Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cigar Review: Brick House Robusto

I knew I wanted to review this cigar the moment I read about its release from the J.C. Newman Cigar Company.  The Churchill received an awesome '91' rating from Cigar Aficionado Magazine in its last issue of 2009.  I planned in indulging in one of those for this review, but when my local cigar shop only had one robusto left, I took it as a sign.  According to brickhousecigars.com, the robusto lies more on the medium flavored front than its counterparts that finish more on the fuller side.  

First, a little background for the uneducated.  The original Newman, Julius Caesar (J.C.) Newman, immigrated to America in 1888.  Seven short years later he founded J.C. Newman Cigar Co., which is the oldest family-owned cigar maker still standing in the U.S. today.  One of Newman's earliest releases was Brick House, an omage to his heritage.  Growing up as a child in his village, the building he called home was the only brick structure around.  It was not only his home, but also served as the town's tavern.  For decades, his friends, family, neighbors and travelers gathered at the end of a hard day's work to drink, eat, smoke and enjoy the company of others. 

Of course, like all other ol' world cigars, J.C. made most of his prized products from the rich tobacco that hailed from Cuba.  The original Brick House was no exception.  Today, the company is run by J.C.'s grandsons, Eric and Bobby, who have re-released this omage in their family's honor.  The 2009 edition of Brick House is an all-Nicaraguan product from wrapper to filler.  The lush,well-balanced cigar hasn't lost any richness. 
The Brick House robusto is perfectly shaped, at five inches in length with a 54 ring gauge.  This oily, richly colored puro is ripe for the smoking.  The pre-light taste and aroma is earthy and has a hint of spice.  I cut the cap off with my guillotine cutter, and savored the pre-light scent once more.  I bite down on the toothy cap and inhale for the draw dry taste.  I can tell that robust earthiness is going to be the foundation for this cigar, but I have a feeling it will be very complex with hints of maple now coming though.  I chose to light the robusto with a match, as I have been favoring them lately on my smaller cigars.  

The first few puffs are nothing but a straight punch of earth with leathery notes.  The draw is beautiful with cool, flavorful smoke that lingers softly on the palate.  It's a little more mild than I first thought it would be, but overall the medium label fits really well.  

As I approach the middle of stogie, maple and cedar really come into play.  That maple note is absolutly fantastic!  This truly is an unique cigar, with a very orginal flavorful profile.  Did they really get all of these tobaccos from the same country?  Makes you really think about all of the companies that spend so much time with blending multi-country cigars.     

This baby burns incredibly even.  No small feat since my dog bumped me mid-light and I blew out the match.  I fumbled with lighting a second one as my intial light was noticiably off the mark on eveness.  The ash is a gorgeous light gray and holds its form very well.  I only ashed this cigar three times!

As the stogie nears the label, I begin to pick up some leather and nutty notes to compliment the earthy foundation that has made this cigar fantastic.  I peel off the label for safe keeping and continue to enjoy.  Is it just me, or is there anything better than a two hour robusto?  Most people may cry foul at the idea of making a short smoke last so long, but I disagree.  No matter the length/gauge I say it should take its natural course and be savored.  If it takes 4 hours to take down a Churchill, then do it.  Where does one need to be anyway?

I make this cigar last, and enjoy it all the way to the nub with no bitterness or heat.  The smoke remained cool and flavorful to the end.  Here is the kicker, the finish is enjoyable and has some ligering FRIUT!  Yeah, I couldn't believe it myself.

What a smoke!  I have spent time with a lot of members the cigar community lately, and I have heard a llot of them confess to not being fans of J.C.Newman/Fuente.  Yeah, scary, I know.  But, many have confessed to me that Brick House is a hit.  Well, I agree implicity. 

I have developed a rating system after some consideration of catagories.  I am doing a 0-10 range with zero being worst and ten representing perfection.

My Ratings:

Appearance - 9
Pre-light taste- 8
Construction - 10
Draw - 10
Burn - 10
Aroma - 8
Flavor - 10
Balance - 9
Finish- 10
Total Rating: 9.3

Enjoy guys and gals, and remember, there is nothing wrong with knowing you are the best!



  1. Bear,

    Great review, keep them smoking! (pardon the pun)

    Paul Hendrix

  2. I really enjoy this cigar. It is a soft satin feel and slightly peppery smooth tobacco aroma. Also, The smoke is glassy from the start as it opens with agilely ambrosial cedar and a dash of salt.

    fuente cigars