In January, Ventura Cigar Co. announced two brand new additions to its Archetype brand, both of which would officially be shown off at the Tobacco Plus Expo 2020 trade show taking place in Las Vegas from Jan. 29-31. As with previous members of the Archetype line that debuted in 2016, the branding of the two newest members are inspired by the “studies of both Sigmund Freud and Karl Jung, who identified common threads and themes of storytelling that transcend both time and culture.”

Named The Master and Pupil, the two new cigars specifically pay homage to Carl Jung, the protégé of Sigmund Freud, which the company expanded on in a press release:

  • The Pupil: This series represents the more youthful Jung, having a quite mild flavor that rolls off your tongue and gives off memories of a more relaxing and peaceful time.
  • The Master: This series of cigars evokes the more senior Jung, who transforms into a teacher after learning from the genius of Freud. It has a much richer, bolder flavor that comes primarily from the Nicaraguan wrapper and should be passionately savored.

The Master features a blend made up of all Nicaraguan tobacco while The Pupil is composed of an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper covering Nicaraguan fillers. Both blends are available in the same 6 x 52 toro vitola and are both being sold for the same retail price of $15 packaged in boxes of 20. Both cigars are being rolled at Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A. in Esteli, Nicaragua and they shipped to retailers in February.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Archetype The Master
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Toro
  • MSRP: $15 (Box of 20, $300)
  • Release Date: February 2020
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

With a combination of a reddish tinged dark brown wrapper and contrasty blue and white band, The Master visually striking when seen for the first time. In addition, the cigar has a noticeable amount of oil present and right amount of sponginess when squeezed, but one sample has a crater of a soft spot just below and to the right of the main band. Aroma coming from the wrapper and foot is a combination of a strong campfire, barnyard, hickory, sweet earth, baker’s spices and vanilla sweetness while the cold draw brings flavors of hickory, leather, hickory, creamy oak, hay, generic nuts, cinnamon, sweet fruit and slight black pepper.

A blast of aggressive spice and black pepper greet me for the first few puffs of the Archetype, both of which take their time in receding in any noticeable way. When they do, the profile a combination of dominant flavors that include campfire and hickory, followed by notes of gritty earth, leather, hay, peanuts, cocoa nibs and coffee bean. There is a very slight bubblegum sweetness that becomes more obvious on the retrohale as the first third burns down, along with plenty of black pepper. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent after a simple straight cut and while the burn is a bit wavy, it is not near bad enough to need correcting as of yet. The smoke production is above average off of the foot and while the strength starts off low, it ends up closer to medium than mild by the time the first third comes to an end.

Thankfully, the campfire and hickory notes that dominated the first third have diminished substantially as the second third of the Archetype begins, which in turn allows more flavors to make themselves known, including leather, cocoa nibs, sawdust, cinnamon and a small amount of floral. There is also quite a bit less spice noticeable—although it has not disappeared completely—while the amount of bubblegum sweetness on the retrohale has increased as well. The draw continues to impress, but the burn becomes problematic enough for me to touch up once while the smoke production continues to be copious off of the foot. Strength-wise, The Master has increased enough to come close to the medium mark by the end of the second third, but ultimately fails to cross over.

The final third of the Archetype The Master features a profile that has left pretty much every dominant flavor so far behind: the hickory is gone, the campfire is gone, the bubblegum sweetness is gone. In fact, with the spice and black pepper on the retrohale now almost totally missing, it is almost like a new cigar, including a new dominant flavor combination of creamy cedar and espresso beans. Lesser notes of leather, earth, peanuts, hay, bitter dark chocolate, sawdust and floral flit in and out, while the sweetness on the retrohale now reminds me of vanilla coffee creamer. In terms of construction, the smoke production has increased a bit and the draw continues to be problem-free, while the burn has evened out nicely and gives me no more issues. Finally, the overall strength level does finally cross into the medium range by the time I put the nub down with less than an inch to go but never threatens to go further.

Final Notes

  • I have to say, the bands on The Master are extremely well done, especially the detail of the hat that has ridges which are quite prominent. In fact, the first time I saw the band on The Master, I thought it portrayed a portrait of Theodore Rosevelt.
  • Speaking of the band on The Master, the combination of dense blue and white colors immediately reminded me of cyanotype art that I used to produce back in my younger days, which is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print by combining the two chemicals of ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide.
  • Thankfully I did not have any of the construction issues that Charlie had with the Pupil; in fact, my three cigars burned like a champ, with only two samples needing a touchup each.
  • The naming of both of these releases is interesting, specifically whether or not The is officially a part of the actual names of the cigars or not. Both the boxes and the bands include The in front, but a press release has multiple cases where The is not used.
  • When talking about the fact that this cigar tastes quite a bit like fire-cured tobacco is included in the blend, I find it interesting that The Master is rolled at Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A., which also happens to be the factory where the majority of Drew Estate’s Kentucky Fire Cured blends are made.
  • Also, this is not the first time a Ventura cigar reviewed by halfwheel reminded the reviewer of fire-cured tobacco.
  • Cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 57 minutes.
85 Overall Score

Fire-cured tobacco has an extremely distinct aroma and flavor, and after tasting the first third of each of my samples I would be willing to bet quite a bit of money that there is some of it—or something similar to it—in these cigars. Thankfully, while the aforementioned flavors are most prevent in all three samples during the first third, it dissipates after that, transitioning to a more complex and balanced cigar as it burns down. In the end, if you can get past the somewhat overwhelming first third, the rest of The Master is enjoyable—with the final third easily putting the first two to shame—but both Ventura and the Joya de Nicaragua factory where these are rolled have released better blends.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.