Isabela Cigar Co. Super Corona (Pre-Release) | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Desflorada
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 38
Strength: Full
Price: $8.95

RELEASE DATE: December 15 on the Isabela Cigar Co. website.

I assume this will be a limited-edition cigar, but it could be a regular production cigar. I’ve had to tase Johnny at times to get him to deal out the entire story in one sitting.

I can’t print everything Mr. Piette sent me. He often seems to be in the land of Oz when he writes about a new blend. I will summarize some of it…but quote him on the good stuff.

Johnny, like all good blenders, designs a cigar to fit his tastes. And as I’ve known him a long time, I know he doesn’t have the patience to age his cigars in a humidor. He enjoys whipping the cigar out of its cello and lighting up.

In order to get what he enjoys, he super ages all his blends…for years. They are virtually ready to go upon receipt.

Johnny is like the Tasmanian Devil. Never stops moving and can’t stand still. If you have the opportunity to converse with him, you better be at the top of your game. Entertain him with sizzling conversation or watch his eyes glaze over a minute later. He will use the opportunity to steal your wallet. If you don’t entertain him, he takes your dough. That is the rule.

His varied cultural background is so diverse that the one constant is his love of “…my addiction to multiple flavors of hot peppery spices…hot flavorful spices…Verde, Chile, any and all degrees of pepper and the flavors that burn a hole in my mouth…but not my soul.”

He is also a funny guy. And he doesn’t suffer fools. But he tolerates me.

He said that his slightly diminutive size is the reason for the Super Corona ring gauge. A little bitty mouth. Uh-huh. (He is still taller than Tom Cruise).

“SUPER CORONA to the Rescue!
That’s right…a cigar made just for me.
-My favorite size…all meat…no filler (6 x 38)
-Spice addiction? No problem. I took our popular True Cuban Corona and added some shivery, spicy slivers of Ligero to it…Unripe Ligero.

“I dialed up the entire bevy of flavor profiles from the True Cuban Corona.
I dialed them ALL UP TO 11!
(Insert your favorite “Spinal Tap” quote here).

“Do you find that you are bored by too many similar cigars? The Super Corona has plenty of powerful transitions. This cigar will cure your boredom.

‘Voila! I created the perfect cigar for me…a snappy, sparkly, peppery Pop-Rocks style blend that your palate will love.

“I used fresh Ecuadorian Connecticut Desflorada, I used ALL High priming Nica Binder and Fillers. They are aged at different lengths of time…to enhance the transitions. The cigars have a post-production aging of 5 months…this keeps the blend nice and HOT!
Hope you like it…Sit down…Because if you’re standing, it may knock you on your keeester!”

Bambi is in the building. Oily and smooth as Johnny’s tush.
The triple cap is a marvel of modern engineering.
The wrapper has a natural leaf appearance. Seams are invisible. A fair number of veins but not intrusive to the artistic eye. For a Corona, it feels heavy in the hand. But then so does Johnny.
And the Isabela cigar band that is significant in alerting everyone that John is in the room, in spirit. And no skulls.

It’s very fruity like Johnny. Plus, vanilla, caramel, lemon custard, red pepper plus a variety of hot spices, pink bubblegum, café au lait, cedar, and some very faint aromas I cannot identify.

Johnny always uses a slightly sweetened tip. It is not like an ACID cigar where the sweetness is cloying and treacly. It is so mild, that you barely notice it. I like it…always have.

I taste every tidbit that I smelled with my huge nose.

The draw is exactly how I like it. Just perfect. I don’t need my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool. I put the tool back in my wall safe hidden by a photo of Pablo Escobar.

The first time I smoked the Super Corona was in 2020. I worked for Johnny at his upscale cigar lounge in the snooty suburbia city of Brookfield…just outside Milwaukee.
I couldn’t get through half of it due to its strength. I put it away for 6 months and the beast had been tamed.

I smoked one last night and I didn’t lose my keester in the melee. Much tamer than the 2020 stick.

Here we go…
Right away, serious complexity on just the first puff.
It has an immediate balance of sweet v. savory.

A whole lotta love from various spicy peppers. Not too hot. Just right. The spiciness does not cover up the flavors that are going crazy on my palate.

I gotta start somewhere…creaminess, espresso, caramel, carne asada, a lemon twist, vanilla, a nice maltiness, cedar, and hot cinnamon.
That was just from ¼” burned.

