La Tradicion Figurado Series Chulo
Luis, Luis, Luis, what have you done? People know your propensity to "fiddle" with tobacco and get creative in your shapes and blends. This time you toss out some figurados from La Tradicion Cubana!
The Chulo has two different wrapper styles. The first features a smooth, Ecuadorian tan wrapper with a dark Brazilian wrapper at either end. The second style is just the opposite with a dark brown Brazilian on the body of the cigar with the lighter Ecuadorian at either end. The wrapper color is consistent and free from defects on both styles.
For this review, we smoked one of each wrapper style. The Figurado is firm to the touch. The cigar cuts cleanly and the pre-light draw is a good. There is a mild pre-light aroma.
Once lit, the cigar produces a normal, light and dark gray ash. The cigar burns mostly even and never got hot pointing to good construction. A couple of our samples burned so precisely it was like they were an experiment in dimensional physics. It was amazing to see a Figurado burn so well. The aroma is earthy and pleasant, producing a good amount of smoke.
The Chulo starts out mild, and then becomes medium bodied fairly quickly. The cigar starts out tasting earthy and a little young. At the midpoint, the cigar gains strength with a little spice. At the end of the smoke, the cigar became mild again.
Ultimately we found very little difference between the two styles. The taste didn't seem to set them apart. This surprised us, and is likely testament to our inabilities to taste things like burnt Madagascar Vanilla and iodine! Perhaps some aging may help...the cigars, not Luis.
The La Tradicion Cubana Figurado Chulo is a medium bodied cigar that is easy on the taste buds except for some slight harshness which might be remedied with the aforementioned aging. Good construction lets you enjoy the earthy flavors. The taste was consistent throughout the smoke and never tiresome. The good looks and trick wrapper should appeal to Figurado lovers. It is a good afternoon cigar for the experienced smoker.
Looks like this time the Mad Scientist didn't blow up the lab!
BRILLIANT BOUTIQUE CIGAR MAKER
Tasting the best of La Tradicion Cubana!
The inventive Luis Sanchez, whose La Tradicion Cubana factory has become so successful that he’s, opened a second factory, Tabacalera L.T.C., S.A., in Santiago in the Dominican Republic.
Luis Sanchez opened his La Tradicion Cubana factory in Miami in 1995 and has been turning out interesting and unique cigars ever since. One of his specialties is producing some of the largest cigars made anywhere and his awesome “The Big One” in the La Tradicion Cubana line is 12 inches long by 192 (!) ring gauge. It’s the largest production cigar in the world and weighs almost a pound.
“There are some guys in Kentucky who order it,” he said at last year’s RTDA show. “I don’t know what they do with it, but they order it.” We found some of Luis’s regular line is worth ordering as well.
La Tradicion Cubana:
[Miami, Florida: available in 9 sizes]
The flagship of the La Tradicion Cubana factory has been on the market since 1995 and has earned a reputation for consistency and value. Three wrapper shades are available and we tried the light brown, Ecuadorian-grown version which gave the blend a medium body with a light, spicy aroma.
The flavor is calm and relaxed, with a smooth, creamy taste and a beautifully even burn. The finish is short, but it’s easy to smoke and easy to enjoy.
There’s a modest undertone of pepper in the second half, but it only signals the end of a very pleasant and well-made cigar.
Overall grade: A-: Excellent.
Las Memorias Cubana:
[Miami, Florida: available in 4 sizes]
Luis Sanchez knows how to make big cigars. And although there are only four sizes in this line, they’re all enormous: the Gordos is five inches long by 64 ring; the Especiales is six inches by 64; the Campanas is 6½ inches by 60 and the Especiales XXL 6½ by 96 ring.
Introduced in 2003, the blend is surprising for such large cigars. Full in body for sure with a spicy aroma, the taste is spicy and has a peppery finish, but with excellent balance and a measured tone that’s never harsh or bitter. Nevertheless, you’ll feel the pinch of the peppery finish on your tongue as the cigar gets going.
