Protocol Cigars showed off the continuation of the Lawmen Series at the PCA trade show this year with its first female entry: Phoebe Couzins. This follows the previous releases in the Lawmen Series that include Sir Robert Peel, Eliot Ness, and Bass Reeves. Phoebe Couzins lived from 1842 to 1913, was one of the first female attorneys in the U.S. and the first U.S. Marshall. The Protocol Phoebe Couzins comes in the same size as the previous three lawmen series cigars, a 6 x 52 box-pressed toro, and in both natural and maduro wrappers.
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.
Since this is a pre-release review, we haven’t seen pictures of the bands or boxes yet, but the company told us at PCA that they will be bright pink. The cigars are rolled at A.J. Fernandez’s San Lotano factory in Ocotal, Nicaragua. The blend for Protocol Phoebe Couzins uses all Nicaraguan tobacco, making it a Nicaraguan puro. MSRP is $12.50 per cigar and they come in boxes of 10.
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sumatra
Factory: San Lotano
Blender: Juan Cancel, Hector Alfonso Sr.
Number of reviewers: 5 – Chad M. (Chad Tchad) Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Kevin A. (Kevin A.) Kevin J. (maninblack77) Lauren S. (Lauren S.)
Age: 3 Months
Release Date: TBD
Contributed by: Protocol Cigars
Initial Impressions – Protocol Phoebe Couzins Natural (Pre-Release)
“Dark brown mottled wrapper with a very oily sheen. Seams are very well done and almost invisible. The box press on the cigar is nicely done with well pronounced edges. There are a couple soft spots along the cigar about midway, other that that the cigar feels very well done.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“A strong sweet floral scent comes off both the wrapper and the foot.” –Lauren S. (Lauren S.)
“Loads of black pepper, milk chocolate and anise make up the core flavors. It is quite spicy right from the start. Retrohale has a hint of caramel, wet concrete and barnyard. Strength starts off medium, with the body solidly medium/full. Burn and draw are outstanding. Getting a little farther in, coffee comes into play, as well as toasted bread that sits on the tongue for a long finish.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“The opening few puffs are nutty and woody with a creamy finish on the palate. As I smoke on the finish on the palate become much more woody. Pushing some smoke out of my nose I find a light pepper bite with some undertones of umami. The smoke is thick and is drying out my palate a touch.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“The blend is hitting its stride in the second third. The leather notes remain the steady backdrop of the blend while a new citrus floral flavor has started, it reminds me of marigolds. The light white pepper in the retrohale has also picked up and leans a bit more towards a cayenne.” –Lauren S. (Lauren S.)
“The strength picks up a notch into the second third but the dominant flavors continue to be leather and oak. The retro offers up more of the same flavors. While they make a good combination, I was hoping for some other flavors to come into the mix. Definitely linear in terms of flavor.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“This cigar has been consistent through the whole smoke. Good sweet cedar flavor with some red pepper spice on the tip of the tongue. This smoke has some strength to it as well. Retrohale has picked up again with a intense black pepper flavor.” –Chad M. (Chad Tchad)
“In the final third the pepper has become even more pronounced now lingering on every inhale. The leather is still the steady hold along with the floral notes adding complexity.” –Lauren S. (Lauren S.)
Overall Impressions – Protocol Phoebe Couzins Natural (Pre-Release)
“Easy open draw and a very nice amount of smoke production.” –Lauren S. (Lauren S.)
“The burn line was dark and a little on the thick side. It was never razor sharp but was straight and even for the most part. Never once needed a touch-up.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Aside from the draw going to the loose side, no complaints on construction.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 90
“This was a intense flavorful smoke with a ton of smoke output during the whole time smoking it. The flavors were a really nice sweet cedar flavor with some red pepper spice on the tongue like red pepper flakes on a pizza. The retrohale was intense black pepper then fade some then picked back up at the end.” –Chad M. (Chad Tchad)
“If you are a fan of a earthy blend with some slight transitions this is the cigar for you. The woody backbone was accented with some nice flavors giving you something to thing about for the whole smoking experience. It may not find a home in my daily rotation but I would not be opposed to smoking it again.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“This was an enjoyable smoke, even with the draw getting loose and the cigar flattening out at the finish. The flavor, especially early on, was solid enough to keep my attention and developed nicely through just past halfway. The toast notes, blending in with everything that was going on, was the highlight for me. It took me a minute to identify it as I was not expecting it to be there with the other flavor notes present, and it was a pleasant surprise. I could see revisiting this cigar for sure once I learn what it is.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“A fairly linear and unassuming cigar from start to finish. Leather and oak were fairly dominant with very little other flavors on my palate. The cigar had issues keeping me interested due to the lack of transitions. Perhaps this cigar would work better in a different vitola. The oak and leather were enjoyable but I was hoping for some other flavors to come forward.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“I ended up liking this blend once it warmed up. The classic leather profile mixed well with citrus and floral notes along with a nice background of pepper that just became more and more prominent as it went on. I would return to this blend again in the future.” –Lauren S. (Lauren S.)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 79
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.