By Russ Ouellette
Brick House Cigar Reviews
Brick House was part of J.C. Newman’s lineup in the past when they were made with Cuban tobacco. Obviously, the embargo put an end to that particular cigar, but with the recent tax increases on premium cigars, the Newman family started looking for a premium cigar that would be in keeping with the growing market for richer, more robust cigars, but at a price point that would better suit a tough economy.

The cigars have a unique Nicaraguan Havana Subido wrapper which is a nice-looking reddish-brown that has a beautiful oily sheen. The rest of cigar is made of Nicaraguan tobacco, which makes this a puro. The band has an old-time look about it, and the packaging is in suit. The entire line sells in the $5 to $6 range keeping it within the range of value-oriented cigars.

The attractive, chunky toro (6 x 52) has a firm but springy feel, and has a light, fermented aroma with a bit of dry cocoa and a bit of spice. I used (as I do almost all the time) a Palio double guillotine to make a straight cut, and checked the pre-light draw, which was very smooth and even. I picked up on some sweet wood, dusky cocoa and a hint of nutmeg.

While toasting the foot, I detected an unusual sweetness to the aroma, but I couldn’t exactly place it. The first couple of puffs brought out a lot of woodiness- not as intense as cedar, but a little more sweet and tangy than oak. I also picked up a mild, dry cocoa/chocolate flavor, a touch of spice and an interesting faint, warm sweetness, like a brown sugar or caramel.

Brick House Toro Cigar Review

 



After the first couple of inches, the wood aspect of the profile became more cedary, and the spice moved a little more to the front, but the sweetness was still hanging in the background, making this an intriguingly different smoke; much more than I was expecting from this cigar.

Brick House Cigar ReviewWith their history of Cuesta Rey, Diamond Crown and their relationship with the Fuente family, J.C. Newman certainly has a record of quality, and this cigar does nothing to challenge their excellent reputation. As I smoked down into the last third, the cigar got a bit hot, but not unusually so, and the flavors never became harsh, so I feel confident in recommending this series to anyone who wants a solid medium-bodied cigar with undertones of spicy sweetness without turning the piggy bank upside down.

The appearance is sensational for a bargain stick, so I give it 13 out of 15. The construction and burn were also very good with only a slightly crooked burn for less than an inch, good enough for a 32 out of 35, and the flavor and aroma were pleasant, unique and interesting enough to give it 43 out of 50 for a total of 88, which, when adjusted for the price, pretty much makes this cigar a home run.

 

Overall rating: 88

6 x 52
Wrapper: Havana Subido
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Made in: Nicaragua

Russ Ouellette is the blender/creator of the Hearth & Home series of pipe tobaccos for Habana Premium Cigar Shoppe and www.pipesandcigars.com in Albany, NY. He has been a cigar smoker and pipe tobacco blender for over 30 years. Russ will be contributing articles in several areas starting with reviewing cigars that are the best bang for the buck – something we anticipate many readers will be interested in during these challenging economic times.

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