Blind Cigar Review: Battleground Cigars | Old Powder Keg Fire

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.

Cigar Info

At the 2015 IPCPR show,  released a new take on the popular Old Powder Keg line called OPK Fire. The OPK Fire uses an Ecuadorian corojo wrapper and binder, with a filler blend of seco and ligero from Nicaragua’s Jalapa Valley and viso from Estelí, Nicaragua.

It’s being released in a pair of box-pressed vitolas, a Robusto (5 x 52) and Torpedo (6 1/2 x 52), both of which come in 25-count boxes. Pricing has not been released by the company yet. The cigars are being made at an undisclosed factory in Nicaragua.

Vital Stats:

Vitola: Toro
Length: 6.5″
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
Binder: Ecuadorian Corojo
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory: Undisclosed
Blender: Undisclosed
Number of reviewers: 4 —– Alan (Eulogy) Gregg (McGreggor57) Eric (smalls29) Emmett (BMP_Emmett)
Price: Undisclosed
Age: 6 Months
Release Date: July 2015
Contributed by: Battleground Cigars

Initial Impressions

Appearance: 93

“This is a sturdy looking cigar. It is quite large in stature, larger than your average toro size. the wrapper is quite nice with a medium dark brown matte look with a nice tooth. There are very few visible veins and seams, quite well put together.” -Emmett (BMP_Emmett)

Aroma: 88

“A little leather comes off the wrapper with some cedar and barnyard at the foot. The cold draw is a bit of cedar and bakers chocolate.” -Gregg (McGreggor57)

First Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“My first draws on the cigar were a wonderful experience. The flavors matched the aromas of the cigar. If I were buying this in a cigar shop, the smells match the flavors once lit. It presented a balanced flavor of cinnamon with a hint of light chocolate and espresso. I soon detected a mild peppery flavor that lingered on the tongue and palate. The only drawback was a tight draw. I had to ream it out a few times to try and ease the draw.” -Eric (smalls29)

“A surprisingly mild start gives way to leather and almond early on with a deceptively spicy finish of cinnamon. There are some good flavors here and the burn is very straight. My only complaint is that the draw is a bit tight. Towards the end of the first third, I feel like it has lost some of its complexity and has settled into a leather/cedar lull.” -Emmett (BMP_Emmett)

Second Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“Toast and notes of popcorn push the oak and cedar into the background for a few moments. As some char develops the woodsy flavors return to the forefront. This is a nice and unexpected exchange.” -Gregg (McGreggor57)

“As I approach the beginning of the second third of this cigar, the flavors have mellowed considerably. Almost to a point that there is hardly any flavor at all. However, the aroma of the smoke enhances the flavor some. I still am enjoying the mild and sweet cinnamon flavors with a hint of chocolate remaining. I am a bit disappointed with the missing flavors. It started so well and very enjoyable.” -Eric (smalls29)

Final Third

Flavor: 93
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The final third begins with a perfectly balanced flavorful charred oak. There is still the earthiness in the background creating a richness. A little raisin joins with the leather on the finish to create a bit of sweetness. As the char fades some coffee develops along with the return of cedar.” -Gregg (McGreggor57)

“With a cigar this long I’m usually a little burnt out by this time, but this third was the best. The flavors of the previous thirds all came together in a nice and complex balance that I appreciate. Flavors included are leather, cedar, almond, cinnamon and musty earth.” -Emmett (BMP_Emmett)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 88

“The draw was tight from the beginning. I had to ream it out a few times but still had to work some at it. Thankfully the draw was not so hard that I didn’t want to continue because it was a very pleasant and enjoyable smoke.” -Eric (smalls29)

Burn: 91

“Lots of smoke with a solid ash and self correcting burn line.” -Gregg (McGreggor57)

Construction: 88

“Other than the cap splitting when I punched the end, it maintained a nice firm hold throughout. There was some give when squeezed but stayed firm throughout.” -Eric (smalls29)

Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Overall Experience: 93

“A very one dimensional cigar throughout, but the flavors weren’t bad and if it wasn’t such a long cigar might not have been such an issue. It wouldn’t be a bad cigar if you’re reading a book or playing poker.” –Alan (Eulogy)

“I was impressed by how quickly the flavors established themselves with near perfect balance. Although the oak and earthiness remained constant, there were several others that made their presence known. This helped create a good amount of dimension that was appreciated for a cigar of this size. Job well done!” –Gregg (McGreggor57)

“I really enjoyed this cigar and would buy a box of them. The flavors remained mild and never got too strong. This would be an enjoyable smoke with a good latte or even a hot tea on a mild evening. I would definitely recommend this cigar to my friends.” –Eric (smalls29)

“This ended up being a very good smoke. It started out a little average, but really picked things up during the second third and continued to improve. I would definitely smoke more of these and would be more inclined if there was a smaller vitola. Definitely worth picking some up to hang on to.” –Emmett (BMP_Emmett)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 106

  • Appearance 93% 93%
  • Aroma 88% 88%
  • First Third 90% 90%
  • Second Third 90% 90%
  • Final Third 93% 93%
  • Draw 88% 88%
  • Burn 91% 91%
  • Construction 88% 88%
  • Overall Experience 93% 93%

Total Score - Very Good



To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

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