Cigar Review: Micallef Blue

The Micallef Blue is a follow-up release of the Black from last summer. I have smoked a number of Micallef Cigars over the years and I believe that they are severely underrated. I appreciate the business discipline that they follow in keeping a strong relationship with their customer base through communication and releases such as this one. At seven dollars a stick for the robusto size, this is a cigar that is for everyone. The San Andrés wrapped Micallef Black was a home run in my book so I am curious to see what this unusual San Andrés Sumatra wrapper on the Blue has to offer.

OVERVIEW

VITOLA:   Robusto
SIZE:   5″ x 52

ORIGIN:   Nicaragua
FACTORY:   Micallef Cigars S.A.

WRAPPER:   San Andrés Sumatra
BINDER:   Ecuadorian Habano
FILLER:   Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

STRENGTH:   Medium

SOURCE:   
Manufacturer

ENVIRONMENT

WHERE:   
Outside on the back porch

WHEN:   
April 1, 2024, 5 P.M.

DRINKS:   
Water

WEATHER:   
Overcast

HOW MANY CIGARS SMOKED:   
3

PRODUCTION

RELEASE TYPE  Regular Production

ORIGINALLY RELEASE DATE  March 2024

TOTAL PRODUCTION
Typical Box Size:     Boxes of 25
Production Totals:  UNK

VITOLA BREAKDOWN
o  Robusto  (5″ x 52)
Toro  (6″ x 52)

BAND DESIGN

The band is identical to the Micallef Black, except it’s blue. I like the royal blue with the gold and the band is unmistakably a Micallef. The only indication that this may be a cheaper cigar in the line up is that it is only a two color band. The coloring scheme makes it easy to identify which cigar you’re picking up, and it kind of falls in line with the body of the cigar. The Black was a more full bodied cigar. This one is concentrating more on complexity found in the medium bodied range.

PRE-LIGHT OBSERVATIONS

CONSTRUCTION

The Micallef Blue is a very neat looking cigar, from the triple cap to the uniformity of the wrapper throughout the body of the stick, it is a very nice looking cigar. While some of the pictures I took make the wrapper look darker, it is a light milk chocolate color with small variations following the minimal veins found on the wrapper. The seams are tight but visible and the wrapper is smooth with a matte finish. When squeezed there is a tad of give and no soft spots. It’s hard to believe that a budget stick like this is presented so well. It is a solidly constructed cigar.

AROMA

The aroma of the body gives off a slight marshmallow and faint cocoa powder smell. After that, there is a shift to a barnyard and cedar aroma that is very welcoming. On the foot, it gets little funky, but still not offensive to the nostrils and it is a very inviting smell. What I like most about this cigar is the touch of sweetness in the aroma, it is not the strongest or most complex smell, but it is pleasant.

COLD DRAW

The cold draw is a bit tight and offers notes of mostly hay and cedar. I wish I could say that there was more sweetness, but outside of your normal sweet tobacco taste, there is not much to the cold draw. In most cigars I have smoked, the draw opens up when the cigar is lit, the other two samples were not as tight as this one.

SMOKING EXPERIENCE

LIGHT & DRAW
Cut:  Straight
Fire:  Torch

The draw is still a little tight right off the light up. There is a wave of cream in the beginning followed by hay and cedar. The retro is full of spice in the beginning. At first it is a strong cayenne, and then it shifts into a tame black pepper. Things get interesting on the finish, I’m getting a butter and rice cereal with no sweetness. 

SMOKE

There is a decent amount of smoke in the beginning despite the tighter draw. It’s not the thickest smoke but still has enough texture to really let you chew on it while smoking.

FIRST THIRD
>> Butter, Hay, Nougat

From light up, to the end of the first third, you get some change. The burn is straight and the ash is not flaking at all. The draw, while still tight, is starting to loosen up and the smoke is getting much thicker. The hay and cedar notes are still present. The retro is not nearly as spicy as it was at light up and has a little bit of cinnamon included with that black pepper. The butter and rice cereal is not as strong in the first third, but there is a shift to a sweet note on the tail end that kind of reminds me of nougat. There are something special about the finish on the cigar, it’s balanced, just a little sweet, and also savory. 

SECOND THIRD
>> Wet Cedar, Earth, Coffee

The burn remains straight, the ash is strong and holds for the entire third. Still no flakes, the draw is a perfect resistance, and the smoke is thick to the point where I can blow really strong smoke rings. Strong flavors of tobacco steeped in cream with a wet cedar dominate the front of the pallet. The retro is sweet, earthy, and a little bit spicy. It actually gets kicked back up a notch to a cayenne. The finish transitions into a damp earth with almonds and coffee. The nougat is still present but not as sweet, imagine a nougat dusted with cocoa powder.  

FINAL THIRD
>> Black Coffee, Cream, Milky Way

The burn is still straight and the smoke is plentiful. I did notice a little more bitterness come out in the last third, it is similar to a bitter black coffee. Even with that bitterness, you can still notice just a hint of that cream and wet cedar in the background. The retro is a little less spicy with a black pepper on the forefront quickly morphing into a warm sweet cedar and tobacco. The finish really shines in the last third, there is a wave of sweetness that takes over. It’s like a Milky Way candy bar…maybe not as sweet as one, but definitely reminiscent of one. I enjoyed how all the finishes in each third added up to something that is greater in the end. There are times where the Micallef Blue feels like a full body cigar. but it definitely falls more on the medium side.

RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS

FLAVOR PROGRESSION

This cigar surprised me with its flavor progression. At first it seems like a pretty straightforward hay and cedar dominant cigar, but that  changes the second you think it is going to be a one dimensional stick. To be honest, the price leads one to believe that it would not be a transition heavy cigar without any real depth and flavor, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. From the tameness of the first draw to all of the wonderful flavors and sweetness that came out with each puff, this cigar was full of surprises.

BURN EXPERIENCE

The last sample I smoked of the cigar there was a tighter draw in the beginning, but I can’t say that for the other samples that I smoked. The burn remained straight and the ash was strong for every sample. I ashed every robusto I had exactly three times. This is an unbelievably well constructed cigar and is what I expect from every higher end stick I smoke.

RATING BREAKDOWN
0.75 / 0.80 … Craft & Aesthetic
0.50 / 0.50 … Pre-Light Characteristics
0.50 / 0.50 … Lighting Process
7.10 / 7.70 … Smoking Experience
0.45 / 0.50 … Personal Enjoyment

COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES

MY NEW DAILY CIGAR.

I know it’s still early in 2024, but this cigar is on the top of my list. The Micallef Blue is incredibly well-balanced, has amazing construction, and offers a surprising amount of depth. At seven dollars, it is hard to believe that I pay more for cigars that offer less. This is  an automatic box purchase for me and while I enjoyed the Micallef Black, this one is better. This is without a doubt my new daily smoke.

SIMPLY STOGIES RATING:  9.3 / 10.0

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