February 13, 2012
Origin : Cuba
Format : Corona
Size : 42 x 142 mm (5.6)
Box code : 2003
Price : $8
We are happy to introduce Simon who just joined our team of reviewers. Here is his short bio:
It all started on a trip to Cuba about 6-7 years ago when I walked in a Casa Del Habanos to buy a single stick to smoke. My, then, girlfriend was on a day trip for some sort of sailing activity. I was stunned to see the variety of sizes, brands and the smell that was opulent and vivid. I ended up spending the day in the smoking lounge in the back of the Casa smoking, trying different cigars, talking and drinking with the house ‘torcedor’ Mr. Alfonso. I was hooked. The following years I have found my way to online communities, herf organisation as well as taking a major part in my local cigar club, The Montreal Club. I have been back to Cuba almost every year since. My latest project is a Cuban cigars pairing blog, sticksanddrinks.tumblr.com
He starts off with a review of the discontinued Juan Lopez Corona.
The Juan Lopez Corona is a pre-1960 release and has been discontinued since 2006. I picked this one up from a friend of a friend. The box code got lost in transit but it is of 2003. I have smoked a few Juan Lopez but I’ve got to say they are not a staple in my humidor. Hopefully, this one can change my mind and open up my humidor to a new marca.
Appearance : [rating:3/5]
Visually, this cigar is good, not amazing but good. Wrapper is smooth looking, a little rough to the touch and is colorado coloured. I have to say I love old bands, this one definitely has that old Havana style to it which adds to the experience.
Construction : [rating:3/5]
The Juan Lopez Corona seems well rolled, with good density and a nice foot. Once cut, the draw was pretty good, maybe a little on the tight side but barely. The triple cap seemed to have been put in a rush but what can you do, 1999-2004 are far from the best years for cigar production by Hsa [Habanos SA].
Flavor : [rating:2/5]
Pre draw offers very little besides light tobacco flavours.
Opens up softly, no big bang, quite an elegant start I must say. This sits at light to medium body. There is a light mixture of leather, citrus, almost that wet leather smell. Half way through the 1st third, the body picks up nicely and you can notice dashes of cinnamon, almost like brioches. If it made sense, I would say the flavour is light brown.
The ash is a nice black and white marble, soft, detaches itself very easily. This is not the cigar to win the long ash competition at your next smoke meet.
We are back at light medium, it lost some momentum and I am left trying to define faint aromas. We are still in the world of leather but with some spices, green pepper; actually pink pepper (although it is not really a pepper per se). The burn needs frequent corrections and it alters the flavours. It adds a burned taste to everything in this cigar. This is definitely unpleasant.
I must say this is a bland cigar, too light for my taste. There are very little changes in the flavours. It provides nothing new or unseen before. I am guessing this is an example of a cigar that is good while young, with only a few years on it.
The last part just picked up nicely and wow. I am impressed, medium body, spices, firewood, creamy spices, very nice. This is too little, too late in my opinion but if this represents a good example of this stick then I might have to search for another one.
Value : [rating:2/5]
If you find these a bit younger, it might be worth buying one for the form if it is 7-8$ or less. I won’t be buying another of these anytime soon. This has a very little flavour/dollar ratio.
Overall Rating : [rating:2/5]
The Juan Lopez Corona is a deceiving cigar. I can see why Hsa decided to discontinue these coronas. I am happy to think experienced rollers were put to work rolling something else than these. Hopefully soon, I can try some of the last examples produced so I can compare.
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