By Russ Ouellette
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.