Cigar Review: Schrader Hispañiola Sparky DOCO-Est MMIX-I

Single Coffin with Sparky

When you look at the cigar industry and the wine industry, the two are very similar in a lot of aspects, and it is because of this that I find the two pair wonderfully together. Because of this I feel that there are a good amount of cigar manufacturers who could do a great job at blending some wines, and some wine manufacturers who could do a great job at blending cigars. This is definitely the case with Fred Schrader and his entrance into the cigar industry. If you have not heard the name Fred Schrader before, he is a notable wine maker in Napa Valley, and makes some of the most popular Cabernet Sauvignon’s of that region. Some years ago he decided that he wished to make a cigar, and contacted none other than the cigar maker/wine lover Pete Johnson for assistance.

Limited in release, only 11,500 boxes of ten, the cigars were packaged each in a personal coffin, and the boxes consisted of ten cigars. The cigars are definitely pricey, but they are of the highest quality and made incredibly well. There was no cutting of expenses in the making of these cigars, and when you purchase them you are purchasing only the best. The cigar was limited in its release, and when it is gone it is gone. I believe there are still some retailers who have these cigars in their humidors, last time I was at Empire Cigars they had some, and if you are interested in getting some you should call fast because I imagine they will be gone soon. The cigar was released in one size, and consisted of a large variety of tobacco. Though he is friends with Pete Johnson, and was assisted by him these cigars were not made in Nicaragua, and not made by Don Pepin. The cigar are made in the Para Ti Factory, which is a small boutique factory located outside of Santiago in the Dominican Republic.

Sparky Label

The cigar is composed of a majority of Dominican tobacco, and all of the tobacco has been aged for a significant period of time, and also from limited stock. The filler consists of three types of tobacco that is 2001 ligero Corojo seed, 2005 Havana Vuelta Arriba ligero, and some 2008 Criollo ’98 viso. The binder is 2008 Dominican Crilollo ’98 seco, and finally a wrapper that is a 2001 Colorado Habano viso leaf from Honduras. The cigar is a figurado/salomon vitola and measures 7 1/2″ with a beginning ring gauge of 56, middle ring gauge of 50 and a closing ring gauge of 41. The cigar is finished with a beautiful shaggy foot and is rolled wonderfully. The cigar has a lovely coloring of marbled dark chocolate brown, and I would say it falls in the Colorado Maduro coloring category. There is a nice aroma of rich earth, barnyard and spice, and without further adieu let us light this beauty up.   As I light up the cigar I am first greeted with a somewhat tight draw, and a taste of the shaggy filler tobacco. There is a nice bit of tobacco flavor present, and I am also getting some cocoa, spice, leather and rich earth notes. Once I get into the foot of the cigar, and the cigar begins to expand and I am getting some wrapper I begin to get flavors of dried sweet coconut shavings, rich earth, coffee, cocoa and leather. It is very flavorful and has an excellent cool draw. I would say the strength of the cigar is around a solid medium, maybe a little lighter than that, and very enjoyable. The burn line is somewhat wavy in this third, but it is leaving a nice conical ash on the cigar that is charcoal in coloring.

Beautiful Figurado

I am in the second third of the cigar now, and this cigar is burning wonderfully. The burn line has really corrected itself in this third, and it is leaving a nice even burn line. The ash is still that same coloring as it was in the first third, and I am still holding on to the initial ash from the conical foot. As the ring gauge of the cigar decreases gradually I begin to get more and more flavors from the wrapper, but it is still fairly filler concentrated. There is still that lovely coconut flavor with the cigar, along with the cocoa and rich earth, but I am beginning to pick up some damp wood and leather notes as well. There is this slight salty aspect to the cigar, and it is giving off this Cuban vibe. The cigar is still medium in body, and it is producing a great amount of thick aromatic smoke. When I enter the final third the cigar begins to show the flavors of the wrapper more and more. I am beginning to get some spice notes similar to the beginning tapered foot, and it is accompanied by notes of damp wood, rich earth and leather. You can definitely tell a difference between the wrapper flavors and filler flavors, and it is nice to see that transition in the cigar as it tapers off. One of the reasons why I am a big fan of salomon vitolas such as this is because of the flavor fluctuation that is has. The burn line is still perfect in this final third, and the ash coloring is still the same. I have been getting a great amount of smoke rings in this third, and as I come to the end and put down the cigar it is still giving off nice enjoyable flavors, solid medium body, and a cool draw. Really a great cigar, and if money is no issue definitely worth buying. These cigars are perfect for those special occasions when they are meant to be treasured, and they have aged wonderfully. I know there are some retailers who still have these in stock, and if they do buy some or one. Yes it is a pricey cigar, but it is a cigar that is meant to be savored and truly enjoyed, not smoked. I give this cigar a solid 93. It had really lovely flavors, and was made impeccably of great aged and rare tobacco. Definitely a cigar that many would enjoy it captures all those wonderful qualities of a salomon, and would pair perfectly with any beverage. I could enjoy this with a mojito, Cabernet Sauvignon, espresso, cappuccino, or Coke.

Lovely Shaggy Tapered Foot