It’s May and here in Kentucky that means one thing, time to stock up on allergy medicine! Kidding, mostly. What it really means for most of us here in Louisville Kentucky is that it’s time for the Kentucky Derby and horse racing to start at Churchill Downs. This years Kentucky Derby winner, Rich Strike, was an 80/1 odd and blew everyone away with his performance. Some wonder how? Just luck? An underdog who went unwatched? Maybe he had a little frog juice in him? Regardless, he was the excitement we all needed after a very lame Covid Derby season last year.
It’s almost tradition to smoke a cigar at the track as much as it is to drink a Mint Julip and wear wild hats and fancy suits. This year my cigar of choice was the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Frog Juice. The name Frog Juice is one known around the track as the illegal drug administered to the horses that acts simultaneously as a painkiller and a stimulant giving the horse a feeling of excitation and euphoria. It’s no wonder Steve Saka chose that as the name for this cigar. The Frog Juice was an exclusive release at Riverside Cigars just over the bridge from Louisville in Jeffersonville Indiana. Due to Covid, it didn’t make its release last Derby season, so these cigars got to rest an entire year before being released this year.
They are a 5×52 box pressed robusto with colita and they are medium to full-strength. They came in a 10 count bundle and with only 300 bundles produced, they sold for $135 each. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Habana 2000, the filler is Nicaraguan Shade grown and the binder is both Nicaraguan and Dominican. I purchased these at the shop, since it is my home brick and mortar, and even got to enjoy one with Steve Saka!
First impression of the cigar is that it has a very simple band and a rich chocolate color wrapper. It’s very silky and you can tell it was well rested by the softness of it. It’s got a sweet and slightly spicy smell to it that immediately seems enjoyable. Once cut and lit the spice is prominent! I’d say it’s more of a cinnamon spice that goes well with what seems to me like cocoa and hay. This continues on this way for some time.
In the second-third the notes of spice continue in strength and the cocoa now seems more like a dark chocolate. Some bits of hay and possibly black pepper are present and definitely noted during the retrohale. It’s burn is perfect. I used a standard straight cut and the draw is strong! This cigar definitely has a great smoke output.
In the final-third it has a bit of a bitter chocolate taste as well as the hay I mentioned earlier. Some sweetness remains, but I get a lot more mellow cinnamon spice that seems to linger. I do believe where you smoke a cigar matters. I smoked this outside and I think sometimes with the wind and the fact you have to work at it to keep it lit, sometimes plays a factor in the final-third. The one I smoked inside at Riverside Cigars was not as bitter towards the end. It held to its spicy sweet notes more. Overall, fantastic cigar! I’m a generous smoker and anyone who tried this one was very impressed. If you see these out next year, don’t hesitate to buy them! I promise you won’t regret it.