The Wilson Adams Black Label is the latest line to be released by Wilson Adams Cigars. The Black Label introduces a Connecticut Shade Cigar into the company’s portfolio. The company refers to this cigar as its “Dark Connecticut” and the name is appropriate because the cigar uses a darker shade of a Connecticut wrapper. The Black Label features a Connecticut Shade wrapper from the Talanga region of Honduras. It isn’t completely unusual to see a Honduran-grown Connecticut Shade wrapper, but in recent years, the market has seen most of the Connecticut Shade releases source wrappers from Ecuador or the United States. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Wilson Adams Black Label in the No. 4 (Toro) size. Not only did I find this to be an enjoyable smoke, but I definitely found this to be a cigar that establishes an identity of its own.
Wilson Adams is run by Brandon K. Wilson. The company is based out of California and was launched in 2012. In addition to the Wilson Adams Black Label, the company has other two regular production lines – Wilson Adams White Label (Habano) and Wilson Adams Red Label (Sumatra). In addition, the company has a limited production cigar known as Mr. Wilson.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Wilson Adams Black Label No. 4 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
In addition to the Talanga Connecticut Shade wrapper, the cigar uses an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and Nicaraguan tobaccos in the filler.
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade (Talanga)
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Predominantly Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
The Wilson Adams Black Label is available in three sizes.
No. 2: 5 x 50
No. 4: 6 x 52
No. 8: 6 1/8 x 52 (Torpedo)
As mentioned, the Wilson Adams refers to the Black Label as the “dark Connecticut”. I would concur with that assessment. While this is still a light brown wrapper, I would say this wrapper is a notch darker than most Connecticut Shade wrappers out on the market. The wrapper also has a light coat of oil on it. I found the surface of the wrapper is slightly bumpy. There are also some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.
As one would expect, the Wilson Adams Black Label features a black colored band. In silver font is the text “WILSON” with a “W” just below it. Sitting on the black background is a white rectangle with the text “ADAMS” in silver font. The remainder of the band has several silver adornments.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Wilson Adams Black Label No. 4, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped, I commenced with the pre-light draw. The pre-light draw delivered a classic profile of what I had come to expect from a Connecticut Shade cigar as I picked up notes of cream, light cedar, and light fruit sweetness. Overall I considered the pre-light experience of this cigar to be excellent. At this point I was ready to light up the Wilson Adams Black Label No. 4 and see what the smoking phase would deliver.
The start to the Wilson Adams Black Label No. 4 delivered a mix of black pepper and cedar. The cedar notes quickly moved into the forefront. The pepper subsided into the background and was joined by subtle notes of fruit and cream. The black pepper was also prominent on the retro-hale.
The cedar notes continued to be the primary note throughout the first third. The black pepper was a close secondary note. The fruit and cream notes remained subtle. Meanwhile I also detected some straw-like notes in the background.
During the second third of the Black Label No. 4, I found the straw notes made their way into the forefront. In fact by the midway point, I found the straw eclipsed the cedar as the main flavor. However the notes of pepper, cedar, cream and fruit still balanced things out nicely. By this stage, the black pepper subsided into the background with the cream and fruit. There were also times the cream had a little more intensity than the other background flavors.
By the last third, the cedar notes were now back firmly as primary note. The pepper notes also increased again and toward the end of the cigar were in the forefront. The straw notes had receded into the background. There still was a touch of cream and fruit sweetness at the end. As the smoking experience of the Black Label No. 4 came to a close, the resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
While the Wilson Adams Black Label had a darker Connecticut Shade wrapper, it still had a lot of the fragile characteristics of many Connecticut Shade wrappers. This is more for informational purposes as I found this cigar to still score nicely when it came to burn. While there was a slight jaggedness to the burn line, the cigar took a straight burn path. The resulting ash was a silver-gray color. I found Black Label No. 4 to have a firm ash that came the cigar in clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
As for the draw, it was not too tight, nor was it too loose. This made the Wilson Adams Black Label No. 4 a low maintenance cigar to derive flavors from.
Strength and Body
When it comes to Connecticut Shade cigars, there are those that stay traditional and deliver a mild or mild to medium experience in terms of strength and body. There are also those Connecticut Shade cigars that push those traditional boundaries. With the Wilson Adams Black Label No. 4, this cigar is in the latter category as it delivered a bolder smoke than most Connecticut Shade cigars. I found this cigar to deliver a medium strength cigar from start to finish. Meanwhile the flavors of the Black Label No. 4 were medium-bodied. I found the body of this cigar increased along the way and by the last third, this cigar was in the medium to full-bodied range.
In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had the edge throughout the smoking experience.
When I was going through the pre-light draw ritual of the Wilson Adams Black Label No. 4, I was expecting this a very traditional profile for this Connecticut Shade cigar. However once I lit up the Black Label No. 4, I was surprised. This was a cigar that did not follow the “mild, creamy” script that many Connecticut Shade cigars follow. Flavor-wise, the Black Label No. 4 produced some very nice notes and this was a cigar that had a nice amount of complexity to it as well. While still a bolder Connecticut Shade cigar, it’s still a cigar I could recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, I like the change of pace this Connecticut Shade cigar offered. It’s certainly a cigar worthy of a box split.
Body: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split
News: Wilson Adams Black Label Released
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 184
Stogie Feed: Wilson Adams Black Label No. 4 (Paul), Wilson Adams Black Label No. 4 (Will)