Origin : Cuba
Format : Panetela
Size : 6.5 (166 mm) x 38
Released : 2011
Price : $15+ each
More info about purchasing La Escepcion cigars...
This cigar was sent to me by another generous Redditor from Canada so I could review it.
Sweet tobacco and a light scent of cedar and other distinguishable wood.
Flawless. The wrapper is golden brown with a striking black and gold band. It has another band underneath identifying it as an Exlusivo Italia release. No soft spots and no imperfections can be found on the cap, foot or wrapper.
That very sweet tobacco that Cubans are notorious for. The initial few draws had just a hint of spice on the exhale. My initial thoughts were that I should be pairing this with some spiced rum on the beach instead of sitting on a snow patio. Another few puffs in and I was getting bbq meat flavors and mixed nuts. The exhaled smoke lingers and has a distinct smell of roasted peanuts. After a few minutes into the first the spice picks up slightly but I'm also getting more light sweet and creamy tobacco. As I'm halfway through first third I'm already wishing I had a box of these sitting in my humidor. My thoughts are that I've never smoked a Cuban this smooth before. As I finish out the ifrst third the spice was moved from the middle of my mouth to the tip of my tongue.
The spice picks up significantly here. Again it's still quite sweet and creamy with some earthy notes now coming through. Although not overly complex, the flavors are quite satisfying. Halfway through I'm getting a mixture of oak and cedar.
Again the spice picks up almost on cue. The final is predominantly spice and nuts with just a hint of the sweet creamy tobacco from the first two thirds. About halfway through I'm starting to pick up peaty soil. It reminded me of a peaty scotch.
Burn / Draw :
The draw was tighter than I would have expected from a Cuban. This is almost certainly due to the smaller ring gauge and longer length. Each draw produced a significant amount of smoke. I wish I had smoked this in a warmer, more humid environment to get a nice ash going. Unfortunately in the cold and low humidity the ash routinely dropped off. I smoked this right down to the nub, total smoking time was about an hour and ten minutes.
If you could even get your hands on a box of these, they would run you well into the mid $400 mark. The low availability coupled with the high price makes this a low value option, even if the taste of this cigar is fantastic.
Overall Rating : < 23/25 || 92%* >
I would say this is as near a perfect Cuban as I've ever had. That needs to be taken with a grain of salt, however, as I have smoked significantly more non-Cubans. It's a shame that the La Escepcion is both hard to come by and quite pricey as I feel like these would be a regular staple in my humidor.
* Any cigar below 60 will be in the 'yardgar' category. Between 60 and 74 should be an every day smoke. Between 75-85 should be in the great smoke category, and anything above that should be in the excellent smoke category.