AKA Solace

The AKA Solace was the third core line blend released by Texas-based cigar manufacturer AKA Cigars.  AKA Cigars stands for “American Kick Ass” Cigars. The company is run by Jay Lundy and Tom Poehler.   Back in 2010, the company connected with Christian Eiroa who started working with them on their initial blend – the AKA Hybrid. Eventually a collaboration resulted with Davidoff as a result of Davidoff acquiring Camacho Cigars. The AKA Solace added an Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper blend into AKA’s portfolio.  I recently have had an opportunity to smoke the AKA Solace.  Overall I found this to be an excellent cigar that really delivers a complete cigar experience.

AKA Cigars was created with an American Patriotism theme in my toward the U.S. Armed Services.  The company participates in giveback programs to the Wounded Warrior Project and Cigars for Warriors.  The company has some edgy marketing and packaging of their products. They even have an innovative rewards program involving collecting back cigar bands in exchange for swag and discounts.  From our initial experiences with the AKA Solace, the company is also committed to delivering a high quality product.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the AKA Solace and see what this cigar brings to the table:

Blend Profile

For the AKA Solace, the company is leveraging tobaccos from the Kelner and Eiroa farms.

Wrapper:  4 Year Aged Ecuadorian Connecticut.

Binder: 4 Year Aged Honduran Criollo (Eiroa Family)
Filler: 4 and 5 Year Aged Triple Filler of Dominican and Honduran Tobaccos from the Kelner and Eiroa Families
Vitolas Available
The AKA Solace is available in eight frontmarks.  The Harmony (lancero) size was done in a limited production run.  The cigars are packaged in 18 count boxes except for the Bliss (which has a 24 count box) and Harmony (21 count box).
Bliss: 4 1/2 x 42 
Serenity: 4 1/2 x 52 
Destiny: 6 x 44
Cloud Nine: 5 1/2 x 50
7th Heaven: 7 1/4 x 50
Peace: 6 1/2 x 54 
Elation: 6 x 60
Harmony 7 x 38
For this cigar experience, I smoked the AKA Solace Cloud Nine.  This is a robusto-sized vitola. The AKA Solace Cloud Nine has a classic light brown Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. There is a slightly oily sheen on the surface of the wrapper.  Most of the wrapper seams are hidden quite well.  There are also some visible veins on the wrapper.
There are two bands on the AKA Solace – both are orange and chrome in color. The main band features the “AKA” logo in chrome font on an orange background.  The secondary band rests just below the primary band and has the text “SOLACE” in an edgy chrome-colored font on an orange background.  Both bands also have chrome trim around the edges.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the AKA Solace Cloud Nine, I opted to go with my usual choice of a straight cut. Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw.  The dry draw provided some classic Ecuadorian Connecticut flavors of wood, cream, and a little citrus sweetness.  Overall, I found the pre-light draw to the AKA Solace to be excellent.  At this point I was ready to light up the Solace and see what the smoking experience would deliver.

Flavor Profile

The start to the AKA Solace provided a mix of wood, cream, and pepper notes.  Prior to smoking the AKA Solace,  I had read on the AKA Cigars web-site where they described the pepper as a white pepper and I agree with that assessment.  The white pepper was also prominent on the retro-hale. Meanwhile in the background there was a nice natural tobacco sweetness.  Later in the first third, the pepper dialed back slightly.

By the midpoint, the cream notes were definitely front and center.  They were complemented nicely by the natural tobacco sweetness that was close behind.  The wood and pepper notes were what I would term “strong secondary” notes.

By the last third, the wood and pepper notes returned to the forefront, but were balanced nicely by the cream and sweetness.  The Solace was very flavorful at the close and demonstrated no signs of harshness.  The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch each time I smoked it.

Burn and Draw

I was extremely impressed with the quality of this cigar.  The AKA Solace is a well constructed cigar that scored extremely well when it came to its burn and draw.  The burn line stayed very sharp from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups.  The resulting ash was tight with a classic salt and pepper color.  There was virtually no flaking of the ash along the way.  The burn rate and the burn temperature were both ideal.

Burn of the AKA Solace

The draw was outstanding on the AKA Solace.   It wasn’t a loose draw – and it wasn’t a tight draw. This made the Solace a very enjoyable cigar from start to finish.

Strength and Body

From a strength perspective, I pretty much found the AKA Solace to fall into the mild to medium range. There were a couple of times where I thought it might moved to medium strength, but it stayed mild to medium.  As for the body, I found the AKA Solace to pretty much be in the upper range of medium-bodied.  The Solace is a cigar that delivers a lot of robust flavors.  Overall, when looking at strength versus body, I gave the body of this cigar the upper hand.

Final Thoughts

This was my first introduction to AKA Cigars, and the AKA Solace was a very impressive cigar. It provided what I would term a total cigar experience as it has great construction and great flavor. The Cloud Nine robusto format also seemed to be a very nice vitola for this blend.   One thing that immediately came to mind is that this cigar is very versatile.  It is a great smoke to introduce someone to a cigar, but it also is an excellent cigar for someone who enjoys something on the milder side with a lot of flavor.   As for myself, this is a cigar that I would most certainly smoke again.  It easily is worthy of a box split.


Burn: Excellent  

Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium  
Strength: Mild to Medium
Body: Medium
Finish: Excellent 
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
Score: 91

Source: The cigar for this assessment were provided by AKA Cigars.  The samples received were initiated by AKA Cigars order to provide feedback.  Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this write-up.