Cigar

La Sirena’s Original

La Sirena Original

So who knows about the La Sirena line? Yeah, me either (well maybe you did know about them but I didn’t). I’m not even sure how I got one but since it was something different I thought it would be good material for a review. Started in 2009 by “Arielle Ditkowich after a successful collaboration with Nestor Miranda and Miami Cigars & Co. Today La Sirena continues to be requested at many tobacconists nationwide rolled and sourced by Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Factory (La Sirena -Original), Plasencia’s El Paraiso factory in Honduras (La Sirena LT), La Aurora Cigar Factory in the Dominican Republic (Merlion & Merlion Maduro) and Quesada’s MATASA factory in the Dominican Republic (Oceano) and more recently the Aniversario Especial 10th Anniversary limited edition vitola by Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos S.A. de C.V., Casa Turrent’s factory in San Andrés, Mexico.  La Sirena brand cigars are distributed nationwide and available at over 300 retail stores. The La Sirena is blended with a rare Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro wrapper and one of the three ligero leaf fillers utilizes Erik Espinosa’s “magic leaf”, which adds a layer of creamy complexity.” It boasts some pretty big factories for their manufacturing, let’s see how it holds up.

The wrapper has the color of tanned leather in color, there is noticeable veining and a slight oily finish. The seams are tight and the cigar has a fair amount of pliability when pressed between the fingers. It has the smell of fresh earth, dried fruit and a touch of brackish notes. This could be a subconscious smell caused by the name but I swear it’s there. The cap cuts easy enough causing no damage to the body. The cold draw is very easy with sweat dried fruit, bit of raisin and maybe anise. Again could be caused by the name, but it reminds me of sangria. Not saying it tastes like sangria its just what it makes me think of.

In the first half I picked up flavors of roasted nuts and toast. I had to re-light it a few times to keep combustion which is a bit of bummer but it could be due to it being over humidified however, it’s been in my humidor for 6 months and everything else out of it has smoked fine so, I don’t think that was the issue. The burn was fairly even and there was plenty of smoke. The draw offered little resistance making it easy to smoke.

In the second have the burn was much better and only required re-lighting twice. The flavors became more spicy on the finish. The flavor of nut is still there and a lovely creamy flavor. While the burn is a touch wonky there is loads of smoke production.

While the annoyance of re-lighting was there I did still enjoy smoking the cigar. I liked the draw and the full smoke production. The flavor is easy enough for anyone to not be overwhelmed by but still complex enough to enjoy. If you see it I would say give it a try and see what you think. Because of the burn problem I’m going to give it another try when I find them again and then update this article to reflect any new findings.

Wrapper – Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro

Binder – Nicaraguan Criollo

Filler – Nicaraguan Jalapa & Condega

Price: $7.50 – $8.00 depending on vitola

Website: Lasirena.com

Rating: 4.1 out of 5 pints (This rating will also be updated after smoking additional cigars.)

Henry Clay War Hawk

Henry Clay War Hawk

How can you talk about the Heanry Clay War Hawk and not talk a bit about US history. Henry Clay (1777-1852) was a pivotal person in America and American expansion. Clay was a Distinguished political leader (and obviously a Ruffian) whose influence extended across both houses of Congress and to the White House. Clay had come to the House as a War Hawk, a leader who vocally pushed his government to confront the British over its conscription of American seamen. In part due to Clay’s political pressure, the United States went to war with Britain in the War of 1812. The conflict proved crucial in forging a lasting American independence from England.

One of America’s most noted statesmen in American history, he was also known as “The Great Pacificator” and had the ability to arrange compromises that resolved three disputes between the states and prevented a civil war.  He ran unsuccessfully for President three times and lived in Lexington, Kentucky on his estate, known as Ashland.

During the end of the 19th centur one of the more popular premium brands of cigars was the Henry Clay Cigar.  Originally manufactured by Julian Alvarez in Havana and dating from the 1840s it is one of the oldest original Cuban brands.

In 1888, Alvarez sold his interest to Henry Clay and Bock & Co., Ltd., a British company, (Romeo y Henry Clay Bock y Ca Manuel Garcias Diaz y Garcia) that was part of the Tobacco Trust which is ironic given Clay’s dislike for the British empire.

The brand died out around the time of the Great Depression but in the late 1990s, the brand was restored and is now manufactured by Tabacalera de Garcia, in the Dominican Republic as well as Flor de Copán factory in Honduras.  The label on the box shows the original Henry Clay factory in Havana. But enough history lessons on to the cigar.

