The Appendix II from @Jake Wyatt Cigar Co.
Jake Wyatt calls this, "The heart of our existence" After the Herbert Spencer earned a 93 with me, I've got high expectations. Let's see how this stick does.
First Third: Whoa... upon lighting the Appendix II, expecting a level of sweetness as advertised, I was immediately hit with a spicy flavor, some real heat. It only lasted a second before giving way like a trap door to a delicious blend of vanilla and honey. The spice wasn't bad, just surprising (And Jake Wyatt Co-Founder Neil Garcia seems to enjoy surprising people withthe flavors in his cigars). As I work through the first third, I'm smelling some wood notes that remind me of something I love, bourbon. Yeah, definitely oak working its way into the experience. The retrohale takes things to another level ask the oak takes the forefront leaving a wave of honey and vanilla in its wake.
Second Third: It's Alive! It's Aliiive! The stick is waking up and giving a full performance of "Puttin' On The Ritz" as the flavors come out to play in a way I can only describe as gourmet. Jake Wyatt is known for what they call "gourmet cigars" and so far, they live up to that. The spices, honey, and oak are still filling my palate as hints of citrus and cream come out to play. The faintest hint of cocoa is hiding in the background, but is present just enough to help highlight the other flavors. As I take a breath without the cigar to my lips, I find cocoa and coffee dancing on my palate. Two flavors not in the description, but absolutely present. Another surprise.
The Final Third: The description calls this a mild to medium strength stick. And I've been told by the company that the Herbert Spencer is their strongest stick. Maybe it's the nicotine hit, maybe it's the cigar just developing into full flavor, but for me, it's definitely getting stronger. That's not a complaint by any means, merely an observation. Much like the Herbert Spencer, this stick is full of surprises and wonderful complexities. I'm finding that as I breathe in between puffs, the flavors are changing on my palate, even though the cigar isn't in my mouth. The retrohale here is pure oak, with a creamy after note. And this stick, despite the boost in strength, is still as smooth as it gets. Even as I wrap up this cigar, the flavors are still dancing around like a magic trick. This isn't a cigar to have while you're busy. This is a sit down, pour some whiskey, and enjoy the ride type stick. The coffee notes in the retrohale, especially in the final third, push this stick over the top
Final Thoughts: Jake Wyatt is the little guy. They're not a household name like some other companies. But when compared to some of the big name award winning sticks I've tried... it's absolutely a David and Goliath scenario. They describe their cigars as gourmet, and it really is the best word for it. For me personally, this stick gains massive points for the rich flavor and brilliant complexities. If I set aside my experience with the Herbert Spencer, this stick takes my top spot. Herbert Spencer considered.... Appendix II is a very close second.
For its complexities, flavor, palate work, and creamy finish, I'm awarding Appendix II from Jake Wyatt Cigar Co. a strong 92. Another home run for the guys at Jake Wyatt!
If you want a stick that develops, keeps you guessing, and dances on your palate even after you've finished, try the Appendix II!