Blackbird Cigar Co. "Finch" Review: The Light Side of Sumatra

Sumatran tobacco isn't meant for everyone, especially those who are sensitive to intense flavors and strength. 

If it's not too spicy, it's entirely too spiced tasting. Dark and oily, or peppery and reddish in color, the Sumatran leaf is the leather glove of the cigar world. Rugged and stylish one moment, and punching your lights out the next.

But when master blender Jonas Santana crafted the Sumatran-wrapped "Finch" for Blackbird Cigar Co., he purposefully toned things down a notch. 

The blend is still very much a spiced Sumatran sampler but in a mild-medium-bodied, medium-strength smoke. Something for beginners who have never encountered Indonesian seed tobacco before. Or even for those looking to move from milder blends to something a bit more... lively. 

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Unlit Impressions

Blackbird Finch Sumatra

It took me a hot minute to get over the big-ass powder blue band, and electric tangerine "Finch" typography scribbled down its front. But upon closer inspection, I discovered miniature blackbirds embossed all over the broad band. A fun touch to go with the Blackbird Cigar Co. mascot on the back that doubles as a clever pull tag for when it comes time for its removal.

The wrapper is soft and somewhat veiny (as most Sumatran wrappers typically are), and it smells as it should. Spiced, herbal, and slightly spicy, with a hint of sweetness and sun-grown strength behind it all.

Construction feels a bit squishy, almost to the point of the cigar being labeled as underfilled, and cold pulls produce a fluid draw that confirms this fact. Unlit tastes are more of a milky, almond cream and spiced chai tea taste, with sprinklings of white pepper hither and yon. 

Initial Smoke 

Blackbird Finch Sumatra

Like many sun-grown stogies sporting Sumatran tobacco somewhere in or outside, there is a little bit of intensity to the start of this cigar. This fades after the first few puffs and turns toward a mellow, traditional Sumatran spiced characteristic. 

1st Half 

Blackbird Finch Sumatra

Once that first belt of medium-strength spice subsides, you are left with a very milky, almond-like smoking session. The bright, herb tea tastes are still there, as are all of the sun-grown Sumatran spiced notes, but it's all been filtered. Think spiced milk tea with extra cream and a dash of powdered cinnamon and nutmeg on top for a little added flavor.

Mild+ in strength, medium in body, and medium in flavor, this first half is precisely what was marketed to us, and dammit if Blackbird doesn't deliver on its promise. Bravo boys.

2nd Half    

Blackbird Finch Sumatra

Moving into the heart of the cigar, you will note an uptick in strength and flavor, but not so much body. Nothing intense. Just notable. And delicious.

Mild milk tea tastes and green tea bitterness become more zestful and transform into a chai tea spice characteristic. Whole peppercorns, cardamom pods, sweet orange peel, coriander seed, cinnamon sticks, cloves, ginger, star anise... you name the spice and you're palate will probably pick up on it to some degree or another. 

You're still treading in medium strength and flavor territory at this point, it's just far more animated than before. 

Parting Puffs   

Blackbird Finch Sumatra

I'm not going to lie. Both times that I smoked this cigar, parting puffs on this blend was a lackluster experience for me. 

Sure, there's still lots of Sumatran spice and sun-grown flavors, but it all becomes a bit chaotic by this point. Bitter to the point of being harsh at times, the once delicious flavors turned into a disoriented cigar flavor profile that I struggled to dissect.

This results in the almond milkiness that was present throughout being completely overrun, along with all of the subtler spiced notes and delicate tea tastes that were detected. Definitely, a stick that I feel needs to be put down a pinch sooner to prevent you from finishing with a bad taste in your mouth. 

Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw   

Blackbird Finch Sumatra

Unlike other cigars that I have smoked from Blackbird Cigar Co., this "Finch Sumatra" struggles when it comes to construction. 

Continuous touch-ups, ash drops, flakes galore floating around, rollercoaster-grade burn lines, and fluctuations in heat were all noted on both samples I smoked. The only solid performances were the draw, which was a B+ in my book, and the final third, which somehow managed to fix itself early on. 

 Smoke quality scored a B+ as well, and was both rich and easy to retrohale in medium amounts.

Final Thoughts 

Blackbird Finch Sumatra

I like what Blackbird Cigar Co. is gunning for with this blend. For too long Sumatran cigars have been pigeon-holed into being just a "rough 'n tumble spicy smoking experience for full-strength cigar fans." 

Exposing the gentler, more refined side of this tobacco varietal is commendable, and quite desirable if done properly. Which for the most part, this premium cigar blend provides.

Unfortunately, the frustrating combustion issues, as well as that unappetizing tail-end of the final third are too blatant to be overlooked. 

So while I will recommend this Sumatran blend to anyone asking for a milder spiced cigar, I will also include a disclaimer that it may misbehave, and to be wary of the last fifteen minutes of the barrel. 

Blackbird Finch Sumatra

Cigar Stats


Blackbird Cigar Co. "Finch"


Sumatran (Ecuador?)


Indonesia (Sumatran?)


Dominican Republic & USA


Dominican Republic


5" x 50 "Robusto"



Pairing Drink

Ginger Spiced Herb Tea



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