Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Lancero
Size : 7 x 36
Ring : 36
Wrapper : Criollo '98 Maduro
Filler : Nicaragua
Price : ~$12 each
More info about purchasing Tesa cigars...
I received this cigar, along with two others, in a gift pack. TESA Cigar Company is a boutique cigar company operating out of Chicago, Illinois. I haven’t had any experience with their smokes and had only read about them online. According to their website, TESA cigars are blended by Chicago area resident Chris Kelly and crafted in the TESA Cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. Additionally, 10% of all purchases are donated to housing repairs, education, clothing, and sustenance for the benefit of the residents of Esteli.
I was gifted three TESA cigars: this lancero, a Reserva Real torpedo and a Vintage Especial presidente. I smoked the torpedo upon receipt and was thoroughly impressed with its flavor profile. I decided to let the other two rest for a couple months before enjoying them. After some humi time, I decided to light up this little lancero.
This smoke sports criollo ‘98 maduro wrapper that is very dark in color and extremely oily. To be honest, it’s pretty ugly, being both veiny and bumpy in appearance.
The draw of this smoke, both pre- and post-light, was very firm . . . so much so that it was annoying. Additionally, the ash was about as black as I’ve seen for any cigar and did not hold well at all. However, the burn was pretty good.
Simply put, this cigar has some wonderfully rich flavors. Regardless of the draw issues, the initial pulls produced a creamy, leathery taste along with some faint peppery spices. A few minutes in, this is accompanied by a rich, buttery flavor that seemed to stick around for the remainder of the smoke. About a third in, the peppery spices got a little stronger and the smoke turned to full, earthy flavors. The last half of the cigar bounced around with these earthy tones, to hints of chocolate and buttery cream. I really enjoyed the flavors of this cigar.
At $12 a stick, this is a pricey smoke. I did not experience any draw problems with the torpedo and, if the stick I had was an anomaly, I could recommend purchasing some. However, my experience was marred by a horribly tight draw and, as such, I cannot in good faith recommend this smoke in its price range.
Overall Rating :
Despite its draw problems, I did enjoy this cigar. It exhibited a wonderful flavor profile and was satisfying in that regard. However, the price, coupled with construction, knocks this stick down substantially, leaving it about average for me.