Black Works Studio "Killer Bee" Maduro Review: Stung But Not Forgotten

Supporting smaller, boutique cigar brands isn't just a lot of delicious fun, it's an obligation. 

This goes beyond "helping out the little guy," and "supporting small business." Unlike other businesses, premium cigars are a 100% hand-crafted product, and one that undergoes considerable, blending, aging, and fermentation procedures.

Furthermore, smaller, boutique brands can roll-out all sorts of specialty sticks, and can get creative without having to worry about what their corporate overlords have to say.

Take Black Works Studio for instance. A boutique cigar brand that has produced some super fun, ultra-edgy cigars over the years, with the maduro version of the "Killer Bee" being one of those blends. 

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Unlit Impressions

Black Works Studio Killer Bee
With its shade-grown "stinger stripes" standing out as its most notable feature, and its iridescent gold and black band right beneath, this fun little maduro makes for quite the statement smoke.

It's also got a closed foot and is perfectly rolled. Not a soft spot or uneven seam to be detected here.

The Ecuadorian-grown maduro wrapper (presumably a Connecticut Broadleaf varietal) provides faint earthen mocha notes to the nose, along with some grassy touches and a bit of pepper. Being that the foot is closed, it is hard to detect much else from that end of the stick.

Initial Smoke

Black Works Studio Killer Bee

Peppery, and very much Maduro-forward, the first few millimeters of this blend builds a basic, but easily enjoyable beginning. Behind this, a mocha-like backdrop starts to form, and it is one that is sure to remain.

1st Half


Black Works Studio Killer Bee

The first big surprise you will discover within this stick is its lightness. Body and strength are a medium/medium+ affair, but the flavors of this are very bright and refreshing. This is especially true during the first third and throughout the entire first half.

There's a coriander powder taste in there somewhere, which brightens things up significantly and makes all of those darker maduro tones feel and taste far less intense. Mix that with a splash of milkiness that is often associated with milder Connecticut shade wrappers, and this stick is off to a bang.

2nd Half

Black Works Studio Killer Bee

If the center of this blend is both bold and bright, then anything past it is roasty and rich. That tingly, coriander-like taste trickles out, and in its place comes forth this mocha profile. One that features the milky taste of freshly roasted hazelnut and pralines & cream. 

This cigar flavor profile dominates the palate all the way up until the center of the final third. At which point a fun aromatic entrance of rosehips occurs via retrohale. 

It's still very much a bold medium smoking experience, but these accompanying tastes and aromatics make the maduro potency of the "Killer Bee" far more approachable and enjoyable.

Parting Puffs 

Black Works Studio Killer Bee
As with most maduro cigars, the final inch or two of this blend becomes this charry, chewy glob of opaqueness. All of the subtler notes become overpowered by tobacco oils, tannins, and maduro musk, with the only notable addition being a bold leathery taste, and some spare cedar thrown in for the hell of it.


Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw

Black Works Studio Killer Bee

Despite the first centimeter or so of the stick dropping its ash, this petit corona/rothschild hybridized vitola burned beautifully. 

Combustion, burn lines, smoke creation, draw... A+ all around for both sticks that I smoked.

Final Thoughts

Black Works Studio Killer Bee
If you've got an hour to spare, and are in the mood for something dark, but uniquely different, give this blend a puff.

Black Works Studio and the Fabrica Oveja Negra facility down in Nicaragua that rolls the "Killer Bee" for this boutique brand have done a fantastic job of making an approachable, medium-strength miniature maduro.

So shop small ya'll, and snag a stick or two of these little stingers, because I get the feeling that they will quickly become a go-to dark cigar short smoke option.


Black Works Studio Killer Bee

Cigar Stats


Black Works Studio "Killer Bee" Maduro


Ecuador Maduro (Connecticut Broadleaf?)








4.5" x 46 "Petit Corona/Rothschild Hybrid"



Pairing Drink

Boss Coffee Café Italiano



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