MLB Cigar Ventures is owned by Mike Bellody and released its first cigar in 2015 called Imperia. He is a former partner with Tiant Cigar Group. Imperia started out with a regional release, but Bellody is now in the process of taking the line nationally.
The company is launching two more lines out of Quesada Cigars this year under the Imperia brand – Imperia Islero and Imperia Aventador. In addition, company will launch a another blend out of a different factory that is yet to be disclosed.
Currently Imperia is offered in Pita (Corona), Robusto, Toro, Gordo, and the Fundador (Perfecto) size. Imperial Islero is targeted for an April, 2016 release. Imperia was blended at the Quesada factory. The cigar features an HVA wrapper, a Dominican binder, and a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers.
For Imperia, Bellody took inspiration from the city of Newport, Rhode Island – a place where he likes to spend his summers. While he couldn’t use the name Newport for his cigar, he was able to take the name of Newport’s “sister city” – Imperia (located in Italy).
Bellody also has a cigar in the blend he rolled for himself, a double perfecto called Fundador. Bellody has taken this cigar to some events and it generated some interest in the retail community, thus Bellody has made the decision to release this as a line extension. The Imperia Fundador will come in ten count boxes and should make its debut in the upcoming months.
Bellody has also said there are plans for a second cigar out of Quesada, and potentially a third cigar out of another factory. While details were not disclosed on this, Bellody did say we could see these cigars in 2016.
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican HVA
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
Factory: Quesada Cigars
Blender: Mike Belody
Number of reviewers: 4 —– Alan (Eulogy) Jeff (ExpendableYouth) Gregg (McGreggor57) Kent (Throck)
Age: 6 Months
Release Date: October 2014
Contributed by: MLB Cigar Ventures
“The cigar has a dark brown appearance with a semi-oily sheen to it. The wrap lines are tight and uniform, and has a smooth well packed fell to it.” -Jeff (ExpendableYouth)
“Pleasant notes of cedar and leather predominated, but a hint of pine was a touch more subtle.” -Kent (Throck)
“Primarily cedar with some black pepper. There are underlying herbal notes in the background as well. A light coffee develops lending a creaminess to the flavors. As the profile settles in the draw opens a bit more allowing some good some production.” -Gregg (McGreggor57)
“This was a great introduction to the cigar…almost an appetizer. I enjoyed the notes of cedar and, most of the flavor, leather. It had a great even and steady burn with no problems handling the winds/weather outside.” -Kent (Throck)
“It’s the same flavors as in the first third, but they seem to be a little bolder. The tobacco flavor is much richer, followed by a nice hit of dry leather and a pop of pepper. The heavy cream has disappeared from the retro-hale and is now a nose tickling level of pepper.” -Alan (Eulogy)
“The second third begins with a nice balance of clove, nutmeg and a little leather on the finish A subtle cedar is still present in the background. Although the light coffee is fading, the sweet creaminess remains.” -Gregg (McGreggor57)
“The cigar has remained completely consistent going into the final-third, and the upfront flavors are cedar and mineral. The retro-hale is still a light salt and mineral. The cigar has been completely uniform throughout and hasn’t even picked up in strength or had a single transition. It is a bit monotonous, but if you enjoy this flavor profile than that consistency wouldn’t be a bad thing.” -Jeff (ExpendableYouth)
“The first and second third comes together with alternating cedar and baking spices taking the lead. The creaminess is gone but there is enough leather present to stave of any harshness. Some of the cedar and allspice occasionally hit the back of the throat.” -Gregg (McGreggor57)
“The draw was very nice with little effort needed to create a large plume of smoke.” -Kent (Throck)
“A little wavy throughout, but nothing too crazy and it didn’t require any touch ups.” -Alan (Eulogy)
“Nicely rolled cigar with tight seams, well applied triple cap, and no soft spots.” -Alan (Eulogy)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Overall Experience: 88
“It’s a good middle of the road of the cigar. I’d smoke one again if offered, but I wouldn’t purchase any myself.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“This cigar was kind of a one trick pony, but if you like the flavor profile that might not be such a bad thing.” –Jeff (ExpendableYouth)
“While not a special occasion cigar, I did find a nice mix of cedar and baking spices throughout. The creaminess brought on by a light coffee in the first half was really nice. Although there was an edginess to the flavors near the end, my cigar never developed any bitterness or harshness.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)
“This was a great cigar to smoke. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles that others may have when looking at it, but boy did it do everything right. From the near perfect construction to the intriguing flavors that slowly build, this cigar felt like a well thought out project. I will be stocking up on a few of these for a later time.” –Kent (Throck)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 65
- Appearance 91% 91%
- Aroma 88% 88%
- First Third 90% 90%
- Second Third 90% 90%
- Final Third 87% 87%
- Draw 90% 90%
- Burn 91% 91%
- Construction 93% 93%
- Overall Experience 88% 88%
Total Score - Good