The real trick is to be able to handle such a large cigar – a full inch in diameter – in the mouth. But if you can, the construction is excellent with an easy draw and a more gentle flavor in the second half. Let’s just call this line a “gentle giant” and leave it at that.
Overall grade: A-: Excellent.
Luis Sanchez can be rightly proud of the top-quality cigars he offers. Sanchez runs his own production facility, Bravo! ~ Rich Perelman
LA TRADICION CUBANA FIGURADO SERIES
Brand: La Tradicion Cubana By Jesse
Line: Figurado Series
Vitola: Reed 6 ¼ x 54 Chulos 5 x 54
Origin: Dominican Republic by LTC, S.A.
Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro or Ecuadorian Shade
Binder: Honduran Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan Body: Medium Strength: Medium
Description: Joe from Fullers Pullers asked me if I was interested in trying a new line of cigars from La Tradicion Cubana. The new line is a series of figurados the first two releases are the Reeds and Chulos. The Reed is a chisel tip cigar named for the resemblance to the wind wood instrument. The Chulos, translated as “cool” here as in some cool looking perfectos with either a maduro wrapper or natural tips or a natural wrapper with maduro tips. The Figurado Series differs from the normal La Tradicion Cubana cigars only in shape and the wrapper on the maduros, other wise this is the same blend.
The Maduros:I had the chance to try both the Reed and Chulo Maduro and was excited to see how a Brazilian wrapper would change one of my favorite cigars. The Brazilian wrapper is a bit rougher looking than the Ecuadorian, but that is no surprise. Construction is great, a nice firm heavy feel with a good draw. The flavor starts out with coffee and nutty flavor profile, but once it warms it really moves from coffee to a sweet chocolate with a consistency. As far as burn goes I’ve got no complaints, the cigar burned well and gave off a nice amount of smoke.
The Naturals: I only had a chance to smoke the Chulos in the Ecuadorian Shade Wrapper, but it has a very similar profile to the traditional La Tradicion Cubana. Even though I love a good full bodied smoke, I really enjoy a milder cigar with a good amount of flavor. I smoked the first one on a Saturday morning with a fresh cup of coffee and I was in bliss. The cigar starts out very nutty and sweeter than the maduro. The coffee and chocolate are still there, but a pronounced sweet spice that lingers in the mouth comes out more in these I can’t quite put my finger on. Same great burn as the maduros on these.
Verdict: A fair warning, once you try these you’ll be hooked. I’m a huge fan of the La Tradicion Cubana and these cigars just reinforce why I am.
The JML 1902 CORONA EXTRA is the first cigar coming from the La Tradicion Cubana’s new factory located in the Dominican Republic. The cigar is named for Jose M Losa, Luis Sanchez’s grandfather who was born in 1902 and always had a Churchill in his mouth. This cigar is a full-bodied blend of Dominican Ligero and Seco, a Honduran wrapper and a Pennsylvanian wrapper.
The JML 1902 has a dark maduro wrapper that has a few larger veins and an oily feel to it. The cigar had a nice heavy fill for the cigar’s size and no unusual soft spots. The cigar held together well when cut, no stray bits of tobacco or unraveling wrapper. The draw was comfortable and the cigar had a pleasant flavor even unlit.
Taking advice from the Stogie Guys, I’ve started using matches to light my cigars and savoring the lighting process. Lighting with matches seems to give me less issues with uneven burning. The cigar lit nicely and did not wait long to assail me with flavors. The JML 1902 has bite, and is not a cigar for the meek. The cigar has strong dark chocolate body with a sharp sweet and spicy complexity. The first time I smoked this cigar it caught me unawares, I got so caught up in the flavors that the buzz hit me hard and fast. The next two I slowed down and really savored the cigar enjoying a good mild buzz from the nicotine.
The JML 1902 is great cigar with complex flavor, but I think age will do wonders to this cigar. I think a bit more time will let the strength mellow out a bit and take an edge off the bite. Smoke this cigar slow as it does hit a bit hard. I’m going to revisit this cigar in a few months and see if some time mellows it out a bit. Rating 8 out of 10.
