Multigenerational cigar companies are nothing new to the industry. The interesting fact here is Micallef Cigars, founded by Texas entrepreneur Al Micallef, came on the scene in 2016. How can a relatively new cigar company be multigenerational? In this case, it is the partnership formed with the Gomez Sanchez Cigar family. The statement on the Micallef tells us exactly why this partnership was formed “Two inspiring families, handcrafting inspiring cigars. Micallef Cigars is a collaboration between the family of Al Micallef, with expertise in worldwide commerce, and Gomez Sanchez, with expertise in handcrafting the finest cigar lines in the world.”
It’s hard to believe that it was 2020 when we saw the last new release from Micallef, the Micallef A, just recently reviewed here on Smokin’ Tabacco. 2023 brings us what may be Micallef’s most special release to date, the Micallef Black.
“Three years of dedicated effort and strategic planning culminated in creating the Micallef Black”. Let’s take a closer look at this release and see what this new blend is all about
Under the Lid
As soon as I have the box in hand, it is apparent this is something different. A glossy black finish with gold logos and lettering makes for a very striking first impression.
Upon opening the box of toros, it seems like the gold emblazoned Micallef logo on the inner lid is standing guard over the 25 cigars in the box. The cigars have a band that has the same logo and colors as the outside of the box.
Wrapper: Maduro San Andrés Mexico
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
Vitola: 6 x 52 Toro $8.00 (Box of 25 $200)
Factory: Micallef Cigars S.A.
Release Date: June 2023 (pre-release) July 2023 (official release)
Number of cigars release: Regular Release
Micallef Cigars President Dan Thompson says “With Micallef Black, our intention is to present a cigar that exudes power, confidence, and a touch of allure. Moreover, we are thrilled to offer this exceptional blend at an unbeatable value.”
Initial inspection of these cigars says mission accomplished on the first part of Dan’s statement. These cigars have an elegance that must be seen to be appreciated. They have a chocolate brown oily wrapper, with quite a bit of tooth and a faint mottling throughout. The seams are so well done the cigar almost looks seamless! The wrapper surface is a little bumpy, with small capillary veins running throughout. The cigar is very firm from foot to cap, with no detectible soft spots in the samples I examined. The pre-light aroma from the foot is a combination of fresh ground coffee and barnyard. There is also a very interesting citrus soda tingle in the nose here. Pre-light draw, which offers just the right amount of resistance, has coffee and barnyard notes as well as hints of chocolate and red pepper flakes.
First third: After the flavorful pre-light notes, I was anxious to get this cigar burning. BOOM, I was hit immediately by a blast of black pepper I have not experienced in any of the previous Micallef blends. This really wakes up the palate at the start. Getting a little more into the first part of the cigar, the flavors really start to hit the palate solidly. Cocoa nibs, barnyard, dry earth, and nougat are all present and satisfyingly complimentary to one another. The retro-hale is primarily red pepper flakes, with hints of wheat bread, stone fruit, and the citrus soda “tingle” that was detected in the pre-light. Overall, there is a heavy saltiness to the profile of the cigar which is causing me to salivate and helping the palate detect these wonderful flavors. Body and complexity are straight up medium-full, while strength is remaining in the medium range. Burn and draw are both performing outstandingly.
Second third: Getting into the second part of the cigar, the flavors just keep pouring on, with the cocoa nibs and nougat elevating above the barnyard and earthy notes. Black cherry starts to emerge here in the middle section of the cigar, as well as hints of oak and walnut shells. The saltiness in the profile has actually increased in intensity slightly, and I take a sip of water at this point so I don’t drool all over my cigar! Retrohale is for the most part unchanged, although the citrus zing is replaced with an almost honey sweetness that balances extremely well with the salty overall profile. Body and complexity are still medium-full, while the strength, while still medium, is starting to increase in intensity. Burn and draw continue to perform as they have been.
Final third: The last part of the cigar still has flavors continuing to develop. While some cigars will start to deliver some bitterness towards the end, that is not the case here. Chocolate brownie, black cherry, and nougat are not the core flavors, with fresh ground black pepper, oak and charred meat appearing on the palate. This is all being pushed forward by the saltiness that has been along for the entire ride. The smoke at this point is “chewy” and is quite enjoyable. Body and complexity finish at what I would consider full, while the strength may have just barely climbed in the medium-full zone. Burn and draw were as outstanding as the previous sections of the cigar.
Core flavors throughout the smoking experience were Cocoa nibs, barnyard, earth, black cherry, and citrus.
Smokin Experience: It seems it was Micallef’s goal to make a “different” and memorable cigar here. All I can say is Mission Accomplished”! Not to take anything away from their other blends, but this might be the best Micallef cigar I have smoked to date. The flavor kicks you in the teeth and wakes up your palate from first light and continues to perform and develop all the way to the end as a premium cigar should. The burn and draw needed no maintenance all the way through. Add in the mild-mannered strength and the fact the MSRP of this cigar is around $8 retail, and Micallef Cigars have a sure-fire hit on their hands. Based on the press release and the chatter I was hearing about this cigar before getting my hands on some had my expectations high. The cigar did not disappoint and was consistent throughout all the samples I smoked for this review. I fully expect to see this cigar appear on several “top” lists at the end of the year.
– Micallef has a Fave Five game on their website where you can win some amazing prizes while experiencing five different blends of their cigars.
– The Gomez Sanchez tobacco family business was started in Cuba in 1934
– Edel, Joel and Mabel Gómez Sanchez, grandchildren of Mr. Pedro F. Gómez, and the third generation to the company, have also dedicated their lives to the tobacco industry.
Additional Vitolas available
• 5 x 52 Robusto $7.00 (Box of 25 $175)
Cigars smoked for the review: 3
Average smoking time: 1:43
Kevin Acuff was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. Growing up in a rural area, he was able to indulge in some very exciting life experiences at a young age. He acquired his private pilot license before he had a driver’s license, spent several years on the competitive bass fishing tournament trail, and even spent a couple of seasons racing motorcycles. In 2001, he relocated to Las Vegas, spending the better part of the past 20 years working in the sign industry.
It was one of those industry trips, back in 2014 that changed his life for good. His boss handed him a Siglo V and an instantaneous bond was formed. He has spent countless hours since then learning as much about cigars as time would allow. This has resulted in a private collection of cigars that would rival some smaller retailers. Being inquisitive and not afraid to ask questions resulted in being blessed with several opportunities to experience the industry from all angles. Kevin is a regular attendee at the trade shows, has some firsthand experience on the media side, and is a familiar face to many at consumer events throughout the country.
He is married to Barbara, who shares an equal love of the leaf. When they are not in their private lounge enjoying a cigar, they are either in the backyard playing with their fur kids or out exploring the back roads in the Wild West on one of their Harleys.