It’s been a little over two years since I visited the Medal of Honor Intellect, and while it hasn’t staged a remarkable transformation in that time, it’s still a really nice mellow smoke.
The Medal of Honor series was created for JR Cigars by Estelo Padron in Honduras to celebrate the cigar men who helped JR Cigars become the retail giant that it is today. This particular size honors Martin Herbst, who created the Maria Mancini and La Finca cigar brands.
I couldn’t remember exactly what went into this cigar when I pulled it out of long-term storage, and I decided to smoke it before refreshing my memory. This is not my habit at all, but since I’m quite familiar with this cigar I thought I could probably guess its composition.
My guess was wrong. Mid-way through this cigar I guessed that this was a Cameroon wrapper due to its bright cedary sweetness. I thought it was a little mild for Cameroon, but I attributed that to aging. For the first two inches it’s a simple blend of wood and cedar spice. As it turns out, this is actually an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. The buttery texture (and lack of tooth in the wrapper) should have given it away, but not this time.
This has always been an easy going, mellow smoke, and it continues to be so. There isn’t much of a transition from first light to last ash, but this is nothing new either. The only surprise is a caramel spice in the second half that replaces the cedar from the first part. The foundation flavors remain woody from start to finish, and the aftertaste is pleasantly crisp and clean.
Construction values here have not changed over time and remain excellent — a beautiful solid ash and a razor sharp burn. Every one of these has been consistent in that regard.
The Medal of Honor Intellect is a mild mannered but articulate smoke that requires few words to make its point, which is well taken.
If you’re lucky enough to be sitting on a box of these from when they were first released in 2005, I’d say the time is ripe to break them out and pass them around to friends who enjoy lighter smokes; from this point forward I would expect them to simply make a gentle and gradual decline.
And if the mild-bodied stuff doesn’t interest you, stay tuned for the Padron Roundup scheduled to begin here on June 10 and continue for several weeks into the summer.