Sunday, January 29, 2012

Paul Stulac "Ghost"

Paul Stulac “Ghost”

Fatal Halo Rating

Dimensions: 6” x 58 (Toro Box Press)
Price:  $12.00
Burn Time:  2 Hours
Wrapper: Equadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Tobacco: Nicaraguan Blend Long Filler Tobacco

This was a cigar I saw in the shop under the “New Arrivals” section – and although I had never heard of Paul Stulac before or his cigars, the band art alone was enough to entice me into giving it a try.  I mean, there’s something about a product with a skull on it that just dares you, am I right?  The fact that it was named “Ghost” further catered to my interest in the alternative in very much the same way I was drawn to the Gurkha line of cigars with names like “Black Dragon”, “Evil”, “Ninja” and “Assassin”.  Upon closer inspection of the band, I read the phrase “Regalo De Dios” (Spanish for “Gift From God”) and for a cigar to have such braggadocios attitude evident directly on it, I was actually excited to see if it lived up to the visual hype.

Pre-Smoke Analysis
The cigar was a little spongy on construction, but still quite firm I liked the box-pressed shape a lot and it rested well between my fingers.  The wrapper was a little veiny and toothy but the wrapping technique was almost seamless and appeared to have a double-capped head rather than the triple I’m used to – but not sure if that really makes a noticeable difference.  The aroma off the wrapper was smooth and buttery – a little more earthy and pronounced at the foot, but still excellent as a whole. 

The First Third
The cap cut cleanly with no fraying and the cigar took the flame quickly.  It was an easy draw with a peppered and buttery aroma and left a subtle sweetness on the lips.  The spice tingled my palate a bit, but in a pleasant way.  Though the aromas and flavors were easy enough to sort out, I still considered it to be a cigar with complex flavors and medium-body.  The toothy bumps on the wrapper remained intact on the ash and produced a thick, white smoke.  It had some difficulty on the evenness of the burn and required occasional corrections, but the aromas were very satisfactory.

The Second Third
As I burned into the second third of the cigar, the spice began to mellow and a more leathery taste began to permeate my palate.  I hear that the aroma of leather is appealing to some and not so much for others – but in this case, it was perfect.  The complexity of the flavors began to plateau and became more consistent.  The cigar suddenly extinguished itself and required a relight which was a bit disappointing after having to correct the evenness of the burn a few times during the first third.  I was beginning to wonder if keeping this cigar lit was going to be more of a chore than anything else.

Burning Out
As I came to the end of the cigar, the flavors changed up on me once again.  Creamy, nutty flavors seemed to coat my tongue and palate.  The aromas were smooth – almost like a blend of campfire and Frankincense.  It grew into a more full-bodied smoke right at the end, but it was hard to really appreciate the last little bit of it as I continued to have trouble keeping it lit.  The smoke became thicker and whiter, but failed to have any redeeming qualities to it to make up for the difficulty in keeping this cigar lit.

Final Thoughts
Overall, I was a little bit disappointed with this one.  Although the complexity of the aromas and flavors were excellent, it was hard to find any lasting enjoyment from them since keeping the cigar burning proved to require too much attention to focus on the subtle nuances that might have made it a more enjoyable smoking experience.   I really don’t know what to attribute that difficulty to though.  I liked the band artwork a lot though and may try another from the Stulac line at some point, but fussing with the cigar to keep it burning is a big drawback for me.  The other detracting factor was the price.  For a $12 cigar, I expect to have zero issues, so I think it would be a more appealing choice to me in the future if the price settled down in the $8 range.  I wouldn’t hold the Ghost in the same line as Montecristo or Fuente and I definitely wouldn’t consider this cigar a “Regalo De Dios” – but perhaps there will be some improvement on future Stulac releases.

Liked It?:  Yes – but mainly for the flavor/aroma and the band artwork.

Buy It Again?:  Will probably try another brand from the Stulac line first.

Recommend It?:  Maybe.  Will give it a second chance at some point.

1 comment:

  1. My apologies for the issues you had with the cigar. That has not been an issue at all thus far with the product so I assume it was an isolated issue. It would be my pleasure to arrange a replacement on me. Email me anytime at and it will be taken care of. Suggested retail is $9 on this cigar.
    Thank you and my apologies.
    Paul Stulac