This is my first experience with 1502. Founded by Enrique Sánchez I, 1502 was built on a passion for the country Enrique hails from and loves: Nicaragua. The Ruby is supposed to cover the medium-range in terms of strength in the 1502 portfolio. Every 1502 cigar is equipped with their proprietary “Cigar Lock”. The primary goal of the “Cigar Lock” is to allow each cigar to be lit with an even burn. Global Premium Cigars accomplished this by creating a semi-closed foot where just a bit of the wrapper arches over the foot of the cigar. When lighting, the little bit of wrapper over the foot should ignite quicker than the tobacco in the center, hopefully creating an even, conical cherry.
By: Global Premium Cigars
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 6×50 (Box-Pressed)
The Ruby is wrapped in a remarkably oily, reddish/brown wrapper with a slight tooth. The wrapper has inconspicuous veins and nearly undetectable seams. The feel of the cigar was very solid and well constructed with a relatively rounded box press. From the foot I procured leather, graham cracker and faint earth. The wrapper emitted only leather and slight barnyard. Once the triple cap was clipped, notes of a sinus tingling cayenne pepper, leather, raisin and graham cracker could be detected on the cold draw.
Once I lit the 1502 Ruby, a powerful mouth tingling pepper hit immediately. It came in the form of cayenne or red pepper flakes and never seemed to waver in the first third. Usually the pepper will diminish at and at least an inch in, but the pepper remained dominant. Underneath were leather, mineral and hazelnut. There was a “toasted” quality that seemed to encapsulate all the flavors, more of an “aura” than a specific flavor. On top of that, the smoke characteristic during the first third was noticeably arid/dry. The finish managed to stick to the palate for a reasonable length of time, consisting of mineral, cayenne and leather flavors. Medium-full body. Mild-medium strength.
Continuing on into the second third, the cayenne pepper continued to absolutely dominate. The intensity of the pepper never diminished, but my palate and sinuses adjusted just enough to pick up some flavors below. The mineral from the first third became more of a tart citrus, reminiscent of grapefruit. Just beneath the cayenne was the leather in a more pronounced form than the first third. Dry earth made its first appearance alongside undertones of mulling spices, hazelnut and faint caramel. The smoke characteristic remained dry/arid. The finish during the second third lingered with flavors of leather, grapefruit and dry earth. Med-full body. Medium strength.
The cayenne pepper and leather ran parallel in the final third. The grapefruit became more pronounced while the prominent toasted quality from the first third returned. With an inch to go, new undertones of coffee and nutmeg appeared. A steady combination of the aforementioned lesser notes continued, such as hazelnut, caramel and dry earth. The finish tightened up to 5-7 seconds long with flavors of leather, cayenne and caramel. Medium-full body. Medium strength.
Throughout the entire smoking experience, the mouth & sinus tingling pepper was paramount. The dry earth, toastiness and arid smoke characteristic the Ruby exhibited are definite Santa Fe qualities. There was an assortment of other flavors that appeared at various points and at different intensities throughout: mineral, tart grapefruit, leather, mulling spices, hazelnut, coffee, nutmeg.
The 1502 Ruby Toro is a cigar that left a lot to be desired. At times the cayenne pepper was almost overbearing, but managed to to stay millimeters below that threshold. Unfortunately it was the dominant note from first light to last ashes. Aside from that, there were some solid aspects to this cigar. The construction was nearly flawless and the flavors did develop to a certain extent towards the final third. I think given more time to rest, the pepper notes will die down substantially, allowing for more of the nuances underneath to flourish.
Note from Josh: On all three samples, the mouth & sinus tingling pepper was enough to over-power and lasted the length of the cigar. If you absolutely love peppery smokes, this will be right up your alley, but for us the pepper made the cigar unbalanced. I have also read and talked to others who have smoked this cigar and their Ruby’s weren’t nearly as peppery as our 3 samples provided by House of Emilio.