Cigar companies have their fans, and some cigar companies take the added step of making their fans a more formal organization. In the case of Micallef, the brand’s most ardent fans are known as Micallef Ambassadors, which comes with a free membership in a group that includes a private Facebook group, discounts on Micallef swag and other benefits.

It also comes with a cigar line named for them, the Micallef A.

The line got a soft launch in March 2020 ahead of a widespread release in August of that year, offered in a 6 3/4 x 54 toro extra vitola. A 6 x 60 gordo was added in August 2021, and at the 2022 PCA Convention & Trade Show, the company added a third vitola, a 4 x 46 petit corona, and befitting its small size, it gets a lowercase a for its name.

Like the other sizes, the Micallef a Petit Corona uses a Nicaraguan Sumatra wrapper, a Sumatran binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. It is a regular production size, offered in 50-count boxes priced at $275, which works out to $5.50 per cigar.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Micallef a
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Micallef Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (Sumatra)
  • Binder: Undisclosed (Sumatra)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Length: 4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Petit Corona
  • MSRP: $5.50 (Box of 50, $275)
  • Release Date: July 2022
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Even having seen and smoked a good number of cigars over the years, the Micallef a petit corona stops me due to its small size. The wrapper is a very dark shade of brown, and the leaf has a decent vein structure, though no one vein is particularly big. The leaf also has a fairly dry texture to it, with just a bit of soft, fine grit. Each sample is rolled very well, with my only note being that some of the heads don’t seem to have the kind of definition around the shoulder area, which makes it a bit harder to get the small cut I like to give cigars, leading to a bit of snipping. Each of the three cigars has just a bit of give, firm but not hard. The foot has a slightly sweet aroma, reminding me of a brownie with a bit of thick cherry when at its most intense and what I would also say its best. The cold draw doesn’t show the sweetness, instead, it is a fairly dry flavor without a lot of distinct flavors. I’m inclined to say there is some wheat bread as the lead flavor, but that doesn’t feel quite accurate, while a bit of earthiness lingers in the background. Airflow is good in each of the three cigars.

The first puffs of the Micallef a don’t really draw on either of the pre-light experiences, as there is a hearty black pepper, a dry and dense wood flavor and then a bit of dry earth that starts off the profile. The pepper quickly takes the lead, picking up some heat along the way to really light up my taste buds. If this cigar was blended and rolled with the idea of getting right to business, it certainly accomplishes that mission. Retrohales are also fairly peppery, though the intensity drops off fairly quickly after the first sensation in the nostrils. There is a bit of reprieve from the pepper at the tail end of the first third, which allows a bit of creaminess to join the profile and makes for a very enjoyable new expression of the cigar. I also find that I have to fight the urge to smoke the cigar quickly; its short vitola almost implies that this should be a short smoke, and thus seems to encourage smoking it quickly, but as I found in one sample, it can be stretched out a bit. Spacing out those puffs also seems to mellow the profile just a bit, but that might also be the variance between the three cigars. Flavor is medium-full if not outright full, body is medium-full and strength is medium but seemingly on the way to becoming full as well. Construction and combustion are both very good.

As I get into the second third of the final cigar smoked for this review, I try to be more intentional and measured with my puffs, and it seems to pay off as while I still get plenty of pepper and a secondary flavor of earthiness, some creaminess joins the profile to help soften things and increase complexity. It is far from dominating but does an impressive job of trying to provide a contrasting flavor and sensation. The second third seems to be just a touch milder than the first, but given how quickly the first third ramped up the flavor, I may just have become acclimated to its intensity. There is a shift occurring around the midpoint, as while I don’t want to say that the cigar has more bite, puffs are eliciting a different response and starting to hit more towards the back of my mouth. It’s an initial sensation that has me thinking of dried red chili flakes, almost as if sampling one of those packets that comes with a pizza. The creaminess hangs on for as long as it can, though the dryness of the flavor begins to push its way forward, and I find myself reaching for a glass of water in hopes of minimizing this new tingle I’m experiencing. The final puffs of this section really ramp up in intensity, adding black pepper by way of some seemingly potent ligero. It’s a shift that is somewhat hard to describe, as in some ways it tastes like the first bite of a steak fresh off the grill with just a bit of a char to it, though as soon as I type the word char I have second thoughts about using it. It’s a flavor that is enjoyable, though each puff piles on the pepper and a bit of heat, which makes me enjoy it a bit less due to the building intensity. After being medium-plus in flavor, this section finishes near full, while body has gone from medium-full back down towards medium plus. I’m most interested in strength, as it feels on the verge of going from medium to full, but hasn’t quite done so yet. Each of the three cigars continues to burn beautifully with plenty of smoke, an easy draw and an even burn line.

The flavor change that showed up at the tail end of the second third continues into the final third, which isn’t a surprise given the short vitola. While the flavor isn’t quite singular, it’s increasingly hard to look past the pepper and heat. When it does offer a peak as to what else it has, there is a bit of milk chocolate, and specifically a Hershey’s Kiss flavor, somewhat dry but adding a nice touch of sweet creaminess. Like the creaminess from earlier, it is a fairly fleeting flavor as the pepper does not want to yield the lead role. The flavor also becomes increasingly dry in the mouth, with dry woods becoming more prominent and whatever richness the earthiness offered earlier fading in the process and leaving a well-baked soil note. Flavor finishes full, body is medium-full, and strength is medium-plus, stopping short of becoming outright full. Construction and combustion remain fantastic and present few if any issues across the three cigars smoked.

Final Notes

  • Even though this isn’t a lancero, I felt like I had to smoke it like one as I got a lot of heat from the head of the cigar starting around the midway point.
  • I definitely like the bands on this release, in particular, because of how rare it is to see a single lower case letter on a cigar band.
  • There is a bit of nicotine strength, but it does stop short of becoming an outright gut punch. Instead, the taste buds take the majority of what the cigar has to offer.
  • I was really impressed by the smoking time on this cigar, specifically that it can perform quite well-being smoked quickly or more leisurely. As noted above, the short size seems to nudge me towards smoking it quicker, though that comes with a more intense profile.
  • Final smoking time was about 50 minutes, though I stretched the first one out to one hour and 10 minutes. I have to think that I could have even smoked it in around 35 or 40 minutes, though I can’t imagine it would help the flavor as the quicker draws amplify the heat.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
86 Overall Score

The Micallef a is a cigar that comes out of the gate at nearly full speed and strength and only picks things up from there. At times that means that the flavor can get a bit too intense, and in particular, I noticed it in two regards, the strong ligero-like pepper flavor and the heat that becomes a part of the profile in the second third. What starts as an enjoyable chili pepper heat becomes actual heat from the burning core of the cigar, which for my palate isn’t particularly enjoyable. I’m incredibly impressed by how the cigar wastes no puffs and delivers a big, bold flavor from start to finish, and does so with fantastic construction and combustion. My only caveat is that in doing so, the blend gets a bit out of its lane because of that heat and intensity, but if you’re not concerned by a blend that will give your senses plenty of stimulation in a short amount of time, the Micallef a Petit Corona is worth a look.

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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, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.