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Battleground - Battleground Commander Raphael Semmes - Blind Cigar Review

Battleground – Battleground Commander Raphael Semmes – Blind Cigar Review

Cigar Info

Battleground Cigars’ new release in 2021 is named after Raphael Semmes, a Confederate Navy captain in the Civil War. He was captain of the CSS Alabama gathering 65 prizes and becoming the most successful commerce raider in the Confederate Navy, someone who attacked supply ships. Eventually, he was promoted to rear admiral and served as brigadier general for a short time in the Confederate Army. Semmes is the only naval officer to make an appearance in Battleground’s Civil War series, which was also the inspiration for making it in a unique shape. The company describes the cigar as medium strength and medium to full complexity.

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.

The blend for the Battleground Commander Raphael Semmes uses a Habano wrapper from the Dominican Republic, and Dominican binder and fillers. The cigar comes in the hard to make Salomon size that measures 7 x 58 and is a large figurado. Each cigar has an MSRP of $11.40 and comes in boxes of 20. Battleground Commander Raphael Semmes is a regular production cigar.

Vital Stats:

Vitola: Salomon
Length: 7″
Ring Gauge: 58
Country of Origin: Undisclosed
Wrapper: Dominican Republic Habano
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Factory: Undisclosed
Blender: Undisclosed
Number of reviewers: 5 Kevin J. (maninblack77) Lauren S. (Lauren S.) Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Isaac M. (The Nothing) Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
Price: $11.40
Age: 5 Months
Release Date: July 2021
Contributed by: Battleground Cigars

Initial Impressions – Battleground – Battleground Commander Raphael Semmes

Appearance: 89

“There is a lot going on visually with this cigar. Countless small veins cover the milk chocolate-colored wrapper. The wrapper looks to be roughly applied with visible seams and some cracking near the top of the cap. There is a light sheen of oils on the body of the cigar along with a micro tooth. It is lumpy and slightly spongy throughout light in the hand.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

Aroma: 90

“Notes of butterscotch, cedar and hay are the first things I notice when I take in the wrapper’s aroma.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)

First Third
Battleground Cigars Battleground Commander Raphael Semmes – Blind Cigar Review

First Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Mild-Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“From the moment I put fire to this cigar, there is an overwhelming orange blossom honey note. Once the smoke is gone there is a lingering note of cinnamon. In the retrohale, there is a light and delicate white pepper with some undertones of wildflowers. The smoke has a doughy charterer while the body is light and delicate.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

“A surprisingly strong floral note starts this cigar. I am having trouble pinpointing the kind but leaning towards classic wildflowers. A nice cedar note is also sneaking in to round this off.” –Lauren S. (Lauren S.)

Second Third
Battleground Cigars Battleground Commander Raphael Semmes – Blind Cigar Review

Second Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“Not much has changed as far as the flavor profile. Still getting subtle notes of hay and pepper with that sweet caramel to top it off. Burn is a big problem though, which I will go into in the Burn Notes.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)

“The kitchen spice cabinet continued into the second third and seemingly brought a different spice with each puff. Cinnamon, anise, and caraway seemed the most noticeable, but there was also a bit of grain in the mix. Dark rye seemed to be lurking somewhere in the mix but wasn’t always detected.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)

Final Third
Battleground Cigars Battleground Commander Raphael Semmes – Blind Cigar Review

Final Third

Flavor: 89
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The final third is where things start to shine for this smoke. Lots of leather, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking spices, and a flavor that reminds me of dried figs. A very interesting and enjoyable ending for a cigar I almost wrote off. Overall a very solid experience.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)

“Smoking on, the profile is starting to get richer. The lemon zest note is joined by a French Roast coffee. The cinnamon has returned and is sharp on the tip of the tongue. The retrohale still has a wonderful floral note but the pepper has left making for a smooth and easy feel as it leaves the sinuses. As I reach the last inch the cinnamon jump to the forefront and carry me to the end. The smoke is chewy and thick and the body has ramped to full engaging both the palate and sinuses.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

Overall Impressions – Battleground – Battleground Commander Raphael Semmes

Draw: 92

“The draw was a bit tight at first, but once the burn made it through the taper at the foot the draw was spot on.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)

Burn: 93

“The burn never required touching up, but there were some times I felt I was going to need the lighter to do so. It seemed to self-correct just before getting out of hand.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)

Construction: 91

“Even though it was spongy in the hand the cigar was wonderfully put together. The bunching was perfect which produced the near-perfect burn and draw. The ash was firm and held on for more than an inch at a time.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 89

“A rather tame start to this but eventually it took off in the second and final thirds. Lots of dry cocoa, tobacco, nutmeg, and various spices worked well together to create a great cigar. This is a cigar I’d try again but only if I had a couple of hours to set aside to enjoy it. Subtle at times yet very enjoyable.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)

“This was a bit of a disaster. I think there might have been good flavors buried in here with some floral and cedar notes, but the construction and smoking issues made it impossible to tell. A bad wrapper and rolling just ruined this stick. I’d be willing to give this cigar another try to see if I just got really unlucky, but I’m not hopeful.” –Lauren S. (Lauren S.)

“I have to say, that personally, this cigar hit every high note. All flavor notes were balanced and complimented each well. The size might intimidate some but if they give it a shot they will be pleasantly surprised like I was. I really hope that people give this cigar a chance. I will for sure be seeking this out once I know what it is.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

“What a fun cigar! While not having a whole lot of transitions, this cigar made up for it with a consistent changeup nearly every puff. It started off wonderfully and was a good experience all the way to the end. While the look might make you second guess the quality of the cigar, I highly suggest not judging a book by its cover. I know I’ll be seeking out more of these.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)

“As I said at the very beginning, these figurados are always an interesting smoke. This journey was fraught with adventurous perils at every turn. But these perils were not the type to make you exhilarated. Instead, they were filled with disappointment. From subtle one-dimensional notes to non-stop burn issues, I really just couldn’t get into it. Perhaps someone else had a different experience on this ride. I though, I’d be hard-pressed to do it again.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 115

ReviewerAppear.Aroma1/32/33/3DrawBurnConstr.Overall
Experience
Kevin J. 8890889292921009292
Lauren S. 838588838585858383
Estevan Z. 909092929295979595
Isaac M. 889292909092909092
Doug S. 908888858588808583

To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

Battleground – Battleground Commander Raphael Semmes – Blind Cigar Review

Battleground - Battleground Commander Raphael Semmes
Summary
"I have to say, that personally, this cigar hit every high note. All flavor notes were balanced and complimented each well. The size might intimidate some but if they give it a shot they will be pleasantly surprised like I was. I really hope that people give this cigar a chance. I will for sure be seeking this out once I know what it is. " -Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
Appearance
89
Aroma
90
First Third
90
Second Third
90
Final Third
89
Draw
92
Burn
93
Construction
91
Overall Experience
89
90
Very Good