Thursday, April 8, 2010

La Escepcion Edicion Limitada 2009

Up for review we’ve got the La Escepcion Edicion Limitada 2009.

Stats are as follows:

Size: 6.25” x 54
Shape: Gran Gener
Origin: Honduras
Body: Medium – Full
Wrapper: Honduran Habano Talanga
Binder: Ometepe
Filler: Nicaraguan
Rocky’s Price: $6.89

I really enjoyed this cigar. It’s a simple yet complex blend presented nicely, constructed well, and quite tasty.

For those who don’t know (I had to look it up), the Ometepe binder comes from a twin volcano island named Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua located in, you guessed it, Nicaragua. What this says to me is: a rare binder (indeed some claim this is the first cigar to use it!) which must come from extremely rich soil. Promising to say the least!

The wrapper is a smooth and dark Honduran, but not quite what most would call “Maduro.” Its color is a little inconsistent, varying in darkness in places, but still attractive. The dual band presentation is very nice and I appreciate that each stick displays the year on the foot band. The construction feels solid and well done.

Pre-light aroma is excellent with sweet spice and leather jumping up to meet my nose. Some subtle earth notes can be detected as well. This cigar is promising.

The bands were very secure, but came off effortlessly, no tearing, no residue. This was especially impressive to me after pulling off the band from the 601 blue which brought a small amount of wrapper with it. This is not necessarily such a big deal for most, but it’s one of those details that lets one know that Hoyo de Monterrey takes care through every step of cigar production.

Ok, back to the cigar! The cut was smooth, with only a couple tiny crumbs needing to be brushed off before drawing on it. Pre-light draw was delicious with spice and caramel being the dominant flavors. The draw is nice and open. I can’t wait to light this guy!

First light set this stick off to a great start. I taste creamy caramel and spice with a very gentle “leatheryness” to the flavor. The smoke is creamy and delicious. Something else to mention is that there is a distinct “tobacco” taste amongst these other flavors. Now, I generally get annoyed when a reviewer says “it has a tobacco taste to it” because…. What else would it taste like?! It’s tobacco! However, in this case, there’s little else to describe this as. You’ll know what I mean when you try it.

Through the first quarter of the smoke, I tasted a lot of sweet and creamy caramel, leather, spice, and earth in that order. However, it’s not quite a layering experience. It’s more like the caramel fills in the totality of the experience with the leather and earth complimenting it and the spice surrounding the entire experience, although gently.

There’s a slightly bitter note at the back of the throat, but nothing bad.

As the cigar progresses into the second 1/4 , the cigar continues to exhibit a very similar character, with some gentle interplay of the flavors and a hint of coffee creeping in, but it doesn’t stay at the party long. Some dark “chocolatelyness” also steps in to see what’s going on, but apparently isn’t interested, so it, too, leaves rather quickly. Towards the end of the 2nd ¼, the body begins to pick up a hair and the earth comes to the fore front a bit more, taking precedence over the leather notes. About this time, the burn became a little uneven, but this fixed itself rather quickly.

Into the second half of the cigar, the spice almost disappears unless exhaled through the nose, then you know it’s still there. Otherwise, the flavor profile remains consistent with the earth and body picking up a little more. I’m beginning to see where this stick is going. The bitterness also became a little more present in the 3rd ¼ of the stick, but still doesn’t hurt the experience for me.

The finish was nice and long. Earth takes the front seat here, with the other flavors hanging out in the background. The body also picks up and lets you know that you are smoking a medium-full bodied cigar. I can feel a slight buzz coming at this point. This flavor profile remains through the nub, when I finally lay it down. The bitterness started to become a little much for me by the end, but if I had another one, I’d have happily fired it up.

I really enjoyed this cigar. The evolution from creamy caramel and leather into semi-powerful earth was a fun ride and I never found myself feeling bored of the experience. This is a solid medium-full bodied cigar that I would definitely recommend trying. The price is right and, although I’m not sure it’s box worthy for me, I’d definitely pick up a 5 pack to toss in the humidor.


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