In 2015, Mike and Greg Szczepankewicz of Cigar Hustler teamed up with Skip Martin and the team at RomaCraft to create their own brand of cigars to be sold at retailers nationwide: Powstanie Cigars. The word Powstanie means “uprising” in Polish and the logo pays homage to the symbols used in the Polish Uprising during World War II. Each Szczepankewicz brother developed their own blend: Mike with a blend utilizing a Habano wrapper and Greg’s blend utilizing a Broadleaf Maduro. Fast forward a bit to 2016 and the Szczepankewicz brothers have created a new blend: the SBC 16. SBC, which stands for “surrounded by champions,” is named to pay tribute to all those who have helped the Szczepankewicz brothers develop Powstanie cigars. When I spoke with Mike at IPCPR last summer, he went on to explain that there is so much love and effort put into making a cigar by so many people; from those who roll the cigars to those who clean the floors and they wanted to acknowledge their efforts with a special release cigar. Powstanie announced that only 250 boxes of 20 cigars would be released with an MSRP of $16 a cigar.
Manufacturer: Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A.
Vitola: Corona Gorda (5.5” x 46)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut and Pennsylvania Broadleaf (Barber Pole)
Appearance: The SBC 16 is a visually stunning cigar with a lovely barber pole wrapper and bold black and silver band. The cigar shows minimal veins and displays impeccable construction.
Pre Light: The cold draw provides notes of spices and earth with an easy draw.
First Third: During the first inch or so the SBC 16 is not very spicy at all; it is actually a touch bitter for the first few minutes. After the first inch passes, the flavor begins to take shape as notes of walnut and espresso fill the palate. The retrohale provides notes of black pepper and there’s a distinct cedar note on the finish. The SBC 16 stands at a solid medium body, medium-full strength during the first third.
Second Third: The first Ash has fallen at this point and the cigar is burning at a steady rate with no issues in construction thus far. The flavors have begun to change as dark chocolate enters the profile and cedar becomes more prominent. The retrohale is very enjoyable during the second third with notes of black pepper persisting with a hint of sweetness to round the flavors out. The SBC 16 begins to increase a little bit in body but remains medium-full strength.
Final Third: As the SBC 16 comes to the final third, the flavors don’t necessarily change, they just become stronger; although there is some sweetness that fades in and out as it comes to an end. The cigar does become a bit more savory as the flavors become deeper and the smoke is richer. The SBC 16 remains fairly full bodied and medium-full strength through the end, requiring no touchups and drawing well throughout.
Overall, Powstanie’s SBC 16 was a very good cigar. The construction was impeccable throughout and the flavors developed well. I would imagine that this cigar will age very nicely and I’m certainly excited to see what else comes from the minds of Cigar Hustler and the team at NicaSueño.