|K.A. Kendall’s Spider by 7-20-4 Cigars
K.A. Kendall’s Spider became the fourth blend to be released under Kurt Kendall’s 7-20-4 Cigars line in 2013. In the boutique cigar market, the Spider was a long-awaited release. The Spider first appeared back at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show in Orlando, Florida. This cigar along with the 7-20-4 Hustler were showcased by the company. The Spider had some delays, and it would not be until after the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show where it began to see significant distribution to retailers. I was very excited when I finally had the opportunity to smoke this cigar. This cigar produced what I considered to be a very different cigar than I had smoked from 7-20-4. In the end, this was a cigar that is another excellent release by Kurt Kendall.
7-20-4 has been a line of cigars built around nostalgia. To fulfill that theme, Kendall has focused on resurrecting old cigar lines and by acquiring their naming rights. In the case of the Spider, the original “Spider” originated in the 1930s in Somersworth New Hampshite – which just happens to be Kendall’s home state. In terms of branding the 7-20-4 name is not showcased as it uses the “K.A. Kendall” name instead. For all practical purposes, this appears to be the first 7-20-4 cigar to not be branded with the 7-20-4 name.
Let’s take a closer look at the Spider and see what this cigar brings to the table. As a disclaimer, this cigar assessment was based on a single cigar experience.
7-20-4 has a reputation for multinational blends. The Spider is no exception:
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa
Filler: Honduran Jamastran, Colombian, Nicaraguan Jalapa
The Spider will be made in one size, a 6 x 52 toro. It will be presented in a furniture grade Spanish cedar humidor with a glass lid that has the K.A. Kendall Spider logo etched in it. An early version of this was shown at the 2012 IPCPR.
|The glass top of the Spider Humidor from the 2012 IPCPR
Trade Show (Cigar Coop Photo)
The Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper to the Spider has a coffee bean color. Upon closer examination, some darker marbling can be seen on the surface. The wrapper has a light amount of oil on it, but when it also has somewhat of a rougher feel on the surface when touched. There are a few veins and a few visible wrapper seams.
The band has primary a black background with red trim around all four sides (horizontal and vertically). On the black background is a white colored spider web. The text “SPIDER” in white nostalgic styled font sits over the web. Above the text is a red ribbon with the text “K.A. Kendall’s” in white font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my cigar experience with the Spider, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes were more on the subtle side providing me a mix of leather and light cedar notes. Overall, it wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, but since pre-light draw is not scored, there was no loss of points here. At this point, I was ready to light up the Spider and see what this cigar experience would deliver.
The Spider started off with a mix of cedar sweet spice, cream and pepper. The cedar sweet-spice became a primary note early on while the cream and pepper went the background. The pepper was also present on the retro-hale, but it was more subtle as opposed to sharp.
Between the five and ten percent mark, the cream moved into the forefront. The cedar sweet-spice became more of a classic natural tobacco flavor. The pepper remained a background note.
Toward the end of the first third, the natural tobacco demonstrated a bit of cherry sweetness mixed in it. The cream notes were still present in the forefront. At the same time, some cinnamon notes had joined the pepper in the background
In the second third, the natural tobacco/cherry sweetness diminished and the cream notes pretty much were gone. Some earth notes were now present in the forefront. The pepper started to increase slightly. The cinnamon notes were still in the background, but more distant.
By the last third, the earth notes were primary. The natural tobacco notes were now in the background and the cherry sweetness dissipated. The pepper was also more of a complementary note – never quite making it to the forefront. Even toward the end, I could still detect the cinnamon note in the distant background. The close to the Spider was flavorful and not harsh. The resulting nub was ideal – cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
From a burn perspective, I assessed the Spider to have a good burn, but it did fall short of an excellent burn. I found the burn needed more touch-ups than I prefer to keep the burn line on the straight path. The resulting ash was definitely on the firm side – not prone to flaking. The ash was a darker salt and pepper color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of K.A. Kendall’s Spider
I found the draw to the Spider to be ideal – it had just the right amount of openness to puff on it with little maintenance.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Spider is not going to be a nicotine bomb. I assessed this to be a medium strength cigar from start to finish. The flavors are not going to weigh heavy on the pallet. I also assessed this cigar to be medium-bodied. With the overall flavor profile, I found the medium-bodied notes worked very well here. There was also excellent balance between she strength and body – with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Back at the 2010 IPCPR Trade Show, Kurt Kendall made a splash when he brought his first blend – the 7-20-4 to the trade show. Since then, Kendall has now expanded his portfolio – with the Spider now becoming the fourth blend. Overall, I was impressed with the work he did with the Spider. It’s different than the Mata Fina wrapper blends he did with the 7-20-4 and Hustler. It’s also different than the 7-20-4 1874 Series (which also uses a Jalapa wrapper). While this is only a guess, there were times Spider tasted like a Corojo blend – and that’s a positive in my book. Overall, this is an excellent cigar for a novice enthusiast. Experienced cigar enthusiasts looking for something “medium strength – medium bodied” will enjoy this cigar. As for myself, it’s a cigar I can see myself keeping five or so in my humidor – and easily smoking again.
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