I am getting an early look at this release. It came to me without bands, as the company is still finalizing art at the time of this taste test. The look, feel, and scent of the Platinum Nova Trappist 1G out of the cellophane is encouraging, even formidable: Tipping the scale at 19.4 grams and evincing a firm touch all around with no soft spots, this natural-brown torpedo is obviously loaded with leaf and should provide an extended smoking time. Seams are unobtrusive; a couple of veins show themselves for about half the length on one side. The cold scent along the cigar’s length is of freshly plowed earth, with notes of leather issuing from the foot. I used a guillotine cutter to remove a half-inch segment from the head, which gave me an ideal draw. Flavors in the cold draw disclosed no surprises, following through on the promise made by the first whiff—earthy natural tobacco exhibiting a sweetness bespeaking age. As it is the cocktail hour, I decide to pair this smoke with a fine blended scotch on the rocks. (Hard to go wrong there.)
Two wood matches were more than enough to warm the tobacco and then achieve a nice, robust light-up without ever allowing flame to touch the cigar, which I took as a reassuring harbinger on such an ample stick. First puffs brought a flood of barnyard and coffee-with-cream flavors, and a peppery yet forgiving retrohale delivering hints of cedar—a propitious start.
Thirty minutes in, the slate-gray inch-and-a-half ash is holding on tight; the burn line is a bit wavy but not yet in need of any intervention. We’ll see how it goes. Flavors are intensifying. Now I’m detecting some fragrant, floral and nutty tones; and the finish is beginning to extend with a prolonged cedary complexion. I let the ash fall into the ashtray with a splash—it seemed ready to go—and I did finally decide to touch up one spot with a single-flame torch. No big deal.
Strength and body are medium at the end of first third. The flavor is deepening with a sort of butteriness that can entice one to imbibe heavily, and even to sneak a small inhalation—a temptation best resisted, for despite the seduction of sweet, aged tobacco, this is a stout smoke, still gathering richness and intensity as the halfway point approaches. The Trappist is behaving beautifully, staying lit even when neglected, burning true, and emitting abundant flavor and a butterscotch finish. It is not necessary to over-puff in order to keep a good, smoky light, which is fortunate, as the vitamin nic at the one-hour point is really stepping up its presence, prevailing on me to keep a metered pace. Baking spices and espresso are now gushing.
This is decidedly a sipping cigar, and I am glad to be nursing a Johnnie Walker Black to offer some diversion between puffs. The ash is a tad flaky but generally nice and solid; but be prepared for it to fall without advance notice before it has grown to two inches. (I should heed my own advice; the second big chunk just landed on my leg.) Flavors continue to be cool, rich and complex—natural tobacco with coffee and caramel, and a delicious baseline of nougat gathering potency in the finish. At 90 minutes I’ve still got three inches to go, and this baby is still humming along, an engine producing savory cream and leather. (The scotch drink is now drained, so I am on my own.) The quality of leaf that went into the Trappist is clearly top-shelf; the construction is superlative as well.
At an hour and 50 minutes, the Trappist went out while I answered a phone call. But a brief kiss from my torch resurrected it as if nothing had happened—a small lapse that I can forgive after 110 minutes of unstinting performance. And on we go. Now the nicotine is producing a bead of sweat on my brow, but this is if anything a pleasant and expected development so late in such a monumental smoke. It prompts me to slow down even more than before, but the cigar shows no sign of needing any further re-light. It just gives and gives and gives, and the flavors are still beyond rich and luscious. I admit, I am impressed with the Platinum Nova Trappist. At two hours, the nub continues to be reasonably cool to the touch, thick with smoke production and redolent of wonderful flavor.
I like to think that I am an experienced, industrial-level cigar smoker, but at two hours and ten minutes I am more than sated. With some reluctance, I set down the still-smoldering nub and savor the aftertaste, which delivers a creamy, protracted resolution.
The Platinum Nova Trappist 1G is a majestic cigar—probably too much for novice smokers but ideal if you wish to share something special with cigar-wise friends at the end of a satisfying dinner with drinks and dessert. It strikes me as an honest medium in strength and body, although the enduring burn time makes it seem heavier. This cigar easily rates its $18.50 MSRP, and earns a place in any experienced connoisseur’s humidor.
Platinum Nova Trappist 1G Details:
Size: 7 ¼ inches x 54 ring gauge
Wrapper: Habano 2000 Oscuro
Release date: 7 July 2023 (at the PCA trade show)
Made at Terranova Cigar Factory SRL, Santiago, DR
Available in 10-count boxes
MSRP: $185 per box
Smoking time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Samples provided by Platinum Nova Cigars. Review by William C. Nelson.