The Archetype Sage Advice is one of five blends that make up Ventura Cigar Company’s Archetype line. Ventura Cigar Company is premium cigar company owned by Kretek International, who also is the owner of cigar distributor Philips and King. Over the past five years, Ventura has partnered with many leading cigar factories such as Plasenica, La Aurora, and Davidoff to produce its brands. For the Archetype brand, the company once again has partnered with Davidoff and has introduced a new manufacturing partner in Drew Estate. Today we take a look at the Archetype Sage Advice in the Toro size. Sage Advice is one of the blends being produced at Davidoff. A few months ago, I had smoked the Archetype Dreamstate Toro and was highly impressed. With Sage Advice, Ventura takes this to the next level and this was another home run for the company.
When the Archetype brand was launched, Ventura Cigar Company Chief Marketing Officer Jason Carignan provided some context on the concept for this brand.
“The Archetype brand is inspired by the work of psychologist Dr. Carl Jung and the writings of mythographer Joseph Campbell who defined ‘archetypes’ as the constantly repeating characters who occur in the dreams of all people and the myths of all cultures. Campbell discovered through his study of world myths is that the ‘Hero’s Journey’ is a common storytelling arc that has been retold in infinite variations since time began.” Cigar smoking is really no different; we gather and we weave our tales as we share a couple of sticks and a glass of fine whiskey.”
(*) The five blends of Archetype are divided into two sub-lines. – Archetype Chapter 1 and Archetype Chapter 2. Chapter 1 are cigars being produced at Davidoff owned factories, while Chapter 2 is produced at Drew Estate. We summarize these below:
- Dreamstate: An Dominican Connecticut seed wrapped blend made in the Dominican Republic at Davidoff’s Occidental factory. This is described as a mild to medium blend.
- Sage Advice: This cigar features an NSA & Habano hybrid wrapped blend made in the Dominican Republic at Davidoff’s Occidental factory.
- Strange Passage: A box-pressed line featuring an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper made at Davidoff’s Agroindustrias Laepe S.A (Camacho factory) in Danli, Honduras.
- Initiation: This features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapped blend made at the Drew Estate La Gran Fabrica facility.
- Axis Mundi: This features a Maduro Habano wrapped blend made at the Drew Estate La Gran Fabrica facility.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Archetype Sage Advice Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Sage Advice features a proprietary hybrid wrapper and Dominican San Vincente binder. The filler is an undisclosed multi-national blend.
Wrapper: NSA & Habano Hybrid
Binder: Dominican San Vincente
Filler: Multi-Country Blend
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Occidental Cigar Factory – Davidoff)
The Archetype Sage Advice is available in three sizes. Each are packaged in 20 count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 52
Toro: 6 x 50
Gordo: 6 x 60
The Hybrid wrapper of the Archetype Sage Advice Toro had medium brown color to it. Depending on how the light hits the wrapper, it will give off some degree of a colorado red tint. The surface of the wrapper had some oil on it. While there were several visible veins on the surface of the wrapper, this was not a surface I would consider “toothy”. There were also some visible wrapper seams on the thin side.
There are two bands not he Archetype Sage Advice. The primary band has a white background and features a black and white image of an eye (which is slightly reminiscent of the Eye of Providence). Surrounding the eye is blue trim and blue rays. The left side of the band features the text “ARCHETYPE” while the right side features the text “SAGE ADVICE” – both in a black font.
There is a secondary band around the footer that has a royal blue color. It features a white colored labyrinth design on it. Below the design is the text “ARCHETYPE” in white font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Archetype Sage Advice Toro, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered a mix of sweet natural tobacco and earth. Overall I considered this to be an satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Sage Advice Toro and await what the smoking phase would bring to the table.
Out of the gate, the Sage Advice Toro delivered notes of sweet natural tobacco, grass, and a mix of white pepper and herbal spices. As the cigar moved through the early stages, the natural tobacco and herbal notes became primary while the grass and pepper notes became secondary. I found the synergy between the natural tobacco and herbal notes performed extremely well. On the after-draw, there was a subtle nougat sweetness I picked up. Meanwhile the retro-hale produced an additional layer of herbal spice.
The second third saw the herbal notes have a slight edge over the natural tobacco. There were still grass and white pepper notes in the background. I also still detected the nougat sweetness on the after-draw, but overall I found the sweetness level of the Sage Advice Toro was slowly diminishing. By the latter part of the second third, the pepper notes started to move toward the forefront.
The last third of the Sage Advice Toro saw the combination of the natural tobacco, herbal, and pepper notes in control. The sweetness level was much more on the subtle side at this point. This is the way the cigar experience of the Sage Advice Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
For the most part, the Sage Advice Toro maintained a relatively straight burn path from start to finish. There were a couple of points where there was a slight meandering of the burn, but this was easily remedied with some touch-ups. I didn’t consider the amount of touch-ups to be excessive for this cigar. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it was not a loose or flakey ash either. Meanwhile the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Sage Advice Toro performed quite well. This was a draw that wasn’t overly tight, nor was it loose or open either. Overall, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor frm.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Sage Advice Toro started out medium. There was a slight increase in the strength level along the way and by the last third the Sage Advice Toro was in medium to full strength territory. Meanwhile the body of the Sage Advice Toro also started out medium. The body of the Sage Advice Toro increased a little quicker than the strength and by the second half I found this cigar had progressed to medium to full-bodied.
In terms of strength versus body, I found for the most part the body had a slight edge throughout the smoking experience.
As mentioned up front, when it comes to the Sage Advice Toro, Ventura Cigar Company has taken its game to another level. Ventura has delivered some excellent cigars to market, but this one easily ranks right at the top. This is an excellent cigar that excels in the area that matters most – flavor. Some of the grassy and herbal notes definitely reminded me that this cigar came from Davidoff, but at the same time – this cigar told its own story. The flavors complemented and balanced each other beautifully in this cigar. With its price point around $12.00, this cigar more than lives up to the price tag – and each time it left me satisfied for wanting to smoke another one right away. This is a cigar I could recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast or a novice looking for something medium / medium plus. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d easily smoke again – and it’s a box worthy cigar.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, White Pepper, Grass, Herbal Notes
Burn: Very Good
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (Second Half)
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Ventura Cigar Company Collaborates with Davidoff on Archetype Series A
Source: Ventura Cigar Company
Brand Reference: Ventura Cigar Company
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted
* 4/11/17: After this review, Ventura Cigar Company rebranded the Archetype Cigar line into “Chapter 1” and “Chapter 2” from “Series A” and “Series B”.