Hechicera by Sotolongo Cigars/CLE Cigars | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 44 “Corona”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $6.00
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Today we take a look at the Hechicera by Sotolongo Cigar. This is the first release for the company that came out a year ago.

Hechicera is a female sorceress. And since Grace is such a looker, I get it.

Grace Sotolongo was a rep for My Father Cigars. She left My Father and went to work for CLE Cigars in 2013.

At that point, with the help of Christian Eiroa, she developed her own brand called Sotolongo Cigars. Their first release was the Hechicera.

Her cigars are made at the Fabricas Unidas in Honduras where Eiroa produces his cigars.

This will be a regular production cigar.
But then word came down the pipe that Sotolongo left CLE. News reports say that CLE owns the Hechicera name so I wonder if Sotolongo is totally out of the picture now.
The news report said that CLE just released the Hechicera Maduro this month. So Grace Sotolongo must be looking for a new partner in crime.

I did my research and concluded this is a B & M cigar. Yet I found one online store that carries them: Cuenca Cigars.

The blend comes in four sizes:
5.5 x 44 Box Press
4.5 x 50 $6.95
6 x 52 $7.95
6 x 60 $8.95

The cigar is a nice looking powdered cocoa brown with a reddish tinge. The box press is crisp and the triple cap is one of the best applications I’ve seen. Seams are virtually invisible. A lot of veins especially long ones running up the length of the cigar.

There is an oily sheen to the wrapper and it’s as smooth as my tushy. The stick is rock solid without any soft spots.

The art work is gorgeous and done by famed artist Ninoska Perez Castellon. The cigar band says the name of the blend and nothing else.

Before I go any further, I’d like to address a comment that was made about the last review: Bahia Matanzas. The reader said that he was concerned that the extreme oiliness may have been artificially induced into the cigar.

I am using a flash when I take photos because the weather is so lousy. The Matanzas were very oily but not as oily as the photos. The high concentration of light at the moment of flash made the oiliness intensify. I shudder to think that an established company would stoop to using chemicals to enhance the look of their cigar. Maybe I’m naïve but I think the answer is simpler than chemically enhanced wrappers: Cheap camera with a flash.
Just like today.

I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, cedar, cocoa, coffee, barnyard, and sweet fruit.
Time to light up.

The draw is a bit tight so it gets a Katman massage. And it helps but there seems to be a concentration of tobacco just below the cap.
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I get a big dose of cocoa. Then comes a sock full of red pepper to the groin. That came on fast and furious. Very much like the Garcia Pepper Blast. It works for me.

The char line begins to go wavy. I am forced to touch it up to prevent a canoe in the making.

Creaminess enters. Rich earthiness appears. I like it. It is so earthy, you can taste the soil.

All of a sudden, there is an extreme sweetness, so intense, that it seems to come from many different sources.

I can taste dried fruit like black and golden raisins. There is a slight melon component. Peppermint hard candy.

I need to list the flavors or I am going to get confused: Sweetness, spice, creaminess, cocoa, dried fruit, peppermint, cedar, and cinnamon.

At 1-1/2” burned, it becomes a flavor bomb.
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The strength is medium body.

I am a big fan of this corona size. 5.5 x 44 or 46 are just perfect for me as far as wrapper vs. tobacco content. Both are enhanced.

I’m not impressed with the char line. The Hechicera by Sotolongo Cigar is a tasty cigar being screwed up by its construction.

All the flavors in my previous list are increasing with each puff. Especially, the peppermint and creaminess.
The cigar has become very complex and has a nice long chewy finish. The balance is wonderful. Clearly, Ms. Sotolongo learned a trick or two working for My Father and Christian Eiroa.

The cigar is so goddam creamy that it is like drinking half & half right from the carton.

The cinnamon kicks in with a stronger presence bringing with it the peppermint candy. And then the coffee becomes stronger. And so on and so on. With each puff, the flavor bomb status increases exponentially.

The second third begins. I’ve invested 30 minutes in the cigar.
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I am very impressed with the Hechicera by Sotolongo Cigar. I have to admit that regular touch ups of the char line is a nuisance. But would I be doing this if I weren’t taking photos? Probably not. So far, there has been no real danger of the cigar canoeing on me. Just unsightly for a review. Sure it’s cheating. But if there was a major burn issue, I’d show it to you.

The price point. Fucking A.

$6.00 or less for this cigar? Haha.

I’d like to try the Toro but that pushes the price point of the cigar by $2 per stick.

I can only go by Cuenca Cigars price ranges and if you buy this size by the box, the price is only $5.36 each. A killer price. Same thing goes for the other sizes.

If this were a boutique cigar, I know damn well the stick would go for at least $8-$9.

While I am not even close to finishing the cigar, I would love to have a box of coronas in rotation. This is one of those rare examples where you get all that a boutique blend provides for the price of a Torano.

I am at the halfway point and the sun comes out. Now you can see the true color of the cigar without the use of a flash. The flash really brings out the oils in the wrapper.
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The strength remains at classic medium body.

No change to the flavor profile.

The Hechicera by Sotolongo Cigar is a mighty fine blend. I tip my hat to Sotolongo.
It seems that Christian Eiroa is the muse for a lot of new cigar blenders.

The cigar is ultra-smooth now. The red pepper has moved to the back.
Except for the char line issues, the construction remains excellent.

