes, there is still subtle complexity if one looks for it. There is no reason to put it down after the flavor drops off.

Burn it or Spurn it?

Draw: Burn this. An overall savory stick with some pepper and some sweetness. Complexity, mild-medium to medium, intensity around medium-full, and strength is medium-full. Its savory qualities are fairly common but well done. It’s subtleties are uncommon, being almond and honey from the corojo wrapper, and skunk. I found it difficult to get a draw that I enjoyed, but it was rewarding. It’s a somewhat serious smoke, especially in strength. At the price point, this is not a cigar I would collect, but I wouldn’t hesitate to smoke another if offered.

Punch: Ditto, except my draw was baby bear just right. This Sindicato Natural is worthy of its flagship representation for the Sindicato company. It started off as a medium bread and nuts profile and transitioned at the second third into a full on flavor bomb of vegetal bread florals and skunk in the middle before tapering off to a more subtle blend of nuanced complexity that maintained to the nub. A local retailer, Stag Tobacco in Phoenix, has these for $13.20 per stick. This price puts it in the high end range for me, and I’d have to say it is worth it for the experienced cigar enthusiast who can appreciate the quality and nuance which it offers.

This First Impression was based on a single stick sample.

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