Keepers of the Flame
Cigar Reviews and Primings from the Cigar World
Las Memorias Cubanas Campanas
Cigars from Little Havana’s La Tradicion have garnered much praise from fans of boutique stogies. I certainly have nothing against huge conglomerates like Altadis or General because they make quality consistent cigars, but there’s something special about a small run handmade from a mom and pop chinchal. But business being what it is, successful small runs turn into bigger ones, and boutique companies become industry juggernauts.
This has not yet happened to La Tradicion — they are still a relatively small company (though not really a chinchal) and they are growing despite setbacks such as the fire that hit their Calle Ocho shop last November. The fire was suspected as arson, one incident in a string of such tragedies that befell the neighborhood last fall. The fire destroyed the strip mall in which La Tradicion was located, along with the celebrated Libreria Cervantes, a Spanish language book shop.
The only items to survive the fire in the galera were some records on computer disks and their cigar store Indian. The only fortunate aspect of the fire was that La Tradicion had already begun a transition to the Dominican Republic. After several years in the Little Havana location Sanchez began to explore a move to the Dominican as a solution to labor difficulties and the rising cost of doing business… expenses like fire insurance, and rebuilding your factory after some asshat burns it down..
Luis Sanchez succinctly describes La Memorias Cubanas this way: “Light wrapper. Full body.” Sometimes less is more… except when it comes to ring gauge. La Tradicion has set records for some of the largest ring gauges made — and this line follows the trend. “Campanas” is a traditional torpedo-shape production vitola; the Cuban Bolivar Belicoso Fino is one of the more common examples, but at 6 1/2 x 60 the LMC Campanas is a bit larger than the traditional vitola.
The wrapper is a silky claro Ecuadorian Sumatra. The filler is a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan leaf, bound up in a selection from Honduras. The result is a nice looking, if somewhat unwieldy cigar. Between the fingers it feels like grasping a tree branch. The nice thing about a torpedo is that it allows you to choose the aperture of the opening depending on where you cut it. Otherwise, you’re stuck with a jaw breaker.
Las Memorias Cubanas come equipped with a thin cedar sheath — this imparts a distinctly woody scent to the wrapper and the pre-light draw. There is an occasional small green blemish on a couple of these, but nothing to be concerned about. This torpedo draws well and lights easily, even though it seems like a large area to light. It sort of felt like painting the foot with fire. Once it was lit it burned very well and needed no further attention. All the construction tests were passed with flying colors.
The initial flavor is a little mild, sweet and nutty with a hint of pepper on the nose and in the back of the throat. The weight of the smoke is quite heavy though, and the texture is deliciously creamy. For the first fifteen or twenty minutes this is a very domesticated cigar. At the two-thirds point it revs things up with a spadeful of earth and more generous helpings of pepper. The aroma from the wrapper is really nice — toasty with some delicate semi-floral accents. So far this has balanced really well with the earthier flavors on the tongue.
While I am admiring the solid salt and pepper ash that I’ve built and ashed only once, I become aware of an intensely earthy and quite lengthy finish. The last third of this cigar is quite powerful in terms of flavor, but it loses its sense of balance at this point. The nuances from the wrapper become completely obscured by the dark spice on the tongue, and the flavor itself seems a bit one-dimensional at this point. I found that this cigar is very good up to this point, but I didn’t find it “nubbable.”
I really liked this cigar… up to a point. But that point is where somebody with a taste for heavy earthy cigars might begin to really enjoy it. These will run you around 6 USD a stick, which is quite reasonable. These are very large, very well made cigars. But for me, I think I’ll be sticking to LTC’s Sabor Cubano and La Tradicion Cubana. –cigarfan
This cigar review of the Sabor Cubano Grand Torpedo is part of a series of reviews on the Top Ten Made in the USA cigars of 2006.
