Cigar Review: Lithium from Jake Wyatt Cigar Co. Will Take You on a Journey

Jake Wyatt Cigar Co. is a brand that I’m only familiar with from watching Mardo Cigars’ Instagram videos. And that makes more sense when you realize that one of the guys behind Jake Wyatt is none other than Gerard Abajian. I had the pleasure of briefly chatting with Gerard at the PCA Trade Show 2021, and he was very excited about the Lithium. So much so, that he asked me if I wanted to try it. I’m glad I said yes. The Lithium actually made my cut as one of the top 5 to look forward to after the Trade Show.

The Jake Wyatt Cigar Co. Lithium was, according to Gerard, made to be retrohaled. I remembered just how much I enjoyed retrohaling it at the trade show, so I was looking forward to this review for a couple of months. I wondered if the Lithium was as good as I remembered it. I was about to find out. 

OVERVIEW

VITOLA:   Toro
SIZE:   6″ x 54

ORIGIN:   Dominican Republic
FACTORY:   Tabacalera JVM

WRAPPER:   Habano
BINDER:   Dominican Republic
FILLER:   Dominican Republic

STRENGTH:   Medium – Medium-Full

SOURCE:   
Jake Wyatt Cigar Co.

ENVIRONMENT

WHERE:   
On the back deck.

WHEN:   
September 15, 2021

DRINKS:   
Ice Mountain Water

WEATHER:   
82° and 65% humidity

WHAT’S ON:   
The sounds of late summer in the Midwest

PRODUCTION

RELEASE TYPE  Regular Production

ORIGINALLY RELEASE DATE  November 2020

TOTAL PRODUCTION
Typical Box Size:     Boxes of 22
Production Totals:  Unknown

VITOLA BREAKDOWN
o  Toro  (6″ x 54)
Robusto  (5″ x 50)
Corona  (5-1/2″ x 44)
Belicoso  (6″ x 52)

BAND DESIGN

The Lithium is double banded, a departure from it’s pre-release version that only had a single band, and is sharp and sophisticated in black with gold accents. The elemental symbol for Lithium (Li) is along with Lithium’s atomic number (3) are prominently displayed on the front of the main band. The rest of the band is adorned with the chemical model for Lithium Orotate, the over-the-counter low dose lithium health supplement. The second band is simple and elegant with the word “LITHIUM” printed in gold against the black background.

PRE-LIGHT OBSERVATIONS

CONSTRUCTION
The Lithium’s Ecuadorian Habano wrapper is a gorgeous shade of wood brown. Though not an oily looking wrapper, you can see the oils glisten off the wrapper in the light of the sun. The wrapper is smooth to the touch and not at all toothy. The Lithium has an expertly twisted pig tail at the top of the cap.

There is one green water spot above the band, as well as several visible veins. I really had to look for the seam. The Lithium looks to be very well-constructed. 

AROMA
The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper has strong notes of barnyard and tobacco. The foot, on the other hand, is more subdued, and has the subtle smell of sweet tobacco.

COLD DRAW
There is a slight fruitiness that comes through on the cold draw, followed by barely detectable notes of milk chocolate and nuts. The draw itself is a touch tight, but should pose no issues.

SMOKING EXPERIENCE

LIGHT & DRAW
Cut:  Xikar Xi3
Fire:  Xikar Tactical 1

I do my best to twist the pig tail from the Lithium, hoping to not have to use a cutter. I am met with failure. I am objectively terrible at twisting off pig tails. The pig tail comes off but does not leave a large enough hole in the cap to draw from. I use my cutter. 
 

SMOKE
The initial smoke from the Lithium is creamy but light, if that makes any sense. I wish it more plentiful from the start. It is certainly enough to coat the palate and to retrohale, but I wish there was more of it.

