Photo via cigarsinternational.com
Have you ever heard stories about musicians like Pharrell Williams who were known for writing some very famous hits for others, but then finally stepped out and wrote songs for themselves? Well inthe cigar world, Ramon Bueso was a ‘behind-the-scenes’ type who since 1977 has had a hand in some amazing blends and products for companies like Hoyo de Monterrey, Excalibur and Punch. His first ever ‘solo’ line was the Genesis: The Project cigar, first released in 2012. Ramon Bueso’s site describes the Genesis as “a lush bouquet of vintage tobaccos, married to deliver savory notes of espresso, roasted nuts, nutmeg and earth. Each smoke filled puff is different from the last, as silky smooth smoke washes over the palate to deliver a distinct spicy-sweet finish, rounding out the impressive ensemble. Providing complex flavors, and a distinct yet ever changing body, Genesis leads boldly in the world of boutique cigars.” Just looking at the cigar it has a very dark, oily and toothy wrapper with the wonderful taste of cocoa on the cold draw. I used a punch cut and then lightly toasted the cigar with my torch lighter before fully lighting. The draw was a little tight, but not so much that it would be an issue moving forward.
First Third: Cocoa is the initial taste hitting the palate as you start to puff on this cigar. It’s not too sweet, but rather closer to a soft bitterness of dark chocolate. After you are used to the cocoa, there’s some secondary flavors of wood and earth that mesh nicely with the main flavor. The 3 flavors blend together for a very “fresh from the ground” appeal that shows the quality of the blend of the tobaccos used to build this cigar. I also got some light notes of black pepper in the initial third as well.
Second Third: Some spice came into play in the second third, not so much a continuation of the black pepper, but rather a secondary blend of spices with the black pepper still lurking in the background. The cocoa is still there along with the wood and earth, with the second third holding all the flavors from the first third, but with some added spices. The ash held on for a little while but was not very strong, falling off every half inch or so, pointing to the construction being just average.
Final Third: In the final third I got some creaminess to go along with the cocoa and balance out some of the spices that came out in the second third. I also got a few hints of nuts as well that really point me to wanting to call this more of a “dessert” cigar than anything else. The flavors were powerful from start to finish, and maybe the medium-full strength is a little under-selling this cigar.
I paired this cigar with an orange citrus IPA (Oh-J IPA from Lone Pine Brewing), and it probably wasn’t the right pairing for this cigar (Side note: The Oh-J is an absolutely delicious American Double IPA that comes from one of my favorite breweries in Portland Maine). The flavors definitely did not clash, but I would bet that a chocolate based stout or porter would have expanded the cigar’s flavors a bit more, especially if a smoker isn’t expecting or enjoying the spices introduced in the second third.
Overall, this is a great after dinner cigar that has a strong but not overpowering raw chocolate flavor that carries through the entire cigar. As you burn it though, you’re taken down some wonderful backroads of earth, wood, black pepper, spice, and cream that show how all different types of flavors can go with cocoa. It’s probably best on it’s own or with a sweeter drink like a chocolate or milk based stout or porter, or maybe a sweet flavored liqueur or bourbon. The best part of the Ramon Bueso Genesis the Project that I haven’t even mentioned however, is the price point. This is a well constructed, powerful, flavorful and overall great experience for a cigar that costs around $100 for a box of 20 on most online stores (and they can be found for much cheaper). This is a quality smoke at a clearance rack price.
Mfr: Ramon Bueso
Length: 6 inch
Product: The Project
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan