Review: La Riqueza

With my blog growing in popularity I want to extend a thank you to all my faithful readers and those who have just come aboard. Without you, the pleasure I take in sharing our love of the leaf would go unnoticed.

As my blog grows, my friends who share a same passion have taken in interest in learning how to identify the various notes different cigars have to offer. My good friend Sonny has a knack for identifying them, and the owner of Barrister cigars whom I too call a friend has shown an interest. While his palate isn’t quite there yet, we decided to do a panelist review of the La Riqueza cigar from Pete Johnson the person behind the Tatuaje.

Pete Johnson identifies the La Riqueza cigar as:

1) The Riches or The Wealth in Spanish.
2) An Old World Medium Bodied Cuban Style Cigar

We used 3 different sizes of a 5 pack I obtained to do this review. While that is not necessarily the standard for doing a review (I like to smoke 2-5 of the same size prior to doing a review) I figured this little panel would offer something different.

Panelist #1: Barry, the voice behind acigarsmoker.com has been smoking for 10+ years and quickly obtained a palate to pick up various notes. As manager of a cigar store in Brooklyn, NY he fined tuned this knack often getting labeled as crazy until his description of cigars started showing up in various magazine as if he wrote them, when he did not.

Panelist #2: Sonny, a retired NYPD Detective who introduced Barry to cigars is an avid cigar smoker for 20+ years. Until recently Sonny was more interested in chewing his cigars and launching them at television sets if the Yankees were losing. Under the tutorial of Barry, Sonny has learned to identify notes and enjoy cigars in a new light.

Panelist #3: Dave, the owner of Barrister cigars who has semi-retired as a lawyer to follow his bliss. He opened Barrister a little over a year ago and his business continues to attract new people every day. While he admits his palate is nowhere near that of Barry & Sonny he eagerly participated in the review.

The Skinny:

Cigar: La Riqueza
Origin: Nicaragua
Sizes:
Panelist #1: No. 4 5×48
Panelist #2: No. 1 6.5×42
Panelist #3: No. 3 5.58×46
Wrapper: Naturally Dark Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Pre-Smoke:

Panelist #1: This cigar is slightly box pressed and has a chocolate like color to the wrapper. Like most Pete Johnson cigars it looks like a Cuban. The triple cap and flawless roll make it a pleasing to the eye. The label is a copy of the old La Riqueza Cuban label. The scent of the wrapper is that of chocolate and at the foot there is some slight pepper and wood notes. The pre-light draw reveals notes of wood.

Panelist #2: I was very impressed with the appearance of this cigar, the dark wrapper matched the scent which was chocolate. It felt slightly spongy to me, and on the tongue I got notes of pepper and spice. My pre light draw had notes of chocolate and when I took a second deeper draw some notes of nuts surfaced as well. At the foot, the notes were so light that I could not truly identify them.

Panelist #3: As a novice I know my thoughts will be different then Barry & Sonny. I just hope to play the role of the average cigar smoker who does not have the ability to pick up the notes these guys do. For me the cigar was spongy, and the wrapper reminded me of chocolate and the foot of cinnamon. On the pre-light draw I had notes of pepper.

Smoke:

Panelist #1: On the light I had some quick hits of pepper which remained for the first third of the cigar along with some notes of nuts. Just before the second third began there were some well defined notes of cherry that disappeared almost as quickly as they appeared. As they left some notes of dark bakers chocolate appeared with some nuts. The final third which burned a little hot, had notes of pepper, nuts and some wood. This medium to full bodied smoke despite burning a little hot was a finger burner and stayed lit til I could no longer hold it. The finish was long and nutty.

Panelist #2: On light this cigar quickly established itself as a full bodied smoke, at least until the half way point when it became more of a medium bodied smoke. The draw was nice all the way through and remained lit with a nice burn line. The scent of the smoke reminded me a little of burnt coffee and the finish was that of strong tea. During the course of the smoke I picked up notes of Oak, Tea, and Cedar.

Panelist #3: Here is where my novice ability comes to light. I too was impressed with the draw and burn line of the smoke, but my palate was only able to reveal notes of pepper. The cigar burned hot at the end and became bitter for me. It’s nice start was erased somewhat by the end of my smoke.

Overall:

Panelist #1: Another great Pete Johnson creation. I am quickly becoming a Pete Johnson whore as I love everything he produces. His cigars have reignited my love of the leaf and I have yet to be disappointed.

Panelist #2: This was a good smoke that I would recommend to a steady smoker. Smoking it I enjoyed the smooth qualities and how refreshing it was to smoke

Panelist #3: The smoke was very enjoyable until it began to burn a little hot for me.

Rating: 93/91/88 (91 Avg)
Price: Varied due to size.




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  • Guillermo Flores

    I have to agree with you guys on the La Riqueza! It’s an awesome smoke! I have gotten to try 3 of them, and I haven’t been disappointed with any of them!

  • http://berris,wordpress.com berris

    Thanks for the reviews… I have been enjoying the La Riquezas as well, and think there may be some good longer-term aging potential as well!

    ~berris / MaytagMan

  • Pingback: La Riqueza No. 1 « Matt’s Cigar Journal

  • Peter

    …put this away about a year ago. Thick cigar is mild throughout …nice. nutty flavor with a slow steady burn …great construction but needs more complexity and kick …a very pleasant smoke …

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