Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Size: 4.75 x 52 Box Pressed
Body: Mild (Full Flavored)
This is J.C. Newman’s latest cigar.
The Nicaraguan leaves come from four regions: Pueblo Nuevo, La Reina, Condega and Jalapa. Perla del Mar means Pearl of the Sea.
This cigar is made in the Fabrica de Tabacos, San Rafael S.A. in Nicaraguan; the same factory that makes Brick House.
Brick House Mighty Mighty Maduro and Perla del Mar were debuted at the 2012 IPCPR convention.
Construction of the stick is odd looking. First, it has an almost square box press. It has a golden hue wrapper with some veins, a bit of an oily sheen to it, and a sloppy cap; so sloppy that some of the cigars have major wrinkles leading to the cap. Those wrinkles really ruin the aesthetics of the cigar.
The band is a mix of blue, gold, and white. In the middle, is a ship near a light house, coming into dock. Very elaborate. My research tells me that the name stems from Eric Newman’s hobby of cigar art. He found an old Cuban band with the Perla del Mar name with the design of the Havana harbor. And voila! A cigar band and name is born.
I sniff about and detect some wonderful aromas of creaminess, citrus, spice, sweet hay, and cocoa.
I cut the cap and light up.
The initial impression is that of sweetness and creaminess. A bit of nuttiness. A nice earthiness. A little bit of red pepper. A citrus note. And the draw is flawless. The char line is dead nuts perfect. The strength is mild.
Now to entice old salt cigar smokers, mild is OK, but flavor is everything. So in order for this cigar to appeal to a wide audience it must be exceptionally pleasing to the palate.
At the half inch mark, the pepper ramps up. There is a leather and wood combo showing itself. And the creaminess increases nicely. Smoke just pours from the foot.
The pepper seems to now lead the charge in the flavor department. It is a nice offset to the mild strength giving the illusion of it being a stronger cigar. This stick is clearly the perfect choice for a newbie or inexperienced cigar smoker. It is also a great morning cigar. I don’t expect to get the nicotine spins this morning.
As I enter the second third, some vanilla is added to make the creaminess even more luscious. The cigar is smoooooth. Nicely balanced with a long finish due to the creaminess. The citrus note takes a step back.
It is unusual to see a Nicaraguan cigar wrapped in an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, but it seems to work on this specimen. You get the depth from the Nicaraguan leaves and the mild strength from the wrapper. Of course, the binder and filler were probably from the bottom of the tobacco plant: Seco.
The pepper tastes like a Thai pepper with its sharp burn. But yet has a peppery flavor to it. I use Thai pepper in my cooking rather than other peppers because of the flavor. It’s hot but flavorful.
The cigar keeps getting creamier. The nuttiness is hazelnut because of the sweetness. I can also taste an iota of cinnamon.
The char line begins to get a little bit funky but not enough for me to mess with. Because this cigar is not a solid packed with tobacco stick, it burns quickly. At the halfway point, I’ve only been smoking it for maybe 30 minutes.
The band is extremely thin paper and gives a struggle to be removed. I end up tearing some of the wrapper. This particular wrapper is very delicate to begin with and digging my fingernails into it does not help.
The last third is delicious and I now taste the Nicaraguan cocoa…too late for my Diet Coke. Water is just fine. The creaminess and vanilla and the hazelnut, along with newly found cocoa, make this a delectable morning treat. It is a Starbucks cigar. I only bought a 5 pack because I was leery purchasing a mild cigar. I will probably buy 5 packs now and again but I love my medium/full bodied smokes too much to purchase a box. I got my sticks from Smoke Inn where I find prices on most items very reasonable; plus they tend to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to new product. When I saw this cigar advertised on their web site billboard as just in, I had to try it. I am glad I did.
This is a very pleasant cigar and ends smoothly without harshness or any trace of bitterness. The nub stayed cool to the end. And the flavor profile never stopped increasing its impact.
The wrapper incident ruined the wrapper in the last inch and a half as it cracked badly. Skimping on the quality of the band makes no sense to me as I see it in way too many good cigars.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS