At the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show, Robert Wright‘s Pura Soul Cigars unveiled two new offerings. One of these offerings is a new, limited production line called the Pura Soul Barber Pole. As the name indicates, this cigar features a barber pole styled wrapper of Corojo and Maduro. Recently the Pura Soul Barber Pole has made its way to retailers and I’ve had an opportunity to smoke this cigar in the 50 x 5 (Robusto) format. Since its inception, I’ve been impressed with the offerings in the Pura Soul portfolio. With the Pura Soul Barber Pole 50 x 5, Wright has another winner in his lineup.
Back in 2013, Pura Soul Cigars made its debut at the IPCPR Trade Show. Originally Pura Soul Cigars was a collaboration between Wright and Christian Eiroa as a brand under the CLE Cigar Company portfolio. Last year, Wright made the decision to handle his own distribution and would depart CLE. Now a fully separate entity, Pura Soul continues to work with Eiroa’s factories to produce its cigars.
The connection between Wright and Eiroa goes back to the days when both were with Camacho Cigars. The Pura Soul line incorporates a theme of music into its branding. Wright himself is a jazz musician with over 40 years experience. When Pura Soul Cigars was launched, the brand was described as a “end result of a lifetime of passion, honesty and determination combined and assembled into a blend that the smoker can experience.”
Along with the Pura Soul Barber Pole, Wright also launched his first maduro, the Pura Soul Maduro. This goes along-side the company’s other two offerings, the Pura Soul Nicaragua and Pura Soul Honduras.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Pura Soul Barber Pole 50 x 5 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Pura Soul Barber Pole is an all Honduran blend. The cigar is made by CLE in Honduras.
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo / Maduro (Barber Pole style)
Country of Origin: Honduras
The Pura Soul Barber Pole is available in three sizes. Each is packaged in 20 count cabinet boxes. The 50 x 5 Robusto is a box-pressed offering.
50 x 5 (Box Pressed)
54 x 6
64 x 7
The Corojo component of the Pura Soul Barber Pole 50 x 5 has a medium brown color that will give off a slight rosado tint when the light hits it. The Maduro component has a dark brown roasted coffee bean color to it. Both wrappers do not have much in the way of oil on the surface. The cigar itself is quite smooth with only a couple of thin visible veins. The box-press of the 50 x 5 has a slightly “soft press” style.
The band to the Pura Soul Barber Pole is a white and gold version of what has been seen on other Pura Soul releases. The band has a white background. On the upper center is a gold Pura Soul “S” logo. There is a gold stripe that protrudes this logo on the left and right. To the left of the logo on the stripe is the text “PURA” while on the right side is the text “SOUL” – both in white font. On the far left is the text “HAND MADE” while on the far right is the text “HONDURAS” – both in white font on the same gold stripe as the “PURA SOUL” text. The lower part of the band has gold striping arranged in a near chevron style.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normaly do with most cigars, I placed a straight cut into the cap of the Pura Soul Barber Pole 50 x 5. Once the cap was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw phase. The dry draw provided notes of coffee and hay. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the Pura Soul Barber Pole 50 x 5 to be satisfactory. At this point I was ready to light up the cigar and see what the smoking stage would have in store.
The Pura Soul Barber Pole 50 x 5 started out with a mix of coffee, hay, and black pepper. The coffee notes quickly went primary while the hay and pepper notes were secondary. During this early stage, the pepper was also prominent, but not over-powering on the retro-hale. There also was a slight cedar component on the retro-hale.
During the first half, the coffee notes developed some richness. There was a slight sweet component to the coffee note, but this was more of a subtle sweetness. Meanwhile the hay and pepper notes remained in the background.
By the midway point of the Pura Soul Barber Pole 50 x 5, the coffee notes developed what I call that “chock full o’ nuts” coffee urn flavor. This is a flavor note I happen to like on a cigar. I found the hay and pepper notes started to increase during the latter part of the second third.
By the last third, the coffee notes and hay were pretty much even. While the spices were still a secondary note on the tongue, I found the spices on the retro-hale increased giving this cigar some more body. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but slightly soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall the burn of the Pura Soul Barber Pole 50 x 5 performed quite well. The burn path remained straight throughout the smoking experience. There was a slight amount of jaggedness from time to time, but overall this was more cosmetic and didn’t require many touch-ups. The resulting ash had a mix of light and dark gray colors. The ash wasn’t overly tight, but it wasn’t a loose, flaky ash either. The combustion of the cigar was excellent as the Barber Pole had an ideal burn rate and ideal burn temperature.
The draw to the Barber Pole 50 x 5 was low maintenance throughout the smoking experience. This was not a tight draw, nor was it a loose draw.
Strength and Body
I found the strength level of the Pura Soul Barber Pole 50 x 5 to start out medium. There was a gradual increase in strength in the first half and by the second half, this cigar’s strength crossed into medium to full territory. From that point, I found the strength leveled off. Meanwhile the notes of the Barber Pole started out medium to full. The increase in spice on the retro-hale helped contribute to making this a full-bodied smoke by the second half. When comparing the strength and body of the Pura Soul Barber Pole, I found the body had the edge throughout the smoking experience.
Overall, the Pura Soul Barber Pole 50 x 5 delivered a very nice cigar experience. I liked this blend in the box-pressed format. A lot of times with a barber-pole, I find that one wrapper can have the edge over the other. With the Pura Soul Barber Pole, it seemed as though the maduro wrapper had the edge. This shouldn’t be taken as a negative because this was a cigar with excellent flavor. The Pura Soul Barber Pole 50 x 5 is a cigar I would definitely recommend to a more experienced cigar enthusiast, but this is not a cigar I would discourage a novice from trying. As for myself, this is a cigar I do look forward to smoking again. It’s definitely a cigar worthy of a box split.
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split