A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Gregory Aizenman of Señor Solomon cigars. The cigar is made in partnership with Kiki Berger of Cuban Crafters and is the first and only Kosher cigar.
While nothing about the cigar’s appearance looks different, (other than the Kosher KSA band around the foot of the cigar), the cigar is definitely rolled differently. Gregory listed the differences in a recent press release:
- The tobacco leaves must be grown and stored according to kosher law.
- The glue used must be from tree sap, not flour (which is a grain) and water composition.
- The outer leaves cannot be cooked in other substances to give it color, smell and texture. Some cigars are cooked in coffee or alcohol (which is a grain product), which is not kosher.
- To enhance flavor, oils are often used in other cigars some of which are animal by-products (which are not kosher), to enhance consistency, flavor, color of the ash and the evenness of the burn.
- Fillers and binders may be used, such as wheat and rye grass to enhance the flavor which these kosher cigars to not use.
- In the rolling process, rollers of non-kosher cigars may use sprays which may contain alcohol or other non-kosher ingredients.
- Rollers of kosher cigars are not allowed to bring any food or beverage to the work table, and the entire work areas is inspected for compilation with kosher rules.
The Señor Solomon cigar comes in two wrappers, Natural (Kosher Ketel) and Maduro (Kosher Atara). The Natural wrapper is an Ecuador Connecticut leaf and the Maduro is a Habano leaf, grown in Brazil and aged in Esteli, Nicaragua. The binder and filler for both are from Nicaragua.
I received a few of the Señor Solomon Kosher Ketel cigars during the SoFla Tweet Up at Charmed Leaf a few weeks ago. I smoked them this week since I am celebrating Passover and I thought it would be the perfect time.
The Connecticut wrapper is medium brown in color and is slightly veiny. The cigar has a nicely formed cap, and the body of the cigar feels very firm. The wrapper has a mild tobacco scent and the foot’s aroma is woody and sweet.
After I clipped the cigar I gave it a pre-light draw. The draw was firm with a slight amount of resistance. I could taste a little sweetness and tobacco.
The cigar has a good, even burn with a thin carbon ring and a firm, light gray ash. The ash would drop every inch and a quarter or so. The cigar also produced a good amount of smoke.
The flavor profile was a consistent rich, tobacco with cedar notes and a slightly sweet finish. On the exhale, there was a slight spice sensation that increased as I progressed through the cigar.
The Kosher Ketel blend is a good, solid smoke. I enjoyed the few I smoked and would definitely buy more. Being Kosher for Passover is a bonus for those that observe. The cigar is also a very good everyday smoke.
I would classify it as mild in strength with medium body. The Churchill’s that I smoked took about ninety minutes. The cigars are also available in Robusto, Corona Gorda and Torpedo.
Proceeds from the sale of Señor Solomon cigars will go to benefit a Jewish school for special children with emotional and learning disabilities.
Distribution for this cigar seems to be picking up and is available online and at a few tobacconists around the country.