Skull 77 El Unico. The El Unico is the toro size of the Skull 77 by Cigare 77. The brand is made in Costa Rica, at the Vegas de Santiago facilities. But it is Swiss-owned. Laurent Taha is the owner, and he picked the 77 number for a very special reason. He is born on January 1st, 1977. And launched his brand on July 7, 2014. The double seven comes back several times. For now, only three sizes are available. The blends are mostly the same, although a little tweaked for each specific size. None of the three vitolas is thinner than a 58 ring though, the thickest is a ring 66.
For the wrapper, Taha picked a Habano 2000 leaf from Ecuador. Cigare 77 didn’t disclose the binder. For the filler, tobaccos from Peru, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic are used. As mentioned before, the blends vary per size, to create the optimal flavor experience in each of the vitolas. The brand is currently expanding it’s distribution and recently added Sweden as one of the new markets. And from January, the brand will be available in the United Kingdom too.
Name: Skull 77
Country: Costa Rica
Factory: Vegas de Santiago
Vitola: Toro Gordo
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Filler: Peru, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Costa Rica
Price: 16 CHF
Cutter: Xikar X2
Lighter: single flame
Smoke conditions: indoors with ventilator
Smoke time: two hours
Sponsored by Cigare 77
The cigar looks good. A nice, smooth, Colorado colored wrapper. Oily and there are no ugly thick veins visible. The ring, designed by Taha and his close friend & artist Claudio Capuano, is a nice looking, cigar-smoking skull. The glowing red eye did remind us of Terminator. Even though it’s a big and thick cigar, it feels quite light. The little pigtail cap is a nice detail. The aroma isn’t very strong, it’s both floral and a classic barnyard aroma.
The cold draw is very light, very easy. Flavors from the cold draw are sweetness and sultana at first, with a strong and spicy raw tobacco aftertaste. After lighting, it’s coffee, leather, and soil. Quite dry flavors. The flavors then turn spicy and grassy, still with some coffee though. The palate then evolve to wood, spice, leaves and mild marzipan sweetness. The flavors are a little rough around the edges. The sweetness is that of powdered icing sugar, with grass and leather after a third. Very mild milk chocolate shows up too, with grass, wood, and leather. In the final third, there’s pepper, leather, and young wood. Still a little rough and the mouthfeel is dry. The harshness grows a bit too. In the end, the coffee returns.
The draw is a bit loose, but not too loose that it’s a problem. The burn is a bit wonky, but again, not too bad that it’s a problem. The smoke is quite full and has a decent volume. This cigar is medium-bodied, medium flavored. It’s a little unrefined and unbalanced. The white ash is flaky yet reasonably firm. The smoke time is two hours exactly, then it turned so bitter it had to be abandoned.