The 7-20-4 cigar brand goes all the way back to 1874 when Roger G. (RG) Sullivan started his cigar company in New Hampshire. The distinctive numerical name came from the address of his factory at 724 Elm Street in Manchester, NH.
The popular 10 cent RG Sullivan 7-20-4 cigars were handmade with a Havana filler wrapped in a Sumatra wrapper and remained popular until Cuban Embargo forced the company to close in 1963.
In 2006, New Hampshire based cigar retailer, Kurt Kendall, decided to revive the brand name as an homage to the past. Importing tobacco from five countries, KA Kendall’s 7-20-4 boutique blend has been winning critical praise since its launch and Kurt continues to launch new varieties under the 7-20-4 brand.
My personal interest in the RG Sullivan brand comes from the fact that my maternal grandfather, Matthew Dziadosz, was a cigar smoker and he was brand loyal to RG Sullivan, smoking both the 7-20-4 and Dexter cigars produced in Manchester, NH.
Knowing the brand was defunct, spotting the distinctive 7-20-4 label on a box in a local cigar shop a few years back gave me pause. I purchased several 7-20-4 sticks that day, which I enjoyed while learning the history of the brand’s recent rebirth.
I have enjoyed several of the KA Kendall 7-20-4 cigars in recent years, including the Factory 57 and barber pole wrapped Hustler series. This past weekend, whilst up in New Hampshire to watch the Super Bowl with dear old dad, I spotted 7-20-4 cigars at the Two Guys Cigar shop in Seabrook and am reviewing here the standard 7-20-4 Toro and the newer 7-20-4 WK Series Robusto.
7-20-4 WK SERIES ROBUSTO
This recent offering from Kurt Kendall is a tribute to his son, William who passed away in 2011.
The wrapper is a nice mild Ecuador CT leaf. The filler is Nicaraguan and Honduran, bound with a Honduran binder.
The cigar has light to medium tan appearance, with smooth seams and several small veins. The stick was very firm, towards the stiff side and felt a bit dry. I was saddened to see the nice triple cap cracked when punched. Perhaps this particular cigar had been stored improperly or exposed to the cold? It was my first and only WK Series to date, so I will reserve judgement here.
The cold draw was flavorful – the predominant flavor I picked up on was cedar and a nice sweetness, like bakery. I read another review online that described hints of butter cookie and I definitely got that.
The first third had a good but slightly loose draw and a perfect burn. The flavor profile was predominantly cedar with some initial sweetness, some cream and nuttiness were also noticed.
By the second third the flavor opened up a bit, the cigar became very creamy with predominant cedar and some spice. I noted a definite butter cookie flavor happening here.
This continued into the final third, a similar flavor profile of cedar, cream and butter cookie. All throughout the last two thirds the draw continued to be a bit loose, but good and the burn was absolutely perfect.
I would rate the WK Robusto from KA Kendall’s 7-20-4 line a solid 8 out of 10 and a cigar I would definitely look for again.
7-20-4 GRAN TORO
The 7-20-4 Gran Toro is a beautiful classic looking cigar with its 56 ring gauge and 6.5″ length. The outer leaf is a dark chocolaty brown showing few veins, smooth seams, a single cap and a pigtail. The cigar was well packed, firm to the touch and just slightly toothy.
The filler is a blend of Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Mexican leaf tobacco, held together with a Colombian binder all inside a Brazilian wrapper. A puro, this stick is definitely not!
I really loved the cold draw of this cigar – earthy, dried fruit, some spice and a hint of molasses were all noted. I took my time and enjoyed drawing on the unlit cigar for a while before starting it with my torch.
Upon lighting the cigar, the first flavor that hit my tongue was red pepper, but not strong pepper – more like a sweet red pepper flavor. There was also a nice flavor of wood, more oak than cedar. A very pleasing flavor combination off the hop.
The flavor profile continued well into the second third as well – nice red pepper, oaky wood and along the way some floral notes were introduced.
This flavor profile continued into the final third and right down to the end – sweet red pepper, wood and earthy floral notes – this was a very tasty cigar, but surprisingly a bit milder than I would have anticipated.
Throughout the cigar, the burn was razor sharp and the draw was very good. The 7-20-4 Gran Toro produced good smoke and a sturdy white ash.
As I mentioned I am brand loyal to Ken Kendall’s resurrection of the 7-20-4 label and I feel a connection to my late grandfather whenever I light up one of these great cigars.
Learn more about 7-20-4 here: https://www.7-20-4.com/