By Tad Gage
Bossner offers a variety of lines that include Dominican product and Nicaraguan leaf in the filler and binder, and a Brazilian wrapper. The Cleopatra features the most beautiful Brazilian Colorado wrapper I’ve ever seen. It’s lightly oily, and so free of large veins that it’s nearly seamless. Brazilian leaf is extensively used in filler tobacco blends to add its characteristic sweetness and body. While cultivation of Brazilian-grown leaf has made great strides in the past two decades, it is still an extremely difficult leaf to work with as a wrapper. It tends to be thick, tough and not particularly attractive. Bossner’s ability to incorporate this leaf into an attractive wrapper is a coup. While wrapper leaves fluctuate in how much they contribute to the cigar’s flavor based on several variables, this one showed the potential of offering even more flavor than usual.
Russian-born and Berlin-based entrepreneur Konstantin Bossner doesn’t say much in the way of describing his product, except that each size of cigar (and there are 18 or so) can range from temperamental or melancholy to manly or childlike. The company’s website is equally quirky for this exporter of Bossner premium cognac and confections. Okay, I can live with quirky, if there is a good product as the payoff.
Even a casual glance tells us this is one well-made cigar. First off, the pyramid is a tough cigar shape to roll. While the torpedo is basically a straight cigar with a tapered head (not exactly easy to roll, either), the construction of a pyramid has to be absolutely nail-on. Because it graduates evenly from a large ring gauge foot to a miniscule tapered head, the rolling has to be a bit tighter toward the foot and a bit looser near the head to maintain an even draw. This is no easy feat. The cap is so carefully applied that it appears to be seamless with the rest of the wrapper. The band is attractive but not ostentatious, although a thin second band with the Bossner name seemed superfluous (as I feel about most double-banded cigars – enough is enough).
Lighting up, the foot toasted evenly and then welcomed a robust lighting. It settled into a smooth and even tempo, with a perfect draw and just the right amount of smoke volume. Given that Bossner is a major exporter of chocolate and fine cognac – and this may sound pretty obsequious – those were exactly the overtones this cigar delivered. Dark, rich chocolate, a bit of cedar, hints of raw almonds and vanilla, and simply a wonderfully mellow, aged filler flavor with a perfect balance between strength and complexity.
The cigar continued to draw beautifully while delivering a symphony of flavors and nuances. Stepping outside, it performed well in a light breeze, a testament to sound construction that resists any tendency to accelerate burning speed with the additional wind. Though it burned slowly and evenly, it isn’t a cigar on which you’d want to build up a long ash. It falls off quickly to reveal a nice, conical burn. Who cares about building a big ash?
Not unusual for a pyramid was a slight concentration of tars at the tightly clipped head. I used a light and occasional pat of a tissue to absorb the extra juices so they wouldn’t assault my tongue. Again, no big problem, and certainly no impediment to enjoying this cigar. The payoff? This pyramid smoked down to the nub with as much flavor and smoothness as it started with.
This a solidly medium-bodied cigar, but with so much complexity that anything more robust would destroy the subtleties. The finish is a bit more spicy and intense than the beginning, which is typical of a pyramid construction that concentrates both flavor and nicotine in an increasingly small area. The tobaccos are well-aged and sweated, with no bitterness or aftertaste. Taking a cue from Mr. Bossner, I don’t know if my pyramid was one of those friendly cigars he describes, but I would welcome the opportunity to develop a relationship with this or any other cigar in the Bossner line. This is not an inexpensive cigar, and a bit tough to find, but it certainly ranks up there with anything in its price range.
7 x 50
Wrapper: Mata Fina (Brasil)
Binder: Olor Dominicano
Filler: Piloto Cubano Seco & Ligero (Dominican Republic)
Made in: Dominican Republic
|Tad Gage is the author of the best selling Penguin Books "The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cigars," in its second edition. The book has sold over 40,000 copies worldwide, in three languages, and is available in stores and online distributors. Tad has made cigar connoisseurship accessible to beginners and veteran cigar smokes alike. He is delighted to answer questions through CigarChronicles.com. Just comment below.|