Protocol Cigars brought a new size of their Blue line to the PCA trade show in 2021, Protocol Blue Gordo. The Protocol Blue was the first line released by the company back in 2015. Other sizes in the line are a Toro, Lancero, and Corona Gorda. This cigar marks the first 60 ring gauge cigar made by the company. They also plan to release a gordo in their other lines.
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 new size was added due to steadily increasing demand for the 6 x 60 size in the market. The blend is still the same as the original sizes, starting with an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper, Double Nicaraguan Habano binder, and Nicaraguan fillers. The filler includes 4 different ligero tobaccos. As with most of the other cigars in the Protocol portfolio, it is rolled at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. Each cigar has an MSRP of $11.00.
Vitola: Double Toro
Ring Gauge: 60
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Factory: La Zona
Blender: Juan Cancel, Hector Alfonso Sr.
Number of reviewers: 4 – Randy B. (randobush) Diana (ArmyRN) Allison T. (The Yoga Ash) Chad M. (Chad Tchad)
Age: 5 Months
Release Date: July 2021
Contributed by: Protocol Cigars
Initial Impressions – Protocol Blue Gordo
“This 6 x 60 cigar with a slightly veiny wrapper, comes in a lovely chocolate brown wrapper that’s triple capped on the top, and open foot at the bottom. There are some minimal lumps, but feels like a firm pack!” –Randy B. (randobush)
“This cigar had a barnyard scent with a slight note of chocolate. The dry draw had a little bitterness but nothing else pungent about it. There was just a slight hint of ammonia but again, nothing too pungent.” –Diana (ArmyRN)
“1st third has a lot of mineral taste with some spicy red pepper on the tip of the tongue. Retrohale is strong spicy red pepper. Smoke and mouthfeel are very light and not very heavy on the palate. Smoke output is very little. Not much complexity to the smoke right now just two main flavors.” –Chad M. (Chad Tchad)
“Starting off 1223 with an easy draw the cayenne comes forward in the smoke with notes of motorcycle leather, salt & citrus with crumbly ash. As it progresses into its 1st third it starts to mellow out to notes of lavender, black pepper & mixed salty nuts. Burn is getting a bit wonky but the smoke is lightly billowing as it seems to be burning a little faster than expected.” –Allison T. (The Yoga Ash)
“The spiciness receded quite a bit and the cigar got earthy with some leather and wood. There was a bitterness that came in and out of the cigar. As it proceeded the bitterness turned into lemongrass notes. It didn’t last long but it was an interesting ” –Diana (ArmyRN)
“By midway through 2nd third, the flavors have blended nicely and the mouthful of robust smoke is nothing short of delicious. Rich cream, sweet cayenne, paprika, and black plum. Very nice and the cayenne provides just enough heat to ma ya bald spot sweat if you have one.” –Randy B. (randobush”
“In starting off the last third I had to step away for 5mins to answer the door, when I came back 1223 was still perfectly lit and had straightened out its burn issue. Notes of sourdough toast have stayed and black pepper came back to play with subtle notes of oak and white pepper in the background. ” –Allison T. (The Yoga Ash)
“Final third bring buttered toast, sweet cayenne, salt, dried fig, paprika, and baking spice. Super smooth and enjoyable retro. The finish is still medium and pleasing in between puffs. Man, strength seems to go back and forth from Med to Med-Full.” –Randy B. (randobush)
Overall Impressions – Protocol Blue Gordo
“The draw was quite easy & made it easy to smoke, even know the burn did need some tending to.” –Allison T. (The Yoga Ash)
“Wavy burn line; but had to touch it up 4-5 times to keep it burning with a wavy line.” –Chad M. (Chad Tchad)
“Overall good construction and feel to the cigar. The ash stayed on for about inch at a time.” –Chad M. (Chad Tchad)
Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 86
“Must say that I enjoyed reviewing this cigar. From pre-light to draw to burn to smoke output to hand feel to the complexity of delicious flavors, I give it high marks.” –Randy B. (randobush)
“This was a much larger cigar than I normally like to smoke. However, I went into it very open-mindedly and found the flavor notes in the first third and partway through the second third to be very good with lots of spiciness. I liked the mix of earthiness mixed with the spice and was looking forward to how the cigar progressed. Withdraw problems leading to burn issues, I truly lost interest halfway through the second third. I muddled my way through the rest of the cigar hoping that that full flavor from the beginning of the cigar would re-emerge. I would try the cigar again, but it definitely would suit me in a smaller vitola.” –Diana (ArmyRN)
“1223 was a fairly good experience with the tasting note change-ups & the draw, but the burn issues did take away some of the fun. I could reach for this cigar again to re-try it.” –Allison T. (The Yoga Ash)
“The first third had some mild flavors and was the best part of this cigar; after that, not much flavor and did not offer much for a smoke experience.” –Chad M. (Chad Tchad)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 94
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.