I chose a Black Label Trading Company Bishops Blend Novemdiales in Robusto to enjoy on this afternoon. The annual Bishops Blend releases are one of my favorite smokes, and the 2023 version was especially intriguing. A Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper, Ecuadorian habano binder, and a complex filler of tobaccos from Nicaragua, Pennsylvania, and a Connecticut broadleaf promised a flavorful smoke. The prior years' releases used an Ecuadorian maduro wrapper. I've been sitting on the cigars for about three weeks and could resist no longer.
Trivia: Novemdiales is the term for the nine days of mourning following the death of the Pope.
The Novemdiales Robusto is a 5 x 50 torpedo with a sharply pointed cap and a closed foot. The roll was densely packed. As expected this is a full bodied smoke. The flavor profile is rich with dark fruit, bitter espresso, with cedar and pepper spices. Despite the short humidor time, the stick burned well. At about the last third, the draw closed a bit. I used my PerfecDraw tool to open it up and all was well once again.
I enjoyed the Bishops Blend Novemdiales immensely. I still have a few sticks from the 2020 and 2021 releases that I'll eventually smoke. I should probably not hold them too long as that might mute the bold profiles. Only 900 boxes of the three 2023 vitolas were released, so I should probably grab a few more of those while I can.