When ACE Prime walked into the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show, they were the new kid on the block. At the same time, they were coming into the trade show with a bang – launching three new lines and seven brands. The cigar that probably garnered the most attention was a project ACE Prime worked on with NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins known as the M.X.S. Signature Series Dominique Wilkins. The name M.X.S. stands for “Maximum EXcellence Success”. It was one of two cigars launched in collaboration with a former NBA Player. The other cigar was with former NBA player Tiago Splitter known as the M.X.S. Signature Tiago Splitter. Both the Wilkens and Splitter cigars are completely different blends. Today we dive deeper into the M.X.S. Dominique Wilkens in the Sublime size.
In his Hall of Fame career, Wilkens played for the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, and Orlando Magic. He is also known for being a two-time NBA Slam Dunk Champion in 1985 and 1990. He earned the nickname “The Human Highlight Film.” While this is his first cigar project, Wilkens has been known for many years as a cigar enthusiast.
As mentioned, the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens was released with the M.X.S. Signature Tiago Splitter. There is a third cigar planned in the M.X.S. line with former Major League Baseball player Adrian Gonzalez.
Without further ado, let’s break down the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens Sublime and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The blend for the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens features a San Andres Mexican wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder from Ometepe and a combination of Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers. Production is handled at Tabacalera Pichardo, a factory co-owned by ACE Prime under the watch of Don Eradio Pichardo.
Wrapper: San Andres Mexican
Binder: Ometepe Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera Pichardo
The M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens is currently offered in a single size known as Sublime – measuring 6 1/2 x 54. The cigars are presented in 20-count boxes.
The San Andres wrapper of the M.X.S.Signature Dominique Wilkens Sublime had a dark chocolate color with a light sheen of oi on it. There were some thin visible wrapper seams as well as some visible veins. At the same time, this was a wrapper that had a relatively smooth surface.
The band has a black background with gold trim. The center of the band has a gold M and a copper X surrounded by a copper leaf. Below the logo is the text “M.X.S.” in copper with the text “Dominique Wilkens” in small white font. The far right of the band has Dominique Wilkens’s signature in white. There are copper dots along the sides near the top and bottom of the band. A small copper crown exists at the top of the band.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens Sublime. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw stage. The cold draw delivered notes of black coffee, earth, and a slight cedar note. Overall this was a very good pre-light draw experience. At this point it was time to toast the foot of the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens Sublime and move into the smoking phase.
The start of the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens Sublime delivered a mix of black pepper, earth, mocha, and citrus. Early on the mocha notes became primary. Mocha is something that I classify as a fusion of coffee and chocolate. There was an underlying creamy texture early in the smoking experience. As the cigar progressed through the first third, the coffee components became more prominent and eventually the coffee became the dominant note. Concurrently the creaminess present early was gone. In the background were the notes of black pepper, earth, and citrus. There was also an additional layer of mixed pepper on the retro-hale.
The second third of the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens saw the black coffee notes remain primary. During this phase, there was a gradual build up of the cedar and black pepper notes. To a lesser extent, there still were some earth and citrus notes in the background.
By the last third, the pepper had increased enough to join the coffee notes in the forefront. Meanwhile the flavor profile was rounded out with some notes of cedar, earth, and citrus in the more distant background. This is the way the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens came to a close. The cigar finished up with a cool, firm nub.
The burn to the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens Sublime performed excellently. This is a cigar that maintained both a straight burn path and a straight burn line while not requiring an excessive amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash was firm with a very light gray color to it. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
The draw to the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens Sublime had a touch of resistance – putting the draw right in the sweet spot for me. At the same time this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from. This was also a cigar that generated ample layers of smoke.
Strength and Body
Overall the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens Sublime delivered a medium strength, medium-bodied cigar from start to finish. There was not much variance in the intensity levels of either attribute. At the same time, both the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
One word comes to mind with the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens Sublime – excellent. This is a cigar that excelled in the most important category – flavor. This isn’t a cigar that delivered any radical and exotic flavors, but the flavors delivered were spot on – and were quite enjoyable. I also found the cigar’s medium strength, medium-bodied profile to mesh very nicely with the flavors produced. In the past two years, Tabacalera Pichardo has emerged as one of the best small factories in Nicaragua, and the work with the M.X.S. Signature Dominique Wilkens Sublime solidifies that statement. While it’s not an inexpensive cigar, this is a cigar I could recommend to any cigar enthusiast. From a personal standpoint I would smoke this cigar again and buy multiples to keep in the humidor.
Key Flavors: Mocha (Coffee, Chocolate), Citrus, Earth, Cedar, Black Pepper
Value: Buy Multiples
*Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence*
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop