In November of 2010 Sam Leccia and Oliva Cigar Company parted ways. Sam Leccia was the brainchild and face of the NUB and Cain brand, and helped bring a lot of attention to Oliva following the Serie V. The NUB brand was introduced in 2008 and quickly grabbed the attention of smokers. The stout smoke produced a cool smoking experience with an abundance of flavors in a format that was never done before. The line continued to roll for years, and was followed up by the series of successful Cain smokes. I myself was never a huge fan of the NUB, but I know many people could not get enough of them in stores across this great nation. Leccia was about to enter the industry again in 2011 but that was followed up by a legal battle which prevented him from re-entering the industry. We are not in spring of 2013 and Sam Leccia has returned with his first line Black & White.
The Black & White line is a collection of two blends, and the cigars are made in two different factories that are undisclosed; one of these factories is in the Dominican Republic and the other is in Nicaragua. The Toraño Family Cigar Company will handle distribution of the cigars, but I do not know the role they play further than that. The White blend which I am smoking today is the blend that is made in Nicaragua. The cigar features a Cameroon Sungrown wrapper from Africa and then an Ecuadorian Habano binder. The filler is a blend of tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and his home state of Pennsylvania. The Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco is all Ligero while the Pennsylvania tobacco is Secco. For this review I chose the 446 vitola, and the cigar measures 4" with a 46 ring gauge. The wrapper on this cigar is Natural in coloring but on the darker side given the fact that it is Sungrown. It is not the prettiest of wrappers, but it is smooth to touch with a little tooth and some veins present throughout. There is an aroma that is sweet and woody, and I am picking up some hay and cocoa notes with that.
The cigar has a lovely beginning, and it is producing a medium full body experience with a wonderful draw. I am getting notes of light cookie dough and cedar predominantly, and there is a touch of cedar, earth and light spices as well. It has a finishing flavor profile that is similar to a cafe mocha that is not overly sweet. The strength on the cigar is at a medium level in my opinion, and is a cigar I could smoke anytime of day. The draw on the cigar is terrific and it is producing a lovely amount of smoke with each puff. In terms of construction the cigar is great and it produces a lovely charcoal ash that holds on firmly to the band. Given the size of this smoke I am breaking it up into halves, and I would say this is a great morning cigar for me, and a terrific lunch break smoke. Very different than previous releases of Leccia, I feel that this is a cigar where he could really do what he wanted to do with it.
I am at the band of the cigar now, which is about halfway through the smoke, and the ash is holding on firmly and burning the band. This is how cigars need to be made by the way. It is still producing some wonderful flavors, and in this half I am picking up a little bit more richness than before. I am getting a little bit of sweet earth present with the cigar and it is pairing with those great cafe mocha flavors. There is still a nice sweet cedar flavor present with the cigar, and it has a nice soft spice and hay like finish. As you can tell from the photos the construction on the cigar is amazing and it smokes evenly with a lovely charcoal ash all the way to the nub. It has a cool draw to the end and is a cigar that makes you want to smoke another one right away. The body in this half remained at a medium full level and strength at a medium level. Of course after smoking through my first one I had to light up another, and like its predecessor rocked in every category.
This is an awesome little smoke and showed so much balance from beginning to end. The flavors really touched every category and one did not dominate my palate. There is a lot of complexity with the cigar, but at the same time a younger smoker could really enjoy it. It is a solid medium body and strength level cigar, and is perfect for me at any part of the day. The construction is simply phenomenal on this cigar and you can't beat that. I am eager to smoke the Black version to the line and see how it differs compared with this smoke. I think a lot of guys will dig this cigar, and if you are a fan of Cameroon wrappers then you will love this smoke. It is great to see Sam back in the game because he is so passionate about cigars. The cigar really shows his love for tobacco and how he wants to find the best tobacco to work with no matter where it is from. This cigar gets a 92 in my book and will be a frequent smoke because of the flavors and size. This cigar will speak to a lot of smokers because of the tobacco being used in the blend, what the cigar offers in terms of flavors and strength, and because it is the return of Sam Leccia to the industry.