In June 2018, Jas Sum Kral announced that the Toothpicks line would be making a return via the aptly named Toothpicks 2.0, a pair of cigars that had several things in common.
Both are 5 x 50 robustos that use a mixed filler, i.e. part longfiller and part shortfiller, from the Estelí and Jalapa regions of Nicaragua, as well as an Indonesian binder. They also both cost $6 per cigar, before taxes, and come in 50-count boxes.
The differences are found on the wrapper, notably that one version uses a Mexican San Andrés maduro leaf while the other uses a habano leaf of undisclosed origin. They also use the same band, though depending on the wrapper, it gets oriented differently. The habano version has the white half on top, while the maduro version gets the black half on top.
The cigar was featured at the 2018 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in July and began shipping to retailers in August.
- Cigar Reviewed: Jas Sum Kral Toothpicks 2.0 Maduro
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacalera de Aragon S.A.
- Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés Maduro)
- Binder: Indonesia
- Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí & Jalapa)
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $6 (Boxes of 50, $300)
- Release Date: August 2018
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Other than a slightly mottled wrapper and a black-and-white band that is intricately designed if not terribly vibrant in color or texture, the Jas Sum Kral Toothpicks 2.0 is a fairly standard looking cigar. The roll quality is generally very good and on the firm side, while the caps are well applied. I didn’t know which version of the cigar—the maduro or habano—I was smoking when I started the review, and while the color of the first cigar had me thinking habano, the tooth on the wrapper suggested it was the Mexican San Andrés maduro. The second sample is a few shades darker but has some fairly extreme mottling, making the cigar look like a barber pole in spots. By the time I get around to the third sample, I knew I was smoking the maduro and the wrapper confirms that notion, as does the band’s orientation. The foot has a bit of pepper to it, leading a tightly wound aroma that has some light, almost apple-like sweetness in front of tree bark and black tea, as well as a finishing note that I’d expect to find at the men’s fragrance counter. The cold draw is firm and shows notes of peanut butter and chocolate candy ahead of a rich wood flavor with some trailing sweetness and a bit of chili pepper flake heat on the finish.
The draw on the Jas Sum Kral Toothpicks 2.0 Maduro is a bit tight, enough so in the first sample to note it and the other two on the same side of the spectrum, but the flavors are fairly forthcoming with some earthy terroir, mixed nuts, a bit of very faint milk chocolate and some more of that finishing red chili pepper heat for the tongue while the nose gets more traditional black pepper. As I was getting ready to comment on how well the ash was holding on during the first sample, it quickly detached itself with a clean break from the rest of the cigar. That said, it still managed to make it about an inch or so before dropping, with a good half of it staying intact after hitting the ground. The cigar gets a bit funky tasting at the end of the final third; I can’t quite pin down the why, other than that there’s a bit of sour earth and chalk emerging.
While the palate isn’t getting the best flavor at the start of the second third, the retrohales are still quite good, subtle with pepper and rich with terroir. There’s an intense flirt with wood in the third cigar, though it overlaps with the earthiness so much that neither get to put their best characteristics forward, with the result is a heavy flavor on the tongue. Without much warning, the cigar suddenly gets much better, delivering rich terroir on the palate and in the nose, some sweet cedar and a good bit more pepper, all of which nudges the profile to medium-full by the midway point. Pepper in the nose is still vibrant in the final puffs of the second third, though once again the funky sourness has returned, almost as a signal that the next third is ready to begin. The draw tightens up a bit in the first sample, but other than that the cigar has burned quite well in all regards, though the ash does tend to detach unexpectedly and can be on the flaky side.
The sourness and chalk-laden notes are a bit more lingering and pervasive at the start of the final third, though for some reason it doesn’t affect the aroma of the Jas Sum Kral Toothpicks 2.0 Maduro nearly as much. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like it will shake off here as it did earlier, staying around much longer, well into the final inch and a half, or where I’d be fine putting it down were it not for a review. The draw stays a bit tight and the lingering tingle on the tongue hangs around much longer before, while a bit of nicotine is felt in the system. White pepper takes over the retrohale in the final puffs, which turns the smoke brighter and a bit sharper as it comes time to call it a wrap.
- While looking up the availability of these cigars, it came to my attention that the habano version seems to use the white part of the band on top, while the maduro version uses the black part. If this is indeed the case, as the bands are symmetrical, this is a novel, darn near genius way of saving some costs on bands.
- My success at timing the departure of the ash in the first sample was pretty bad. I’m just glad I didn’t put a hole in my shirt as a result.
- In September, Jas Sum Kral announced one of the more controversial ideas for a new cigar: Nuggs. It’s a pair of blends that are both infused with cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD.
- I haven’t yet had a chance to try the habano version of the Toothpicks 2.0.
- The Jas Sum Kral Toothpicks 2.0 Maduro isn’t heavy with nicotine, but there is some there, most noticeably in the final third.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 20 minutes on average.
- Site sponsors Cigars.com, JR Cigar and Serious Cigars carry the Jas Sum Kral Toothpicks 2.0 Maduro.
There are likely some cigar smokers who would dismiss this cigar immediately upon hearing the term mixed filler, though I maintain that’s an unfair judgment to pass on this or any cigar. Where the Jas Sum Kral Toothpicks 2.0 Maduro falls short for me is in a lack of standout flavors, though it’s not for a lack of trying as there seems to be something in every puff, even if it the flavors are a bit muddy and blunt. One of the things on my cigar learning to-do list is to blend a mixed filler cigar to better understand the challenges that come with such a task, as I think it would help me better understand, appreciate and evaluate this style of cigars. For now, though, while the Toothpicks 2.0 Maduro has a handful of bright spots, including its construction, the overall profile isn't one that stands out enough for me with bright, clean flavors that should be calling me back to fire up another one.