Not many people have heard of Prototype Cigar Co. yet, so the company decided to have a little fun with the name of its first release.
The cigar is named Super Unknown, a 4 x 50 short robusto that is composed of an undisclosed blend for the wrapper, binder and filler. In addition, while the company is mum on where the cigars were made, we know that the factory is in the Dominican Republic, and the prerelease packaging indicates that the cigars are from 2012. At this point, Prototype has stated that the cigars are scheduled to ship in “mid-2016” with pricing set at $10 per cigar.
Prototype co-founder Cody Smith had this to say to halfwheel about the cigar’s origins:
We wanted the first release to be something special, but seeing as we are just a starting company, we decided it might be better to have a blend in mind for the first release, and see where we could find that cigar
We bought up the stock of these cigars from a Dominican factory that we thought were pretty great, and decided to brand them. Super Unknown became the name for these because, let’s face it, we as a company are super unknown. But we thought these cigars invoked a real sense of wonder. Not just in the smoking experience, but also in the way we decided to do this.
- Cigar Reviewed: Super Unknown
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: n/a
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: n/a
- Length: 4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Short Robusto
- MSRP: n/a
- Release Date: n/a
- Number of Cigars Released: n/a
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Once you take off the silver foil cover that covers about 80 percent of the total cigar, the Prototype Super Unknown is covered in a light nutty brown wrapper that is smooth to the touch, but also features a number of obvious veins running up and down the length. There is no oil visible at all, and the cigar has some good give to it when it is squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of sweet cedar, manure, leather, earth and nuts while the cold draw brings very slight flavors of cedar, sweet orange citrus and leather.
The Prototype Super Unknown starts off with an early discernible combination of leather and earth as the dominant flavors, followed closely behind by other notes of coffee beans, dark chocolate, wood, bread and hay. There is some noticeable spice on my tongue as well as some slight pepper on the retrohale, and the orange citrus from the cold draw is present as well, albeit barely. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent and the burn is nicely even, while the smoke production coming from the foot is about average. The overall strength is quite light so far, and ends the first third halfway between the mild and medium marks.
Not much changes in the second third of the Super Unknown, with the dominant combination of both earth and leather still leading the pack. Sadly, the citrus from the first third is long gone by the halfway point, although the flavors of hay, yeast, roasted peanuts, coffee and cocoa nibs do fill the gap left behind. With that said, the construction is a major bright spot, with a draw and burn that continue to impress and smoke production that is above average for the vitola. Strength-wise, the Super Unknown as increased, but still fails to hit the medium mark by the end of the second third.
Although I hate sounding like a broken record, the flavors of the Prototype Super Unknown in the final third remain fairly consistent with the two thirds proceeding it. The earth and leather are still dominant, there is still very little sweetness, and the citrus from the cold draw and first third has not returned. Secondary flavors include the now familiar oak, dried nuts, hay, cocoa nibs and generic coffee, with none of them really standing out above the rest at any point. Thankfully, both the bur and draw remain excellent until the end of the cigar, and while the strength comes close, it never actually makes it to the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with less than an inch left.
- While I find the silver foil on the cigars to look a bit chintzy, I also realize that it is prerelease packaging, and will presumably be changed prior to the cigars being sold.
- The whole idea behind not disclosing either the blend —even in generalities—or the factory these were made at annoys me for some reason. I am aware that some of it could be a condition from the factory itself in order to purchase and sell the cigars, but I really don’t see how telling people what country the wrapper, binder and filler tobaccos are from would cause an issue.
- Having said the above, wherever these were produced, the factory knew what it was doing, as I had almost no issues at all with either the draw or the burn for all three samples I smoked.
- The cold draw on each of the samples was so light in favor I was wondering just how much I would get out of the cigar.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged an extremely quick 40 minutes.
- The cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by Prototype Cigar Co.
I find it interesting that a new brand is so blatantly copying what Caldwell has done with Lost&Found, but that's not my problem with the Super Unknown. Rather, the problem I have with this cigar is the same that I have had with some of those: while it was quite enjoyable at points, the blend of the Prototype Super Unknown is just not complex enough to keep me all that interested, even a smaller vitola. The citrus note in the first third and the excellent construction are major pluses and make it worth trying, but in the end, this is a blend that probably does not have all of the attributes needed to satisfy most people.