The burn is slow. Like Johnny.

Strength is a medium+. The only time of the day I get the true intent of a cigar is first thing in the morning without a day’s supply of food and drink in me. I didn’t get the nuances last night. This morning, the boat is being swamped by huge waves of transitions.

I take a sip of water and get a vodka martini with a twist. The blend reminds me of a fine meal of Mexican food. The flavors are subtle but layered like a wedding cake.

Flavors whiz by. I’m finding it difficult to keep up with the transitions. I would rather be avoiding this review and just enjoying the cigar.

Strength is now a potent medium/full. It has its foot on the pedal.
Very smooth while flavors dart, smack me in the palate, and move on.

I can taste the aging in a huge way. But I always taste the time in Johnny’s blends. I am glad that John is so impatient. But not with the aging.

There is an avalanche of flavors…but most are in transition as the cigar burns and moves to the next quarter inch. Sometimes, it drives me crazy keeping up with Isabela blends because John prides himself in designing a cigar that plays hopscotch with every puff.
Man, absolutely delicious.

The sweet cap dissipated within the first minute or two.

The spiciness is strong but not obtrusive. It refuses to get in the way of the intent of the blend. This may be the first time I’ve tasted so much spice but find it compartmentalized. How does he do that?

I loved this cigar last year after it had rested. But this is better.

I’m not going to repeat flavors over and over because the transitions are furiously quick.

The key to the brilliance of this blend is the level of subtleties. Such a smooth cigar. I can’t remember a cigar this strong that maintained an even keel that did not make me swoon.

The complex nature is through the roof. Holy shit.

Every puff brings something new to the table in terms of nuances and tight constraints. What I mean by that is there is strict control of what I taste due to the blending. It is not a flavor bomb, but it has an incredible intensity that my palate sucks up like a thick chocolate milkshake.

The strength is completely controlled so it is a great cigar for newbies wanting to tread in deep water.

The constant transitions are more about the depth of the tobacco than a laundry list of flavors. This is because the design is so beautifully thought out that the balance lunges and perry’s. And then retreats as it prepares for its next attack.

Damn. I love this blend. I didn’t know Johnny was this smart.

As I near the halfway point, I find it incredulous that the potent spices never step on the toes of the flavor profile. Of course, the second half may put me in a coma…we shall see.

Not a lick of nicotine. John is my hero.

Construction is immaculate. A perfect char line that never wavers.

I am trying to dissect the cigar, but you know what…the myriad of flavors work like an expensive Italian racing car at a Gran Prix event. It speeds up, it slows down, it takes the curves in stride.

It’s taken a good 20 minutes to get here. The cigar is packed perfectly.

I know I am just starting the last portion of the cigar but my keester is just fine, thank you. The experienced and sophisticated smoker will love this blend.

It is so completely balanced that you don’t need to have a bullet proof palate. No need to dissect flavors. The complexity does all the work.

Again, the char line is razor sharp.

Strength is full tilt, but I feel no fear. With every puff, the cigar continues on climbing a stairway to heaven…the live version.

A sip of water and the lines in my face disappear.

I cannot think of a single criticism. It is a palate pleaser extraordinaire.

I want some great Mexican food. Chile Rellenos with rice would be a delight.

I love that the blend is in no hurry. It takes its time so your brain can really appreciate what is going on.

Each year, Johnny earns his place at the table of the finest blenders in the world. He has become a master blender with no competition.

I’ve always thought that is an honor to be his friend. Johnny is a crazy guy until it’s time to go to work. He stands in a rare position of only producing masterful blends. Not a single cigar in his catalog is just OK. Each one is artfully designed.

The blend is now so complex that I am experiencing shock and awe.

The flavor profile and the transitions take a back seat to the utter brilliance of the experience. I used to have an utter but a plastic surgeon fixed it.

There is some nicotine at play, but it is subdued and more than tolerable for such a strong cigar.

Once again, Johnny has produced a perfect blend for my palate. He does this over and over. He should get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

I keep changing my rating as I smoke. It moves up point by point.

There is no question that I am an Isabela fanboy. With every release, John smacks me in the face with a dead mackerel.

It is a cigar to be quietly savored. Don’t rush it. I want it to grow back as it begins to disappear.

I look at the clock and realize this will be a 45-minute smoke. Every minute producing gobs of delight and surprise.

I rarely get to smoke a cigar that is this sophisticated. It is a magical gem.