The look of the War has is a golden brown with a sneaky hint of green if the light hits it right. There is some light veining and some toothiness to it. The seams are nearly invisible and the body has ample give when pressed between the fingers. Although the wrapper leaf is thin it has great plasticity and does not crack easily.

The smell reminds me of damp earth with light spices and a lingering sweetness. The cold draw is easy with notes of nuts, cream and the earth that was found from the smell. The cap cuts easily causing no structural issues.

The first half is a mix of cream and spice at the same time with hints of charred wood and black pepper on the finish. I pick up a nice cinnamon spice on the retro also. The finish is long and the cigar produces plenty of bread like light weighted smoke. the burn is even and the ash holds tight until closing to break it off.

For the second half the pepper moves a bit more to the front but the creaminess remains and to me is the most dominating part of the cigar. Most intriguing to me is the subtle taste and definite aroma of cedar that adds to the smoothness of this cigar. The smoke production never fails to satisfy and the burn line requires no touch ups for the duration of the experience.

For my first time smoking this cigar I am very impressed in quality and overall flavor especially considering its economical pricing. I was gifted this cigar by one of the DR Brothers and look forward to finding more. I would place this cigar in the medium category but rich in flavor. If you have the opportunity to grab some I would highly recommend picking up several, you will not be disappointed. In 1898, Rudyard Kipling stated in his poem The Betrothed that: “There’s calm in a Henry Clay”. Not sure if he was referring to the man himself or the cigar but it applies equally to both.

Wrapper – Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder – Connecticut Broadleaf

Filler – Honduras

Price: $7.50 – $8.00 depending on vitola

Website: Altadisusa.com

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 pints

 

La Lujuria from Acosta Cigar Co.

Acosta Cigar Co La Lujuria

It’s truly a unique thing when a cigar company first starts and even more unique when that company gives us the first opportunity to try out their brand. “Acosta Cigars [was] conceived when an unlikely meeting between a Cuban Master Blender and Colombian cigar enthusiast happened over the love of the leaf. For Delvis Leiva, growing up in Cuba was the perfect opportunity to master the art of rolling cigars, while understanding the delicate and rich properties of a tobacco leaf. Yezid Acosta has always been on a constant quest for the perfect taste, aroma, and experience. Now it has been decided that it is time to make the perfect blend. Working closely with farms in Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, we can bring you hand-rolled premium blends for your enjoying pleasure. Each cigar is hand-rolled using premium tobacco and traditional Cuban methods.”

Currently they have the La Lujuria available with a Puro coming soon. “LA LUJURIA” is Spanish for “LUST”. In this case, it refers to a passionate desire for that perfect cigar experience. La Lujuria is hand-rolled using only the finest blend of Nicaraguan tobacco, with a Mexican San Andrés Maduro wrapper aged to perfection and merges beautifully.

The maduro wrapper is deep brown in color and a touch lighter in color near the slightly noticeable veins. It has a powdery finish with some toothieness to it. The seams are tight and the construction feels good and dense with little give when pressure is applied.

The smell reminds me of coffee, leather , cedar and hay. The notes form the foot are similar. The cap cuts fin with no damage caused to the wrapper. The cold draw is a bit on the firm side. I find the flavors to be sweat and creamy with smooth tobacco.

In the first half of this cigar I noticed a lot of spice and pepper. It’s a solid flavor that opens up the palate. I tend to smoke on the fast side so the draw is a touch tight for me however, once I slow down and try not to pull so hard on each draw it becomes manageable. The burn line remains even and it provides enough light weighted enjoyable smoke to fill the room.

In the second half the spices remain but that sweat cream that was noticed in the cold draw becomes present giving the cigar a nice smooth profile to its flavor. The cigar continues to burn evenly with no touchups required for the entire session and the smoke production remains more than satisfactory.

For someone who normally finishes a cigar in about 45 minutes to maybe an hour this La Lujuria lasted me nearly two. Coming in at 6 1/2″ and a 56 ring gauge this thing is a slow smoking cigar making it well worth the price of $15.00 a cigar. They currently can be found through Acosta Cigars website Acostacigars.com so go check it out and pick up a fiver, you won’t be mad about it.

Wrapper – Mexican San Andres Maduro

Binder – Nicaraguan (Jalapa)

Filler – Nicaraguan (Jalapa & Estelí)

Price: $15.00 a stick available in 5 packs or by the box.

Website: Acostacigars.com

Rating: 4.1 out of 5 pints