Today we take a look at the new Freshman cigar from Young Tabacaleros Inc.
I’m doing something I’ve never done as a reviewer. I am reviewing a cigar brand two days after receiving it. I dry boxed it for 48 hours. Smoked one last night and determined the blend is good to go.
The blend will come in four sizes: Lancero (7 x 38- $6.70), Corona (5.5 x 44- $6.50), Robusto (5 x 50- $6.90) and Toro (6 x 54- $7.10) All of the sizes will come in boxes of 25.
Both Julio Iglesias Eiroa (CEO) and Ignacio Pigna (CFO) are the brains behind the outfit. They are also very young men. The Freshman name is due to both guys starting their college year. And both grew up together as friends. The company was founded in 2013.
Iglesias has a pretty impressive pedigree in the cigar business. His grandfather is Julio Eiroa of Camacho fame. And his uncle, Christian Eiroa is Christian Eiroa. The cigar is produced at Eiroa’s El Aladino factory in Danli, Honduras.
From the press release:
“Being a 4th generation tabacalero, I knew it was only natural to follow my family’s love for cigars,” said Iglesias. “Since I was little, my vacations were spent on tobacco farms in Honduras with the local kids. With time, I not only stopped just playing around the tobacco plants, but also began to learn about the delicate process of growing them.
“When we started working on our own brand, I went to Honduras and witnessed the entire process,” said Pigna. “I learned the details of the plant, from the seeds to when the plant was ready. I saw how cigars were hand rolled and, just like I anticipated, I fell in love with the process.”
The Freshman made its debut at Cigar Cellar & Lounge in Coral Gables, Fla. on June 7.
I want to thank Ignacio for sending me samples.
Ignacio also wanted me to convey who is selling their wares:
South Miami Cigar & Wine (5910 S Dixie Hwy, South Miami, Florida 33143)
Cigar Cellar (1557 Sunset Drive)
Brickell Cigars (450 SW 8th St. Miami FL)
Cigar Cigar (14408 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami, FL 33181)
100 Fires Cigars Wynwood (2611 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL)
100 Fires Cigars Marlins Park (1502 NW 4th St, Miami, FL 33125)
Smoke on the Water (1630 Bell Tower Ln, Weston, FL 33326)
Cigar Outlet (401 E Commercial Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334)
Miura Cigars (2555 NW 102nd Ave, Doral, FL 33172)
You can order over the phone. Obviously, you will have to Google that.
I have to start out with I was pretty impressed with last night’s cigar to be doing something as crazy as writing a review two days after receiving the cigars.
Unlike Sheldon, I’ve never been tested for sanity.
But I think you are going to like what I have to say about The Freshman.
Construction is rock solid. Invisible seams. Lots of small veins. A truly round stick. A beautifully applied triple cap. The wrapper is a milk chocolate brown with a reddish tinge. There is a nice oiliness and it is as smooth as silk.
I clip the cap and find aromas of floral notes, orange blossom, spice, rich earthiness, some hickory and smokiness, cocoa, wood, and leather.
Time to light up.
The first puffs are very sweet. The draw is wide open. And then the flavors begin to flood my palate: floral, earthiness, orange citrus, salted roasted nuts, creaminess, chocolate, bitter espresso, cedar, cotton candy, and leather.
Not quite half an inch is burned and it is moments away from becoming a flavor bomb.
Julio and Ignacio weren’t just fooling around. They developed a very unique and flavorful blend. The heavy floral and orange citrus and the sweetness make the Freshman nothing like their family has brought to market.
The strength is a tad bit over medium body. Again, the cigar goes for the jugular from the opening bell.
As the 1”+ ash falls off, honeysuckle joins floral notes and orange blossom. This is the first cigar I’ve tasted that has such a light sensory perception while being medium+ body and full of a kitchen list of other flavors. And the enormous creaminess element complements all those flowery flavors beautifully.
What a friggin’ cigar! How old are these young men?
They have proven to me that they sucked up every bit of knowledge from their family that is possible. These kids (I used the term kids because I am old as dirt) are going to be monsters and have a giant future in front of them. Unless they become doctors while in college. Whatever makes them happy is good enough for me. I just hope they at least continue to blend during their college years.
The strength hits medium/full.
And the black pepper morphs to mostly red pepper.
The char line has been great. Not a single touch up required.
The Freshman became a bona fide flavor bomb long ago and now it is even more potent. At this point, the cigar seeks out some complexity. It does so by becoming very smooth and relaxed. A Freshman given the appropriate humidor rest will bring in the complexity much earlier.
The balance is spot on and it has a long chewy finish.
The price point. Hahahahaha…..$7.00 for a cigar that tastes like an $11 cigar? Well…that says it all. Clearly, the lack of PR and keeping it in B & M’s will keep this baby low to the ground and underneath the radar of your wife.
Here are the flavors as I approach the halfway point: Creaminess, earthiness, sweetness, floral notes, creaminess, orange blossom, cocoa, nuts, honeysuckle, espresso, cedar, nougat, graham cracker, smokiness, and leather.
This is the first time a robusto has gone by way too quickly. Not that it burns fast; but rather, because I am so enjoying this cigar I don’t want it to stop.
I take a sip of water and those flowery notes along with orange and honey are grand standing. In all my years smoking cigars (46 years) and reviewing (7 years), I have never tasted a cigar with this flavor profile.
I don’t rate cigars, as you know…too subjective for a lay reviewer in my opinion. But if forced to do just that, I would give it an A+. And it is going on my Top 25 Cigars of 2013-2014 list.
I want to thank Rene Cardona for putting Julio and Ignacio together with me. He did me a real solid on this one.
I sit back and just enjoy the cigar.
Minutes have passed and I’m back now. Wanted to smoke the Freshman without distraction. This may well be the creamiest cigar I’ve smoked. And that smokiness in the background is killer.
The Freshman may be medium/full bodied but it so smooth that the strength seems insignificant.
And remember, I am writing this review only two days after receiving the samples. Unbelievable.
The last third begins. Tears start rolling down my cheeks. It will be over soon. What am I to do? This ruins me for the rest of the day of cigar smoking. Nothing will taste this good.
I have no criticisms for this cigar. The wrapper stayed intact. The cap needed only one trim to hide the Katman drool. And still, no touch ups of the burn line.
Well, Julio and Ignacio…you young men are something else. This was a total blind side.
I wish you well in life. I wish you continued success in the cigar business. And don’t wait too long before you bring out the follow up to the Freshman.
NOTE: Last night, I smoked the corona. This morning, I smoked and reviewed the robusto. Tonight, I am smoking the Lancero. All three cigars have slightly different flavor profiles. They have a baseline of similarities such as creaminess, sweetness, earthiness, and nuttiness. After that, they explore different arenas of flavor depending on size. This is most impressive.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS