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Edition One Cloud Hopper No. 53

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Tucked away inside the Warped Cigars booth during the 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show was a brand new line started by owner Kyle Gellis and his younger brother Devin.

Named Edition One, the brand was showing off its debut line, a regular production Nicaraguan puro named Cloud Hopper that uses only AGANORSA tobacco. The cigars were shipped to retailers in August packaged in 50-count cabinets and are being produced at the Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.

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In an email with halfwheel, Kyle Gellis explained the meaning of the name Cloud Hopper:

My younger brother Devin and I both travel a lot, we constantly share stories of our times traveling, in the air, etc. So Cloud Hopper was a term we used to describe our journeys, it was something we both share, the love of travel but sometimes travel doesn’t go as expected.

According to Gellis, Edition One is currently self distributing, and while he refused to comment on the number of retailers carrying the brand other than to say that they were “extremely limited,” he did confirm that there is a wait list for additional retailers.

There are two sizes of the Cloud Hopper so far.

  • Edition One Cloud Hopper No. 53 (5 1/4 x 42) — $6.30 (Boxes of 50, $315)
  • Edition One Cloud Hopper No. 485 (5 x 48) — $6.50 (Boxes of 50, $325)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Edition One Cloud Hopper No. 53
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 5 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 42
  • Vitola: Corona
  • MSRP: $6.30 (Boxes of 50, $315)
  • Release Date: August 2017
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Covered in a milk chocolate brown wrapper, the Cloud Hopper has a large number of veins running up and down the length of the cigar, along with a touch of oil. In addition, the cigar features some great give when squeezed as well as some tooth when you run your finger down it. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of manure, creamy almonds, leather, hay and dark chocolate, while the cold draw brings flavors of slight peppermint, cocoa nibs, barnyard, espresso, leather and a touch of pepper on my tongue.

The Cloud Hopper starts off with the first third with a dominant roasted coffee note, along with other flavors of peanuts, toast, earth, leather, creamy oak and slight yeast. There is a very noticeable graham cracker sweetness on the finish, which combines nicely with a bit of black pepper that is present on the retrohale and some significant spice on my tongue. Construction-wise, the burn starts out wavy and needs to be touched up quickly out of the gate, while the draw is excellent so far and smoke production coming from the foot is a bit above average. The overall strength is fairly light so far, and barely hits a point halfway between mild and medium by the end of the first third.

Coming into the second third of the Cloud Hopper, the profile switches a bit, with a distinct creamy almond flavor becoming noticeable starting around the halfway point, combining with the still dominant roasted coffee note. Lesser flavors of creamy oak, grass, bread, dark chocolate, pencil lead and barnyard flit in and out, while the graham cracker sweetness from the first third continues to be obvious on the finish. There is still some nice black pepper on the retrohale, and in fact, it has increased in strength noticeably compared to the first third. Thankfully, the burn has evened up nicely, and the draw remains excellent while the smoke production remains about the same. Strength-wise, the Cloud Hopper gets closer to the medium mark by the end of the second third, but still falls just a tad short before the final third begins.

Unfortunately, the graham cracker sweetness that really increased the complexity of the first two thirds dies down noticeably during the the final third of the Cloud Hopper, although the roasted coffee note remains the dominant flavor in the profile. There are other flavors in various strengths, including creamy oak, grass, licorice, bread and a touch of citrus, and while the amount of black pepper has also diminished, there is still plenty to affect the profile. The burn continues on an even path and remains that way until the end of the cigar, while the draw continues to impress and the smoke production is giving me no issues whatsoever. The overall strength increases slightly, managing to hit the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with about an inch left.

Final Notes

  • The No. 485 vitola was originally named the No. 88, but has since been changed. This is likely due to the Illusione ~88~, which is also made at TABSA.
  • The band is quite simplistic, which is really too bad, as I think there are multiple cool ways to go with a logo on a cigar named Cloud Hopper.
  • Speaking of the bands, there is a bit of info printed on inside— a la Nomad Cigars—which includes the name of the company, the location and the company’s website.
  • Construction was excellent overall across all samples, with only two cigars needing touch-ups, once each.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • The final smoking time for all three cigars averaged one hour and 16 minutes.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Edition One Cloud Hopper cigars, site sponsors Corona Cigar Co. and STOGIES World Class Cigars have them in stock now.
90 Overall Score

There is always a demand for a good cigar blend under the $7 range, and the Cloud Hopper seems to fit the bill nicely. Starting a new brand is always a process, but there are a number of great things that jump out about the Cloud Hopper: the blend is decently complex, it features a ton of creaminess and it is very smooth. In addition, the construction was extremely good across the board, and the ever-present graham cracker sweetness was a great addition. While I would refrain from calling the Cloud Hopper a cheaper Warped cigar, some blends do share some similarities and this is well worth checking out for yourself.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

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.

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