K by Karen Berger Habano Salomon. Karen Berger is born and raised in Esteli, Nicaragua. And Esteli is the epicenter of the largest cigar exporting country in the world. But she wasn’t born in the industry. Her late husband, Don Kiki, was. And together Karen and Don Kiki were building an empire. With a factory and farms in Nicaragua, plus a multi-million dollar retail outlet in Miami. But then Don Kiki passed away. Karen continues the legacy up until today and even has her own brand now: K by Karen Berger.
This is the all Nicaraguan Habano version of the K by Karen Berger. And in a wonderful vitola, a 6x52x58 Salomon. To make it even more special, the cigar is box-pressed as well. There is also a Maduro version of the K by Karen Berger and a Connecticut Shade version. Both lines will be reviewed at a later time.
Name: K by Karen Berger Habano Soaomon
Factory: Tabacalera Esteli
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Habano)
Cutter: Xikar Xi2
Lighter: single flame
Smoke conditions: Indoors with ventilator
Smoke time: two hours thirty minutes
Sponsored by Cuban Crafters
The cigar is a looker. The shape, the oily Colorado color of the wrapper. The beige secondary ring and the detailed yet fresh-looking main ring. This cigar is something to look at before cutting and lighting it. The box press feels good. The aroma is mild though, sawdust.
The cold draw is good. It is very spicy though. The first puffs are straight in your face. Leather, coffee, dark spice, and sweetness. The spice and sweetness, with the leather, remain. But then the flavor turns more to cedar with a faint milk chocolate flavor. The later part of the first third goes back to leather with a nice mellow sweetness.
Halfway the cigar has a nice balance between spice, sweetness, and acidity. The sweetness is almost marzipan, the acidity is a mild lemon, with white pepper spice. Slowly the dark spices return. The cigar gets a little stronger. The sweetness is more honey-like. With wood, spice, and pepper.
The draw is very good, even from the start. Often the burn and draw are an issue at the beginning with a vitola like this. The burn is good. The smoke is light gray, it’s a little thin but the volume makes up for it. The light gray ash is frayed but firm. This cigar starts out medium in strength but grows to be full. The flavor is medium-full too. There is balance. The smoke time is two and a half hours.
diagram courtesy of cigarprofiler
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