So after all this time, I'm finally sitting down tonight to review the third and final blend in Ventura Cigar Company's Archetype Chapter 1 series, the Dreamstate (the other, previously-reviewed blends are Sage Advice and Strange Passage). Maybe once this is done, I'll get lucky and find the Chapter 2 Archetype blends (Axis Mundi and Initiation), as well.
Cigar: Archetype Dreamstate
Vitola: Toro (6” x 50)
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Dominican San Vicente
Filler: Undisclosed multinational blend
Rating (out of 10): 9.2
The Dreamstate features a Connecticut wrapper, so we're obviously looking at something light. There's a few spots of slight discoloration, which lead me to guess the wrapper may be shade-grown (I've personally noticed that shade-grown Connecticut wrappers are seemingly more prone to some slight discoloration, but this drawback is entirely cosmetic). There's a bit of “knobbiness” to the stick, that is, a more gnarled construction, rather than veininess. The wrapper is absolutely glistening with a thin coat of oil that is easily detected on the fingers.
As with the other Archetype blends, there is a footband, this one gold in color, and a white band with a yellow-and-gold color splash, behind a frontal photograph of a man's face, which is only visible from just below the eyes on up. The Pagan in me is a little delighted, because in working Magick, we associate the color yellow with the realm of mental activity, such as thought, intelligence, and logic.
Construction is pretty good. “Knobby,” as I mentioned, but without and spots that are excessively soft or firm. The cap is neatly applied, and easily accepts a neat, perfect cut from my Xikar XO cutter.
The barrel of the cigar gives off a slight cedar and strong leather scent. The woody aroma intensifies at the foot, and takes on a hint of wild berries.
The cold draw is pretty open, and tastes of wood and sweet hay, with a faint hint of citrus.
The initial draw after lighting immediately takes on a flavor like wheat toast, with a cedary undertone, and a creaminess behind it all. I immediately regret not trying this one out sooner than tonight.
Not long before a salt-and-pepper zinger on the finish pops up.
There are some very subtle and intermittent notes of leather that come through every few draws or so.
Burn line is at about a 20° angle (confession: I was curious, so I Googled an image of a protractor and actually held the cigar up to it for comparison), but not out of control or canoeing on me or anything. The ash column is just slightly loose, and light grey in color, with darker streaks cutting across the ash column like zebra stripes.
I'm getting a faint hint of clove as we get to the second third. Still primarily a wheat toast profile, but lots of supporting flavors to this thing also.
The burn remains a bit uneven, but still under control.
Slight spiciness on the finish, as the black pepper picks up in strength just a bit.
I can't help but think how much Ventura has impressed me with the Archetype cigars. I don't typically lean towards mild cigars like this one, but the flavor is quite enjoyable.
The black pepper on the finish tones itself back down going into the last third. The cedar picks up a bit, and the wheat toast profile takes on the slightest hint of sweet cinnamon.
A little bit too much glue on the band; removing it split the wrapper just a bit, exposing the binder underneath.
Burned past the torn wrapper with no further issues.
A little bit more spice right near the end; this one's tasty, and I'm smoking it down as much as I can without burning myself!
Some strong citrus notes right near the very end, if you can wait that long (and risk heating up your fingers a bit)!
Really impressed. I think of the three Archetype Chapter 1 blends, the Dreamstate comes in second for me; it's still just too hard to top the unique green apple profile of the Strange Passage. But this is a wonderful, mild smoke that's good to the last half-inch or less. I'd definitely love to get my hands on more, and I wish I had another one to light up right now!