As a teaser for what would be in store at the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, Black Label Trading Co. announced in early July that it would be expanding its Deliverance line with a pair of new salomon vitolas that would bear the name Deliverance Nocturne.
In a press release, James Brown, creator of Black Label Trading Co., said that Nocturne was a project that took the company into new territories, from the size to the blend and the wrapper style, noting that “I wanted something totally different for the vitolas, so we created our own, a slender Salomon with a blunt foot, or what we call a ‘snub nose.’’ He added that while it is a very time consuming cigar to make, he feels the vitolas “work perfectly with the blend.”
The Deliverance Nocturne comes in two sizes, the Salomon Snub Nose (6 1/4 x 36/56, $12) and the Short Salomon Snub Nose (4 3/4 x 40/56, $10). The longer size comes in boxes of 12, while the shorter is packed in boxes of 18. While both are considered ongoing production, don’t expect a flood of them to be coming from the company’s Fabrica Oveja Negra factory in Nicaragua; only 150 boxes were produced for the initial run this year though more will likely be coming out in 2016, though plans haven’t been determined yet.
- Cigar Reviewed: Black Label Trading Co. Deliverance Nocturne Salomon Snub Nose
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Fabrica Oveja Negra
- Wrapper: U.S.A. (Pennsylvania Broadleaf)
- Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
- Filler: Nicaragua & U.S.A. (Pennsylvania Ligero)
- Size: 6 1/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 36/56
- Vitola: Salomon
- MSRP: $12 (Boxes of 12, $144)
- Release Date: Sept. 16, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
It’s hard to think that the shape of the BLTC Deliverance won’t be the first thing that gets noticed by most people; it’s shape reminds me of a baseball bat or a primitive club with its small, tapered head and fairly large foot. In the hand there’s an almost immediate sense of imbalance, as the cigar is weighted much more towards the foot, forcing a slight rethinking of how it will be held while smoked. While the shape garners most of the attention, the wrapper is a chocolate hue of brown with some prominent veins, a bit of tooth and a slight oily sheen. There’s a bit of give but overall the cigar feels firm with a smooth roll and truly invisible seams. The cold draw is easy but I don’t pick up much from it or the pre-light aroma outside of some generic tobaco and pepper notes; each of the three samples was stingy with any kind of hints as to what the cigar might offer once lit.
The Deliverance Nocturne’s flat foot makes lighting the cigar quite easy; I mention that because many salmones have a nipple foot such as Fuente’s Short Story, which I find a bit more of a challenge to light without scorching the sides of the cigar. There’s a varying amount of pepper in the first puffs of the cigar, though for the most part it’s not overpowering and the overall profile seems a bit hard to grasp; it’s not until the burn line is about an inch along that the pepper takes the reins—predominantly white in the nose and black on the palate—and the cigar shows some real character through what I take to be the Pennsylvania ligero flexing its muscle. Given the cigar’s shape, I’m not surprised at all that it’s a bit on the milder side to start, as I fully expect and look forward to what the shrinking ring gauge will do to the flavor. The first clump of ash holds on for well over an inch, and the biggest thing about the cigar that changes when it drops off is its appearance. With that sizable bulb of ash gone, the cigar still retains its trompeta shape but is much less pronounced and now shows a much more gradual taper. A bit of rustic earth and chalk enter the background of the flavor, giving it a bit rougher profile than that of how it began.
With the first big clump of ash gone and the ring gauge steadily tapering into the 40s, I find myself eagerly anticipating the changes that should be forthcoming, yet the first few puffs of the second third stay fairly linear, bordering on being a touch monotonous at times. That rustic earth picked up a bit earlier intensifies and become much more prominent and with it comes a bit of harshness, certainly a profile that isn’t the smoothest I’ve ever experienced. A chalky undertone also begins to emerge and leaves a unique, tingling sensation on the lips that is reminiscent of peppermint Altoids at first and then powdered aspirin upon further consideration. In the second half and the ring gauge steadily shrinking, strength becomes much more a part of the Deliverance’s offering, as the pepper stays strong but the flavors concentrate and I get a bit of nicotine punch. The ash remains strong and wanting to show how long it can hold on, easily passing the once inch mark.
With the ring gauge now in the low 40s, I get a bit of mint aromatics from the Deliverance Nocturne, something quite enjoyable in spite of the growing strength that has me sitting back a bit. The pepper begins to separate from the base flavors a bit, while the chalk also moves off into its own corner, staying prominent on the tongue and lips. A retrohale shows that the cigar has plenty of pepper to offer, yet the bulk of it seems confined to the nose, as the reaction of the olfactory nerves and the taste buds is quite different, almost starkly so at times. The burn line has slowed to a near crawl, and I’m amazed at just how much of the cigar is left after some two hours of dutiful puffing. The chalk continues to push forward, usurping power from the pepper with a good two-plus inches of cigar to burn, and the feel of tasting the soil from which the tobacco came is quite clear; the minerals almost jump out from the leaves and onto my palate in a forceful greeting. Relights become a needed part of the final third as the cigar struggles to stay lit at times, or I simply take too much time between puffs that now have my tongue reeling a bit, and I end up leaving about two inches of cigar unburnt on each cigar.
- Because of the tapered shape and the restraint in glue usage, the band slides right off each sample with no damage to the wrapper. The band also has a unique texture, something I don’t usually think of when it comes to cigar bands. It’s paper based but has a glossy, almost waxy feel.
- More vitolas are expected to join the Deliverance Nocturne line, though a timetable has not yet been announced, nor has any indication been given about what those sizes might be.
- Shipping of the Deliverance Nocturne actually began ahead of announced start date of Sept. 19, with the first boxes shipping on Sept. 16.
- All 300 boxes of the Deliverance Nocturne—150 in each size—have been sold by Black Label Trading Co.
- A representative of the company told me that there will be some other new releases by the end of the year.
- Between the physical balance of the cigar and the taper to a vitola that feels just a bit too thin for the blend, I’m intrigued to try the smaller vitola and would probably recommend that to most people, even having not smoked it.
- To say that I got too frustrated to try and smoke the cigar further down is an understatement, but the cigar simply did not want to burn through the bulk of the final third.
- It took the suggestion of a retailer to get me to identify the aspirin taste that I picked up in the second third; it was in regards to a completely different cigar, but once he said it the taste became immediately familiar.
- I’m a bit surprised by that, because as I mentioned in my “What’s in My Bag” article from this year’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, I can’t swallow pills so I take powdered aspirin as an alternative.
- Final smoking time was two hours and 15 minutes on average.
- The cigars for this review were provided by Black Label Trading Co.
Just as unique as the shape of the Black Label Trading Co. Deliverance Nocturne was the experience of actually smoking it. There's a good amount of strength and enjoyable flavors in the first half, while the start of the second half gets that almost bizarre aspirin note that I can't recall having before, while the final third almost wouldn't burn at all, leaving me lacking in notes as to how the cigar finishes up. The technical aspect will hurt the overall score, but the first half leaves me wanting to try--and even recommend--giving the Deliverance Nocturne in the smaller shape. A bit of a disappointment of a cigar, but not so much so as to not leave me intrigued by what it might offer in a bit friendlier vitola.