Remember, they go on the Isabela website tomorrow. Tell John the Wizard that katman sent you. Use the promo code: Katman Katpack. And let Johnny do the rest.
Not a hint of harshness or heat. As strong as its presentation, it insists on being smooth and relentless.

I’m going to give into this experience that tells me it is a perfect cigar. Again.

I have some cigars readying for review that are in the $15+ range. None of them can match the quality or price of the Super Corona.

If you don’t buy a bunch of these cigars, you are a moon calf.

I’m going to shut up now and just sit back and enjoy the fading glory of this blend.



29 replies

  1. Bravo Johnny & great review Phil! This is a vitola I would absolutely enjoy smoking. I think the well aged tobacco Isabela uses is perfectly suited for a smaller ring gauge.

    Once the dust settles after my Christmas shopping I’ll definitely be looking to pick a 10er of these up!

  2. Is there a way around the $20 flat rate shipping, directly from the site?!

  3. I don’t have a fucking clue what is happening.
    I ran some cigars on his site and I live in the same town as John and I got the $20 flat rate shipping too.
    I emailed John. And I left a voicemail.
    Do not buy those cigars until Piette fixes this!
    I do know he got hacked a couple months ago and it took quite a while to get the site up and running again.
    I am sure that this ridiculous shipping rate is a glitch in the system.
    Wait for it. I will announce here when it is fixed.
    Thanks for letting me know, Chris.

  4. Hopefully when it’s fixed, he’ll also make well the ones who already swallowed it due to FOMO. I figured the 100 rating justified the end cost of $13/ea

  5. Hey Jeff,
    Below is a link to his contact page.
    Fill it out and tell him.
    John is a standup guy.
    I guarantee he will get back to you and he will make it good.

  6. Thanks Phil. I’m in SE WI and thought that was goofy as well.

  7. Hey Chris,
    John should have checked before letting loose.
    By tomorrow, it will be taken care of.
    Fill out the same contact form on his site and let him know.

  8. Thanks Phil, I filled out the contact form. All’s good either way. I have to remind myself often that not every business can offer Amazon Prime shipping. And thanks for also contacting John on behalf of your readers

  9. Your welcome, Jeff.
    Thank you for contacting me.

  10. It’s 1:15 pm MST and it looks like it’s fixed. Gonna get me 5 of them. Since they get a rating of 100 I’m assuming they are up to the standards of the long gone Shape Shifters and Pepperheads

  11. Hey Bob,
    I just checked and you are correct sir.
    John fixed the glitch.
    Thank you for letting me know.

  12. It was $10 flat rate for my fiver. Totally acceptable for a small outfit and also since your promo code should get me a goodie or two!

  13. That’s great, Bob…
    I just now spent an hour on the phone with John.
    He made my day. Funny guy. Brought me out of my sleep deprivation psychosis for a solid 60 minutes.
    He was shocked when I told him the shipping was corrected.
    He said his IT company promised to fix it by tomorrow.
    Be well,

  14. ISABELA HAS FIXED THE SHIPPING TO REFLECT $10 Flat Rate on all orders Under $100
    All orders Over $100 FREE SHIPPING

    ** Any and ALL Orders…that were charged over the above, will receive an Extra Heavy Dose…of the much relished Free Katman Katpacks!!

  15. I bow down to you kind sir.
    May your liver always be healthy.
    And your next prostate check be done by a tall, beautiful, young woman!

  16. I heard back from John. Per your guarantee, he’s making it more than good! Standup guy making great cigars. Thanks again Phil for looking out of us, as well as working with Isabela to set up the Katpack.

  17. Hey Jefferino,
    It is my pleasure, man…
    Regardless of how I write, I’m the only non-corporate guy.
    And hence, I look out for my friends.
    Readers that are loyal to my lunacy, but spot on reviews, are my friends and family.
    I would throw myself on two hand grenades for you guys.
    Johnny is a one of a kind…and would make me throw myself on three hand grenades for luck.
    Thank you for the kind words but this is all Johnny and Isabela Cigar Co.

  18. Damn! Are they sold out already? Say it ain’t so!

    A few days late to the party but didn’t see any on the website.

  19. Thanks Phil! Dunno how I missed them.

    Gonna put in my order right after I post this.

    Happy New Year!

  20. Conan,
    Well, you’re so far away. I’m sure that has something to do with it.
    Or it could be pineapple and Spam poisoning.
    Have a happy and healthy new year.

