“Our mission is to bring the most badass cigars to the most badass people” ~ Ismael Olivan
What Makes It Special
The BAMF cigar brand was built for armed professionals by one of the most bad ass armed professionals, Ismael Olivan. Known by everyone as “Ish”, Ismael served for eleven years in the Spanish Army as a driver/aid for two-star generals, martial arts instructor, driving instructor, and contractor for an anti-terrorist unit. During his patrols, Ish became passionate about his cigar breaks, and ultimately passionate about spreading his love of quality cigars.
Ish started BAMF Cigars in 2015. The cigars are produced at his own climate controlled Rodriguez Oliván Cigar Factory (R.O.C.F.) in the Dominican Republic, which holds its own import license, so everything is done in house. The company is co-owned by Ish’s wife, Carrie Rodriguez, and managed by blender/roller Oscar Arias. Ish explained that every cigar is blended by him, then sent to the factory for production.
This MK-45 cigar, named after a very large U.S. Naval artillery gun mount, features a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper. This is a thicker and rustic looking, stalk-cut Maduro colored wrapper leaf, known for its bold spicy-sweetness. The cigar’s strong Dominicano long fillers and binder are also thick, earthy, and full bodied. They will provide a robust and strong flavored smoking experience.
Brand: Bad Ass Mother F*ckin’ Cigars
Vitola: 5×54 Closed Foot
Filler: Ligero Dominicano, Ligero Criollo 98, Seco Corojo
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Binder: Olor Dominicano
Visual / Pre-light Draw
The pig tailed dark brown and oily wrapper has tough looking toothy raised edges with a closed foot. The black and silver shield shaped band displays BAMF Cigars over a single badass, cigar smoking green soldier, holding a tactical rifle to the sky, at the ready. There is an awesome mint chocolate odor on the side sniff and closed foot. There is no spice on the palate while prepping the head for a simple tug away from the cigar’s pigtail. The dry draw is very earthy with a nice hint of milk chocolate.
It’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum…and I’m all outta bubble gum!
There are bold toasted marshmallow notes on the first cream puff, with a unique earthiness mid palate, and nuttiness on the finish. Charred but creamy vanilla and cocoa on the foot smoke odor. The band immediately slid right off. Nice tight draw and excellent smoke input that delivers the cigar’s unique meaty combination of flavors perfectly. Tons of that unique earthy marshmallow flavor on the retro-hale that has a perfectly charred spice on the finish. This first third is simply bad ass!
This cigar is la bomba!
The smoke input hits the palate like it’s been smoking a brisket all day. The cigar’s slow burn remains even with a perfect ash. Then suddenly, my precious marzipan note starts coating the palate. Marzipan is a unique sweet nut paste flavor, derived from almonds.
This is a tasting note that my palate often extracts, from quality cigars packed with quality tobaccos. The char and spice on the retro-hale has intensified, but remains very enjoyable. Time to introduce this badass cigar to a badass bottle, the American Hero Edition of Evan Williams’ 1783 Small Batch Bourbon. Holy whiskey tango foxtrot!
Now let’s add a little “hell march” tribute to the Navy and their bad ass weaponry, including the MK-45:
Let’s pop some smoke!
That perfect ash is holding strong as that almond marzipan flavor starts to dominate the experience. The draw really opens up with tons of creamy chocolate foot smoke odors, then the ash finally falls off with dignity.
The cigar’s burn really slows as all of its earthy, chocolatey, and nutty flavors continue to be delivered perfectly across the entire palate. Those chocolate notes even remain on the palate in between each cocoa puff. What struck me even more about this full flavored cigar is its incredible construction, consistent medium boldness, and mellowed creamy chocolate foot smoke odor in this final third.
U.S. Air Force Veteran Mandy Hazelton calls it a “magic cigar.” I nubbed it and absolutely loved it!
I stumbled upon the Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch Hero Edition while searching for a patriotic bottle to pair with the BAMF MK-45.
This bottle pays homage to the year that Evan Williams, Kentucky’s first commercial distillery, opened its doors. The bottle also recognizes their 2023 class of selected veteran American-Made Heroes: Chaz Koch U.S. Navy, Mandy Hazelton U.S. Air Force (Ret.), David McCkracken U.S. Army (Ret.), Susan Wagner U.S. Navy (Ret.), Brian Barber U.S. Marine Corps, and Laura Jeanne U.S. Army.
The faces and names of these American-Made Heroes are featured on the tag that hangs on the 135,000 bottles nationwide.
Since 2015, the Evan Williams American-Made Heroes Foundation Fund has recognized 54 veteran heroes, and donated $525,000 to veteran focused non-profit organizations. “As the second-largest selling bourbon in the world, we are proud to honor the 2023 American-Made Heroes, who have served our country with courage and dedication,” said Molly Vincent, Evan Williams’ senior brand manager. “The purpose of the foundation is not only to provide a platform for sharing their inspiring stories, but also raising public awareness for causes impacting the veteran community and supporting non-profit organizations that help veterans and their families.”
Whiskey Network’s new Social Media Coordinator, Trinity Ables, describes this 90 proof bourbon to be “more American than cherry pie.” Trinity, Ish, and American-Made Hero Mandy Hazelton, all joined us on The Great Cigar & Pipe Show, for a hilarious live pairing of these two patriotic products. Be sure to check that out below. Also, be sure to subscribe to both Whiskey Network Magazine and The Great Cigar & Pipe Show. We appreciate your support!
Puffing on the cigar to the whiskey produced creamy chocolate covered peanut butter. Kyle Jesso from The Great Cigar & Pipe Show describes the pairing as creamy Nutter Butter cookies, and I agree one hundred percent. There is also some fresh fruitiness on the finish, as the creaminess of the bourbon merries perfectly with the char of the cigar, and that buttery chocolate melts the peanut butter in your mouth.
Sipping the bourbon to the cigar produces nice creamy oakiness. The bourbon becomes extremely nutty, like uniquely charred pistachios or almonds with a hint of charred cherry on the finish. Overall, the pairing reminds me of a minty and chocolatey Italian Christmas pastry or cookie. Absolutely delicious and my favorite part of the pairing.
This is definitely an extraordinary and badass pairing for bad ass mother f*ckers, that’s you Whiskey Network! Time to kick back, relax, and enjoy the rest of this bad ass creamy, nutty, and chocolate bomb pairing. Thank you!
Thank you Ismael Olivan for your amazing cigars! A portion of BAMF proceeds are donated directly to veterans and first responders in need, as well Cigars for Warriors and the Shadow Warriors Project.
Thank you, Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant, Mandy Hazelton, for your continued service to both country and community as a volunteer board member of the Genesis Joy House. This organization’s mission is to help improve the lives of homeless female veterans through resource outreach and shelter. Please visit genesisjoyhouse.com to learn more and donate.
Thank you Trinity Ables and The Great Cigar & Pipe Show Crew: Frank Minutillo, Ronnie Pecorini, Kyle Jesso, and Bob Pecorini, for another great live pairing episode!
Photography by: James Archie