The Sindicato Hex was one of three blends launched by Sindicato Cigar Group at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show. The Hex was perhaps the most anticipated of the three as it was the Nicaraguan-made blend. Sindicato Cigar Group was officially in March, 2013. The company was started by a group of 45 strong cigar retailers who are joined together to enter the manufacturing side of the business. Industry veteran Jim Colucci serves as their President and CEO. Recently, the Hex has made its way to retailers and I have had an opportunity to smoke it. Overall, I’m not sure this is a cigar for everyone, but its certainly one I still would encourage checking out.
When the Hex was announced, Sindicato described the blend as “A unique and special cigar made from aged rare tobaccos carefully selected and blended in Condega, Nicaragua. The wrapper is a rich, dark Ecuadorian Habano wrapper crafted by the finest torcedors to create an unforgettable smoking experience.”
The cigar itself was blended by Alex Ortez, the brother of Omar Ortez. The cigars are made at the Ortez factory in Condega, Nicaragua.
Let’s take a closer look at the Sindicato Hex and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Wrapper: Dark Ecuadorian Habano
The Hex is being launched in five sizes. Each cigar will be packaged in boxes of 21. Each of the three cigars have pig-tail foot.
Robusto: 5 x 52
Figuardo: 5 1/4 x 52
Toro: 6 x 54
Perfecto: 6 1/4 x 52
Churchill: 7 x 54
For this cigar experience, I smoked the Perfecto vitola. The Hex Perfecto has a chocolate colored wrapper with a light amount of oil on it. Upon closer examination of the wrapper, some dark marbling can be seen on the surface. The wrapper itself has a bit of a rugged feel as it is bumpy on the surface. The wrapper’s dark color hides the wrapper seams quite well, but there are some visible veins. There is a spiral pig-tail on the cap and the footer is open.
The band of the Hex is white with black font. When you look at the band closely, you can see the band has a heavier stock of paper. On the front of the band is the text “hex” in a large black-colored gothic font. Below that text is “HECHO A MANO” in a smaller, less bold black font. To the left and right of the band are some wizard-like swords. There is black trim going across the top and bottom of the band. Finally, on the far side of the band is the Sindicato Cigar Group logo.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my experience of the Sindicato Hex Perfecto, I opted to use a straight cut to remove the spiral cap as opposed to just plucking the spiral tail off. From that point, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided a mix of chicory, coffee, earth, and a hint of floral spice. Overall, it wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, but since the dry draw is not included in our score, there was no loss of points here. One thing I really liked was the open foot on this perfecto. It made life easier in terms of lighting up the Sindicato Hex perfecto – which is exactly what I did after the pre-light draw was completed.
The start to the Sindicato Hex has a mix of coffee, chicory, and black pepper notes. The chicory does have a slight bitter note, but it also provides some bite on the flavor profile. The chicory/coffee combination made its way into the forefront early, while the pepper became a background note. I could also detect the pepper prominently on the retro-hale.
For the most part, I did not find the Hex to be a cigar that was going to undergo a lot of radical flavor transitions. Throughout the first half, the ratio of coffee versus chicory varied from smoke to smoke. Both flavors combined gave the cigar a very gritty feel – which is not a negative. In the second half, there was an increase in the black pepper, and by the end of the cigar experience, the pepper was on par with the coffee and chicory notes. This is the way the cigar experience of the Hex came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the Sindicato Hex to burn quite well – especially in a perfecto vitola. I believe the open foot really helped here. The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish – requiring some touch-ups, but not an amount that I would consider out of the ordinary. There was a slight amount of jaggedness on the burn line, but the burn was never in danger of tunneling or canoeing. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color. The ash itself was not tight, but not overly loose either. There was some occasional flaking along the way. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Sindicato Hex|
The perfecto is normally a vitola I do not reach for because they tend to have an inferior draw than a classic parejo-shape. However, I was impressed with the draw on the Sindicato Hex. I found the draw to be smooth and effortless.
Strength and Body
Of the three Sindicato offerings (including Affinity and Casa Bella) that have been released at this time, I found that the Sindcato Hex had the most to offer in terms of strength and body. From a strength perspective, I found the Hex had some kick to it, but was not overpowering. I assessed the Hex as falling into the medium to full range for strength. The body also fell into the medium to full range. Overall, I felt there was good balance between the strength and body – with neither attribute overpowering the other.
At the start of this assessment, I mentioned that this is not going to be a cigar for everyone. I found the cigar has a very “gritty” flavor profile. It definitely has a rugged Nicaraguan flavor to it. This is going to be one of those cigars that one will either like or not. It’s certainly a well-constructed cigar, and as I mentioned above, I was really impressed with the draw. I’m also curious to see what aging does for this cigar and whether it smooths out some of the ruggedness smooths out. This is probably a cigar I would gear more toward an experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, I will admit it was not in my flavor profile, but certainly a cigar I’d encourage you to try and see if its a fit for you.
Source: Purchased (Toro pre-release samples provided by manufacturer also smoked for reference points *)
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* The cigars mentioned were given to Cigar Coop by Sindicato. A decision was made to review the final released Hex in a perfecto shape as opposed to a sample. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but this does not influence the review.