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Isabela Limited Edition Serpentine 2016

Isabela Limited Edition Serpentine 2016
Isabela Label

Since you might not be familiar with Isabela Cigar Company, they were founded in 1997 by Johnny Piette. Small production limited their sales to primarily online sales on their website and some select retail shops. In 2015, production was increased to place Isabela Cigars in more select shops.

It looks like 2016 is another aggressive year for Isablela Cigar Company with more marketing efforts and higher cigar production. Case-in-point is the Isabela Limited Edition Serpentine release for 2016. Initial production was a small batch of 2,500 cigars for ten select retailers. In May of this year, increased production will allow Isablela Cigar Company to place the Serpentine in more than forty retail shops across the country.

The Limited Edition Serpentine 2016 is the same tobacco as the 2015 release, but with a modified blend to yield enhanced profiles of both flavor and strength.

Per John Piette, “All Isabelas are blended to be ‘multi dimensional’, with numerous transitions and changes throughout the smoking of the cigar…so many different profiles and twists of flavors in the Serpentine.”

So, let’s smoke the Limited Edition Serpentine 2016.

The Limited Edition Serpentine 2016 is available in one size: a 6 x 54 “Belicoso-Serpentine”
Isabella Cigar Serpentine

APPEARANCE & PRE-LIGHT

The most obvious appearance note is the barber-pole style wrapper, which is a blend of Ecuadorian De Florada Connecticut lighter tobacco with a darker Ecuadorian Habano Maduro contrast. Overall, the Serpentine is  well constructed with some slight veins, and a firm roll.

Aroma is nice and earthy and the draw is decent with minimal resistance. Most, well, shocking, was the sweetness on the tip. I just was not expecting it. This is true, old-style Cuban sugar-sweetened “glue” for the tre capa (triple cap).

FIRST LIGHT
Isabella Serpentine First Light

The sweetness from the glue dissipates quickly, so this is not a “sweet” cigar. From the start, the flavor profile is unique since I cannot come up with a cigar to compare it to. Some  harshness offset by the sugar sweetness, the Serpentine has an initial pepper, cedar, cocoa, hay, subtle dried fruit sweetness and leather. There is also a grittiness to the smoke that I always enjoy but rarely find. Draw is firm but comfortable.

CRUISE CONTROL BURN
Isabella Serpentine Cruise Control

The two inch ash is firm and the burn line is near perfect. The ash just fell off at two and a half inches as a result of me moving it around to take a photo. There is a meatiness to the smoke that I can almost chew: thick, rich, gritty and lingering on the palate. The strength of the Limited Edition Serpentine 2016 is just below medium, which is another surprise since the intent of the 2016 modified blend is to achieve more strength, as well as flavor. I did not smoke the 2015 Serpentine, so I have no basis of comparison.

I have never used meatiness in a flavor description before, but the Serpentine has this rich density of the smoke. So, technically it is part of the flavor profile, but don’t expect a bone-in rib eye flavor. Just anticipate a dense fullness accompanied by the blend of subtle pepper, chocolate, cedar, leather, creaminess, and the entry of malt into the mix on the finish. This flavor blend is building from the first third as I hit the halfway point. Strength of the Serpentine is still on the low side of medium. Retro-hale is mellow and sweet with minimal pepper.

FINAL THIRD

A nice charred wood is building as I get into the final stretch of the Serpentine. Harshness, which is all too common towards the end of a cigar, is zero. Retro-hale is even mellow with no burn at all. The charred wood, creaminess, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and malt just confirm a deepening of the flavors as I smoke further into the Serpentine.
Isabella Serpentine Final Third

CONSTRUCTION/STRENGTH

The Limited Edition Serpentine 2016 is a well made cigar with a firm but comfortable draw. Ash is firm from start to finish. Strength was a steady low side of medium.

NOTABLE FLAVORS

  • Cedar to Charred Wood
  • Cocoa to Chocolate to Dark Chocolate
  • Roasted Coffee in the Final Third
  • Malt
  • Meaty Smoke

CONCLUSION

Although the strength level is linear (maybe a better description is the strength level is consistent), the flavor profile builds as the cigar is smoked. That is the reason for the Notable Flavors defining an impressive and obvious transition of flavors as I smoke through the Serpentine. I look for a building of flavors and increased layers of flavor in a very good cigar and Isabela’s Limited Edition Serpentine 2016 nailed this one.
Isabella Serpentine Final
The Limited Edition Serpentine 2016 is a special cigar. I have to admit I was very concerned about reviewing this cigar. In my forty plus years of cigar smoking, very small cigar producers try very hard to create a great cigar but, due to resources, limited experience, lack of control over the production, or a combination of any or all of these factors tend to fall short. Isabela Cigar Company has exceeded my expectations in a big way. Get one, no, get a box before they are gone.

Cigar provided by: Isabela Cigar Company

Cigars Smoked for review: 2

Cigar Smoke Rate: 9.0/10  A Must Try Cigar.

Size:           6 x 54 “Belicoso-Serpentine”

Strength: low side of Medium

Wrapper:  Ecuadorian DeFlorada Connecticut/ Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Binder:     
Nicaraguan Tiempo
Filler:        
Nicaraguan

Country of Origin: Blended in Miami/Made in Nicaragua

MSRP: $9.95

2 Responses to “Isabela Limited Edition Serpentine 2016”

  • Avatar Toar:

    Initial sweetness on the palate with leather and earth at first light. Cruise control burn saw a decrease in sweet notes but a lingering sweetness still remaining on the lips in between draws. I agree with Rob’s assessment of hearty flavors, most notable was a Woody cedar char along with leather, orange peel and earth. I smoked the Serpentine in the morning on a fresh palate and found it very pleasant and would pair perfectly with a morning coffee. I would definitely smoke again! Score 8.9

  • Avatar Bob Langmaid:

    Must be very good, everyone i see on social media with one thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks for the review!!

Cigar Smoke – Est. 2010
Cigar Smoke
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