One reason why I personally almost never order from online is because I like walking into a brick & mortar and being recognized by the owner or workers. Yesterday was a perfect example of this when I walked into the Cigar Vault in Brooklyn, NY. The owner, Joe saw me walk in and before you knew it he came over to me and said, “Barry, how have you been we got some new editions in the humidor this week let me show you”. You do not get that from shopping online. As we were completing my purchases he also informed me, “Barry I know how much you love the Opus X, those are coming in next week. It appears this is the Christmas shipment, and after that who knows because of all the flooding they had down there”. Its stores that go the extra mile to keep you informed that keep me coming back.
Today’s cigar was one of the new sticks that came in and I picked up a few most of which were for myself, and some to give my BOTLs over at cigarlive.com. So on a typical fall morning, with overcast skies, and the sea a color of steel I dove right into this one straight from the store.
Cigar: La Aroma De Cuba Edicion Especial
Size: 5.5 x 52 (No. 5)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Pre-Smoke: This cigar is blended by Jose Pepin Garcia and is handcrafted in small batch fashion by a group of master rollers. The wrapper of this cigar has a beautiful color to it although it has some veins that stand out. The wrapper appears a little brittle, but it has a nice amount of oils showing as well. The scent of the wrapper was cedar and the foot offered notes of spices and wood. The pre-light draw was perfect and it too was woody. I was pretty stoked because this did not seem like a typical Pepin smoke.
Smoke: Upon lighting the cigar up, I was happy to see this cigar did not have the signature pepper blast that Pepin cigars seem to have. To be honest I am getting rather tired of a lot of the Pepin blends being similar. The first third of the cigar offered heavy wood with some cinnamon notes that became stronger as I reached the 2nd third. In the final third, the wood which remained dominant throughout was joined by some earth and leather.
Overall: This medium to full bodied smoke was totally different then the regular La Aroma De Cuba which was very welcomed by this reviewer in fact the only thing similar was the band. The finish was woody with some spices that lasted long after the smoke that left me very content. It also managed to rekindle my interest in Pepin cigars. If you see this cigar on the shelf I suggest you pick up a handful, as you will not be disappointed.
Ed. Note: I forgot to take a picture as I was smoking the cigar, and the photo is compliments of the Ashton Website… When I smoke another one this week I will replace the photo.