For this cigar review, we will be taking a deeper look at the classic Brick House blend from the famous J.C. Newman Cigar Company. Brick House has been an incredibly popular brand since returning to the scene in 2009 and is one of the core brands in the J.C. Newman lineup, which includes other well-known brands like Diamond Crown, Perla del Mar, and Quorum.
An Introduction to Brick House Cigars
When brand founder Julius Caesar (J.C.) Newman was growing up in his sleepy Hungarian village, his house was the only one made of brick. Back in the day, the popular Brick House brand used entirely Cuban tobaccos up until the Great Depression when the brand was discontinued.
After two generations and almost 80 years, J.C.’s grandsons Bobby and Eric Newman decided to pay homage to this once-famous brand with a re-release in 2009. To replicate that old-world Cuban taste of the brand’s past, the modern Brick House is made at J.C. Newmans PENSA cigar factory in Nicaragua.
Blended with aged Nicaraguan long-fillers and a top-quality Havana Subido wrapper, and affordably priced at around $6 to $7 per cigar, Brick House has once again captured the palates of myriad aficionados and is a staple in humidors across the country.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Havana Subido
Smoke Time: 80 Minutes
Notes on the Cold Draw
After gazing upon the near-seamlessly applied chocolate-brown wrapper, I gather the aromas of cocoa, spice, and barnyard from the foot and cap. I deliver a V-cut to the triple-cap, my preferred cut for most vitolas, and cold draws provide flavors of black pepper, cocoa, and a hint of dried fruit sweetness.
With the first few puffs I detect notes of black pepper, spice, cocoa, and leather, but these notes do not blast my palate like a typical Nicaraguan blend. Rather, the flavors are quite smooth and easy-going on the palate.
I also pick up some undertones of cedar and sweet earth, along with a little bit of nuttiness on the retrohale. The burn is slightly wavy, however, it never seems to stray too far off course and there is no need for a touch-up.
What I experienced with the second third
As I come into the second third, I knock off the tight white ash to reveal a perfect cone burn. Although the burn line is still a tad off-angle, it progresses evenly and without any intervention.
I start to get more leather, spice, and coffee notes into the second third, and a twinge of dried fruit sweetness on the retrohale as well as hints of nuts. I can also pick up a faint caramel-like tobacco sweetness as the burn crosses the halfway point.
The overall creaminess is still alive and well; the smoke is incredibly smooth, laid-back, and mellow, providing me with rich flavors with virtually no impact below the neck. I get none of the aggressive spice and pepper that I typically find with Nicaraguan blends.
My time on the final third
Entering into the final third, the tobacco sweetness and spice continue to build. I also get more woodsy cedar and leather notes, and touches of nuts with a retrohale, and the smooth creaminess is still keeping the profile tame and in check. I get occasional hints of toasted bread as well.
Coming up on the last inch or so, the cocoa, spice, coffee, and sweetness are abundant on the palate, but the creaminess persists to keep the profile balanced and level. The smoke production is also in high gear with copious dense clouds. Throughout the smoke, the white ash fell off in slightly over one-inch increments and hardly flaked at all, making for a mess-free and overall enjoyable smoking experience.
How strong is the cigar?
Unlike many Nicaraguan blends on the market, these treats are solidly mellow-medium to medium-bodied, creeping up to medium-bodied as the smoke progressed. Their creamy, smooth, and balanced profile made for an easy-going smoking experience.
Since Brick House has a shockingly smooth profile, they are great for a novice aficionado to comfortably get a taste of Nicaraguan tobacco without being overwhelmed, and for seasoned palates to enjoy in the morning looking to get a little pep in their step.
What can the cigar be paired with?
In my opinion, a good pairing for this cigar would be a sweet, spiced rum or a smooth top-quality whiskey to match the rich yet reserved flavors. If you are looking to pair with something a little more work-friendly, a classic cola or a cup of coffee would make a great companion with the smooth Brick House flavor.
For $6 to $7 per cigar, you really cannot go wrong with Brick House. Whether you are looking for a top-notch smoke to enjoy daily or if you are on a tight budget looking for something both affordable and enjoyable, Brick House has got you covered.
Although Brick House has been on the market for a while and is popular with many aficionados, it was a real pleasure to turn the spotlight on this unassuming yet exceptionally good brand. Top-of-the-line for their price, dependable, and bursting with welcoming flavor, Brick House is a crowd-pleaser that any aficionado is sure to enjoy.