I usually only review cigars that you can find in our humidors, but every now and then I come across a new one that I feel deserves my attention. One such cigar is the product of a true master, former La Aurora and Joya de Nicaragua Master Blender Jose Blanco. Now working on his own, the Senorial is Jose’s first release from his newly formed company, Las Cumbres Tabaca.
It’s hard to say what catches your eye first, the beautiful band or bright Colorado colored wrapper leaf. The Dominican filler blend composed of Piloto Cubano and Corojo is held together by an Esteli binder leaf. Giving the cigar its reddish hue is a bright Ecuadorian habano wrapper. It’s hard to imagine a more popular wrapper leaf in the industry right now than the Ecuadorian habano.
My first puffs provide some expected flavors based on the blend information we are given. There is some initial nuttiness along with some subtle sweet spice. Nutmeg is the predominant flavor as far as the spice goes. The Esteli binder leaf doesn’t have enough influence on the flavor to introduce that trademark black pepper punch which keeps the spice profile on the sweet side. There is a little black pepper here, but is definitely a background flavor.
As the experience continues towards the second third, the spice picks up and transitions into cloves and cinnamon. There is also some anise (black licorice) on the retrohale. The strength of this stick is a solid medium. The Dominican corojo will never be confused with the more powerful Jamastran, Honduras variety, but the Cubano piloto gives this cigar just enough bite to make you take notice.
The burn on this cigar is even, which is a testament to its excellent construction. As I reached the final third, the cigar never got hot or harsh. There was a little more pepper, especially on the retrohale, but the sweet spice never went away.
This is a cigar that I will definitely smoke again. With all of these spice flavors of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon it makes for a wonderful winter cigar. I could see myself skipping that slice of pumpkin pie and going straight for a Senorial. If you have a few pumpkin beers left in the fridge I would suggest that as a pairing option. And although I have never had anyone ask me for a good cigar to pair with eggnog, this would be a good one.
So as we here in Florida celebrate our two weeks of winter by lighting up our fire pits and chimneys, don’t forget to spark up a Senorial as well.
Chris Gwaltney, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits North Florida regional manager, Certified Tobacconist and Cicerone Beer Server
Follow me on Twitter @abccigarchris.