Black Label Trading Company Lawless Robusto
Black Label Trading Company was started by James Brown (no, not THAT JB. He’s dead.) in 2013. Unlike many new brands that release one or two lines when they launch, BLTC put out six right off the bat! Though each looks quite similar in wrapper color, band design, and color scheme, they are blended to suit a variety of palates, for those who only want the best! That is, at least, according to the marketing on the BLTC site.
They also state that “less is more”, which seems contradictory to releasing six lines from the very beginning. However, what they mean by “less is more” is that if a blend works in a particular vitola, why make 4-8 of them. Brown would rather have 2 vitolas that really work for each blend. That makes sense, except I don’t see any coronas in their line-up yet!
Speaking of line-up, the six blends available are Salvation, Redemption, Last Rites, Lawless, Royalty, and Benediction. Most of them are available in Robusto and Gran Toro vitolas. They all have the same logo on the top band, four of them are black with white print, the other two the opposite, with a foot band to distinguish the blends from one another. The BLTC site states that they will be releasing a new blend, Morphine, at this year’s IPCPR.
We acquired some samples from the folks at BLTC. Although we are grateful for the samples they will have no bearing on the rating.
The BLTC Lawless has a rather dark chocolate wrapper with some veins and visible seams. The surface looks a bit toothy and the lines on the cap are a bit jagged. The foot reveals just a little bit of space in the filler, but overall, the cigar looks to be well packed.
I hope this doesn’t insult the folks at BLTC or any of our readers, but at first glance, the band reminds me of a cross between the Sons of Anarchy cigar and an Affliction/Ed Hardy shirt. Don’t get me wrong, I love skulls and stuff, but that was just the impression I got. It has a black background with silverish-white print and designs. There is a skull with a crown in the center with B on the top, L on the bottom, Trading on the left, Company on the right, and some banner art to fill in the gaps. The est 2013 is also on there, as well as a cross on the back. The foot band says “Lawless”.
The BLTC Lawless feels like it looked: toothy. There is a little bit of give when I squeeze it but feels pretty well packed. There are no soft spots or lumps that I can feel.
Though I slightly fear that this cigar might bite me if I get too close, I give it a little sniff. The foot smells like molasses and chewing tobacco (before it is chewed, of course). The barrel is a peppery, graham cracker aroma. Very nice!
I clip the cap with my trusty (and needing to be cleaned) CRA cutter. When I test the draw, the airflow is really good. I get some notes of sweet tobacco, earth, and hay.
On this particular day, though it was beautiful outside, it was really windy. Because of this, the BLTC Lawless was difficult to light. I certainly don’t fault the cigar though. Once it was lit, the burn was slightly wavy for most of the smoke, but did even out a bit in the middle. It also burned a little fast. But hey, like I said, it was windy, so I do not hold any of that against the cigar for rating purposes.
The draw was really good on this cigar at the beginning. Near the middle, it tightens up a little, but I am still able to get plenty of smoke.
The ash really looks nice against the dark wrapper. It is mostly white and gray. It is also pretty solid, lasting 1” in a pretty strong wind. Good job, ash!
Now, for the moment of truth. How does this BLTC Lawless taste? Is it wild and untamed, as the name might suggest? Let’s find out.
The first third starts off with a black pepper spice. It quickly develops a sweet and salty flavor, like trail mix (well, not quite that sweet). The sweetness starts to taste more like caramel as it builds. Some wood also pops up (huh huh) in this section. The retrohale is more of a white pepper than black.
In the next third, the same notes continue plus some earth develops. As it goes along, the sweetness starts to fade, only to later become more of a sweet tobacco flavor. It also starts to get savory and saltier.
In the final third, the earth that showed up has now started to taste a little dirty. There is still the black pepper and salt. The sweetness starts to die out again. The savory notes are still there, but near the end, the dirt taste gets a little strong. There is also a bit of harshness in the last ¾”. That’s when I let it go out.
The Black Label Trading Company Lawless Robusto was medium-full in both strength and flavor. For most of the smoke it had nice, hearty flavors, only becoming slightly unpleasant in the last inch or so. Again, I think the wind affected this cigar somewhat, especially in how fast it smoked, which could have caused the harshness at the end. Total smoke time was 50 minutes.
Would I Buy It Again?
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
Probably not, but at least once every week or two.
Would I Buy a Box?
Personally, I would not. I could see getting a 5 pack.
My first experience with the Black Label Trading Company Lawless Robusto was a good one. Like I mentioned, the wind probably affected the performance of the cigar a little, but even so, it still did really well. The harshness and dirt near the end was not ideal, but not something that would keep me from smoking it again. I do think it might be priced about $1 too high, but that’s my opinion.
I would say, considering the flavor profile of this cigar, it would be best enjoyed after a nice meal, particularly some type of meat. I think the pepper, salt, and sweetness would go well after a hearty meal. Not that the strength was too much, just for the sake of “pairing”. If that sounds like a nice pairing to you, head over to Cigar Fed or any local shop that carries BLTC and pick some up!