If you are a cigar lover, one of the most enjoyable hours you are ever likely to spend will be with a Sabor Cubano cigar made by Luis Sanchez. Luis is not only a master, he is also an artist. Quite literally. He designed the original concept and box art for his La Tradicion Cubana cigar line, based on traditional Cuban designs with paper labels over cedar boxes. Luis’ La Tradicion Cubana cigars are also quite good, as is their third line, Las Memorias Cubana, and I recommend them as well. I have chosen to include his Sabor Cubano (”Cuban Taste”) line in this top ten list simply because I am a sucker for maduros — and these are very good maduros.
The Sabor Cubano cigar line features a five-year-old Brazilian oscuro maduro wrapper. You will not end up with blackened lips when smoking one of these, because the wrapper is 100% natural. It has not been “cooked” or colored in any way to darken it.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me back up and fill in a little about Luis Sanchez and “the tradition.” That is really where starts, because the name of his cigar factory in Miami and the name of his company comes from something he feels very strongly about: tradition.
The Sanchez family has roots in the cigar industry going back to 1928 when they lived in San Juan y Martinez in the Pinar del Rio tobacco province of Cuba. When he started his cigar factory in Miami’s history “Little Havana” district on Calle Ocho (Eighth Street), he started with a dedication to producing cigars with that same Cuban quality and spirit.
His cigars are rolled by Cuban expatriate “Tabaqueros” with an impressive work history before coming to this country: one with 16 years experience at the “H. Uppman” facility in Havana, another with 18 years experience at Havana’s “Romeo & Juliet,” factory, and the grand old man, Leo Peraza, with 46 years experience rolling cigars in Cuba.
The experience shows. Construction on these cigars is flawless. The appearance is beautiful. The wrapper is dark, oily, flavorful and, as I mentioned above, completely natural.
In addition to the San Andreas maduro wrapper, the Sabor Cubano cigars have an Ecuadorean binder and a filler of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco. They burn evenly, with a light gray ash that looks good against the dark cigar. The aroma, both pre-light and while smoking, is earthy and full.
And the flavor. For a cigar named “Cuban Taste,” this stick does not disappoint. It is strong, full-flavored and medium to full in body, yet extremely smooth and rich at the same time. This is an extremely good cigar. You will enjoy smoking it.
If maduros are not your preferred smoke, then by all means try the regular La Tradicion Cubana line or the stronger, fuller-bodied La Memorias Cubana cigars that Luis Sanchez also produces in his Little Miami factory. All of them are very good. All of them are amazingly economical. All of them are made in the U.S.A.
Keepers of the Flame
Sabor Cubano is a product of La Tradicion Cubana, owned and operated by Luis Sanchez in Miami’s Little Havana. Sanchez comes from a family with roots in Cuba’s pre-revolutionary cigar industry, and his tabaqueros are veterans of Havana’s galeras, some with more than twenty years experience rolling cigars in the traditional Cuban fashion.
La Tradicion Cubana got its start in 1995 using blends that were inspired by Sanchez’s grandfather. Sabor Cubano — La Tradicion’s maduro entry — was first released in 1997.
Sanchez is obviously very proud of the maduro used in this blend, repeatedly noting (on La Tradicion’s website and elsewhere) that the wrapper is processed in an entirely natural fashion. (Some of the maduro cigars I’ve smoked recently have made me wonder, like Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel, “How much more black could it be? And the answer is… None. None more black.” And while these cigars haven’t stained my lips or fingers, they have raised some suspicions… but I digress.)
The maduro wrapper employed here is from Brazil. By the time it is used in the Sabor Cubano it has been aged for five years, and is accompanied by a binder from Ecuador, and filler from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. La Tradicion makes some huge cigars; the standard La Tradicion line includes a gigantic pyramid that comes in at 8 1/2 inches by 80 ring gauge, and they are also the makers of The Big One, perhaps the largest cigar made for non-Guinness breaking purposes. It measures 12 inches long by a whopping 192 ring gauge. Wow.
