If you’ve heard of Taboo cigars you’re probably from the DFW (Texas) area or you’re a member of one of the online cigar forums. They haven’t received wide distribution yet, but this brand’s reputation has spread by word of mouth, backed up by great customer service.
The Taboo line currently comprises several different blends that span the spectrum from mild-medium to full in body, but over time the one that has gotten the most attention is this one: the Taboo Twist. This is an easy smoking anytime-of-day sort of cigar that plays on the “barber pole” or dos capas theme — a two-toned wrapper composed of a claro shade wrapper and an alternating maduro. Ergo, Twist. The cigar is all Nicaraguan, with the exception of the claro wrapper which is Ecuadorian Connecticut.
Town and Country Cigars (the storefront for Taboo) offers several different samplers of the various blends, so after reading some good reviews on Club Stogie a couple months ago I picked up a Twist sampler. In my experience the barber pole cigar is one of two things: exactly the gimmick you thought it would be, or an intelligent blend of maduro sweetness and Connecticut creaminess. I’m happy to report that the Taboo Twist falls into the latter category.
The Twist is an attractive cigar — both wrapper leaves are top shelf. The roll is solid and the claro cap is integrated well. A pre-light draw is a little bit grassy but the draw resistance is just right.
It takes a half-inch or so for this smoke to get down to business — it’s a little grassy to start with, but it warms up to a nice earthy glow. The smoke starts out smooth and easy and stays that way for the duration. A smooth customer.
The next stage remains in earthy territory but gains some sweetness and a touch of spice. The flavors are nicely balanced, but I’m finding that I have to correct the burn occasionally. The maduro leaf sometimes resists the burn, and if both sides are not burning in tandem the balance is lost. (This was the case with the churchill, but strangely not with some of the other sizes.) Keep your torch handy just in case.
The last third is nutty and creamy with a bigger dollop of spice — the overarching effect is like a peanut butter cup with sprinklings of cinnamon and white pepper (but not quite as sweet, of course.) The earthiness makes a return appearance near the nub, but the main theme of this cigar is smooth creamy spice with touch of sugar. If you can imagine how the sweet char of maduro might combine with the mild spice and creaminess of Ecuador Connecticut — that’s pretty much how it smokes. Flavorful and aromatic, but never overwhelming.
Retail prices run around 5 dollars a stick — the sampler is available for $24.99, but keep your eyes peeled for special deals and coupons offered on the cigar forums — the newly amalgamated puff.com or cigarasylum.com.
Final Score: 87