Alpha Infused Edition New Orleans

As I posted in the Alpha Infused post, I picked this up at the Heights Cigar Shop. They had several varieties of the Absinthe infused cigars, and I wanted to know the differences.  This is the Alpha Infused edition New Orleans,  which is a smaller half corona style, and popular enough that I took the last two in stock.  While there isn’t a ring on these, I do love the label on the inside of the cigar box.

Empty New Orleans Edition

I decided to light this up at a picnic among friends this past weekend. By some wonderful miracle, it was a gorgeous afternoon that did not rain during the time we all were eating and mingling.  It was lovely to have a pop-up tent, a steady breeze, a comfy camp chair, some grilled eats, the great company of some fantastic people, and a tasty cigar.

Alpha Infused edition New Orleans

While this particular version of the Alpha Infused is smaller, it’s certainly not short on flavor.  And honestly, it doesn’t look interesting as it’s sold only in a cellophane wrapper with no ring, no indication of what potential it has. Much like the larger cigar, this had a beautiful aroma before lighting.  A bit more floral in notes than the larger version, and spicy.  The New Orleans edition doesn’t have quite the amount of creaminess that had been in the larger cigar.   After lighting, it doesn’t ease up on the flavors.  This cigar is strong in the ways of the wormwood and absinthe spices.  Perhaps the smaller version just made the melange of flavors more compact and intense on delivery.

Edition New Orleans Foot

The draw is smooth and not too easy, which is good on a smaller cigar.  A foot was certainly doable, although I didn’t want to get it too long.  While in the large cigar the spiciness mellowed, that was not the case with the edition New Orleans.  This cigar does not ease up with any mellowness at all.  The spice flows along the smoke and it stays very steady through the whole of the stick– there’s a bit of the creaminess that I found fascinating in the large cigar, but it’s certainly a flavor you’d have to remember to find as it’s not very apparent.  This stick is a tiny intense smoke of deliciousness.  It will not go gentle into that night, and it was a perfect picnic smoke.

Alpha Absinthe Infused at Heights Cigars

The Heights Cigar Shop and Cafe is an adorable bungalow next to the Jug & Bottle in Seminole Heights.  While the location doesn’t currently have a license to sell alcohol, they do have events for tastings and pairings of beer, wine, and liquors with their cigars. They do have some seating and a poker table, and sell soft drinks to go with your stick, and I suspect BYOB wouldn’t be a bad idea if you have a preference for something to go with your smoke.  As it was on this trip and in the past, I have found that their humidor, while small, is stocked with unique cigars that I haven’t been able to find in other brick and mortar locations.  While I had seen an absinthe infused cigar here before, this time I noticed that they had more of a selection. I picked up a few, and one of the sticks I smoked recently was the Alpha Infused Connecticut.

Alpha Infused

Before lighting, the aroma of this cigar is definitely on the complex side.  The Connecticut wrapper lends a bit of a cut grass smell, but the bulk of the leaves are Cuban seeded Piloto Cubano, which is a creamy but spicy smell.  There is only one leaf in the cigar that is infused with absinthe, and I suspect that they roll it in to be towards the top as I could definitely get the aroma of wormwood before the cigar was lit.  I also really love the Art Deco feel on the cigar ring, this might become one of my favorite bits of cigar art.

After lighting, the eleventybillion spices (okay, fine, 15 spices) that go into making absinthe really blossomed. Not entirely peppery, the spices gave a bit of a tingle on the back of my tongue that I found enjoyable and not distracting from the cigar.  The smoke itself tends to linger as the cigar is inhaled, not rising immediately up but curling around before dissipating. At the beginning of the cigar, I could get some pine and coriander.  At the midpoint, the cigar got a little creamier, but no less spicy with a stronger pine and developing a bit of a citrus taste.  Towards the end of the cigar, the flavors mellowed a bit, and the citrus and spiced aromas were like a delicious holiday beverage, they blended well and were not overwhelming the tobacco that lend to a lovely smoke.

Alpha Infused Foot

The draw was smooth, but I seemed to have trouble keeping the stick lit and also with smoking it evenly — this may be more on me than the cigar, as a) It’s monsoon season here, so humidity is basically in the 95% range and b) tiny lady lungs may have needed to just take the time to draw, but I was enjoying the flavors so much that I might have been rushing it a bit.  Nevertheless, even in my impatience, I was able to get a really nice foot going.  Ashing this was with no difficulty and there weren’t a lot of strays.   I smoked this with an IPA, but I think it would go well with a nice vodka, a sparkling water, or citrus soda.  I think any other more nuanced alcohol or beverage would ruin the complex and diverse aroma that this cigar produces. This particular cigar has gotten good reviews from others, and I can certainly see why.  I hope to find these again at the Heights Cigar Shop.