In the spirit of Easter, I'm getting religious with an Ave Maria Reconquista and a Hospitaller beer. Let's see if this brings redemption.
Not sure how long this cigar was in my humidor, I'd say two to three years or so. The sell-by date of the beer is September 2016. Everything properly aged.
The first flavors of the cigar are a wonderful combination of wood, herbs and some sweetness.
Historically, the Templars to which the cigar refers, and the Order of Saint John which was the inspiration for the beer, were the two main Christian military orders supporting the Crusades.
Each order posted about six hundred knights in the crusader states but in some battles they would also lose three to four hundred to the Muslim enemy.
In the 14th century, however, their biggest enemy turned out to be the king of France, who envied their wealth and power and had them persecuted and killed on charges of heresy with the support of the Pope.
But back to the cigar! The draw is excellent and there is lots of smoke and flavor.
The second part has an intriguing vegetal flavor that keeps popping up. Not your typical grass or hay, but fuller, almost fermented.
The sweetness is also fairly constant but it feels as if more nutty flavors are about to break through as well.
Both the beer and the cigar taste great but it's not a match made in heaven. The roasted flavors in the beer don't really complement the mellowness of the cigar.
Yep, there it is: a nice, full cocoa flavor!
As the final third approaches, the flavor profile drops off. Quiet before the storm?
Doing some research online, I learned that the Ave Maria brand owner is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This cigar truly is a religious experience.
I'm a bit disappointed in the final third. Mostly fatty, leathery flavors, not much variation. Considering how long I've been at this cigar, it's hard not to get bored. I'm going to give it a couple more minutes...
On the bright side, the cigar and the beer are finally pairing up nicely.
A purge seems to help a bit, brings out a nice creamy flavor.
Back to leather again. I'm going to wrap this one up. Definitely a great cigar, packed with subtle flavors and flawless construction.
Draw: Very good
Burn: Very good
Ash: Very good