Before JC Newman could start on the major restoration they just completed at their El Reloj Cigar Factory in Tampa, the team had to clear out almost 70 years’ worth of items from the building. During this process, they uncovered some hidden gems.
One of those was a trap door from the 1930s with a secret staircase that went from the General Managers’ office down into the basement where he could hide when the Tampa Mafia would come through looking for payroll cash. Another was J.C.’s travel trunk, that accompanied him on his voyage from Hungary to Cleveland in 1889. But perhaps the most exciting find for fans of their brands was a stash of 10-year-old Brick House cigars that was tucked away in the basement years ago to age and wait for a special occasion to arise. When JC Newman rediscovered them during their 125th year, they thought that sharing them with TAA retailers would be a perfect fit.
Fans of Brick House will recognize the flavor of its distinctive blend but will taste some notable differences in this aged version. The many years that have passed since these were rolled have created a smooth and balanced taste that only time has the ability to do. Through the aging process, the flavors have married and created a cigar more mellow and a bit less spicy than its contemporary counterpart. Discover a taste of history and savor this once in a decade Brick House.
Cigar Review: Brick House Beginnings
Wrapper: Ecuador Havana
The Look: Packaged in 10 count boxes, the Brick House Beginnings is busy but in a functional way. The Beginnings is a cigar that has been aged for 10 years, and the foot of the cigar denotes the TAA Logo with the words Aged Original while the primary band is the classic Brick House logo. The Ecuador Havana wrapper has a few significant veins and a fair amount of oils. The foot of the cigar is well packed and the cigar feels a tad light in the hand.
The Notes: The cold draw serves up notes of fresh rye bread with the hard edges and a touch of cedar and anise while the aroma from the foot showcases a some similar rye bread notes. Once the cigar is lit there is a subtle sweetness of vanilla and cedar.
Moving into the first third the third notes of cedar and vanilla dominate the palate with a rich buttery texture. If there were any questions about the 10 year aging being a marketing ploy they are quickly answered as we enjoy this smooth balanced cigar. The finish has a touch of cashews and caramel while the retrohale sees a smooth buttery richness.
The second third sees notes of caramel grow in intensity with a cedar component lingering in the background and on the finish. Notes of cashew linger on the finish of the cigar which sees a subtle spice developing as we begin to transition into the final third. The retrohale continues to be buttery rich with a touch of pecans present as well.
The last third saw a brief entry of a leather component that disappeared after a couple of puffs as the cigar sees notes of cedar and a subtle spice dominate the palate. The long finish serves up notes of cashews and pecans with a hint of spice while the retrohale remains buttery smooth and rich.
The Finish: 10 years aging has really changed how the Brick House smokes. The Brick House Beginnings is a smooth elegant smoke with a wonderful flavor profile that is incredibly enjoyable. While a Limited Edition is not eligible for our cigar of the year, this is hands down one of the best cigars I have smoked this year. It’s incredibly affordable too and even if it was double the price I would buy a box. However, at the current price I couldn’t pass up on two of them. Simply outstanding.
Price: $9.79 / $86.99