Archetype by Ventura Cigar Co. is not a brand I cross paths with regularly. However, as a fantasy enthusiast, you can imagine my interest after learning about the cigar once the big reveal from my blind review. Archetype originates from the works of psychologist Dr. Carl Jung and mythographer Joseph Campbell. Throughout much of Campbell’s research, he has discovered that in the world myths, ‘Hero’s Journey’ is a common theme used to tell and retell stories in their infinite variations since the beginning of time.
Using the ‘Hero’s Journey’ as a guideline, Archetype came out with their tale under their Fantasy Miniseries; Cloaks, Crystals, and Curses. Today I will be doing a blind review on Curses. As described on their website, “Curses represent the evil forces our hero is pitted against…”. Let’s see what kind of endeavor we would face smoking Curses.
- Cigar Reviewed: Archetype Fantasy Miniseries Curses
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Nicaragua Habano
- Filler: Nicaragua Habano
- Size: Robusto (5″x50)
Appearance & Construction
Just like the name and the description suggested, Curses is true to its nature when it comes to its construction: A dry, toothy, Maduro wrapper a little bit on the rough side. The edge of the wrapper is visible; you can feel the separation, but it still gives off a sturdiness as a whole.
The cigar is pack proportionally, and it is springy as I squeeze it between my fingers. The wrapper gives off a strong smell of sweet and tart raisin, followed by light leather and espresso beans. Off the foot, I get apricot and dry hay. After shaving off the cap, and taking several puffs, I taste leather, sweet stone fruits, and bitter coffee.
Flavor and Smoke Characteristics
I take my first puff of the cigar after lighting and the foot shines like a miniature sun. Immediately, it feel like I get splashed in the face with a cup of dark roast coffee. As the initial flavor disburses, I taste oak, leather, earthy mineral with a hint of bitterness in the smoke, all while an undertone of pepper grows towards the back of my tongue. As I retrohale the next few puffs, the smoke comes through my nostrils with white pepper spice, roasted coffee beans, and almonds. As the first third comes to an end, the ash is still holding on and the burn line is even. The only complaint I have so far is the missing component—creaminess—which I believe would elevate the smoking experience and round up some of the roughness for this cigar.
The second third doesn’t change much, at least not until the halfway mark. Now I’m tasting medium roasted coffee, wheat, almond, and an earthy taste that reminds me of a wet log. On the retrohale, I get sweet black coffee, tree bark, and black pepper. The bitterness in the smoke is gone, replaced by a vegetal aftertaste. At this point, the cigar is enjoyable as it tones down in strength. But the flavors are still not balancing with one another.
In the final act of the Curses, the flavor profiles became even lighter with flavors of blond roasted coffee, sawdust, almonds, and cocoa dust. The retrohale is delightful as I get vanilla, oak, sweet hay, and white pepper. The smoke was so smooth and silky that I was able to retrohale the whole puff without any discomfort.
As I’m arriving at the nub, about three inches left, the Curses decides to reshape the whole flavor profile and introduce a creamy element into the fray, ending my experience with flavors of mocha latte, sawdust, and oats.
Like a villain, the Curses teased my palate throughout the whole smoking experience. Unfortunately, each third felt incomplete as it was missing an element needed to balance out the flavor profiles. It wasn’t until the very end where the missing component makes an appearance and harmonized the flavors. But by that time, I had to put out the cigar as it began to burn my fingers. Perhaps the fantasy miniseries was meant to be smoked back to back in a specific order — like a hero tale, where the end of one leads to the beginning of another.