HBTC Review: The American No. 2

Up until around the 1930s, you could find at least one cigar factory in pretty much every United States city. At the time it was more cost effective for a small cigar factory to operate this way. We can get into the why in another article, but as we all know, cigar crafting in the United States is an art that is disappearing before our eyes. Fortunately for us J.C. Newman Cigar Company teamed up with Jeff Borysiewicz, owner of Corona Cigar Company, to create The American. It is a cigar that is American in every way. Not only is every tobacco leaf for The American grown in the United States, every box is made here in the United States. The bands are also made here in the United States. Even the cellophane is made right here in the United States. Maybe the rarest part of the whole cigar is this; Every one of these cigars are rolled by hand in Ybor City at J.C. Newman’s El Reloj cigar factory.

In addition to the No. 2 size reviewed here, The American is also available in a No. 3 (4.5 x 50), No. 4 (6.125 x 52 Torpedo), No. 1 (7 x 47). Prices range from $16.00-$21.00 per cigar.

J.C. Newman The American No. 2
MSRP: $18.50
Size: 6 x 54
Origin: El Reloj (Ybor City-Tampa)
Wrapper: Florida Sun Grown (U.S.A.)
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf (U.S.A)
Filler: Connecticut and Pennsylvania (U.S.A)

The American is a very sturdy cigar. It feels heavy for the size and seems to be well packed. The color of the wrapper leaf is very mottled, with nearly every shade of brown represented within the array. For the ones I bought, it landed nearest to a classic chestnut brown color with a strong vein structure. It is also an extremely oily wrapper surface, with a noticeable sheen. The wrapper has a faint cedar smell, while the foot has aromas of black pepper, dry grass, and anise.

Act I
The fire immediately brings out flavor notes that remind me of black pepper, soy sauce, and an earthy aroma. As the cigar starts to warm up, something on the palate reminds me of black licorice or anise, but it is not overpowering. Finally a sweetness comes in to provide some balance. It is a sweetness that reminds me of molasses cookies. I know it sounds weird. Sue me, it’s good. The retrohale is earthy and peppery.

Act II
Black pepper definitely wants to stand out during the middle of this cigar, but there are definitely some other things going on. It floats between spice and earthiness, with little glimpses of sweetness coming in from time to time. I get a few puffs in the middle that remind me of dark cherries. The retrohale continues with more spice and more earth.

Boldness is the name of the game as this cigar finishes out. The earthiness has come center stage, while the sweetness is more of an afterthought. There are notes of charred wood, black pepper, anise, and a faint salty characteristic. The retrohale isn’t as spicy as it is earthy here at the end, but that dark sweetness still comes through a little bit.

It sounds strange, but this cigar turned out to be similar to what I was building up in my mind. I expected bold flavors to go along with the great construction. I expected sweetness to go along with spice. I was expecting a retrohale that would frighten most novice cigar smokers, and I was expecting some anise notes. It’s anise that I always get hints of from the Florida Sun Grown Tobacco, and I was happy to see that this cigar had that flavor and aroma note. While the price is higher than average, I still highly recommend it and think everyone should pick up a handful.

The American No. 2 – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout A 5er?
Overall Score: 90
PAD: -2.0 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Black Pepper, Anise, Earthiness, Molasses Sweetness
Strength Assessment: Medium-Full
Source: Cigars for this review were purchased by HBT Media LLC

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