|Chinnock Cellars Pressoir|
At the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, Chinnock Cellars Cigars showcased their third line, the Pressoir. This cigar is significant for three reasons: First it marks the first maduro to be made by the company; second, it is the first cigar Chinnock Cellars has been made outside the United States as they turn to the Compania Hondurena de Tabacos (Kuuts) factory in Danli, Honduras; finally, it introduces a box-press into the company’s portfolio. The company is owned by Brian Chinnock. Chinnock is a winemaker from California who recently launched his own line of cigars. Chinnock has not only set out to design a line of cigars to complement wine, but he has gone one step further and has integrated winemaking concepts into his lines. The Pressoir is a great example of this. I’ve recently had an opportunity to smoke this new release. Chinnock has hit a home run with this line as I feel this is his best work to date.
Chinnock Cellars’ web-site gives a little background on what a Pressoir is and it shows how Chinnock has bridged the world of wine-making and cigar-making together.
“(A Pressoir) is a machine that exerts pressure to form and shape or extract liquids from compressed solids. The French use this word to describe the device that winemakers have used for hundreds of years to press the fermented grape must to extract the alcoholic juice better known as wine. Surprisingly, the same word Pressoir is used to describe the device that cigar makers use to press their cigar molds to obtain the desired cigar shapes.”
When Chinnock released his second line Terroir, he built a most unique metal band that also incorporated concepts from wine-making. Chinnock showed this to us back at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show. For this cigar, he used a foil capsule from a wine bottle to build the metal band. While a metal cigar band is nothing new, the metal band on the Terroir is different in that it has all of the characteristics of a paper band as opposed to being a “napkin ring”.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Chinnock Cellars Pressoir and see what this cigar brings to the table:
A note, it appears there has been a wrapper change since we saw this cigar at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show. It was being listed as a Nicaraguan Jalapa Habano Maduro wrapper. This is now a San Andres Maduro wrapper.
The Pressoir was blended at KUUTS by master blender Adin Perez.
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran
The Pressoir is being offered in two sizes:
Toro: 6 x 52
Torpedo: 6 x 52
The Chinnock Cellars Pressoir has a classic coffee bean colored wrapper with a touch of colorado red in it. I would not classify the wrapper as oily. There were a couple of visible veins and visible wrapper seams, but the maduro coloring does a good job at hiding this. The box-press itself is well-packed with a slight rounding effect on it.
The banding work was done by Manny Iriarte, a well-known artist and photographer in the cigar industry. The Pressoir features a double band. The first band has an ivory background with gold trim. On the front of the band is the text “Pressoir” in a classic script font on a circular background. There is an outline of a leaf in gold font in that background. On the left side of the band it says “BARREL AGED” and on the right side it says “HAND ROLLED” – both in black font. There are also some black adornments toward the top of the band.
The secondary band rests just below the primary band. It has more of an off-white color with gold trim on the bottom. The text “Chinnock Cellars” is in gold script at the bottom. On the left side is an image of wine opener and on the right side is an image of a pressoir device – both in gold color. There are also two gold images (one on the left) and one on the right that show the “Chinnock Cellars Private Reserve” logo that are similar to what was found on the Estate Private Reserve band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the Chinnock Cellars Pressoir, I went with a straight cut to start things off. After removing the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided a mix of chocolate and espresso notes with some hints of cedar in the background. Overall I considered the Pressoir’s pre-light draw to be outstanding. At this point I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the smoking experience would bring to the table.
The start to the Pressoir has notes of mocha and white pepper. The white pepper was something I detected on the retro-hale as well. In the early stages, the mocha almost had a syrupy sweetness but the nice thing was it was not an overpowering sweetness. The mocha soon emerged as a primary note. The pepper receded into the background where it was joined by some cream notes.
In the middle of the first third, the cream notes moved into the forefront and fused with the mocha notes very nicely. Some notes of earth and nut were also detected in the second half.
I had smoked some pre-release cigars of this blend prior to the final production-shipped ones. With these final ones, the mocha exhibited a lot more complexity – particularly in the second third. At times I still detected the mocha sweetness. Other times it was more of a classic milk chocolate while there also were other cases where it was like a cocoa powder. The cream notes still remained present in the forefront. Meanwhile the background earth and pepper provided some nice balance to the creamy mocha flavors.
In the last third, the pepper notes ramped up approaching the mocha flavors. There was a lot of sweetness at the end of this smoke – and it did not turn earthy or overly spicy. The close to the Pressoir was flavorful with no harshness. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and slightly soft.
Burn and Draw
Overall, I found the Chinnock Cellars Pressoir to be a well-constructed cigar and this was reflected in the burn and draw. The burn line remained straight from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color that was slanted on the darker side. The ash was not overly tight, but it was not loose either. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Chinnock Cellars Pressoir|
The draw performed outstanding as well. It was not too tight, but not too loose. This made the Pressoir an enjoyable cigar to puff on from start to finish.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I did not find the Pressoir to be overpowering. I found this blend offered the right among of kick. I assessed the Pressoir as being a medium strength cigar just falling slightly shy of medium to full strength. The flavors did fall into the medium to full-bodied range – which I thought was the right amount of body for this flavor profile. When comparing strength versus body, I gave an edge to the body.
The Chinnock Cellars Pressoir was a very enjoyable maduro. A lot of times maduro blends can “run out gas” in terms of sweetness on the “back nine”. This was not the case with this cigar. I liked the fact how the Pressoir kept a lot of its core flavors as opposed to turning very earthy. I also liked the fact that the San Andres Mexican wrapper of the Pressoir did not overwhelm this blend. Overall, I found this to be the best release by Chinnock Cellars to date. This is a cigar I could recommend to either an experienced or novice cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d smoke again – and it certainly is box worthy.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
Source: Samples provided by Manufacturer (*)
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* Cigars for this assessment was provided by Chinnock Cellars Cigars. The samples were received in order to provide feedback. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the samples, but in no way does this influence this write-up.