  21. Conan…Lets Play MAKE A DEAL…you send me and the Kat some Jet Fresh Pineapples…and I will send you some Jet Fresh SUPER-CORONAS !! How you doin Brother,,,,Go Packers…! btw,,,I got some of the Hawaiian Coffee you recommended…and I havent slept since !!

  22. That is exactly what John needs….less sleep.
    I must admit that Johnny is spot on. I have the same Hawaiian coffee and it ripped my eyelashes off and I was regular for a week. I checked out the ingredients and it didn’t say ‘coffee and glass.’
    I love pineapple. Had to stop eating it due to the no sugar thing. In fact, I haven’t put a gram (Sorry, wrong word) of sugar since 1980. I am positive that this has elongated my life. I have no health issues except for structural ones. Everything else is immaculate.

    You know that the food industry has found ways to make everything sugar free as an alternate for their diabetic customers. But there is one food that no one has found a way to have the adjective of no sugar added: Doughnuts. Once in a while, Charlotte has a doughnut and I sniff her breath. I’ve missed doughnuts over the last 41 years. Charlotte can consume sugar and crap and it doesn’t affect her. She is 5′-7 and weighs 135lbs. She’s like a teenager. I hate her.

    I had a Super Corona yesterday as my morning cigar. Damn.

  23. Hey Phil,
    I hope your health is in the upswing. I’m right behind you by 7 months in age and work 5 days a week as a cashier at a local grocery store. Yes, I wear my mask.
    But I just wanted to shout out to you about Johnny Piette at Isabela Cigars. He is a true man of ethics and professionalism. I had attempted to place my 1st order with Isabela today at 12:30 am and had to attempt it 3times before it made it through. I sent them 3 Emails with the 3rd at 2;25am telling them everything went through. I mentioned your great reviews and wished Johnny success. 5 min later I got a personal email from him apologizing for the trouble I had. He told me he would send me some extras for it. I also used your Katman Katpak in the comments. I was blown away by getting a personal response from him. He’s a credit to all his customers.
    I’m looking forward to these great smokes.
    Keep your health and Hope for a better 2022.
    Phil Matzelle

  24. Hi Phil,
    John has two cigar lounges. The one I worked at in an upscale part of Milwaukee. Leather everywhere. Giant TV’s. A bar, but only beer and wine. A nice place with a huge humidor.
    The other bar, called Famous Smoke, is in downtown Milwaukee right smack dab in the middle of the hip and happening crowd. It has a full bar so it is packed non stop.
    Famous Smoke is Johnny’s money earner, so he is there all the time.
    His method of responding to, or writing emails, is to not look at them during the day. After midnight is the time he does business. My emails from him are 100% of the time written at 3am. He is a vampire.
    You are right. Johnny is a true mensch.
    I’ve only known him since 2015 but he is such a generous man to all those he meets.
    He is also a very smart business man. He knows that treating the customer right brings business back.
    Customer service…something that seems to have disappeared over the years.
    I consider John one of my best friends. But he treats everyone the same so he has a lot of best friends.
    As far as Isabela being a sponsor, I was reviewing his cigars for years before he decided to become a paid advertiser. Same thing happened with all my sponsors. I got behind them long before they became solid advertisers. So there is no conflict of interest in having him, or Southern Draw. as both sponsors and best of my top 25 lists. I love everything Isabela puts out. I have the same love of Robert Holt and SDC. He became a sponsor long after I fell in love with his blends.
    Readers and customers are always telling me how much they love John. He is a stand up and solid man.
    We used to go for sushi every Tuesday. I fucked it up by having this neck issue for 7 months. I miss our times together.
    Our phone conversations are frantic and fun.
    I suggested to John that we try a video pod cast. Just the two of us. And the both of us going 90mph. I think it would be hilarious. We might talk about cigars, but unlikely. Two interesting guys with motor mouths would be fun.
    Have a healthy and happy new year,
    Phil No.2

  25. I took a leap of faith on the shipping issue and was richly rewarded with a super deluxe upgraded katman pack along with the super corona pack. Thanks Johnny!!!

    Loving the new SuperCorona!

  26. Hi Daniel,
    Yes. Thank you Johnny.
    Happy to hear he took care of you.

  27. Snagged a 20pk on this recommendation.

  28. Mr. Epstein,
    There is a joke in here somewhere but I’m not going there.
    You’ll dig them.

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