Monday, January 11, 2016

Reviewed by Nick Radke

 6X52 TORO
Filler: Unspecified (Only the Macedonian Mafia knows)
Binder: Half Mexican San Andreas and Half Jalapa Seco Leaf
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Light Clario

Look, I am a basic kind of guy.  Some would say Just another guys guy so do not expect this review to have such comments as "I tasted Watermelon Rhine" or "The complexity of the cigar was outdone by the balance of the flavors. Not happening, I am here to write an honest and raw review of the JSK Cigar with what I got from the smoke. We all get a different assortment of flavors from smokes and the best way to tell if you like it is to smoke it, not listen to a yahoo like me talk about it. That being said I hope that you enjoy this review and find it helpful.. 

Pre Light:
As I pull the cigar from the humidor to prepare for this review I find myself wanting to know more about the beginnings of the JSK so I went to the website and took a peek. Now, I have known Riste Risteski for a number of years and am very familiar with him and his tastes. That is why it was not surprising to learn this smoke is based off of his love of Cuban cigars. I also learned that Jas Sum Kral translated to English means I am King. Rolling the cigar around my fingertips it feels very well constructed, almost as if it was machine made although obviously not.  It has a nice slightly oily feel to it. The band stands out to be very artistic and elegant and will no doubt be one of the best looking bands on the market. The pre light smell is enticing, chocolate covered tobacco you might say if that was a thing. The cigar has a closed foot and a pigtail cap that were both done perfectly. 

Toast and Light:
Lets get on with this shall we? I first Toasted the foot of the cigar (I occasionally do this prior to cutting cubans also) and it was an easy light. Some closed foot cigars can get messy, this one did not for the most part. Cutting the cap was again effortless as expected. The toasting aromas were filling the room with a classic smell of cigar smoke like I always remembered at my Grandfathers house when he smoked his Montes as a child. The first few pulls started off earthy, as in I tasted some notes of hay or grass probably from the toasting. 

First Third:
The first third of the Jas Sum Kral started out nutty and earthy and has been a medium bodied smoke to start. As I approach the 10 minute mark on it the Original Ash still held in tact with very solid construction. This one seems like a good one to smoke if your in a longest ash contest as I had to knock the ash off before it fell. Puffing away on the first third it seems to transition from earthiness to sweetness. I can't put my finger on it (again my palate is basic) but maybe Cinnamon like sweetness. The change was seamless and about half way into the first third for me. The burn line has went from a slightly crooked start to a well balanced straight as a razor line. This Cigar looks good sitting on the table!

Second Third:
Rolling on into the second third of the JSK I am still experiencing a loose draw with great construction. Spice has started to creep into the flavor profile a bit. It is nothing overpowering by any means but it is noticeable. That spice has also added a bit more bite to the cigar and that medium profile has changed to a slightly higher medium or possibly the lower spectrum of full bodied.  The smoke output has been very consistent for me and I wouldn't quite put it at Liga Standards for smoke but it is certainly putting out enough smoke to fill the area with an aroma of cigar. I must say that headed into the final third, I am enjoying this one a lot. Full disclosure… I smoked 3 of them for this review. 

Final Third:
Getting to the final third on the Jas Sum Kral means you need to get the band off and we all know the test that can be sometimes. Well, it passed that one for me. The band came off with no issues at all damaging the wrapper and the smoke continues as normal. Again, call me a JAGG but as I am enjoying a cigar the thing I hate the most is when the band has to come off and it tears the wrapper or deconstructs the cigar in some way and that was NOT the case with this one. Now, on to the final flavors. As mentioned above I am still getting some spiciness and sweetness but in the last bit I am also tasting some leathery notes. As I roll the smoke around in my mouth I can taste the leather and spice mixing it up and producing a very different result. I can't put figure out the tastes but they are quite flavorful and good. Construction has remained top notch and the smoke output has also remained the same. The JSK has a very aromatic quality to it. I put the cigar down to walk away and came back to what I thought I already knew… This made the room smell very good.  A classic, sweet aroma to this smoke. 

As I mentioned earlier I have now smoked 3 of this release of the Jas Sum Kral. I did so because when I was approached to do this particular review by JAGG I wanted to have as much time as I could do dissect my initial thoughts.  I had previously enjoyed the other 2 that I lit up and honestly have already made multiple purchases because of it. This 3rd one has confirmed all of my thoughts. If you were fortunate enough (somehow I was) to snag some of the pre releases then please understand that although they were also a good smoke these are without question the better product.  The popularity of the JSK social media campaign has been on the upswing over the past few months. Almost every group on Facebook has folks posting about them and I did not want to be a part of the hype machine prior to releasing this review. 

Final Thoughts:
If you made it this far thanks for sticking through this review. I know I am not the wordsmith you all may  have thought I was. The Jas Sum Kral Cigar is a mixture of a few flavors for me. It started out Earthy, with some slight Hay/grass notes that quickly turned into the classic creamy taste with a bit of sweetness added to it. Later on it added some spice and leather notes and as it all came to a close it ended with all of those tasting notes somehow blending together to make a elegant and elusive taste. The construction from humidor to nub was great, never had a re  light nor did I have to correct it at all. Smoking this cigar is exactly what I expect out of the cigar experience, classic tastes with a bit of modern ingenuity to it. You can tell whoever blended this one was vigorous about the expectations and they were spot on for me at least. I imagine that the Jas Sum Kral would pair well with a good red blend wine and a T-Bone steak although the next time I smoke one I want to pair it with a Moscow Mule as the thought of all of those flavors together intrigues  me. Look, in as basic terms as I can get if you enjoy great cigars go get a fiver of these before they are gone and see what you think. 

Final Ratings:

Flavor 22/25
Appearance 24/25
Construction 23/25
Overall 23/25
JAGG Score: 92