At only 5 inches by 54, the Petite Torpedo is a veritable dwarf by comparison. The wrapper is not quite oscuro, but most definitely maduro. It has a rough texture, glistens with oil, and prelight the scent is bright and grassy. It smells very much like the few fresh rolled cigars I’ve had the pleasure to smoke. After snipping the tip I found a perfect prelight draw and a touch of pepper on the tongue.
This little guy smokes like a champ. Trails of white smoke wisp from the head of the cigar after every puff. I love that. It doesn’t burn perfectly evenly (what maduro does?) but otherwise I’m very impressed with the construction here. It starts up with a peppery flavor that has a slight bite to it without being truly sharp. The texture of the smoke is smooth and rich, and the aroma is sweet with woody spices.
I’d characterize this cigar as medium in both body and strength. It’s full flavored, but with a short finish and little aftertaste. What really sends me over the edge is the aroma from the wrapper — it’s far more complex than the last two double maduros I’ve reviewed. There’s a bit of char towards the end of the cigar, which is what typified the MX2 and the SLR Serie G, but the Sabor Cubano offers the sweetness of maduro without that carbonized flavor overtaking the softer notes. It’s a more balanced aroma, and in my opinion, a superior smoke overall.
La Tradicion is a boutique brand, but their prices don’t reflect that. Boxes of the Petite Torpedo go for around 75 dollars — well worth it; in fact I’d call that a steal. With a recent expansion to the Dominican Republic the company may be looking to go big, which puts fear into my stogie loving soul. I have a few other blends from the Calle Ocho shop to try, and if they’re as good as the Sabor Cubano I’m going to be eying a certain closet in my house for its humidor potential.
Sabor Cubano Robusto Cigar Review
By Jesse Cigar Jack.
Brand: La Tradicion Cubana
Line: Sabor Cubano
Vitola: Robusto 5 x 50
Origin: Santiago, DR
Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican
Description: Born in Miami’s Little Havana, the Sabor Cubano was produced by La Tradicion Cubana using tobacco from four countries. This combination gives the cigar a complex flavor profile. Construction is beautiful, though the wrapper is a bit lighter than most maduro cigars I’ve seen. It is firm with no unusual soft or hard spots with a nice weight for its size. I liked the draw of this cigar, as it had just the right amount of resistance I enjoy.
Once lit, it was the sweet aroma of the smoke the really stood out. The cigar itself started with an earthy flavor and a hint of leather that dwindled away quickly. On top of the earthen flavor was a sweet spiciness that picked up about 1/3 of the way in. About halfway through it I pegged what the flavor profile kept bringing to mind, Scotch! The smooth earth and dark chocolate body with hints of caramel sweetness really would pair well with a Scotch or Bourbon. I was pleased with how the cigar finished, but you need to smoke that second half of the cigar slowly to enjoy the complexity that comes out.
Verdict: This is your next purchase. The cigar is very smooth, easy to smoke and not overpowering. The medium strength makes it easy to pick up at almost any time of day and would go great with a cup of good coffee to begin the day or a good drink to end the night.
THE BOX PRESS
Cigar reviews, news and ramblings by Kevin
La Tradicion Cubana Deluxe Anniversary Corona
Luis Sanchez of Tabacalera LTC, S.A. (formerly La Tradicion Cubana) produces one stellar smoke after another. His blends are diverse in style, his prices never make me cringe, and his consistency and quality control are outstanding. Further, my artsy side likes that Sanchez created his own artwork for LTC’s bands and boxes.
La Tradicion Cubana originally operated out of a Little Havana storefront, a classic “boutique” producing a relatively small number smokes. With the exception of a few private labels, Sanchez’ portfolio consisted of only three brands — La Tradicion Cubana, Sabor Cubano, and the full-bodied, large format Las Memorias Cubana. Only after the company moved production to the Dominican Republic in 2006 did they add new brands, including the JML 1902, El Botin Dominicano, and Palmas Puro.
Introduced at the 2004 R.T.D.A. show, the Deluxe Anniversary was created to commemorate LTC’s 10th Anniversary. It used a Nicaraguan-Dominican filler blend, Honduran binder and a robust Ecuador colorado wrapper, a distinct switch from the EC-CT shade wrapper used in the regular LTC line. All tobaccos for this limited release were from the 1996 crop.