FIRST THIRD
>> Raisins, Cedar, Pepper

The initial light has a very nice fruity note to it, along with some pepper and spice. There’s a creamy sweetness that initially comes through on the light. A very pleasant pepper on the retrohale accentuates the baking spices. Sweetened coffee lingers on the palate, accompanied by a rich fruit note. There is nothing bitter or off-putting so far. The burn line is a bit wavy, but I attribute that to the windy day we’re having here. The ash is white with small black streaks running through it. The burn line was less than straight on the first Lithium I smoked.. A nice cedar note begins to emerge. The retrohale is absolutely sublime. There is a bit of pepper each time I retrohale, but it always seems to bring out flavors I hadn’t noticed before. The smoke production starts to pick up halfway through the first third. Notes of chocolate, raisins, and cedar dominate this first third. When I retrohale the Lithium, I taste the best oatmeal raisin cookie. Insane, I know…but that’s what it reminds me of.

SECOND THIRD
>> Coffee, Caramel, Salted Nuts, Baking Spices

A saltiness starts to breakthrough the rich sweetness from the first third. The cedar note has almost completely disappeared. Coffee and baking spices dominate the retrohale, with just a hint of pepper. The Lithium has turned into salty-sweet treat. Cashews mingle with a salted caramel note and baking spices. The retrohale is absolutely exquisite. Notes of pepper and spice elegantly add depth to what is on my palate. A creamy mix of salted nuts, rich caramel, and hint of orange zest are left on my palate. The burn line continues to be affected by the wind, but has not required a touch-up or relight thus far. The middle third is incredibly smooth, but is somewhat lacking in flavor. There isn’t as much nuance or complexity as I’d like…except for the retrohale. That is where this middle third shines. Still, it is very enjoyable. The ash flakes a bit as I deposit it in the ashtray, but mostly holds its shape.

FINAL THIRD
>> Espresso, Campfire, Pepper

As the final third begins, the salted caramel turns into a creamy butter note. The cashews that were so prevalent in the second third have slid to the background. The burn line is nowhere near straight but does correct itself…it has to be this wind, as the burn line goes razor sharp when the wind dies down.. The retrohale is a beautiful pepper that is not overly in your face. It’s not subtle, but it’s not a pepper bomb. It’s in that happy medium somewhere in-between. The coffee note has has become richer and a little bit bitter, like espresso, but not unpleasant. The Lithium was a medium cigar throughout the first two thirds but has become medium-full in this final third. It is keeping things interesting after a uninteresting second third, excluding the retrohale. The retrohale, which has been the star up to this point, continues to shine in this final third. A subtle sweetness starts to breakthrough as a musty campfire note adds itself to the black coffee. The smoke is still creamy as the subtle sweetness lingers on my palate. Wood and pepper round out this final third. The retrohale is still absolutely amazing.

RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS

FLAVOR PROGRESSION
The Lithium’s flavor progression is a bit of a conundrum. The first and final thirds are absolutely amazing. The second, in comparison, is not as complex or nuanced, but still enjoyable. The Lithium seems to go from medium, to mild, to medium-full. That’s not bad, it’s just very unexpected. It definitely takes you on a journey. The retrohale, though, is the star of the show. Throughout the Lithium the retrohale enhances and expounds on what you’re tasting.   

BURN EXPERIENCE
I smoked two Lithium cigars for this review. I took pictures of the one that I smoked on a windy day. The second one that I smoked was never overly wavy and neither one required a touch-up or relight. So, I’m not going to take off more points for how the Lithium burned in the wind. I will say, however, that it performed very well despite the conditions. 

RATING BREAKDOWN
0.80 / 0.80 … Craft & Aesthetic
0.48 / 0.50 … Pre-Light Characteristics
0.50 / 0.50 … Lighting Process
6.90 / 7.70 … Smoking Experience
0.45 / 0.50 … Personal Enjoyment

COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES

LITHIUM NEVER TASTED SO GOOD.

When Gerard Abajian, of Jake Wyatt Cigar Co and Mardo Cigars, told me that the Lithium was made for those who love to retrohale my interest was piqued. I know most cigar enthusiasts only retrohale every three or four puffs, but I retrohale almost every time. Gerard and Jake Wyatt Cigar Co. nailed the retrohale with the Lithium. It is, without any exaggeration, the star of the show for the Lithium. When the second third starts to lack complexity, just retrohale and everything seems to come to life. The Lithium will take you on a cigar journey that you won’t soon forget.

SIMPLY STOGIES RATING:  9.13 / 10.0

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