La Perla Habana 1515 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli, Condega, and Jalapa)
Size: 5 x 52 “Robusto”
Body: Full
Price: $9.00 MSRP/$6.00 in 5 pack online

laperla1515boxpic

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Today we take a look at the La Perla Habana 1515.

BACKGROUND:
From La Perla Habana web site:
“A tribute to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana, Cuba.
“This new La Perla Habana is truly something special. Handcrafted in Nicaragua by AJ Fernandez, La Perla Habana 1515 combines a dark Habano Ecuador wrapper, Sumatra Ecuador binder, and a rich blend of Cuban-seed long-fillers from Esteli, Condega, and Jalapa, Nicaragua.

“This combination delivers a classic, Cuban-esque profile that’s met with amped up strength and complexity. Notes of cream, pepper, earth, wood, coffee, and more meld perfectly to deliver a delicious, elegant, highly-memorable experience. A perfect tribute to Cuba’s rich cigar history, and a helluva cigar you’ll savor down to the last puff.”

DESCRIPTION:
The cedar sleeve and cigar band disguise the look of this robusto. Once the sleeve is removed, one finds an oily mottled russet brown wrapper. One that is toothy and nicely assembled. Tight seams. Few veins. And a nice double cap.
The toothiness is very fine like sandpaper and I doubt it will show up in my photos. But I will try to display it if the sun comes out.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Robusto 5 x 52 $9.00 MSRP ($4.67 in a 15 count box on CI)
Toro 6 x 50 $10.00 MSRP ($5.00 in a 15 count box on CI)
Torpedo 6.25 x 52 $11.00 MSRP ($5.33 in a 15 count box on CI)
I bought mine on the CI Clearance rack for $24.00 for a 5 pack.
I bought the 5 pack two months ago and this is the last one. And the reason I paid nearly $5 per stick is that it was getting good reviews.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
The shaft has wonderful aromas of sweetness, fruit, coffee, cocoa, earthiness, and barnyard.
The freshly clipped cap and foot smell of strong barnyard, leather and coffee.
The cold draw tastes of sweet fruitiness and rich tobacco.

FIRST THIRD:
A nice potpourri of flavors: A sugary sweetness, beef jerky, fruit, spiciness, and leather.
It has a wonderful draw.
The black pepper is on an upward trajectory with each puff.
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I’m not a big fan of La Perla Habana. Yes, it is wallet friendly for the most part. But I find the guts of the cigar lacking in quality and complexity.
I discovered over the last 4 cigars, that this was not the case for the La Perla Habana 1515.
The char line starts off nearly razor sharp.

The sweetness has a dark berry flavor. Not so generic any longer.
It’s not dark berry. It is grape. The only other cigar with a grape note I’ve smoked was the CAO Amazon Basin.

And you guessed it, a nutty element shows up next. No. It is not peanuts. More of a compilation of roasted nuts.
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There is a strong woody element too. It is building alongside the ratcheting up of the spiciness.
The strength is a classic medium body but ready for action any moment.

The first few puffs revealed a nice touch of sweetness and spice. As the cigar progressed, the main flavors were espresso and earth with some sweet wood notes. There was a bit of white pepper in the background,
The flavors are in constant rotation.

SECOND THIRD:
The beef jerky component is pretty strong now. With elements of molasses, mesquite, and a bit of teriyaki.
Creaminess makes its debut with the ascension of dark baking cocoa.

Smoke time has only been 15 minutes. Thereby allowing me to project that this will be a 45 minute smoke.
6third

The La Perla Habana 1515 is a really tasty little blend. I’ve had other La Perla’s and they didn’t taste like this.

But then AJ Fernandez can do no wrong in this reviewer’s eyes and palate. (Does it make you nuts like it does me when you see a reviewer spell palate: “Palette?”
A palate is “…a person’s appreciation of taste and flavor, especially when sophisticated and discriminating.”
A palette is “..the range of colors used by a particular artist or in a particular picture or a thin board, or slab, on which an artist lays and mixes colors.” Some of the most respected reviewers don’t get this right.

This cigar must not have been packed tightly with filler as it seems to burn quickly.
But on the upside, here they are: Creaminess, spice, beef jerky, grape, dark chocolate, cedar, leather, and toasty nuts.

I like the blend because it gets away from the usual Nic blend and its stereotypical flavors.
The sweet spot has landed. The meaty element is very strong. Along with some notes of graham cracker and toffee.
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I read an article on a blog who starts off dissing reviewers who thrown in the kitchen sink of flavors and seems ridiculous to him. He later goes on to explain that every “palette” is different. I concur.
He also makes a real solid comment that using the experienced smoker’s palate to help recognize flavors is a good thing. I like this guy.

