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  • Omar

The Ash Diaries: El Septimo Sacred Arts Van Gogh and Rembrandt

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

Just to avoid any potential confusion, El Septimo has quickly become one of - if not - my favourite cigar brand. It is truly why when I am wanting a great smoke and would like a guarantee on quality and consistency I reach for El Septimo. Continuing with my journey through the Sacred Arts Collection it brings me to two cigar I have been most eager to try, the behemoth Van Gogh and the Rembrandt.

The Van Gogh is a spectacle to behold, there are few occasions where my breath is taken away by the sheer beauty of a stick, this is one of those occasions. A peerlessly executed double figurado at 9 inches long (get your mind out of the gutter) and a ring gauge of 58 at its widest point. This smoke is no joke. To my eye, the wrapper is the perfect hue of caramel brown, even, silly and oily, it doesn’t get much better then this. From my understanding, this smoke is the owners favourite cigar in the portfolio.

El Septimo Sacred Arts Van Gogh

For a cigar this long it is extremely difficult to get the draw and burn right, but in this case they have completed it beautifully, the draw and burn were perfect, not once did I have to relight or use my perfect draw. Upon first puff I was greeted by my favourite sweet and floral notes, it gave me the feeling of walking through a perfumery. The smoke production was off the charts, with two of us smoking these, we managed to fill up the room with smoke even with good ventilation! Perhaps open a window or smoke outdoors!

As I worked my way through the cigar the flavours evolved, still sweet but with a wonderfully mature and nuanced woodiness and spice. That combination of sweet, wood and spice in perfect harmony should be a winner in anyones book.

El Septimo Sacred Arts Van Gogh

After an hour and 45 minutes we said goodbye to this masterpiece of a cigar and realised that this may have been one of the best new world cigars we have ever had. The complexity, construction and sheer size of the thing made it one we will not forget. Having something to sip on during this mammoth smoke was important and we found Lalani and Co's Spring Peony Darjeeling really complimented the floral notes of this cigar.

For those who are regular readers of the blog, you will know that one of my favourite vitolas (shape) is the pirimide, it’s got a manageably wide ring gauge, long at around 6 inches and an artistic point at the top that provides a lovely smoking experience once cut. The Rembrandt is El Septimo’s rendition on this traditional vitola. The first this that struck me was how pointy the tip was, I know that sounds ridiculous but it really surprised me, that seems to be a testament to the level of quality and training the rollers at El Septimo have!

El Septimo Sacred Arts Rembrandt

Every cigar in the sacred arts collection has an identifying colours, this is continued form the colour of the box all the way down to the second band, in the case of the Rembrandt, it is red, and may I say, the red band with the gold and black main band looks absolutely exquisite.

Clipping off the cap, of which I would recommend less is more, and lighting up I am greeted by strong, full flavours of leather and pepper, if you need something to wake you up, this start will definitly widen your eyes and open your sinuses! However, it is important to note, although the flavour are bold, nothing is overwhelming, I'm not coughing or wincing, instead I'm feeling energised.

Smoking in, the flavours mellow and become less of a punch in the face and more of a firm hand shake, you can feel the power but rather than worrying about it you feel reassured. The pepper starts to fade in to the back and chocolatey cedar with a spicy zing rules the profile all the way to the nub. A thoroughly enjoyable smoke and one I would like to revisit in a few month to see how much more nuanced the flavours become! Pairing this with a coffee was a must and we went with the Difference Coffee Hawaii Kona, this provided extra depth and enhanced the sweetness!

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