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West Tampa Tobacco Company Black

West Tampa Tobacco Company may be a new player in the premium cigar scene, but its founders most certainly are not! Yes, the company is the brainchild of Rick Rodriguez, former brand runner and master blender for CAO Cigars. Joined by his daughter Sara and Gus Martinez, a former associate from CAO, the upstart has based the brand on Rodriguez's roots in Tampa, where his grandparents emigrated from Cuba as cigar rollers in the 1950s.

At inception, West Tampa kicks the brand off with a straightforward duo of cigar offerings: West Tampa Tobacco White and West Tampa Tobacco Black. Interestingly, both cigars feature similar tobacco recipes, with the White offering a mellower Habano profile, while the Black targets a fuller-bodied take on the Habano.

What does the West Tampa Tobacco Black cigar taste like?

Rolled at the little-known Garmendia Cigar Co. factory in Nicaragua, the West Tampa Tobacco Black cigar begins with a high-priming Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, giving an appearance close to maduro. This leaf surrounds a Nicaraguan Habano binder from the Ometepe region, as well as Condega viso and EstelĂ­ ligero leaves (both Nicaraguan) within the filler. This Habano-fueled recipe makes for a medium-full body, lighting up the palate with zesty flavors of toasted oak, black pepper, salted caramel, and hearty earth.

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