I get emails all the time telling me how much I’ve helped smokers find the popes in the pizza..or Where’s Waldo?
I’ve been smoking at least 5 cigars per day for decades. Since retirement, it has risen to 8-10. And then the money ran out and it’s back down to a few per day.

At the end of a 10 cigar day, my palate was crispy. I was lucky I could taste anything.

The strength skipped medium/full and went straight for full bodied.
The La Perla Habana 1515 is a real treat and a damn fine delicious cigar.

I first saw this cigar in a CI catalog and it intrigued me. Anyone with the chutzpah to celebrate the 500 year anniversary of the founding of Cuba must be blending a terrific cigar. I was right. And so were they. The description on the CI page doesn’t do this cigar blend justice.

HALFWAY POINT:
Smoke time has been 25 minutes.
My brain lesion is affecting my motor skills. It has made me dyslexic and I find I have to type a lot of words a second time. I don’t think any huge cigars lay in my future. Would be sheer torture.
I’m scheduled to see a specialist early in July. My luck and my brain will explode before then. And then we will see what Medicare will pay for.

While the strength is full, the blend is super smooth without a hint of nicotine.
8half

There is a flavor that eludes me. I’ve tasted it before but my memory is totally shot. Really. Charlotte has to repeat things to me twice. And the next day, it is gone. This is very frustrating for her. I tell her she never told me something and she reminds me that she did. I know she wants to strangle me.

I have zero criticisms for the La Perla Habana 1515. A lovely flavor profile. Perfect construction. And a rich complexity with spot on balance and a long finish.

I definitely would buy these again. But with possible expensive tests coming up, I must save every shekel for those costs. Which means no cigar budget for your Uncle Katman.

I made out an Advanced Directive to tell the docs how I want to be treated should things get bad. Charlotte is ready to pull the plug if I get a temperature over 100°. LOL.

I’m sure everyone is selling these cigars so shop around. While the cigars are no longer on the endangered species from CI, I would gladly spend the retail of $30 for a 5 pack.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time has been 35 minutes. This would be the singular criticism. It burns too fast.
These last close up photos are near impossible. My hands shake. Sorry.

That elusive flavor is the return of toffee. And with it, spiciness soars.
Nicotine moves in. Great. I now have the motor skills of one of those big blow up balloons of a man you see on auto lots. LOL

One last time: Creaminess, spice, beef jerky, grape, toffee, dark chocolate, cedar, leather, and toasty nuts.
9third

The nicotine has hit me hard. I’m not sure if it is due to it being so strong or a contraindication of my head issues.
Regardless of the nicotine, the flavor profile remains very smooth. No heat or harshness.

PRICE POINT:
Whether you pay the $6 or $3 on Cbid, the La Perla Habana 1515 is worth it. If this were a boutique blend…like from Lost & Found, you’d pay $10+ for it.
As far as I know, this is a regular production cigar. Word of mouth should keep it in regular production for some time.

SUMMATION:
Thoroughly enjoyable cigar blend. The wallet friendly price won’t have your wife screaming at you.
It is definitely a box worthy cigar. In fact, Cbid has a special of 135 box units that ends tonight. The going price is $39.99 for 10 cigars. I’d jump on that.
I smoked one a couple weeks after I got the package. Not ready. Two month later and they are gold.
Now if La Perla Habana can put out more blends like the La Perla Habana 1515, I’m all in.
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3 replies

  1. I enjoyed your review. You have a wonderful writing style. I’m 70 and can share your senior moments. Ididn’t start smoking till I was 66 and found that I could lose a lot of weight before the heart attack instead of after. So now I’m 60 pounds lighter and enjoy about the same level of smoking as you do.I do get impatient intend to smoke things before their time.
    I’d like to thank you for your reviews. I don’t know if it’s auto selection or what but it takes an expert like you to point out to me the flavors that I’d be missing. Thanks again for your insight. Best wishes, George

    • Hi George,
      I’m grateful for your kind words. You are the first Septuagenarian to make contact with me. Makes me smile all over. Even my Depends is smiling. And my feeding tube, and my colostomy bag, and my stair case elevator, and my Old as Dirt Multiple Vitamins, and my prune juice, and finally…just me!
      Be good George and it’s a pleasure to have you aboard.
      Phil

  2. Just tried one of these Phil. Will be a regular. Thanks much for the heads up. Never thought much of La Perla before.