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TL Johnson Legend Reserve 63 maduro toro

Punch and Draw go on an unexpected winter trip with their first impression review of the TL Johnson Legend Reserve 63 maduro toro.T.L. Johnson Legend Reserve 63 maduro cigar

Punch: The T.L. Johnson Cigar Company is located in central Colorado. Their mission is “To produce a superior line of boutique cigars that cater to both the new and experienced smoker.” We picked up these samples at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival, so they have been aging for nearly a year-and-a-half. This is one of nine blends they offer. Let’s see what we’ve got here.

Draw: This prensado has a maduro wrapper which is lighter than many of the maduros that we’ve smoked lately. It has s a very toothy, medium brown wrapper with one significant vein which is “interrupted” as it spirals up the stick. The seams are visible but not distracting. Construction is good, but the stick overall is quite soft, flexible. There’s a definite give to gentle squeezing.

P: A big punch gives a medium draw with a rich and creamy nuttiness and dark chocolate. The TL Johnson Legend Reserve 63 maduro 6 x 50 toro contains Peruvian ligero and Nicaraguan habano seco filler, bound in a Honduran leaf and wrapped in a maduro habano leaf.

D: I started toasting before I’d even punched it, and also forgot to note my scent observations…scent notes… smell… whatever. Just sniffing the wrapper suggests sweetness. Punching with the smaller punch yields a relatively loose draw, and a salty, kelpy flavor. On lighting, it has an initial flavor of medium roast coffee with a dark chocolate finish.

P: After letting this fellow warm up the flavors are medium-strong intensity, leather, spicy sweetness, with no pepper finish – odd, since it has such a spicy middle.

D: My first third has a very smooth finish – sweet, chocolaty. The attack is also very smooth, and actually devoid of flavor. The middle has a spicy, almost tangy kick – I’d say radish, but I feel I overuse that, and, it’s not quite radish anyway – that, as Punch points out, is hard to identify. I observe voids in the ash, explaining the sponginess of the stick. It’s otherwise a good smoker.

P: By the second third, the flavor has become rich and complex and more intense. And … wow … it is really hard to describe… maybe a complex fruit mix (sans the sweetness), and an organic chemicaliness – very distinctive, but balanced, at an almost overpowering intensity. It is so intriguing that I have to make a point to give it a rest between puffs.

D: At about the middle, I’m getting a hazelnut coffee on the attack, and I’m going to go with a smoked, aged Swiss for the middle – something tangy and complex, but still creamy. The finish contains coffee, dark chocolate as sweetness, and what I’m going to call Band-Aid™ strip, which probably means latex and some kind of adhesive. This carries into the aftertaste with latex and cocoa. There’s a coating in my mouth, or a response to something by my mouth, that is curiously unpleasant.

P: Into the last third the flavor intensity has ebbed back to sub-epic. Band Aid™ is a good description of that chemically flavor. That is still there, with some cedar joining in. Wow! Just now some different flavors jumped me from behind – this thing is wild and indescribable, yet foolishly I try anyway. Brake fluid? Wait! Am I still smoking a cigar??! Let me hold it under the light – yep, it looks like a cigar. Suffice it to say, this thing is COMPLEX and rapidly shifting from one wild profile to another. Now I’m getting cherry gas-station-restroom air-freshener with urinal cake (new, not used).

D: About three fingers of total length left, and the flavor is doing the serpentine, Sydney! Some draws are a mild, almost coconut cream flavor. Other draws are big burnt-leather intense. The latest draw tasted of Betadine™… which should not be ingested, kids. In fact, you’re too young to be reading this review: click HERE. Overall, it is much milder-intensity. The aftertaste is still latex and chocolate sweet, with a weird, chemically film. I’m also having fits from the voids in the filler, causing an inconsistent burning. I’ve touched it up a few times, and relit it a few times, too.

First Impression Summary

Punch: This was wild and intense-flavored – unlike anything I’ve had before. A roller-coaster ride of strange flavors. Do I like it? I don’t dislike it. It gave me a most surreal smoking experience. I wouldn’t like that if I was hoping for some other flavor profile. But having no particular expectation when lighting this up I’d have to say it was fun, in a carnival ride sort of way. Get some Legend Reserve 63 maduros to fend off the hum drums if you are in a smoking rut. The burn on mine was fine, only needing a couple of touch-ups. These were 18 months old. I’d like to try a fresh one to see if there is any difference. For that matter, maybe I’ll try smoking a urinal cake (new, not used).

Draw: My experience has been less-than-satisfactory with voids in the filler – giving a woolly, flaky ash and frequent re-lights – and a flavor that is chemically overall. Based on this one cigar, I don’t know that I’d want another. Setting that aside, this Legend Reserve 63 maduro had a mild strength, the flavor is moderately intense, and the variety of flavor is surprising to the point of staggering. The last third is a total trip and, if no other, is the reason to smoke this. For that reason alone, I’d hazard smoking a few more of these: mostly because Punch’s smoking experience suggests my cigar was a fluke in terms of the negatives.

We were each smoking a freebie from 2013 Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival. As always, if we latch onto more of these, we’ll upgrade this summary with better detail. Check out the T.L. Johnson web site for the Colorado retailers who sell these.

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