The 6″ x 44 Corona is dry looking with a thinly veined, chocolate-brown wrapper. Its presentation is impressive nonetheless, with the aforementioned throwback artwork and a cedar sleeve. It is spicy and strong from the start. The texture of the smoke is dry, with hints of nuts and white pepper. On the first third, it stops just short of delivering a bite, so you’ll want to keep a drink handy (in my case, a Colombian coffee).
The sharpness fades by halftime, even as the smoke develops more strength. It remains predominantly peppery with a rich nuttiness and a little dark chocolate on the final third. As I approach the nub I realize this thing is kicking my can. Still, I’m reluctant to let it go.
The LTC Deluxe Ann’y can best be characterized as “sneaky strong.” Why its power surprises me I can’t be sure. Maybe it’s the slender proportions or the relatively dull looking wrapper, but there’s nothing about its exterior that would lead you to believe it’s the powerhouse it is.
As is typical of an LTC-made smoke, construction is first rate. A draw with just the right resistance yields full clouds of smoke.
CONCLUSION: If you can hunt down a box of the LTC Deluxe Anniversary, your efforts will be rewarded. After a thin, sharp beginning, it rounds out nicely into a peppery, nutty, full-bodied smoke. My only noteworthy criticism is that the Deluxe Ann’y shows more pure power than depth. But there’s more than enough flavor to satisfy. Best of all, you’re getting top shelf Miami craftsmanship for a fair price. SCORE: 88 4/08
THE BOX PRESS
Cigar reviews, news and ramblings by Kevin
JML 1902 CORONITA
I’m on a bit of a Luis Sanchez kick. I reviewed the LTC Deluxe Anniversary two weeks ago, and today I have a more recent release from LTC S.A., the JML 1902 Coronita. Big thanks to Jesse at Cigar Jack, who turned me on to these with his intriguing review last May.
Two words: Pennsylvania Broadleaf. And not just a little bit of it buried in the filler blend, either. This cigar is wrapped in PABL. The old Purofino Dom from the 90s (anyone remember those?) used a PABL binder, but I’ve never run across a premium brand using this wrapper. The filler is Dominican and the binder is Honduran.
The JML 1902, named in honor of Luis Sanchez’ grandfather, Jose M. Losa, debuted at last year’s R.T.D.A. show. The first thing I noticed upon cracking open my bundle was that these wrappers are, well, ugly. They’re not particularly veiny, but ruddy in texture and streaky in color. Nut brown with streaks of black. Maybe this is why we don’t run into more PA wrapper?
Not that it matters, but the bands are curious as well. Luis has taken great care in producing band and box art for his other brands, but he obviously punted on these.
Despite the dainty name, the Coronita is healthy-sized corona at 5.75″ x 44. It clips and lights without a hitch. The initial flavors are what you’d expect from a broadleaf — a healthy dose of pepper with woody undertones. First I detect a bit of dry cocoa on the finish. Again, typical of a broadleaf.
But then things get interesting, as the finish develops flavors I usually associate with an Ecuador sungrown — slightly sweet, caramelized, even bready. While the base pepper and wood notes are always present, the highlight of this smoke is the middle third, where there is a pronounced cookie dough note on a long finish.
It’s at this point I also notice the aroma is warmer and toastier than a CTBL. Typically, I find broadleaf maduros to have a sharp, occasionally obnoxious aroma. Not the case here.
The power picks up notably on the final third, as the sweetness on the finish fades and pepper begins to dominate. It ends where it began, but considerably stronger and with some fleeting dark coffee notes.
CONCLUSION: The JML 1902 Coronita starts and finishes like a classic CTBL, but the 30-minutes in between are a robust, interesting hybrid between CTBL and SG. In other words, the PA Broadleaf wrapper is more than just a novelty. These lack the sophisticated presentation I’m accustomed to seeing from LTC S.A., but this under-the-radar brand delivers where it counts — flavor, burn properties and value
SCORE: 88 4/08
Real Reviews From Real Smokers!!!
