In 1874, R.G. Sullivan started 7-20-4 Cigars in Manchester, NH. 7-20-4 made Cuban cigars for almost a century, until the Cuban Embargo in 1963 put an end to their tobacco supply. Almost 50 years later, Kurt Kendall from Twin Smoke Shop in New Hampshire got the rights to revive the brand. Of course, using Cuban tobacco is out of the question, but making quality cigars is not.
Kurt released the first 7-20-4 (724 is the address of the original 7-20-4 factory) cigar in April 2009. It comes in 5 different vitolas: corona, robusto, gran toro, Churchill, and torpedo. It features tobaccos from Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Honduras. One thing that I thought was interesting about it is that there is no ligero in this cigar. That is, at least, according to Rick Ardito, President of Sales/Marketing for 7-20-4. Hopefully he knows what he’s talking about!
Though I have bought and smoked many of these cigars in a variety of vitolas, Siz sent this particular cigar to me. I appreciate the gift but will not let that affect my rating of the cigar.
The 7-20-4 is wrapped with a dark brown wrapper that has a few veins but very smooth seams. There is a single cap that is closed with a twisted nipple. Though I like the look off the twisted cap, I hate trying to take it out of the cello because I’m always afraid I will tear it off. In this case, I am successful in keeping it in tact.
Though I am not too particular about how a band looks, I do lean towards more traditional ones. This one is in the traditional category, with gold trim, red and black designs with white print. There is a small banner in the middle of the “7-20-4” that says “K.A. Kendall” to distinguish this cigar from the original brand. The band is a little loose, sliding easily, even staying in the cello when I removed the cigar.
The 7-20-4 Robusto looks and feels well packed. I cannot detect any lumps or soft spots. Though the wrapper is pretty smooth, there is a slight tooth to it.
The foot has nice aromas of molasses, with hints of earth and wood. The barrel has more of a cocoa note, but there is also some molasses and a hint of pepper. So far, I like the aroma of this stick!
Some people like to tear off twist caps/tails, but I prefer to cut them. After doing so, I test the draw and it seems pretty good. The notes I get are earth and molasses.
Normally, a robusto is pretty easy to get lit evenly, but this 7-20-4 wanted to be a little difficult. After about a minute of messing with it, I am able to get it lit evenly. The burn line stays even for most of the smoke, but does get a wavy in the final third. Even so, I do not have to touch it up. The only “issue” I have is that the first half burned a little fast, but the second half slowed down quite a bit.
The pre-light draw was a little bit tight, but not bad. Once it was lit, the draw was actually just about perfect. It stayed that way throughout.
The ash was a good mix of white, gray, and black. Though it looked like it might fall off, it stayed intact pretty well and lasted for 1 inch before falling off. All it took was a gentle tap and it dropped right off!
I have smoked several of these cigars in the past, but it has been a while. My hope is that this 7-20-4 Robusto lives up to the fond memories I have of those I’ve smoked before.
The first third starts off with a sweet pepper, like red bell peppers, wood, and a slight earth. It quickly becomes a little tangy as well. Near the end of this section, some black pepper emerges, especially on the retrohale.
The second third is mostly the same; tangy, wood, sweet pepper, and a slight increase in the black pepper. In the middle of this section, the burn slows down a bit and a faint floral note develops. Near the end of it, the black pepper starts to fade out.
The final third continues with floral, tangy, and wood notes. There is a nice floral white pepper on the retrohale now. Further in, there is more wood and some butter appears near the very end. This helps it finish very smoothly.
The 7-20-4 Robusto is medium in both strength and flavor. Though the burn starts out a bit fast, it settles down near the halfway mark and takes its time the rest of the way. The flavors were very consistent and enjoyable, but not very complex. I would have liked for the flavor to be a little stronger, but that is my personal preference. Total smoking time was 1 hour 20 minutes.
Would I Buy It Again?
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
I would say so.
Would I Buy a Box?
I could see getting a box of these because they are not to expensive. For my buying habits, a 5 or 10 pack is more likely.
The 7-20-4 Robusto is a solid cigar at a solid price. As I said, I have enjoyed quite a few of these over the last couple of years and plan on continuing to do so. This particular stick did not seem quite as strong or flavorful as the last few I remember smoking, but it could just be how my palate was acting that day. From experience, I can safely say that this is a cigar that should be on your “to try” list if you haven’t already. You can thank me later!