During the 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, Cubariqueño Cigar Co. formally released a brand new line named Protocol Themis that was developed by William Agathis, one of the company’s partners. It gets its name from the Titaness of law and order in Greek mythology and encompasses two different vitolas packaged in 10-count boxes.

“We are super excited to announce the Protocol Themis,” said Bill Ives, managing partner of Cubariqueño Cigar Co., in a press release. “We are classifying Themis as a medium-strength cigar with full flavor.”

Blend-wise, the Protocol Themis incorporates an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper covering a Nicaraguan binder as well as filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. The new line was blended by Agathis and Hector Alfonso Sr. of Espinosa Premium Cigars and is being produced at La Zona Cigar Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.

The Protocol Themis debuted in two different vitolas:

  • Protocol Themis Robusto (5 x 52) — $9.69 (Boxes of 10, $96.90)
  • Protocol Themis Toro (6 x 52) — $9.89 (Boxes of 10, $98.90)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Protocol Themis Toro
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: La Zona Cigar Factory
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Toro
  • MSRP: $9.89 (Boxes of 10, $98.90)
  • Release Date: May 13, 2017
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Visually, the Protocol Themis Toro is covered in a golden brown wrapper that is smooth to the touch and shows very well against both the gold in the main band and the bronze of the foot band. The cigar has a great amount of give when squeezed and there is a slight box-press noticeable. Aroma from the wrapper is strong leather, peanuts, sawdust, manure and vanilla, while the cold draw brings flavors of hay, espresso beans, earth, oak, nuts, dark chocolate and slight honey sweetness.

Starting out the first third, the Protocol Themis Toro has very obvious and dominant notes of peanuts and creamy cedar interspersed with other flavors of dark cocoa, bitter espresso, gritty earth and hay. There is a touch of honey sweetness pulled over from the cold draw on the retrohale as well as some significant spice on my tongue, as well as some slight white pepper. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent after a v-cut and although the burn is far from perfect, it never comes close to needing to be corrected. Smoke production is well above average, while the overall strength is virtually unnoticeable, barely reaching a point north of the mild mark by the time the first third ends.

The peanut note that was dominant in the first third has all but disappeared by the start of the second third of the Protocol Themis Toro, replaced by a creamy hay flavor, along with other notes of lemongrass, oak, coffee grounds, earth, leather and barnyard. There is just a touch more white pepper on the retrohale compared to the first third and the honey sweetness has increased noticeably as well, while the spice on my tongue is remaining at a fairly constant level. Unfortunately, the burn develops some issues that force me to correct it a couple of times and while the draw remains excellent, the smoke production shows no signs of decreasing anytime soon. Strength-wise, the Themis Toro is still quite light, but increases enough to hit halfway between mild and medium by the end of the second third.

Although the creamy hay flavor is still the dominant flavor in the profile during the final third, there is also the addition of a creamy peanut butter note that ends up right alongside it. Other flavors of leather, espresso, dark chocolate, lemongrass and earth flit in and out, although none of them are noticeably stronger than the others. The honey sweetness continues to stick around, but it is much reduced from its high during the second third, while the amount of spice on my tongue is a bit reduced compared to the second third as well. Thankfully, the burn evens up and the draw continues to impress, while the smoke production remains pretty steady compared to the previous thirds. Interestingly, the overall strength increases quite a bit just before I put the nub down with about an inch left, ending up very close to the medium mark without actually going over it.

Final Notes

  • While the Protocol Themis officially launched during the 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, the line was first seen by the public at a soft launch on May 13 at the company’s second anniversary party that was held at Berkley Humidor in Berkley Heights, N.J.
  • I have to say, I really love the overall color scheme of this release, including the pale gold wrapper. They both look great.
  • The construction overall was extremely good, with just two of the samples needing to be touched up once in the middle third. In addition, the cigar put out smoke like a house on fire.
  • The Protocol Themis took the No. 7 spot on The Consensus 2017 while the company’s Probable Cause took the No. 19 spot.
  • Cubariqueño partners Bill Ives and Juan Cancel are both law enforcement officers, which makes sense when you see the names of their cigars; all of which feature a law and order theme.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 48 minutes.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Protocol Themis, site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and Famous Smoke Shop have them in stock.
88 Overall Score

I am always on the lookout for new Connecticut cigars to smoke on the rare occasions I have a morning cigar to myself and the Protocol Themis fits the bill nicely. The profile is balanced, flavorful and decently complex, albeit with a bit more spice on my tongue than I expected, especially in the first and second thirds. In addition, there is a nice honey sweetness that is present throughout as well as a touch of white pepper on the retrohale, both of which are strongest in the first half. There are a number of good Connecticut-wrapped blends on the market, and the Protocol Themis Toro is one of the better ones I have smoked in the past six months or so and is well worth the effort to track down.

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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.