Blackbird Cigar Co. kicked off 2024 with a new line that marked a couple of firsts: its Superb line was the first new core line to be produced at its fairly new factory in the Dominican Republic. It also became the first cigar in the company’s core line offerings to use a habano-seed wrapper.

Superb uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper over an undisclosed binder and filler. It is offered in two sizes.

Note: The following shows the various Blackbird Superb vitolas. Some of these cigars may have been released after this post was originally published. The list was last updated on May 25, 2024.

  • Blackbird Superb Robusto Gordo (5 x 54) — $9.36 (Box of 21, $196.56)
  • Blackbird Superb Toro (6 x 52) — $10.72 (Box of 21, $225.28)
81 Overall Score

While I thought the first third of the Blackbird Superb Robusto Gordo may have been a touch too upfront and direct with its flavor out of the gate, it was still an enjoyable profile, especially for someone who enjoys a cigar with a habano profile. But the second half of the cigar is a much different story. While the profile did its best to stay enjoyable, the tobacco almost completely refused to burn outside of a puff or two after a countless number of relights. Two of the cigars were so bad, I'd go so far as to say the were unable to reach a reasonable finish line. I don't really know what else to say about the cigar, as when it refuses to burn, pretty much everything else becomes unjudgable. If you like a habano profile and are willing to take a chance you get one that burns properly, I think you'll find the Blackbird Superb to be pretty enjoyable, and potentially better with some aging. But knowing that I smoked three cigars with consistent burn issues makes this tough to recommend.

“We started blending with that wrapper and the challenge began…,” said the company in a press release. “We did too many blends, mixed with too many tobaccos in the filler that, honestly, it was exhausting. But one day, after several tests, a burned out palate, at 3 a.m. in the morning we decided to try the last blend… suddenly the room went silent…we all realized that THIS blend felt like we had just arrived in Paradise!”

The Blackbird Superb line debuted at TPE 2024 at the end of January and began shipping to cigar subscription clubs on Feb. 5, followed by shipping to retail stores in March.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Blackbird Superb Robusto Gordo
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Blackbird Dominicana
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
  • Binder: Undisclosed
  • Filler: Undisclosed
  • Length: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Robusto Extra
  • MSRP: $9.36 (Box of 21, $196.56)
  • Release Date: Feb. 5, 2024
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

All three of the Blackbird Superb Robusto Gordos smoked for this review appear to be rolled well, with the biggest knock being one seam crossing over a somewhat decent-sized vein and interrupting an otherwise clean line. The color of the wrappers is consistent and even, while the vein network is pretty standard and far from obtrusive. However, density-wise, it’s a different story, as I find an interesting mix between spots of firmness and spots that offer some give. All three cigars are consistently softer underneath the bands than they are at the heads or feet, but I also get the sense there’s a pretty solid core. The second cigar is incredibly soft underneath its band, so much so that I’m surprised by just how much give I find, enough that I could easily pinch the cigar. Aroma off the foot is on the lighter side, with Frosted Flakes, playground bark, touches of black pepper and a very lightly spiced apple cider make up the bulk of the aroma. I also pick up what seems like a very subtle Aperol aroma in one particular cigar, though it doesn’t show up in the other two. The cold draw is heavier in flavor but less distinctive, offering a profile that has me guessing at almonds, a dry German chocolate cake, and touches of pepper. The cold draws are all smooth but not open, and that includes the cigar I could practically squish with an easy pinch of my fingers.

The Blackbird Superb Robusto Gordo starts with a familiar and punchy habano profile, leaning more towards pepper but still backing it with a dry wood. None of the cigars are shy about jumping right out of the gate with flavor, adding in some earth and a little bit of chocolate as well, though as found before lighting the cigar, it’s a dry chocolate cake sensation like something packaged as opposed to a moist, freshly made version. The flavor dials back in intensity after the first inch or so, and with that, the woodiness of the flavor becomes cleaner and more focused. One cigar has an appreciable level of creaminess, which gives the flavor some added dimension. After landing a solid habano punch to start, the flavor doesn’t do much other than follow it up with some lighter hits of flavor, but no major changes. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium-plus and strength is medium-minus. Construction is very good, with one cigar developing an impressive ash that builds up to the base of the band.

The second third starts by keeping the habano profile front and center, with a bit more woodiness coming out to amp up the profile after its slight mellowing. While only one of the three cigars had an appreciable amount of creaminess in the first third, all three have it in the second third, though it does seem like in the case of that one cigar where creaminess showed up earlier, it departs earlier. As the burn line gets to the midpoint, combustion issues begin to emerge pretty quickly, as all three cigars start suddenly going out. Relights are plentiful and needed in this section, and while I have to give credit to the cigar for staying true to its habano profile, the frequent relights bring about a char that isn’t as enjoyable as what the flavor would otherwise offer. But the real off-putting aspect is picking up the cigar to take a draw and getting absolutely no smoke production from it. Flavor is medium-plus, body is medium-plus and strength is medium-minus.

Combustion issues continue to plague the Blackbird Superb Robusto Gordo as it gets into its final third, and the flavor really suffers, as I get either a muted or charred sensation when I’m able to get a puff. Retrohales salvage the experience with some black pepper that is a singular but fairly dynamic sensation. But there’s really no way to sugarcoat the reality of what is going on with the cigar: it simply will not burn for more than a few seconds at a time. Relighting it is a Sisyphean task with a brief reward of more of the same habano-forward profile laced with creaminess, but it doesn’t take long to acknowledge that this cigar simply has no interest in staying lit. What flavor I can get from it is medium-plus, body is medium, and strength is medium. While the draw is smooth, burn line is even and smoke production is good, combustion has simply thrown in the towel.

Final Notes

  • In case you skipped over the words above, combustion in the second half of the first cigar was absolutely abysmal.
  • I try and keep count of the number of relights that a cigar needs, and I lost count in all three cigars, each likely getting into double digits.
  • It became so significant that I had to question whether I had a lighter that would solve the problem. A single-flame torch and a soft flame both felt unmatched and yet a quad-flame torch didn’t deliver any better results.
  • Due to the softness, the second cigar was one of the few times I would have questioned whether or not I would have bought a particular cigar, something that is part of our scorecard. I try not to be overly critical when selecting cigars, but the softness would have quite possibly led me to select a different cigar.
  • None of the three cigars hit me with much nicotine strength, though this does have a bit of it at times.

Screenshot

  • The company lists these as a 5 x 54 robusto extra. The numbers above are the measurements we found for the three cigars used for this review.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was all over the place; the best-performing cigar took about two hours and 25 minutes to get through, but the first and third cigars hit the three-hour mark and still had more than an inch left with combustion issues that led me to concede they would not burn.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Cigars Direct and Smokingpipes carry the Blackbird Superb Robusto.
81 Overall Score

While I thought the first third of the Blackbird Superb Robusto Gordo may have been a touch too upfront and direct with its flavor out of the gate, it was still an enjoyable profile, especially for someone who enjoys a cigar with a habano profile. But the second half of the cigar is a much different story. While the profile did its best to stay enjoyable, the tobacco almost completely refused to burn outside of a puff or two after a countless number of relights. Two of the cigars were so bad, I'd go so far as to say the were unable to reach a reasonable finish line. I don't really know what else to say about the cigar, as when it refuses to burn, pretty much everything else becomes unjudgable. If you like a habano profile and are willing to take a chance you get one that burns properly, I think you'll find the Blackbird Superb to be pretty enjoyable, and potentially better with some aging. But knowing that I smoked three cigars with consistent burn issues makes this tough to recommend.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.