Cigar Review – José L. Piedra Petit Cazadores

Jose L. PiedraOrigin : Cuba
Format : Petit Cazadores
Size : 105mm (4 1/8") x 43 (17,07mm)
Hand-Finished Short-Filler
Price : ~$1.70 (online)
More info about purchasing Jose L. Piedra cigars...

Here the humblest of all Habanos cigars, in many European cigar shops at a wonderfully low price, but in fact a consistent good smoke giving extraordinary value for money. José L. Piedra is one of the globally best-selling of all Cuban cigar brands, thanks to the price point but also because smokers often find, 'Hey, José, you are ok!'

Tasting

The Piedras are surprisingly tasty & not so rough as one might guess. The Petit Cazadores is not only a fine short smoke at a budget price, it is also the ideal cigar to keep around for your not-yet-cigar-puffing friends who have a hankering to 'smoke a Cuban' & who might lay the stick down too early.

Habanos lists José L. Piedra cigars as all 'hand-made', but 'hand-finished' would be a better term, given that Piedras are all 'short-filler' cigars, i.e., the filler is composed of chopped-up tobacco leaf small pieces, rather than hand-rolled larger leaf portions as in premium cigars.

José Piedras do, however, have a hand-applied wrapper & traditional Cuban cap that must be punched or cut for you to smoke it. It thus looks quite like a 'real' Cuban cigar, and your newbie mate smoking a cigar for the first time can have the 'full experience' including cutting or punching his or her stick to get it ready.

The Petit Cazadores is a terrific vitola, the 43 ring gauge a whisker thicker than a standard Corona, just plump enough to be ok for robusto fans, whilst still pleasant for those like myself who prefer less-thick cigars. The length at 105 mm, or just over 4 inches, looks and feels good, giving some of us just over a half-hour smoking time.

Flavour-wise there can be some variance given what short-filler pieces end up in the cigar, tho overall I find the José Piedra Petit Cazadores to have reasonably rich & pleasant nutty flavours, sometimes even with a bit of a creamy tone as if there was peanut butter, along with some cedar or woodiness especially at the beginning. Sometimes a Piedra is a bit of a dud, or has some unwelcome acid or harshness a bit early, but sometimes it's terrific & it seems you got one with some Montecristo remnants stuffed in there.

The Piedras (and most of the 'better' short-fillers) do benefit from humidor time, contrary to the myth; in my area the Habanos shops keep the Piedra boxes in the humidor room.

Cosmetically the Piedras can be a little rough, sometimes with a humorously mis-matched cap, veins or spots etc., but they tend to be sufficiently oily & sturdy. I find they burn well & generally draw easily (a typical short-filler virtue), with decent ash. Short-fillers can get harsh a bit earlier, but I generally cross the 30-minute mark with the Petit Cazadores in my slow-puffing style.

Because the short-filler innards of these sticks are similar to machine-made stogies, some prosperous smokers avoid them. But in fact, of the 30 Cuban cigar brands that can be counted in current production, no less than 9 brands have at least one short-filler cigar in the range.

3 of those 9 Cuban brands are non-Habanos, the all-machine-made marques of ICT (Internacional Cubana de Tabacos), including the well-known mild, pre-cut Guantánamera sticks (another good-value 'cheap Cuban').

Of the 27 Habanos brands, 3 marques are entirely short-filler (tho conventionally wrapped & capped, so 'hand-made'), and 3 have only one short-filler cigar. Por Larrañaga & Rafael Gonzalez have short-filler 37 ring gauge Panetelas, whilst Fonseca has a short-filler 40 ring gauge Delicias, all the rest of those brands being long-filler; whilst Flor de Cano, Quintero & José L. Piedra have only short-filler cigars.

Piedras are the lowest-price of the Cuban short-fillers but also the one rated by Habanos as being strongest in flavour, 'medium-full' like many Montecristos & Cohibas ... and the flavour strength along with the low price (in my part of Europe) make these an irresistible buy.

José Piedras are usually sold only in their handy boxes of 5 (or 25), but here in the Low Countries, a box of 5 Petit Cazadores (Spanish for 'Little Hunters'), sell for just under the price of a single Montecristo No. 4. The brand is a classic going back to the late 1800s, José LaMadrid Piedra being head of a family in Cuba originally from Asturias in northern Spain. José Piedra cigars are not the highest-profit items for Habanos, but I well appreciate how Piedras became amongst the leaders for Habanos in terms of number of sticks sold around the world.

You might be interested in these articles too:

2 Comments on “Cigar Review – José L. Piedra Petit Cazadores”

  1. Good review. I am one who cannot always afford my favourite premium Cuban vitolas. The JLP Petit Cazedores are a decent enough stick and I recommend them for that budget smoke.

  2. If I make it to Cuba. Will definitely buy these.

Leave your mini review or comment...

Free cigars, fresh content

Join our 6,000+ subscribers and get access to exclusive cigar giveaways and all of our best articles!