The weekend of my friend’s funeral I brought three cigars to honour him, because he was the sort who celebrated life and enjoyed it for what it was worth. My second choice of cigar was the Perdomo Ltd. Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne Churchill. I saved it for the wake itself because I know it would likely be the best one. So I was a bit intoxicated when I peeled off its wrapper and lit it with amorous plans for the evening on my mind.
The Perdomo Champagne is a popular light-bodied cigar. Their 10th Anniversary edition is, apparently, the same cigar, repackaged for the occasion. Nick Perdomo has a reputation for creating cigars that are full-flavoured; the result of this on a mild-bodied cigar is quite interesting. It’s a Cuban-seed Nicaraguan blend.
I found the wrapper note to be fresh and sharp; almost like fresh-cut grass, although that’s not the smell I’m describing; just the quality of it. Picture that fresh-cut sharpness with a buttery quality, and an undertone like baked bread or toast. The wrapper was a golden Connecticut which I understand has been triple-fermented. Cigars International describes it as “stunning.” They’re not wrong.
I was sufficiently intoxicated to completely butcher the cut and I had to redo it; so I really can’t judge the cigar on that. Its pack was firm and not overly hard. The wrapper was smooth and matte. It lit easily and cleanly (so noted by the fact that I did not manage to set myself on fire).
The initial draw was like golden hay and a sharp, bitter tea. Really tasty! Though it took me a while to determine whether or not I liked it because it wasn’t what I was expecting. Other reviews I have read have described the Champagne as having a hint of sweet, but I found very little of that, although I did detect a sort of honey element.
The first third took about twenty minutes and it was a very fresh cigar that I smoked steadily through all of that. It was rich and creamy. Other reviewers have detected coffee elements, but I insist that it was tea; like a creamy orange pekoe that’s mostly milk, just like my mother used to give me when I was small. It burned in a steady cylindrical ash that didn’t drop until I flicked it.
I began to detect a buttered popcorn element near the conclusion of the first third and progression into the second that was not present near the beginning. But that’s when I figured that the timing was sufficient to engage in my amorous plans, so I must confess that there was an interruption in the middle of that second third.
When I returned to the cigar, however, I was definitely in a mood to relax and enjoy. I’m delighted to report that clipping and re-lighting, even with a couple of hours break in the middle, did not in any way diminish the experience of the cigar. Indeed, it didn’t even absorb the hint of a burnt flavour; highly unusual, to be sure. Again I was distinctly reminded of tea. The final third lost the popcorn and regained the toast and the honey. Maybe even a faint suggestion of marmalade; which tells me that I must have been detecting a citrusy-orange element that I have yet to acknowledge.
I can’t honestly tell you how long it took me to smoke the second third because of the break, but the final third took almost twenty-five minutes. And it was delicious!
My verdict: light-bodied cigars are often good starter cigars. This is not one of them. Most light-bodied cigars are sweet and easy to smoke. The 10th Anniversary Champagne is not one of these. It is complex, and a little bitter in a way that an experienced cigar smoker will deeply appreciate, but might not appeal to the beginner. However, since I am an experienced cigar smoker, I love it, and I can find no fault save my lousy cut, so I must give it:
You can get the 10th Anniversary Champagne Churchill at Cigars International for $37.50 USD for a five pack or $169.99 USD for a box of twenty-five; or at Thompson Cigar for $36.50 USD for a five pack or $170.00 for a box of twenty-five. And that’s this lady’s perspective!