Cigar Ratings & Reviews

#NowSmoking: Black Works Studio S&R

Reading Time: 3 minutes

#NowSmoking: Black Works Studio S&R Cigar Review (Video)


Blend Details:

Factory: Fabrica Oveja Negra – Estelí, Nicaragua
Size: 5”x 50 (Barber Pole)
Strength: Medium-plus
Wrapper: Indonesian Sumatra & Ecuador Connecticut Shade
Binder: Ecuador Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican

Presented in boxes of 20

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review black works studio s&r - at famous smoke shop


The Black Works Studio S&R Cigars Back Story

The Black Works Studio S&R selection is a limited edition line that’s been unavailable for the past few years. It left the retail cigar market in 2020 and has now returned in the form of an attractive barber pole selection that comes with a new look for the cigar. The former blend, first released in 2018, featured a Sumatra wrapper. This rendition boasts intertwined Indonesian Sumatra Ecuador and Connecticut Shade wrappers. The line is rolled in three shapes: Robusto, Corona Larga, and a rarely seen these days Lancero Culebra. Black Works has only produced 950 boxes of the Robusto and Corona Larga, but no numbers on the Culebra cigar were available.

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review black works studio s&r - setup shot of cigar on a whiskey stave holder

If you don’t know what “S&R” stands for, it’s a reference to the 1988 voodoo zombie horror flick, The Serpent and the Rainbow directed by Wes Craven and shot on location in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. If you like being scared, it’s a must-see.

And now, back to cigars…


Cigar Basics

This is one of the most attractive-looking barber pole cigars I’ve smoked. The rolling is seamless. The natural wrapper stripe is a bit thinner than most barber poles, and both wrappers have a nice oiliness to them. There are a few veins but they’re not too obvious and the cigar was well packed. The pigtail cap is so perfectly coiled it looks like a Navy sailor did it. The aroma off the wrapper was sweet and grassy. Using a double blade cutter, the cold draw was very good with a sweet tobacco taste.


Black Works Studio S&R Cigar Review

The cigar toasted and lit-up perfectly and quickly got off to an even burn. The first few puffs offered a fair amount of white pepper, soon joined by some earthiness. The smoke was very creamy on the palate with a long peppery finish. It rounded-off at about half-an-inch at which point the pepper had lightened up.

I also found that both of my samples burned as clean as I’ve seen on a barber pole. The smoke eventually transitioned to an earthy-woody mix with that white pepper finish. There’s some nuttiness in there, too, and the body was right down the middle medium.

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review black works studio s&r - by gary korb

By the midsection the cigar maintained its medium body and spicy finish. Along the way there were some drive-by flavors including citrus zest, herbs, and bittersweet chocolate. Becoming more dominant at this stage were notes of nutmeg and cinnamon. But for the most part, the cigar offered a cedary, earthy and nutty smoke.

The final inches proved a little more earthy, a medium-plus body, and the nutmeg was even more dominant. Even the cinnamon and nutty notes piped-up a little. The smoke remained smooth, balanced, and as one of the pictures here shows, most nub-worthy.


Are Black Works Studio S&R Cigars Worth Buying?

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review black works studio s&r - nub

Yes, and in more ways than one. Until now, the Oveja Negra brands haven’t exactly been on my radar screen, but this S&R Robusto really blew me away. It was one of the most pleasant surprises of the year for me. The construction alone is worth the trip; then there’s the even burn. It was never too peppery or too strong and it offered most of the flavors I tend to like in a cigar. The balance of flavors and the body and strength performed beautifully. I would definitely smoke it again. Cigar smokers who have not yet discovered Black Works Studio cigars or want to revisit the brand should definitely check out this S&R Robusto. It’s a bit up there, but based on my two sessions, it’s a worthwhile investment.

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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