For my wild Irish friends and relatives the name Jameson has always been associated with one thing and one thing only: uisce beatha. That’s whiskey with an “e.” Fine Irish wine.
But not anymore. A couple years ago Jameson cigars arrived, thereby providing the perfect match for the perfect drink, a combination which by Winston Churchill’s example can be enjoyed even at breakfast. I’m not about to follow that example, but I’m not about to argue with a man who leads his forces to victory behind a bottle of Johnny Walker Black.
Indeed, cigar smokers can look to Churchill as a model of defiance as we fight the powers that would like to snuff us out. It is in that same spirit that Jameson’s new cigar is called Declaration. It is a blend designed to inspire personal liberty, or as the promotional material advises, “Smoke to be Free.”
The Declaration is a Dominican puro featuring a Habano 98 wrapper and a Criollo 98 binder. They are manufactured by Tabacalera LTC (La Tradicion Cubana) in Santiago, and are available in boxes of 21. There is only one size: the 5.5 x 50 “Iniquity.”
I confess some confusion about the meaning of the name Iniquity, which means something like licentiousness or sin. I could give in to the urge to discuss the distinctions between liberty and license, and how these might apply to the legislation of morality, but I think I’d rather smoke this cigar instead.
This cigar is built like a tank but it performs with finesse. The wrapper is a dark and rustic looking colorado maduro. Some sections of the wrapper are more oily than others, which is a little strange, but aesthetic appeal is not this cigar’s forte anyway. The head is formed well with firm shoulders. The cap is pasted on rather than wound.
The roll is solid and the draw is firm without being tight. At times the ash can be a little flaky at the perimeter but when it’s ready to drop it falls like a stone without crumbling. The burn is even and effortless.
Overall excellent construction.
The Declaration Iniquity starts up with a flavor of hard wood and a sweet note of maple syrup. After an inch or so some peppery spice kicks in and the flavors develop more complexity. This cigar seems leathery or meaty on the palate, but it has a sweet and woody aroma that blends well with the other flavors. It’s smooth, but the varied flavors and subdued punch keep it interesting.
The mid section gets a little spicier on the tongue and the finish lengthens. The aroma is still sweet though, woody with a touch of graham cracker.
There are no dramatic changes in the last third, just a deepening meaty spice. The syrupy note transitions to caramel. The aftertaste gets a little charred in the last lap, but aside from that it smokes well to the nub.
Jameson’s Declaration cigar is a tasty and finely rolled medium-bodied smoke that I think almost anyone would enjoy. The sweet aroma is quite distinct from the palate flavors, lending the smoke a complexity that will interest veterans, but at the same time it’s smooth enough that it won’t frighten off the novices. Overall it’s a very well balanced cigar.
The Declaration Iniquity retails for around $6.00 per stick, which is excellent for any cigar, but for a Dominican puro it’s outstanding.
I want to thank Jameson for offering samples of their Declaration cigar for this review by sharing their generosity with a lucky reader. Just leave a comment about Jameson or La Tradicion Cubana cigars below and I will pick one entry at random to receive a few of these fine smokes for their own enjoyment. Contest ends January 31, 2010. U.S. residents only please.
And don’t forget to enter the Jameson Humidor contest! All you have to do is sign up for their newsletter and you’re eligible to win a very sweet Vanderburgh Forteleza Humidor stocked with Declaration cigars.