Protocol Cigars brought the third cigar in their Lawmen series to the PCA 2021 trade show – Bass Reeves. Protocol Bass Reeves follows 2019’s Sir Robert Peel and 2020’s Elliot Ness. Like the cigars in the Lawmen series before it, Protocol Bass Reeves, comes in both natural and maduro versions. The Lawmen Series is a more classic and traditional approach for Protocol Cigars than their typical colorful and flashy designs. The Lawmen Series is an homage to the men and women of law enforcement.
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.
Bass Reeves was one of history’s first Black Deputy U.S. Marshals. During his career in law enforcement in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory, Reeves made over 3,000 arrests. He was sworn in as a U.S. Deputy Marshal in 1875. Bass Reeves was also the inspiration for The Lone Ranger and Protocol has incorporated come of that into the design of the packaging. The white horse and silver coin are there because the Lone Ranger’s horse was named silver.
Protocol Bass Reeves comes in only once size, a 6 x 52 box-pressed toro. It comes in boxes of 10 that sell for $119.50. The cigar is rolled at A.J. Fernandez’s San Lotano Factory in Ocotal, Nicaragua. The blend for the Natural uses an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, and the Maduro uses a Nicaraguan Dark Habano wrapper. Both have Nicaraguan binder and fillers.
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano
Factory: La Zona
Blender: Juan Cancel, Hector Alfonso Sr.
Number of reviewers: 5 – Kevin J. (maninblack77) Jason H. (Jokey Smurf) Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Isaac M. (The Nothing) John I. (John I.)
Age: 3 Months
Release Date: July 2021
Contributed by: Protocol Cigars
“When I first saw this cigar in the review pack, it really stood out for me. Possibly due to its box press and gorgeous chocolate-colored wrapper. The tooth on this cigar is crazy. Like the feeling of sandpaper in my hand. Perfect box press. A real eye-catcher. ” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“I don’t know if it is the color of the wrapper playing tricks on me but when I smell the body of the cigar I find myself thinking about sweet dense cocoa powder. Turning to the foot, I find freshly harvested mushrooms dusted with white pepper and corn stalk. Taking a few pre-light draws, after cutting the cap, I taste sponge cake covered in chocolate syrup and powdered sugar. I’m intoxicated and ready to light this one up. ” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Clipped the cap and away we go! Toasted the foot and had a blast of flavors hit my palate. They included black pepper, dark chocolate, and nice dark coffee. Definitely woke me up from my slumber since I decided to review this early in the morning. These flavors stuck around more than the first third. I had some issues getting the burn to stay even but the complexity more than made up for it. A nice strong start. Right in my wheelhouse. Really bold flavors that work for me thus far. ” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“The cigar opens with sharp espresso notes dusted with cinnamon. The sharpness doesn’t last long. After a few minutes it smooths out and the cinnamon becomes the main note. When I push some smoke through my nose I am met with fiery fresh cracked black pepper. Much like the flavors on the palate, this too smooths out after a few minutes. As I reach the quarter pole, of the third, I find a building note of nutmeg. This combined with the cinnamon carries me to the end of the third. The smoke is coarse and rough while the finish is long and flavorful. ” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Easing into the mid-third there’s another transition into soft sweet leathery notes. Still packing a bit of a punch. This has been tremendously enjoyable so far. Toward the end of this third, it becomes more mineral in flavor. It’s just a fistful of transitions. ” –John I. (John I.)
“Into the second portion the wood flavors have faded but the earth has evolved into oily peat with a walnut finish. The smoke is crazy oily and leaves a serious film on my palate. Though the nose the smoke is still full of horseradish spice. ” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“The finality of this cigar continues as it has been with grilled meats, and pepper returns with a little more punch to it. There appears another flavor in here that I want to call allspice which I hadn’t noticed previously.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“Heading into the home stretch, the flavors and body start ramping up again. Less leather and much more of the earthiness and dark chocolate flavors. Strength is definitely medium to full. Just how I like it. A truly bold finish to a great smoking experience. I really didn’t want it to end. ” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“This cigar has a really nice, almost perfectly firm draw that lets the smoke stay cool and flavorful. Also, the smoke volume is impressive and comes in huge clouds. ” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Near-perfect burn helped make for a cool flavorful smoke on the palate. Straight from start to finish I never once thought of a touch-up.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Just a really well-made cigar. Great draw, great burn, super attractive wrapper. Couldn’t be happier. ” –John I. (John I.)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 95
“Bold flavors, medium to full in strength, this is what I typically look for in a cigar. The earthiness, leather, dark chocolate, and spices really worked together in unison and it had enough transitions to keep me interested. I would definitely smoke this one again and I am curious to see what cigar it is. I’d rate this fairly high, probably ‘excellent.'” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“This cigar is one where the totality of the experience exceeds any particular portion. Honestly, I really can’t find anything to fault in this cigar. The fuller, deeper flavors were perfect for me today and the appearance and performance were remarkable. I can see where some smokers may be put off a bit by the fullness of the flavor, but the apparent lack of significant nicotine power should make this a good choice for anyone looking to venture out of their comfort zone. I’m glad I had an opportunity to give it a try and look forward to buying some in the future.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“This was one of the best cigars I have smoked this year. A perfect cigar to enjoy after a hearty meal with loved ones. It would pair perfectly with any after-dinner libation but I feel like it would best pair with a nice aged port. I will for sure be looking for a box of these and so should you.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“What a great cigar. While there wasn’t a whole lot in flavor transitions what I got was flavor growth and a maturity of flavors. With meat being what I found most in the flavor, it’s like the first part would be a choice cut, the second third a choice plus, and then finishing up with a very nicely aged prime cut of beef. I found this to be quite enjoyable and would not hesitate to recommend giving it a try.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“Great cigar. Construction was impeccable. Great draw, burned slow and cool. Plus just really sexy. Early flavors were more in my wheelhouse than the finale, with all sorts of leather, pepper, earth, and mineral notes on display infrequent transitions. I’d love to give one of these a few months of rest to smooth things out a bit but definitely would smoke a humidor full if I had them on hand.” –John I. (John I.)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 98
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.