Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2

Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2

Juan LopezOrigin : Cuba
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm (4.9 x 50)
Ring : 50
Box date : SEP 2011
Weight : 11.66 g
Price : ~$230 for a cab of 25

The Juan Lopez brand is definitely not among the most famous Cuban brands. This particular Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 is well aged; I purchased my box back in 2011. I tried the Seleccion No. 2 fresh out of the box then forgot about it, and wanted to see how the flavors have been enhanced by the aging process.

Appearance : Rating: ★★★★☆
This is a fat, rustic-looking cigar with a medium-dark brown wrapper. There are some very prominent veins running along its length, and an oily sheen. The wrapper leaf is also a bit toothy and leathery in texture. The overall approach is one of simplicity. It is nothing amazing to look at, but if you like the rustic look, you’ll find it here. On pre-light I smell earth and wood, sweet and generic, not much hint of what is inside.

Construction : Rating: ★★★★☆
The draw is initially a little tight but opens up on its own without any interference from me. The burn is even and the ash holds on nicely for a good while. There is nothing to complain about here. A very well-made cigar, surprisingly well-made I’d even say.

Flavor : Rating: ★★★★½
This cigar features an unusual blend of flavors. The backdrop is earthy, as you would guess from the pre-light, and there is a hint of spice and roasted nuts. There is also a creamy element which weaves the whole together. What is unusual here is the savory meat-type flavor which is also worked into the whole. It seems like it should clash, but it actually is quite pleasant, and enhances the other flavors in its own unusual way, working particularly well with the roasted nutty notes.

The flavors are all very strong starting out, but mellow a bit during the middle third. The body also is less intense at this point, and this is where the creaminess is most pronounced along with the other sweet “dessert” type flavors. In the final third, the power kicks back in along with stronger flavors. A coffee note emerges as the most prominent at this point. This evolution of flavors and aromas is very memorable, and distinctive from any other smoking experiences that I can recall (I must also admit that I don’t smoke a lot of Cuban cigars).

Overall Rating : Rating: ★★★★½ (4.25)
While the appearance of this aged Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 is rather rustic and simplistic, the flavors are anything but. They are very complex and undergo a number of intriguing transformations from start to finish. For those who enjoy full bodied stogies and unusual flavor combinations, the Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 has plenty to offer, even at the ~$10 price point.

One Comment on “Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2”

  1. My review of the Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2

    The #2 is a classic Robusto size, measuring 50×124. It was first released in the early 90′s, originally presented in cabinets of 50 without a label, and later in cabinets of 25. From 2005, all the seleccion #2′s are released “wearing” the new Juan López label. I haven’t smoked too many of these, but I have found them to be inconsistent. I have enjoyed some of them, while others have failed to impress me, not because of their flavour but because of some burn and draw issues.

    Appearance & Prelight 13/15
    The Seleccion #2 is a well-presented cigar. It has a smooth brown red wrapper with a few soft veins. The wrapper seems to be very thin, as you can clearly see and feel the wrinkles of the binder. It has a slightly loose bunch and feels spongy on its whole length with no hard spots. The triple cap is roundly and well applied and there is strong aromas of cedar and earth. As expected from its spongy feel, the prelight draw is on the loose side.

    Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2

    Flavour & Body 21/25
    On the first draw the cigar has an intense white pepper taste, which gradually disappears, leaving a taste of peat, grass and earth, and a medium to full body. On the second third the #2 turns sweeter with fruit and floral flavours joining the mix. Unfortunately, when the burn issues start, most of the flavours are muted and the complexity disappears, finishing off with a taste of earth and roasted nuts.

    Draw & Burn 18/25
    From the beginning the cigar delivers a decent amount of grey smoke with a long toasty finish. However, its weak point seems to be its burn, which is uneven and inconsistent. The draw is slightly loose, the ash is grey and flaky and stays on the cigar for the first third. Halfway in the second third, the cigar goes off; a flick of the ash reveals a nasty looking tunnel shaped coal… from that moment on, the cigar never picked up the pace and I had to relight on several occasions, before eventually putting in down at the beginning of the last third.

    Overall impression 30/35
    As I stated above, the Seleccion #2′s have been very inconsistent for me, and this one in particular was one of the worse I have had. Although the cigar looked beautiful and the flavours were there in the first half the bad burn was affecting the taste and having to relight it so many times made it unpleasant. The wrapper seemed very thin and burned very slowly, not contributing much to the whole outcome. I am quite generous marking it with 82/100 points, but I will be coming back to it in the near future, hoping that the next one will be better.

    TOTAL 82/100

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