Origin : Cuba
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm (4.9 x 50)
Ring : 50
Weight : 11.66 g
Price : ~$230 for a cab of 25
More info about purchasing Juan Lopez cigars...
Juan Lopez is a discreet Cuban cigar brand which was much more famous in the 1970s. It was created in 1876 by Juan Lopez Diaz and was first called La Flor de Juan Lopez. The two vitolas widely known, Seleccion No. 1 and Seleccion No. 2 were created in 1990s and they are having considerable success these days, judging by some of the reviews. I recently found a 1-year old picture and tasting notes of a Seleccion No. 2 that I didn't publish back then (they got lost on my computer) and after Jason's review of the Seleccion No. 1 I decided to revisit this cigar.
The cigar is quite rustic in appearance, with a dark brown wrapper that has some obvious veins. The band is a typical Habanos SA band, it seems like they want all cigars to look the same now (H. Upmann, Partagas, Punch...). The pre-draw has notes of wood and earth.
The ones I smoked in May 2009 for this review had a fine construction. Circular burn, decent draw (although a tad tight) and a beautiful blueish smoke scored a few points for the No. 2. However, my old tasting notes indicate that construction problems might appear, especially severe burn issues.
It starts out as a true full-bodied cigar with strong flavors that I'm used to in Cuban cigars - wood and spice. Usually it's almost impossible to know what to expect from a cigar like that, so I just kept smoking and enjoying the power. After 10 minutes, the stick becomes more round and the strength is medium. One can distinguish all sorts of smooth and creamy flavors like chocolate, coffee or cocoa. The bouquet is relatively complex. The Juan Lopez recovers its power in the last third with mature tobacco flavors mixed with strong coffee.
They cost the same ($9.00/piece) as the Ramon Allones Specially Selected and although in my opinion they are slightly less interesting than the RASS, they are still worth picking up to diversify your robusto collection.
Overall Rating :
I didn't regret giving another chance to this dark horse. I should probably indicate that the cigars I smoked for this review were from different boxes. The ones I had in 2009 were from a '08 box. Overall, my thoughts are that the JL Seleccion No. 2 is quite an underrated cigar and perhaps even a challenger to the RASS.