Another cigar from the treasure-trove Josh brought back from IPCPR 2014. Our friendship has become even stronger since he came back. For more information about The Island Jim, watch Josh’s interview with the man himself here.
Rolled: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Company
Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: 6.5×52 (Torpedo)
- Kudos for originality & cheekiness for the vitola/name
- Solid feel in the hand, noticeably good construction
- Shaggy foot and interesting head with what looks like a strip of connecticut shade
- Foot – sharp pepper, general tobacco, faint cedar
- Wrapper – leather, faint cocoa
- Cold draw – Nice resistance on cold draw with notes of slight pepper, general tobacco, faint cedar, faint earth
The Island Jim starts out rather modestly. The most noticeable feature at the beginning for me was the slight bitterness the smoke imparted on my palate. But soon after, the bitterness transitions to bitter-sweet, which I account to the cigar burning through the shaggy foot portion. On the nose, there’s a high-pitched red/white pepper that’s at mid-level intensity. Also through the sinus is a noticeable amount of leather. A hint of burnt wood chips makes an appearance towards the end of the first third. Undertones during the first third include cedar, faint cocoa and floral. Although the smoke characteristic is creamy, the finish doesn’t last too long. The finish composes itself of cedar, leather, cocoa and a nondescript bittersweet flavor. Medium body. Mild-medium strength.
The bittersweet tone continues to wash over my palate at this point in the second third. The pepper remains right between the white/red pepper and hasn’t waned. The flavor that has gained in strength is leather, both through the nose and on the palate. Cocoa, floral, and charred wood remain as undertones but are slightly more intense than they were during the first third. The smoke characteristic continued to be creamy. Another short finish combined leather, bittersweet, cocoa, charred wood and floral on the palate at various points. Medium body. Mild-medium strength.
The bittersweet from the first and second third is leaning more towards bitter now in the final third. Leather is now the predominant flavor with charred wood right underneath. Undertones of cocoa and floral from the second third transition into the final third seamlessly. The texture of the smoke becomes somewhat gritty. Leather, cocoa, charred wood and bittersweet make-up the short finish in the final third. Medium body. Medium strength.
Although this isn’t near the textbook definition of this class, the leather tones that commanded the second and final thirds of this cigar couldn’t be overlooked. Otherwise, there was a fairly creamy smoke characteristic, along with floral and cocoa notes.
I’ll be blatant and just say that I had high expectations for this cigar. The fact that it comes from Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Company made my mouth water at the notion of smoking it. Both Josh and I absolutely loved the LEAF by Oscar Series – especially the Corojo and Maduro – but the Island Jim is our least favorite smoke from the duo of Jim Robinson and Oscar Valladares thus far. While I wouldn’t call this a bad cigar, it feels like an incomplete cigar by my estimation. There were some satisfying aspects to it, but they were fleeting and none of the flavors meshed very well together. Did my high expectations hurt my ability to review this cigar without bias? Possibly, but I simply didn’t find much to love about it. Perhaps with age the Island Jim No. 2 will develop in a positive direction.