Brick House Year of the Rat. J.C. Newman is one of the companies that entered the Chinese Zodiac cigar game with the Brick House brand. But unlike the other brands, Brick House is not using a red-colored box or red-colored rings. In fact, except for the size and the flag tail, you can’t tell the difference between a regular production Brick House or this limited edition. Unless you see the beautiful black box with the painting of the rat and the limited-edition text.
We were unable to find any information about this cigar online, so we reached out to J.C. Newman. As it turns out, the wrapper is different from the classic Brick House. A Nicaraguan wrapper from Jalapa is used for this Year of the Rat release. An old brand that was discontinued during the Great Depression. But it has been resurrected by Eric and Bobby Newman about a decade ago. This time as a Nicaraguan cigar, with Nicaraguan fillers and binder. The wrapper for the regular production comes from Ecuador. And this 6¼x52 toro with the flag tail isn’t a regular production size. Just like the blend, which has been tweaked for this release.
Name: Brick House Year of the Rat Limited Edition 2020
Cutter: Xikar X2
Lighter: single flame
Smoke conditions: indoors with ventilator
Smoke time: three hours
Sponsored by J.C. Newman
The cigar feels silky. The evenly colored Colorado wrapper is smooth and almost veinless. The nice cap, a flag tail, sets the cigar apart from regular production Brick House cigars. Since there is no secondary ring for the year of the rat, the flag tail is the only sign this is a special release. The Brick House ring is a nicely shaped ring with yellow, red, black and gold color schemes. Classic and stylish. The cigar feels well constructed. The wood aroma is strong.
The cold draw is strong. Just as the flavors of raisin, raw tobacco, and pepper. Once lit the mouthfeel is thick. Hints of dark chocolate, leather, wood, soil, and coffee, all with a bit of pepper. It’s a bit hard to keep the cigar lit in the beginning. But once that problem is solved, the cigar releases sweetness with the bitterness of dark chocolate, and some dry wood flavors. Slowly the flavors become more woody with green herbs, pepper, licorice, and some sweetness. After creating more airflow, the flavors are more chocolate, more pepper, and a bit of salt. All with a creamy mouthfeel. Halfway there is coffee with chocolate, spices, pepper and a hint of citrus. The finale is wood, pepper, green herbs, and leather.
The draw is decent, not the best draw but also not bad enough to complain. The smoke is thick and full. Especially after creating a little bit more of a draw using the cigar redeemer tool. The burn is good. The smoke time of this cigar is exactly three hours. This is a medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored cigar.