Cubanacan HR Hermoso | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
Binder: Nicaraguan (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli and Jalapa)
Size: 5.125 x 48 “Hermoso”
Body: Medium
Price: $19.00
Number of Cigars Smoked Prior to Review: 0
Accompanying Libation: Water

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Today we take a look at the new Cubanacan HR Hermoso.

HISTORY:
There is a wonderful back story to this collaboration between Cubanacan Cigars and Hirochi Robaina. The Robaina family is a Cuban cigar legend with the cigar band marking the year that they first began producing cigar tobacco in Cuba: 1845. And the HR is the designation for Hirochi Robaina.
There are plenty of good sources that know a lot more than I about this family and its history.

DESCRIPTION:
Surprisingly, the stick is a bit on the sloppy side. There are visible glue stains from the roller. Seams aren’t that tight. Lots of veins. A very visible triple cap. Kind of lumpy and bumpy. With a wrapper the color of light coffee beans. There is a slight oily sheen but the cigar wrapper is closer to having a matte finish. The wrapper is very smooth to the touch.
There is also a closed foot. Supposedly, it was the Robaina family in Cuba that began this tradition as a means to help protect the cigar from damage during shipping.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Hermoso: 5.125 x 48 $19.00
Belicoso: 5.5 x 52 $20.00
Toro: 6 x 52 $21.00
Sublime: 6.5 x 54 $22.00

COLD DRAW NOTES:

There is a wonderful intense sweetness emanating from the shaft of the cigar. Along with spice, floral notes, and coffee. From the clipped cap I can smell very earthy tobacco and cedar.

FIRST THIRD:
Right off the bat, there is a myriad of flavors: Spice, wood, earthiness, sweetness, and a deep exotic woodiness. There is such a blast of pepper that it seems very much like certain Pepin Garcia blends.
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Immediately, the Cubanacan HR Hermoso has my utmost attention. It has hit one out of the park on its first swing at bat. This is exactly what I expect from a cigar of this pricing and this heritage.
The sweetness nearly becomes cloying. I’ve got my insulin nearby just in case.

The char line is just OK. It is wavy but not needing attention…yet.

Right at the place where a schmear of glue is, the seam is coming undone. I fear I may have to resort to doing my own glue operation once the cigar band is removed.
The char line needs adjustment.
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The cigar doesn’t feel jam packed and I swear it seems to burn faster than I hoped. I don’t know if it is the presure of smoking a small cigar that is priced at $19 or that it needed to be packed better.
The draw is exemplary. Smoke pours from the foot.

The spiciness becomes more definitive and is, with certainty, black pepper.

SECOND THIRD:
The spiciness has not diminished and seems to be getting stronger.
Chocolate becomes more prevalent than earlier. There are also coffee notes.
5third

It is time to repair the broken seam. One drop of glue on the errant wrapper seems to do the trick.

The strength has maintained a nice even keel of medium body. But it is making its move now to medium/full.

The earthiness of the tobacco is outstanding. I believe that this is the star of the show. It has a deep complexity and a perfect balance. This has all the earmarks of master blending at its best.

Yet, I am perplexed at the constant out of acceptible range of the burn line. This will be the second time I must correct it. The sloppiness of the construction should have been a tip off to this problem.
And then creaminess joins the fold.

I looked at a couple reviews prior to smoking this cigar. More than often, I find myself in agreement in my analyses of cigars with Cigar Coop. We must have similar palates.

As I said, in this case, we are right on the money in terms of agreement on the different stages of this Cubanacan HR Hermoso. Although, he reviewed the Sublime (6.5 x 54). I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I would have preferred to review the Sublime for its size and burn time.
Plus, Coop has a nicely portrayed history of the Robaina family and its origins.

Right here, right now…the cigar goes for the stars. It makes a quantum leap that astounds me. It goes beyond finding the sweet spot. The Cubanacan HR Hermoso finds its soul.

