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Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle Corona Gorda

Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle Corona Gorda 1This time around, Cigar Weekly's Jeff Slatton assesses the merits (and characteristics) of the Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle Corona Gorda, which has been provided for review by Famous Smoke Shop. Thanks goes out to the folks at FSS for their generosity.

Size: 5 5/8 inches by 46 ring gauge
Country of origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper color: Maduro
Wrapper origin: Connecticut
Wrapper leaf: Broadleaf

Initial impressions

The rich, fragrant Maduro wrapper displays some veins, while the finger-feel indicates a fairly solid bunch. I suffer through a slightly messy clip, but the draw seems good.

Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle Corona Gorda 2

The smoke

Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle Corona Gorda 4The cigar starts strongly, with some saltiness and a bitter base evident. The burn is somewhat uneven at first, but evens out. The light grey ash is firm, and the flavors continue strong and bitter, with espresso notes. That bitterness continues right through on the palate.

This blend seems to lack any subtlety, and remains strong and bitter. It’s not entirely unpleasant, but pretty one dimensional all the same. Some hints of spice appear, but they’re mostly covered by the predominant strength and bitterness. The ash remains firm, and the burn is even.

Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle Corona Gorda 3At the 2/3-stage, the cigar begins to get hot, and I end up putting it down with 1/4 remaining. Overall, I see this one as showing a very full body and flavors, yet remaining one-dimensional. I elect to try a second…

My second cigar sports a rough wrapper with veins and some bumpy spots, although the bunch and draw are good. The Corona Gorda feels kind of soft when I clip it.

Once again, the Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle is very strong from the start – bold enough, in fact, to overpower a Freetail Local Coffee Stout. I’m not quite sure, but it seems as though the beer is making the cigar taste even stronger, and not necessarily in a good way. The beer is fine, by the way.

A nice solid ash speaks to the quality of construction. These are very well rolled cigars. Nonetheless, the Corona Gorda has softened a bit since lighting – maybe due to the humidity – and is now a bit harsh. It also isn't burning straight, and has developed a tear in the wrapper.

Purging at the 1/3-point causes some flames, but smooths out the flavor a tad. The cigar still seems very strong, with no subtleties apparent. By now, the burn is conical, and has evened out. As the burn passes the tear in the wrapper, I experience no problems. The combustion continues to be mostly straight, and the cigar remains a fairly cool smoke. Under the strong tobacco flavor, I can begin to pick up some woodiness (after purging). Otherwise, however, it’s all strength and little else.

Just like I have sensed with the first cigar, this second one is mostly one-dimensional. It might represent a good option for fans of very strong cigars, but it’s stronger than I care for.

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Jeff Slatton (jefslat) hails from the San Antonio, Texas area.