Mike Bellody might not be a name you know in the cigar industry, but this isn’t his first rodeo. When El Tiante cigars relaunched with their production made at My Father Cigar, Dan Tiant partnered up with Bellody. With El Tiante currently not in production and the partnership over, Bellody reached out to the Quesada family to make a new line, Imperia
The new line features a very high priming Dominican HVA, if this wrapper sounds familiar to you, it is the same used by Guillermo Leon at La Aurora. There are four sizes available, and the cigar has just reached the states where the samples used for this review were provided by Brett Bowersox, a local sales rep.
Cigar: Imperia by Mike Bellody
Size: Toro (6 x 52)
Wrapper: Dominican HVA
Filler: Dominican & Nicaragua
The Look: An oily looking wrapper adorns the Imperia, and the roll of the cigar is flawless right down to the perfectly applied cap. The band of the cigar is something I have an issue with as it looks more like the birth announcement for a baby boy. The baby blue background with gold accents give the appearance of a cigar that is going to be mild. Add to the fact that the font used to let you know this is by Mile Bellody seems more like an invitation. But as we know this doesn’t affect the smoking experience, so it is just a personal observation.
The Notes: The foot of the cigar has a subtle chocolate note and the slightest hints of caramel which is mimicked on the cold draw of the Imperia. Once the cigar is lit the initial notes are coffee with a some earthy components.
As we work into the first third of the Imperia the coffee notes continue to be the focal point, but a chocolate like sweetness begins to develop in the background. As we get closer the second third some wheat notes appear adding a level of complexity.
As we enter the second third, the sweetness becomes the dominant note and its a mix of caramel and chocolate that was experienced on the cold draw but there is also a zing that I consider to be synonymous with Dominican tobacco. The wheat note remains and grows in intensity as we move past the half way point.
In the last third the wheat notes becomes dominant with some nuttiness that borders on pistachios developing in the background. The medium bodied smoke has a slight kick at this point as I smoke it on an empty stomach. As the cigar closes a slight sweetness resumes.
The Burn: The Imperia cigar has a solid ash that held for half the cigar, and was light gray in color. The draw of the cigar offered the right resistance to make it a perfect draw. The burn line however, wasn’t as thin as I would like it to be, but from past experience the HVA tends to have a thicker carbon line. Around the half way point I needed to touch the cigar up as the burn got a little crazy.
The Finish: Smoking the Imperia by Mike Bellody I can’t help but notice that this cigar would pair really well with a Shock Top Wheat Ale. The medium bodied cigar is straight forward but there are some subtle complexities. The cigar is very Dominican despite the use of Nicaraguan tobaccos. With all said and done this is a nice freshman offering from Bellody, and the notes of the cigar were enjoyable.