HALFWAY POINT:
This is simply a magnificent cigar. There aren’t a lot of Cuban cigars that can match this blend. Really.
The char line issue seems to have dissipated and the kids are allright.
Toasty and nutty elements are now finding their places in the blend.
6half

The spiciness ratchets down a bit. The chocolate seems to have moved to the back of the line. What is left is the creaminess, sweetness, toasty, nutty, cedar, and earthiness flavors.

The Cubanacan HR Hermoso is right on point as it hits medium/full.
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I remove the cigar band without trouble. It is a very pretty band. Simple, but classy.

LAST THIRD:
The ash has been a tough mother. I’ve only lost an inch to the ashtray and the rest is still hanging on for dear life.

I want to thank Johnny Piette of Prime Cigar Co. in Brookfield, WI for the sample. God bless him for giving me a whack at this wallet enemy cigar.

The spice does a complete turnaround. Now it is peaking as it did at the start of the cigar. The Cubanacan HR Hermoso is deeply complex. An outstanding balance. And a finish that just goes on and on.
8third

The chocolate returns as well. It boosts the impact of the creaminess. The earthy tobacco is just screaming laughter.
The char line is perfect.

The ash is nearly 2-1/2” long. I used no parlor tricks to achieve this. Amazing. It is lying in the ashtray, horizontal, and no urge for the ash to fall off.

And as Murphy’s Law would have it, the ash disembarks the mother ship while in my mouth. But missing my lap and hitting the carpet. It had a good run.
Another transition occurs.

There is some lemon citrus on board now. The chocolate is very strong. The creaminess in pursuit. The cedar is pounding away. And the black pepper is sinus clearing. All of this enhances the extreme earthiness of the tobacco.
What an amazing cigar.

There must be more tobacco packed into the cigar near the cap than near the foot. The burn time has slowed down noticeably.
The intensity of the complex nature of the Cubanacan HR Hermoso is mind blowing. I know that I often rave about good cigars. And it is my Achilles heel. Everyone makes fun of me for doing this. But they also forget how I can really diss a bad cigar too.

Johnny Piette is now in the Katman’s will.

As the cigar begins to fade away, the flavors go bozo crazy. And not a hint of harshness or heat.

Several online stores carry the Cubanacan HR in singles. The boxes are somewhat wallet prohibitive for most of us. A box of the Cubanacan HR Hermoso goes for $380 for 20 sticks.

The Cubanacan HR line is exclusively made for B & M’s. Online stores advertise it but tell you that you must call to purchase them.

PRICE POINT:
Ouch! $19.00!
This is why I wish I had the big honker Sublime to review. More time spent with this cigar. And only $3 more than a cigar almost half its size.
I find it very difficult to justify this pricing. When the Family Series came out from La Palina, the sticks were in the high $20 range. They have since come down a few bucks.

I could not find information that would convince me of the price range’s worthiness.

I could understand a double digit price. Maybe $12-$14. But $19 for a Rothschild? Don’t think so. I don’t care if Moses himself came off of Mount Sinai and blended it.

But if you have the dough to buy a few singles, I would go for the big Sublime. If you’re spending $19, you might as well spend $22.

And here is another point. Since this is strictly a B & M cigar, the state taxes will probably boost the MSRP price dramatically. Buying them through an online store that requires a phone call may save you that extra cost.

Famous Smoke sells a 4 pack sampler (All four sizes) for $73.99 or $18.50 per stick. That’s a good deal and you don’t have to call them.

SUMMATION:
The Cubanacan HR Hermoso is going to end up on just about every reviewer’s top 25 list. Granted, it came out in the summer of 2014, but as informed by Johnny, this cigar needed several months of humidor time.

I find it easier to make my top 25 list a combo of two years. In this case, it will be 2014-2015. The main reason for this is availability for the Katman. I get very few pre-release or early shots at the new cigars. I tend to be months behind the big reviewers.

Clearly, this cigar goes beyond a masterful blend. It is the Cosmic Muffin that has sent these cigars down to earth for our enjoyment.
I highly recommend trying a few. If you can afford more than a few, well…God bless you.
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