Keepers of the Flame
JML 1902 Torpedo November 2011
JML 1902, from Miami’s La Tradicion Cubana, is named for José M. Losa, the grandfather of LTC founder Luis Sanchez. The JML was the first cigar from the new factory in the Dominican Republic after the original factory in Miami was destroyed by fire in 2006.
The JML 1902 uses a Pennsylvania wrapper, which is unusual for today but historically well grounded. In the nineteenth century so many cigars were made in Pennsylvania’s Conestoga River Valley that the word “stogie” became common usage throughout the United States. In the past few years the leaf has experienced a resurgence, especially Pennsylvania broadleaf, which has been used by Rocky Patel and A.J. Fernandez in several different blends. Like Connecticut Broadleaf it is often used as binder, but it is less commonly seen as wrapper.
Both Connecticut and Pennsylvania broadleaf are grown from Cuban seed, but apparently there’s something about Lancaster County that adds some fight to the leaf. It is generally acknowledged that Pennsylvania leaf is more robust in flavor than the Connecticut variety, and it takes longer to process and mature. These characteristics may be why Penna leaf is less commonly used. The resurgence may be due to the fact that cigar smokers have become increasingly curious and more open to new experiences — sometimes it seems that the rarer the leaf, the better. But the cigar, however refined or rare its components, must still perform well. And the JML 1902 does just that.
That said, I don’t think the Pennsylvania wrapper on the JML 1902 is actually broadleaf. It’s thinner, more attractive, and in my opinion more subtle than broadleaf. In combination with a Honduran binder and Dominican seco and ligero fillers, the wrapper adds a sweet sharpness that balances out the blend very well.
Four sizes are currently available:
•Petit-Cetro – 5 3/4 x 44 •Corona – 6 1/2 x 44 •Churchill – 6 1/2 x 50 •Torpedo – 6 1/4 x 54
The vintage appeal of the umber-colored band sets the tone for this cigar. It looks like something you might find in your grandfather’s junk drawer, along with a dried out can of Kiwi and a stitching awl for fixing baseball mitts. The band is offset by the dark smooth wrapper, a little darker than colorado maduro but not quite maduro. The veins are pronounced enough to make the wrapper rustic without being rough.
The roll is solid, though the cigar feels light in the hand. The cap is finished nicely and the tip clips cleanly with a guillotine cutter. It draws perfectly, burns evenly, and the ash is only slightly flaky.
Overall excellent construction.
The JML 1902 torpedo starts up with a sweet bready aroma, something like freshly baked cookies. (And I know how odd that sounds.) Beneath this fascinating aroma are earthy, mineral-like flavors. The flavor is high-toned, sweet but not creamy, and very well balanced. The smoke texture is medium in body, but it has plenty of strength.
Coffee flavors predominate in the mid-section, with sugary, almost maple syrup-like accents on the nose. Earthy flavors continue to occupy the lower register but they gain in strength, as does the aftertaste.
The peppery aftertaste takes over in the last part of the cigar, becoming quite strong, even though the sweetness of the wrapper is still detectable. I found I had to slow down considerably in the last lap to keep the cigar in balance.
There is a whole lot to like about the JML 1902. It’s complex, flavorful, and for those who like a good kick in the pants, it’s got one in reserve. The balance of subtle sweetness and earthy power is quite impressive. Based on these things alone I’d recommend this cigar to any seasoned smoker, but the best part comes last: the price. The JML is a 3 to 4 dollar stick. $60 to 75 USD per box at LTC’s online shop. That’s a screamin’ deal.
This is one of the best cigars I’ve smoked all year, and without a doubt the best cigar in this price range. I can think of no excuse for anyone not to try this cigar. None. Well, maybe one. Some reviewers have reported that these can be a little heavy-handed when fresh. That wasn’t my experience, but it you prefer a gentler smoke, just put them away for a few months and let them mellow. Like any good investment, patience will pay dividends.
Final Score: 92