IVY Habano Dudley Cigar Review

Brand owner, Jason Holly of Viva Republica began smoking cigars when he was a student at Harvard. According to Holly, “I used to smoke cigars in Harvard Yard when I was in school. In a store on the square I saw an old picture of JFK smoking a cigar in the Yard, the history and tradition is overwhelming and I wanted to create a brand that had that feel of nostalgia.

The cigar is limited to 100 accounts nationwide and retailers are required to sign a strict policy that prohibits the discounting of cigars. As luck would have it, Two Guys Smoke Shop where I work was one of the 100 accounts to get this new stick.

Cigar Review: Ivy Habano
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: La AuroraCigar Factory
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano (2008)
Binder: Cameroon & Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic (Cibao Valley), Nicaragua (Condega, Esteli)
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 50
Vitola: Dudley (Robusto)

The Look: When the boxes came in, a few of my co-workers expected more from the packaging. However, for me less is more in this case. Holly wanted to relay a feeling of nostalgia and that is accomplished with the old school boxes. Inside the cigars wrapped in cello feature a band reminiscent of the Harvard crest. The Habano wrapper has some veins, but there is also an abundance of oils. Rolled to perfection the cigar has no soft spots but in true La Aurora fashion the foot doesn’t seem to be overly packed.

The Notes: Once the cap is clipped the cold draw reminds me of raisins and figs with a subtle mocha in the background. The aroma off the foot reminds me of oats and earth and there is a lot going on that I hope some of it makes into the cigar once it is lit.

After toasting the foot there is a component that reminds me of the factory down in Tamboril, but there is also a distinct hazelnut with some hints of pepper and rye. In fact, I would go as far to say that this cigar would pair perfectly some Buffalo Trace.

Around the half way point of the cigar, notes of rye remain dominant but there is a slight citrus in the background that borders on lemon rind which reminds me of running the rind on the rim of a shot of espresso. As the rye fades the cigar picks up traces of earth and the retrohale adds a strong element of mocha on the lengthy finish.

The last third of the IVY continues with notes of mocha and rye that has me day dreaming about sitting on the deck smoking another one of these with the aforementioned Buffalo Trace. There is some pepper on the aroma, and the moderate finish is slightly nutty.

The Burn: This is a cigar that will not win any burn contests but as bad as that sounds the cigar didn’t give me too many problems other than the aesthetics of an ugly burn and a thick combustion line. The draw was fluid, and the marble ash was firm. The cigar did smoke a little fast clocking in at 1 hour 10 minutes which for me is quick. Despite the crooked burn I didn’t need to touch it up as it never got totally out of hand and the cigar remained lit throughout.

The Finish: In terms of full disclosure, I worked for Miami Cigar & Company for a few years and alongside Jason Holly for a short time. Since departing the company I remain close with many individuals associated with the business. The IVY is young, much like a freshman starting college. Given some additional aging this cigar should grow into a well-balanced cigar. Despite its youth I found the notes to be enjoyable and as mentioned in the review this should pair well with Rye.

Score: 90
Price: $13.19 / $130.50

Ivy Habano

Ivy Habano Foot

Ivy Habano Foot

Ivy Habano Burn

Ivy Habano Burn



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