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Ventura PSyKo 7 Maduro (6.25 x 48) Pre-release

I was overjoyed when I scored one of these, as the Psycho 7 is one of my few go-to cigars, and I was very excited when I heard they were coming out with a maduro. This is scheduled to be released in a few weeks at this year’s International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailer’s Annual Convention & International Trade Show (July 19–23, 2014). Here are my observations on this unbanded pre-release sample.Ventura PSyKo 7 Maduro Prerelease

Pre-light: This wrapper is a toothy chocolate color with a few prominent veins. A solid wrap with no noticeable soft spots. I punched with my large, ⅜” punch and the draw was straight up tight. I poked it several times, stem to stern, with a cake tester which may have loosened it up to a medium-tight. Cold draw is fruity (fig), honey, dark chocolate — lots of promise.

Start: Sweet — I mean cane sugar sweet and a little straw. The attack has a citrus brightness, but is not harsh at all. The finish is a mild coffee and leather. The flavor intensity is mild, but that could be because of the disappointingly anemic amount of smoke I’m not able to get through this thing. After ½” the dominant flavor is sweet leather with green coffee bean.

Second third: The first ash held on for an inch-and-a-half — no surprise for as tight as this stick seems to be. The “bright” attack and the sweetness are gone. The profile has moved to hard wood, joined by some nuttiness, and a little jalapeno on the finish.

Last third: The flavor intensity has risen to medium. Some menthol and cedar have come on and threatened to overpower the subtler notes of whole wheat bread and vegemite — not that this would necessarily be bad. In fact, near the nub this is what did happen giving a refreshing ending to a variable and interesting cigar.

Summary: This Ventura PSyKo 7 Maduro stays is true to the reputation of its non-maduro sibling, in that it is a schizophrenic mix of flavors. Overall it has been smooth and balanced. As to be expected, the draw gradually opened up as it progressed. With the exception to the draw being too tight for my liking (possibly due to it being a young, pre-release stick) the construction was great and the burn was as straight as any I have had. It has strength potential, as I felt it a bit in the last third when I was puffing rather rapidly trying to identify some of the flavors. But when smoking it normally this shouldn’t be a problem. If the production release holds true to this pre-release sample I could see myself rotating regularly between this and the original PSyKo 7.

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