In March of this year, the Moose herd from Forged Cigar Co. was joined by the Shady Moose cigar. The Chillin’ Moose series has long been a hit with economic cigar smokers. The original Chillin’ Moose wore a Habano rosado wrapper, being followed by the Broadleaf-wrapped Chillin’ Moose Too and Nicaraguan-puro Bull Moose cigars. Finally, the Shady Moose cigar turns to a lighter Connecticut Shade wrapper, being based around an Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf.
The Shady Moose is following the blending trend of a Connecticut Shade wrapper over a Mexican binder. This recipe is used in conjunction with a surprisingly diverse filler, with tobaccos arriving from four countries. Shady Moose is handmade in Honduras at the Honduran American Tabaco S.A. factory in Danlí.
“With Shady Moose, we built a great, anytime, anywhere blend that takes the smooth-smoking properties of a Connecticut Shade cigar and amps it up with the right amount of complexity and spice. And we didn’t stop there. We added in the cool Moose imagery and locked in an unbelievable price point. Now we’re waiting for Shady Moose to take a run at the internet, just like Bull Moose did last year. We’re ready for it. The question is are you?” said John Hakim, brand manager of Chillin’ Moose.
Shady Moose is distributed by Forged Cigar Company under the Scandinavian Tobacco Group. The cigars ship in 20-count boxes, with three sizes available: Robusto (5½” x 50), Toro (6? x 52), and Gigante (6? x 60), with all three being priced in the range of six dollars.
Shady Moose Toro Breakdown
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: USA | Colombia | Dominican Republic | Nicaragua
Factory: Honduran American Tobacco S.A. (Honduras)
Production: Regular Production
Vitola: 6? × 52 (Toro)
Price: $4.99 (MSRP)
Shady Moose has a light caramel-colored wrapper. There are light seams noted, having virtually no veins. The feel of the wrapper is very smooth, leading to a uniform color with no discoloration observed. The band is a bright, loud yellow that stands out against the wrapper hue. Graphically, the cigar falls in line with former releases, showing the classic moose character that the Chillin’ Moose series has branded well. The particular moose on this band is sporting a pair of shades and smoking a cigar. The boxes are in line with the band, using the similar bright yellow color with the picture of the Shady Moose.
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With a straight cut to the cigar, the aroma is slightly leaning toward that of shoe leather. The cold draw contains virtually no flavor at all. With a good proper lighting of the cigar, it begins with a toasted graham cracker flavor. There is an off-aroma of burnt cooking oil noted. At times, there is a slight honey sweetness, which is somewhat inconsistent. Meanwhile, the retrohale completely lacks flavor or complexity.
As the smoking experience continues, the flavors don’t really show much improvement. The profile unfortunately goes downhill, becoming more of a musty sock with some burnt rubber for good measure. The retrohale surprisingly continues to show nothing of interest. As the cigar closes, the musty flavor becomes more of an old root cellar aroma. That previous honey sweetness has become a malted flavor, though very inconsistent. Finally, at the very end, the retrohale brings a very light black pepper.
The burn of the Shady Moose was uneven, and had to be corrected with many touch-ups. The ash would stay on as a stacked gray ash for about one cm at a clip. Construction, based on feel, was solid and almost seemed overly filled. This leads to the draw, which I found to be much too tight.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Shady Moose and the entire Moose series are popular budget smokes. The moose graphic, for me, is a fun one, and calls on my northern roots. However, the flavors, aroma, and construction fall prey to some of the common issues of such budget cigars. If you are smoking in a large group or in poor weather conditions, then smoke this one—you won’t feel bad, like you wasted money. Personally, I would opt for other budget smokes at the same price point that are constructed better and have more lively flavor. I would not smoke this cigar again, and suggest leaving this moose in the shade.
Currently, the Shady Moose has a “94% Smokable” rating on Dojoverse, ranked in the top 39 percent of cigars (out of 4.9k cigars) on the overall leaderboard.
The Chillin’ Moose line was originally held under the Foundry Tobacco Company, which was spearheaded by Michael Giannini. When Giannini left STG for Kretek International in 2016, both Foundry and Chillin’ Moose stayed behind; however, Kretek later acquired the Foundry brand in 2018. Despite the changeups, Chillin’ Moose was left untouched (though no longer associated with Foundry), and is now distributed by Forged Cigar Co., one of two distribution arms from STG.
Burnt cooking oil
Smoke Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Pairing Recommendation: Moosehead Lager | Coffee (with any flavoring)
Purchase Recommendation: Pass
Good smoke lengthBudget smoke for times when you don’t want to smoke a pricier cigar
Off-notes of burnt cooking oilTight drawUneven burn
Originally posted on October 4, 2023 @ 5:17 am