I have only one cigar shop nearby. And it is so backwards that it is like walking into a Thompson Cigar catalog. Rocky Patel everywhere.

When I asked what happened to the My Father cigars I was told that no one was buying them and most of their clients weren’t familiar with Pepin Garcia. WTF?

On top of that, I have never seen another human being in the store when I am there.
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I picked up four cigars on my visit. It was the only four cigars in the joint I hadn’t reviewed. And the rest I didn’t want to review. Thankfully, Wisconsin doesn’t have a high cigar tax.

I am amazed that after having the Hechicera by Sotolongo Cigar for only one day that it is pushing flavors out at a breakneck pace. I would love to see how they smoke after a month of humidor time.

The spiciness returns. It moves to the front of the pack.

At this point, the strength reaches medium/full bodied.

I really look forward to seeing what else Ms. Sotolongo has in store for her next blend. Based on the Hechicera, she has a bright future.

I’ve now invested over an hour of smoke time.
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We have three humongous trees in the back yard. And I take my photos from the window facing the back yard. Winter is good for only one thing…the leaves fall off and allows the sun to stream in giving me a leg up on the photos.

And just a few minutes later, the strength hits full bodied. And with it comes Vitamin N. Wow. Without much info on this cigar, I expected it to be a medium body throughout. I was wrong.

The nicotine is kicking my ass and it looks like the dog just said “I love you. Give me some treats Human.”

I highly recommend trying the Hechicera by Sotolongo Cigar. As it is a regular production cigar, you should be able to find it in your local B & M. If not, you can get it at Cuenca Cigars and cheaper than your B & M. I paid a little over a buck more than Cuenca.
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And now for something completely different:

Jack Bruce died this week.
Bruce was the bassist for the super group Cream.
cream-eric-clapton

He was a huge influence on me as a young bass player. A mentor, if you will.

I remember my first band back in 1966. It was strictly a cover band playing the hits of the day.

At practice one day, the guitarist came in with an album: “Disraeli Gears” by Cream. It was released in November of 1967. He said there was a song on it we had to learn for the college gig we had that night. “Sunshine of Your Love.”

It had just been in heavy rotation on all the radio stations the previous week.

That night, we played on a big stage. Something we weren’t used to. Normally, it was the corner of some rec hall. And we set up on the floor.

In our first set, we played “Sunshine..” The crowd went berserk. The college girls went crazy like we were Cream. They were reaching over to grab my leg or pants.
It was insane.

We played that song in each of our four sets and got the same reaction each time.

It was then I decided the life of rock n roll was for me. 47 years ago.

As Cream put out albums, I would spend countless hours listening to Bruce’s extraordinary improvisation on long instrumental breaks.

I was stunned but I learned from him. In 1970, I believe, I bought a Gibson EBO bass. The same one Bruce played. I had it tricked out by adding two Fender P bass pick-ups on it in addition to the humbucker on the bass.
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It gave me all sorts of range. It was the bass I used on the “Live” album with Curved Air.

I made a quantum leap in my playing because of Jack Bruce. I learned how to let the music flow through you. And not worry about playing exactly like the song was recorded.

Bruce was only 71 when he passed. Way too young.

I saw, on TV, a reunion concert that Cream played a couple years ago. Bruce was still playing a Gibson but this was a custom made one. I wanted it. God only knows what it cost.

I paid $450 for my EBO in 1970.

While getting older is a bitch, I am grateful for being a teen during the 1960’s. The era of Peace, Love, and Understanding.

I was privy to the exciting bands of the time. The Beatles were still together. The Mersey sound was new to America. New bands were coming out one after the other that made your head spin.

Not only did I learn how to wood shed, but I learned to play like a bass player should: In the pocket. Rock steady. I wasn’t a lead guitarist on bass. It stead me well in my later years when bands sought out players like me who were a vanishing breed. With the invent of 5 and 6 string basses, bass players went over the edge.
Meanwhile, I stuck to my classic 4 string basses.

I expect that sometime in 2015, there will be a tribute concert for Jack. I look forward to that.
jb2

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Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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7 replies

  1. Unfortunately, Grace left CLE in July.

  2. My first bass was an EBO knockoff. Couldn’t afford the real thing,and never did get the action setup to my satisfaction. It couldn’t hold a candle to the later ’74 Precision that became an extension of my hands,but I still have fond memories of the instrument that sparked my fire to play.

  3. Nice tribute to Jack, Kat!… and another cigar on my wish list. Thank You!!

  4. Grace is a looker!! Had to google her image. Nice tribute to Jack Bruce, didn’t he say one time in an interview that he created his own time signatures? May have been Leslie West. Can’t remember. Just got ahold of my old roommate, said he still has Disraeli Gears on 8 track 🙂
    As a newbie can you explain what chewy refers too so I know what to look for?

    • Chewy means that the smoke is thick and probably full of oils, which causes the flavors to be very strong in your mouth, and afterwards during the finish. The kind of cigar that coats your teeth with flavors. Almost like you could eat it.

  5. Grace’s latest release is the Hechicera maduro – released at the IPCPR show in July – just as she left CLE. Odd timing. I suppose Christian will keep the brand going as long as sales continue, but without Grace being the face of this line and promoting it sales may taper off pretty fast, then I expect it to be gone. So if you like these get them while you can.

  6. nice review katman. another one ive been passing on at the b&m that I will be purchasing! always nice to find an affordable stogie!! thx