The story of Byron cigars begins in the mid 19th century when immigrants of the Canary Islands made their way to Cuba and started their own cigar factory. The small factory was located on Macías Street in Santiago de Las Vegas, a province of Havana. It was at this factory that the original Lord Byron was made in honor of the world-renowned English Poet.
The brand was resurrected by another Cuban; Nelson Alfonso who designs a lot of packaging for Habanos S.A. I am sure you have seen his work with the Cohiba Behike, and here stateside with Atabey and Bandolero.
Today, we review the latest in the Byron line, Elegantes. A cigar which uses tobacco aged 4 years before rolling and then full years after the cigars are rolled it is aged in a special room with different types of cedar.
Cigar Review: Byron Elegantes
Country of Origin: Costa Rica
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Not Disclosed
Ring Gauge: 55
The Look: The Byron Elegantes come in a box that serves as a functioning humidor complete with a hygrometer built into the front of the box. Inside the cigars sit in a tray that is vented and slightly raised from the base of the box. This is by design, as there are different cedar shavings inside the box including a very rare cedar from Lebanon. These shavings are the same type of cedar from the aging rooms where Byron is aged at Selected Tobacco. The cigar features a dual band with the primary band of black and gold denoting Byron, with a faux secondary that is attached on the back of the cigar denoting Serie Siglo XXI with a foot band denoting Selected Tobacco the company behind this masterpiece. The wrapper has a nice amount of oils, is flawlessly rolled and the foot is well packed.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Byron Elegantes serves up notes of molasses and oats while the aroma off the foot has hints of cedar, molasses and caramel.
Once the cigar is lit, there is a subtle pepper note with notes of graham crackers and cinnamon. As the cigar progresses into the first third, hints of cedar and honey develop as the cinnamon fades to the background. The retrohale of the cigar offers subtle notes of licorice and cedar and is as smooth as the cigar itself.
Moving on to the second third of the Elegantes, the sweetness remains in the background in the form of honey, but the primary note here is cedar with touches of licorice, wheat and graham crackers. The cigar is incredibly balanced and the retrohale continues to show nuances of licorice and cedar with a moderate finish.
The final third of the Byron Elegantes is as complex as the first two-thirds and just as smooth. The cedar notes are dominant with subtle nuances of licorice, honey, graham and wheat. The finish is slightly earthy and the retrohale smooth with additional licorice components.
The Finish: Smoking the Byron Elegance is an experience that stands above anything I have ever smoked. As I enjoyed this cigar I found myself reflecting on the memory of the time I smoked an original release of the Cohiba Behike. I know that might be controversial to some, but this cigar is simply incredible and personally reminded me of that experience. The price however makes me think I need to take on a second job just to smoke these as much as I wish I could.