7-20-4 1874 Series

At each IPCPR trade show, there seems to be an indie/boutique company that becomes the talk of the show.  In 2010, that company was 7-20-4 cigars.  The 7-20-4 cigar is the brainchild of Kurt Kendall.  Kendall owns  Twins Smoke Shop
in New Hampshire.  The cigar was named after an older line
that started in New Hampshire over 100 years ago, but went defunct.  The name 7-20-4
comes from the address of where that original stick was made – 724 ElmStreet.  Kendall basically resurrected the line when he released his initial 7-20-4 cigar.   Following the show, a lot of people were wondering what 7-20-4 would do for an encore.  Shortly before IPCPR, a new 7-20-4 cigar – the K.A. Kendall’s 7-20-4 1874 Series appeared. To my surprise, this cigar has not gotten the fanfare of the initial 7-20-4 release (see footnote #1 at end of the article). However, I contend that this was a very good cigar – and a case where the sequel is better than the initial (which was also a very good cigar).

The 7-20-4 1874 Series is a completely different cigar. The name 1874 represents the year that the factory that made the original 7-20-4 factory opened. I’ve visited Kendall’s shop in New Hampshire a little over a year ago, and I saw his passion for nostaglia.  It is no surprise the cigars are named as is.

Let’s take a closer look at the 7-20-4 1874 Series:

Blend Profile

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about this blend is the use of an Indonesian binder. My guess is that this provided a nice edge in terms of flavor for the 7-20-4 1874 Series. The Nicaraguan wrapper has a natural look to it. It is very smooth with minimal veins.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa Habano
Binder:  Indonesian
Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa and Nicaraguan Esteli

Vitolas Available

At this time there are three sizes available with the 7-20-4 1874 Series:

Robusto Especial: 5 1/4 x 52
Series Corona Especial: 6  x 46
Series Torpedo Especial: 6 1/2 x 54

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For this assessment, I selected the Robusto Especial.   I placed a straight cut into the cap and commenced with a pre-light draw.  The dry draw notes were very nice – a nice dose of cedar combined with hints of vanilla.  At this point, I was ready to place a torch to the foot and fire up my 7-20-4 1874 Series.

Flavor Profile

The 7-20-4 1874 Series immediately gives off a quick dose of pepper. The pepper settled down and the vanilla notes that were present on the pre-light draw resurfaced. These vanilla notes were definitely bolder (but not overpowering) than on the pre-light and join the pepper in the forefront.

About 20 percent into the cigar experience, some cream and natural sugar cane joined the flavor profile. The vanilla notes continued to ramp up. Around this point, I also detected pepper through the nostrils as well. The remainder of the smoking experience featured the pepper, vanilla, and sugar cane alternating as to which one is in the forefront. The 7-20-4 1874 Series finished very smooth.   The nub was a little warm, but it was firm.

Burn and Draw

Kendall’s initial 7-20-4 cigar was a quality cigar in terms of what I term the construction attributes of burn and draw.  The 7-20-4 1874 Series picks right up where the core 7-20-4 left off.  The burn of the 1874 Series was straight requiring very little in the way of touch-ups.  It burned at an ideal rate and ideal temperature. The draw was outstanding and was as good as one can get.

Strength and Body

The strength of the 7-20-4 1874 Series did not overpower me with tons of nicotine. It provided the right amount of pop allowing for this cigar to be assessed as medium strength. The flavor notes had some nice depth to them. I would classify the notes as medium to full-bodied. The strength and body balance each other very well – providing the right amount of strength and the right amount of flavor.

Final Thoughts

I’ll restate to what I said earlier – I’m shocked how much this cigar flew under the radar in 2011 (see footnote #1 at end of article). This is a very good cigar. If I sampled this one earlier in the year, it would have certainly been in consideration for a spot on my 2011 Cigar of the Year Countdown.  This is the kind of cigar I would recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast as I feel each can find attributes of this cigar to enjoy. As for myself, this is not only a cigar I would buy again, but one worthy of a box purchase.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: Nice to Have

Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Tobacco World in Marietta, Georgia.

Notes:

At the time of this assessment, it now
appears this cigar was in a limited release mode and that very few
retailers have had it.   This is probably much of the reason why this
cigar “flew under the radar”.  On February 18, 2012, a formal press release was issued and it appears that there is going to be a full-blown launch of the cigar.