1502 Black Gold Corona
Last week, I wrote a review of the 1502 Nicaragua. Since I provided a decent amount of information on the brand, I won’t bore you with a lot of repetition. Basically, 1502 is releasing that cigar along with new vitolas of it’s existing lines, the Emerald, Ruby, and Black Gold this year.
The 1502 Black Gold Corona is one of those new vitolas. Previously, they only had a toro and torpedo available at most retail locations. The corona, along with a lancero will be available sometime this year. The corona, like the toro I’ve had previously, is box pressed but I am not sure if the lancero will be or not.
This came as a sample provided to me by 1502 Cigars. The usual disclaimer: though I am grateful for the samples, 1502’s generosity will not play a part in how the cigar is evaluated.
I mentioned in the last review that the three regular releases all look pretty classy, particularly the 1502 Black Gold Corona. It has a very crisp box press with a dark chocolate shade wrapper. The seams are slightly visible and there are very few, small veins. The cap is a little rugged though, not creating a consistent line along the shoulder of the cigar. The foot is also rugged, with some extra wrapper kind of smashed up against the foot. Despite these minor blemishes, it looks very well constructed and appealing.
The band compliments this dark wrapper. It is black with gold print. The band fits the name of the cigar very well I think! The only minor complaint is that the band sits just slightly off center on the cigar. With this being a rather small ring gauge, I think that is a reasonable and expected occurrence. It does slide off easily when I remove it.
Not only does the 1502 Black Gold Corona look great, it feels great too. Even though it is a box press, it feels quite firm with just the right amount of give. The foot aroma is earth and hay, the barrel is earth and cocoa, and the pre-light draw is earth and hay too. I notice that the airflow is a little tight, but so was the last 1502 I smoked and it was fine once lit. I hope the same holds true for this one too.
I used my trusty ole CRA cutter to clip the cap. When I do, there is a bit of loose tobacco that comes out. Not unusual but worth mentioning. As noted, the draw was a bit tight but doesn’t cause concern just yet.
One thing I like about cigars with a smaller ring gauge is that they usually light up quickly and easily. That is certainly the case with the 1502 Black Gold Corona. I use my single torch Xikar and it is puffing right away! Like the Nicaragua, the tight pre-light draw does not match up to the draw once lit. It was perfect! I was getting plenty of smoke on each puff without it being too open.
The burn stays even throughout the entire cigar. Even though the RG is small, the ash hangs on quite well, lasting about 1” at a time. The ash was mostly white with some black and gray. It was also mostly intact, only getting flaky at times.
The 1502 Black Gold Corona looks, feels, and performs very nicely. While all of that is well and good, the flavor has got to deliver for this to be an all around winner. Hopefully, it will live up to the expectation I have set for it!
The first third starts off with a strong black pepper, soon revealing some coffee, bitter cocoa, and earth. Honestly, the earth is a little strong for my tastes, but it soon smoothens out. Further into this section, a tangy note appears. It is especially present on the retrohale.
The next third continues with the same notes, but adds some dry wood notes. As it progresses, the pepper and tangy notes start to die down.
In the final third, the same notes are present, but the pepper has faded almost all the way out. The wood has taken its place. Near the very end, the earth and tang come back, with the earth getting really strong in the last few puffs. It does get a little harsh right before I let it go out.
The 1502 Black Gold Corona was medium-full in both flavor and strength. Smoke time was just over 1 hour. Overall, it was a great cigar with lots of robust flavors. My only complaints are the strong earth at the beginning and the harshness at the very end. Otherwise, I enjoyed smoking it a whole lot!
Would I Buy It Again?
I have to say yes just based on how I enjoyed it. However, I do not know what the MSRP is so that may be a factor depending on what it is.
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
For me, yes. It’s not overly strong but might be too much for those who prefer mild cigars.
Would I Buy a Box?
That would depend on the price. I could see getting a box though.
The 1502 Black Gold Corona is an even more flavorful version of a great cigar. I have had the toro before and I really enjoyed it. I would say this size is even better (but aren’t most Coronas?) and am glad 1502 has decided to produce it. Despite the occasional strong earth and harshness at the end, it was something I can see me smoking a lot of in the future. I really hope these hit the shelves soon as I think it will be a hit. I know that I will buy some for sure!