Sunday, July 13, 2014

Supremo EXL (toro)

This is a cigar that hadn't been on my radar.  It was given to me by an acquaintance who said that they are at the very top of his rotation.  A search online yielded very limited information, so I contacted the tobacconist who imports them exclusively.  

Jim Simon is the proprietor of Hill & Hill Tobacconists in Grosse Point Woods, Michigan (outside of Detroit).  Jim explained to me that SupremoEXL is not a private label, but that he owns a factory in the Dominican Republic with 10 rollers and 1 master blender that have been making this line for the past 14 years.  The tagline of the brand, if you will, is that they're "rolled like no other cigar."  Jim claims that this it the best cigar he's had in 48 years in the business.  Apparently, part of the secret behind this special roll is that the filler tobacco is used in wider widths.  These cigars are designed to burn longer than similarly sized cigars from different brands.  There are currently 6 sizes.  They are as follows: 4-1/2 x 45, 5 x 52, 6 x 52 (which was the cigar I sampled, and the #1 seller), 7 x 52, 7 x 60 (torpedo), and the newest size which has been sold for only the last 20 weeks, is the 6-1/2 x 60.  Both the torpedo and the newest size are rolled with 7 long filler leaves, as opposed to the 5 that go into the other sizes.  The cigars are true maduros, unlike several out there that are treated with dyes to get their dark appearance. 

Jim mentioned that nearly two years ago, a man and woman entered the store looking specifically for the SupremoEXL.  While that's not uncommon at Hill & Hill, when pressed for information about the gentleman they were shopping for, they explained that they were President Bill Clinton's Press Secretary and Pilot, who were sent to the store to buy two units of SupremoEXL for the former President of the United States.  

So, how does it smoke?  I've only had this one stick so far, so hopefully Jim Simon sends a couple sizes (vitolas)  my way for me to try out.  The cigar came surrounded by a cedar wrapper and cellophane.  It has a simple gold and black band, and a nice dark brown colored wrapper.  The sweet pre-light scent of molasses and raisins raised my expectations.  I used a punch cut and one of my trusty Xikar torches. 

1/3: The cigar started off very pleasantly.  Lots of smoke present.  The burn line is quite decent.  Some veins are noticeable, but no problem for the burn.  The wrapper has a nice oiliness to it.  

2/3: I picked up some spice in the 2nd third.  The cigar is medium-bodied, medium-strength.  

3/3: In the final third, the SupremoEXL gets meatier.  The burn line started to get slightly jagged, and the ash turned a bit flakey.  

Flavors throughout were a little muddled, but definitely pleasant.  I certainly wish I had a few more to spend some time with, as it was a little challenging to point out specific flavor notes.  All in all, it was a good cigar that I look forward to trying again sometime. Thanks to Mr. Simon for spending the time with me to explain the background of this particular brand of Dominican cigar. 

5/21/15 UPDATE: I never heard from Jim Simon again.  He never sent me those samples, and I don't plan on heading up to Michigan to buy cigars.  I'm interested to hear about others' experiences with this smoke, so hit me up if you get to experience one.

Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: unknown
Binder: unknown
Filler: unknown
Price: $10.95

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jeremy, I'm smoking a Supremo EXL at this very moment. I was recently at Hill and Hill to buy a pipe, and as Jim was telling me about it, another customer was buying a couple of Supremo EXLs. As I had mentioned something about my own cigar smoking habits, Jim told me the same story about the former President sending his Press Secretary and Pilot in to pick some up. Jim also said that it was James Gandolfini's favorite brand, and that Jim would personally send the late actor orders. Anyways, the customer swore by them as well, and as I puff on this for the first time, I can see why.


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