The Protocol Themis is the third regular production line to be produced by Cubariqueño Cigar Company. Themis has added a Connecticut Shade wrapper offering into Cubariqueño’s portfolio, joining the Habano-wrapped Protocol and the San Andres Maduro-wrapped Protocol Probable Cause. Like all of Cubariqueño’s cigars, the Themis is being produced at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in EstelÍ, Nicaragua. Back in May 2017, the Themis saw a soft launch at the Berkeley Humidor retail shop as a part of Cubariqueño Cigar Company’s second anniversary. At the 2017 IPCPR Trade Show coming this July, the Protocol Themis will have a full-blown national launch. I have enjoyed the Protocol Themis in the Robusto size. Cubariqueño has been releasing some outstanding cigars and with the Themis is no exception.
The name of the cigar keeps to the company’s law enforcement motif as partners Bill Ives and Juan Cancel both serve as law enforcement officers. It also pays tribute to the Greek heritage of managing partner William Agathis. This is because Themis is the name of the Lady of Justice symbol who was the Titan goddess of divine law and order. According to Cubariqueño, the Themis was the brainchild of Agathis who worked closely with La Zona’s Hector Alfonso Sr. to create the blend.
Themis has also been part of a string of Connecticut Shade cigars coming from La Zona over the past year. 2016 saw the introduction of the Espinosa Crema and the MoyaRuiz La Jugada Claro coming from La Zona. Later this year, La Zona will be producing Cornelius & Anthony’s Aerial – another Connecticut Shade offering.
Recently Cubariqueño has launched a line of Protocol Coffees produced by Layne Coffee to be paired with the cigars in the Protocol line. The Protocol Oro coffee is one that is meant to be paired with the Protocol Themis cigar. Because our cigar reviews are typically not done with pairings in mind, we will consider the Protocol cigar on its own. Down the road, on the Prime Time Podcast, we will discuss the pairing aspects of Themis and Oro.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Protocol Themis Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
In addition to the Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, the Protocol Themis utilizes Nicaraguan tobacco for the binder and filler.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (La Zona)
The Protocol Themis is available in two sizes. Each is packaged in ten-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 52 (SRP $9.69)
Toro: 6 x 52 (SRP $9.89)
The Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper of the Protocol Themis Robusto had a light golden brown color to it. There was a light coating of oil on the surface. There were a few visible veins, but most of the wrapper seams were on the thin side.
There are two bands on the Protocol Themis. Each of the two bands is a variant of the original Protocol banding design, but utilizes a different color scheme. The primary band has a metallic-colored background with charcoal gray trim. Prominently on the band are two interlocking modern-looking “P”s that have a three-dimensional effect (both using a combination of gold and charcoal gray with a “shadowing effect”). The text “PROTOCOL” is placed on a gray section of a “P”. To the left of the “P” is the text “HANDMADE in charcoal-colored font, while to the right is the text “LA ZONA” – also in charcoal-colored font. The remainder of the band has dark gray trim. On the far right of the band is the text “AGATHIS.” in gold font positioned in landscape mode.
Just below the primary band is a secondary band. This is a thin band that is also metallic gray in color with charcoal gray trim. On that silver background is the text “THEMIS” in charcoal gray font.
The footer is finished with a ribbon that has a near butterscotch color.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As is my usual practice, I used a straight cut to remove the cap of the Protocol Themis Robusto. Once the cap was removed, I commenced with the pre-light draw. The dry draw was pretty standard for what I would expect from a Connecticut Shade cigar as I got notes of cream and cedar. Overall I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, I removed the ribbon of the Protocol Themis Robusto, lit up the cigar and awaited what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Protocol Themis Robusto began with notes of cream, citrus, and cedar. The cream and citrus notes pretty much became the primary notes early on. The cedar settled as a secondary note. This was soon joined by a subtle nut flavor. As the Themis Robusto moved through the first third, the cream and citrus alternated in intensity – with the cream still having a slight edge. The retro-hale delivered a layer of cedar with a touch of citrus mixed in.
By the second third of the Protocol Themis Robusto, the cedar notes had joined the cream notes in the forefront. The citrus notes gradually began to recede into the background joining the nut flavors. There were also traces of baker’s spice and black pepper present.
As the Protocol Themis Robusto moved into the second half, the cedar notes took over. There also was a bready component that was present in the forefront. During this stage, the cream notes diminished greatly. Meanwhile, the citrus, nut, baker’s spice, and black pepper were still present in the distant background.
By the last third, I found the profile of this Protocol Themis Robusto to be dominated by the cedar notes. There was a slight increase in the pepper and baker’s spice well. These spices were balanced by some of the bread, nut, and citrus notes. This is the way the Protocol Themis Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and slightly soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Construction-wise, the Protocol Themis Robusto was rock-solid and this was reflected on both the burn and draw. The cigar had no problem maintaining a straight burn path. There was a slight amount of jaggedness on the burn line, but this didn’t necessitater any touch-ups. The resulting ash wasn’t overly firm, but it was far from loose or flaky either. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Protocol Themis Robusto performed quite well. This was not too tight, nor was it too loose. I did find this cigar produced a nice amount of smoke throughout the cigar experience.
Strength and Body
While I would categorize the Protocol Themis Robusto as a “milder” offering by Cubariqueño, I still would place this cigar in the category of being on the bolder side for a Connecticut Shade cigar. This is a cigar I assessed to be a medium strength, medium-bodied cigar from start to finish. There was a slight increase in strength and body along the way, but the Themis Robusto still remained in the medium range of the spectrum.
In terms of strength versus body, I found both attributes to balance each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
The Protocol Themis Robusto is an excellent addition to Cubariqueño’s growing portfolio. It had excellent construction, terrific flavor, and enough complexity to keep me interested. Back in March, I had smoked a pre-release down in Nicaragua and knew Cubariqueño was sitting on a winner. It was nice to see that what was delivered to the market lived up to my expectations. The X factor is that I had a chance to also smoke (outside the context of this review) that pre-release with some age, and I can tell you this is a cigar that is going to get even better.
This “medium” profile of this cigar makes it one I could recommend to both novice and experienced cigar enthusiasts. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again and it’s one worthy of a box purchase.
Key Flavors: Cream, Cedar, Citrus, Nut, Bread
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Cubariqueño Cigar Company Announces Protocol Themis
Source: Cubariqueño Cigar Company
Brand Reference: Cubariqueño Cigar Company