|Total Flame FTW – Robusto|
The Total Flame FTW is one of four lines currently offered by Total Flame Cigars. This cigar was released in 2013. The name FTW stands for “Forever Two Wheels” and fits in with theme of the company. Total Flame Cigars was founded by Vladimir Roshchin and Maxim Privezentsev. The duo met at a cigar event in Moscow, Russia and learned they had a common passion for both cigars and motorcycles. They soon collaborated to launch a cigar company and in 2011 they also set forth on a well documented tour of the globe riding their motorcycles. The company has a United States operation in Amarillo, Texas. The FTW cigar was inspired from that motorcycle tour. Recently, I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Total Flame FTW. Overall this was an impressive blend and now has me very interested in what else this company has to offer.
In addition to the FTW, the company has three other lines: Bright Line, Dark Line, and Nicaragua. The FTW is positioned as the strongest of the Total Flame Cigars lines. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Total Flame FTW and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The blend of the Total Flame FTW consists of a Nicaraguan wrapper and Nicaraguan filler along with a Mexican binder. As a part of that blend, there are three aged Nicaraguan ligeros with contribute to the strength of the cigar.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan “El Corojal”
The Total Flame FTW is offered in two sizes:
Robusto: 5 x 54
Toro: 6 x 52
For this cigar experience, I smoked the Robusto vitola. The Nicaraguan wrapper has some thickness to it. It has a coffee bean color with some colorado red mixed it. The complexion of the wrapper is somewhat oily. There are some visible wrapper seams and visible veins.
There are three bands to the FTW. The primary band is a gray, gold, black, and chrome colored version of the art deco styled Total Flame logo. It features the text “TOTAL FLAME” in large chrome colored font on a gray background. This is surrounded by gold art deco styled adornments. Sitting on the gold design toward the top of the band is the text, “LIFE IS SHORT, DO IT HARD” in black font. On the lower part of the band is the text “CIGARS” – also in black font. The text “HECHO A MANO” is in black font on both the lower left and lower right side of the band. On the left and right side of the band are some chrome colored flame designs. There is also black trim around the band.
The second band sits below the primary band. It has the text “LIMITED EDITION 2013” in gold font on a gray background. There is gold and black trim as well as gold flame designs to the left and right.
The third band is a footer band that has the text “FTW” in gold font on a gray background. There is also gold and black trim on this band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap of the Total Flame FTW Robusto. Once the cap was successfully clipped I moved on to the pre-light draw ritual. The dry draw provided some notes of coffee, cocoa, and earth. I also detected a slight tingly spice with almost a floral quality to it. Overall I was quite pleased with the pre-light draw of the FTW. At this point, I removed the footer band of my Total Flame FTW, fired up the cigar and moved on to the smoking phase of this cigar.
I found the start of the Total Flame FTW pretty much picked up where the pre-light left off. I detected notes of coffee, earth, and assorted pepper spices. During the first third, the spices moved into the background while the coffee and earth notes became primary notes. I also detected an herbal spice on the retro-hale.
In the second third, the spice re-emerged. I definitely was hitting those ligero leaves in the blend. The spice and earth notes alternated as to which was a primary flavor. The coffee notes diminished into the background. I also detected some nut flavors – which slowly increased in the second third.
By the last third, I found the nut, earth, and spice notes all playing a key role in the flavor profile. This is the way the flavor profile held until the end. The resulting nub was outstanding – cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The burn to the Total Flame FTW scored very well. While there was some minor flaking along the way, for the most part the ash leaned closer toward the firm side. The ash itself came off in nice chunks. The ash was a charcoal gray with some darker spots. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Total Flame FTW|
The draw also performed admirably well. It was not too loose and not too tight. This was a low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I did find the Total Flame FTW had some kick to it. At the same time, this wasn’t a cigar that overpowered me with nicotine. I found this smoke to be a notch down from full strength as I assessed the FTW as being on the upper end of medium to full strength. In terms of the depth of the flavors, I had a similar analogy – namely they provided a nice amount of weight, but fell a notch short of full-bodied. I assessed this cigar as being medium to full-bodied in my book. Overall, I found the FTW does an excellent job at balancing strength versus body.
The Total Flame FTW was my first introduction to Total Flame Cigars and I was impressed with this cigar. While this wasn’t a Nicaraguan puro, this cigar certainly had plenty of classic Nicaraguan flavors of earth, spice, and nut. While I didn’t find this to be an overpowering cigar in terms of strength and body, I still liked where this cigar fell on the measurement scale for both of these attributes. The spice is going to give this cigar its kick. Given this cigar is still skewed higher in terms of strength and body, I’d probably recommend this cigar to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast ( especially those who like some spice in their cigar experience). As for myself, this is a cigar I would certainly smoke again – and it’s one worthy of a five pack.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
Source: Sample Provided by Manufacturer (*)
Stogie Geeks Podcast: n/a
Stogie Feed: n/a
* The cigars for this assessment was given to Cigar Coop by Total Flame Cigars. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the samples, but this does not influence the review.