You know, sometimes when I fire up a cigar I think about or talk about my grandfather who enjoyed his cigars and chewing tobacco. Sometimes I think of my ex-father-law-law (God rest his soul) and the many nights we sat on the back porch enjoying a stogie. But it is something truly special when two brothers get together to honor their father with the creation of cigar brand. That is exactly what Milan and Ivan Antwan did eight years ago when they decided to create the New Era Cigar Company to honor their father Elyas Antwan who was a long time lover of cigars.
The two brothers have grown the company over the years bringing to market 4 brands in various vitolas and blends. This year they were at the IPCPR showcasing their latest blend, the Licencia Particular. The name translates roughly to “Special License” and the marketing uses an old Cuban Licence plate with the phrase “1962MDRO” on it.
The Licencia Particular
The Licencia Particular blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan and Pennsylvania Broadleaf
They are marketed in 3 popular vitolas:
- Supremo – 6×60
- Toro – 6 x 52-
- Churchill – 7 x 52
Retail pricing based on New Era Cigars website is set in the low to mid $9.00 range and yes they can be purchased on the company’s website in boxes of 24 and also 5 or 10 count humidors.
To start with, the Licencia Particular is a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapped cigar so don’t expect silky or satin here, but do expect beauty if you like a good broadleaf maduro. This is a beautifully blotchy dark cigar that has a tinge of red clay color running through it. There is a decent amount of grit to it.
It is rugged as one would expect and the brothers from New Era cigars did not try to hide that. It has numerous veins running along the wrapper and is finished with a simple cap. Before I go any further let me repeat, I liked the look of this cigar because that is what broadleaf looks like.
The band on this follows the marketing motif for the brand, with a classic looking old Cuban Licence plate yellow and black. The phrase “1962MDRO” is centered in the middle with the words “Rep. Cuba” on top and “Particular” underneath. On the top right of the plate is an aged sticker that states “The Antwans” instead of what would be the registration sticker for the plate. Under the plate is the word LICENCIA in silver print on a black background. The back of the band has the company’s logo in Silver on a gloss black background.
So we have a beautiful broadleaf cigar and a unique band but how does it hold up to the sniff test?
I ran the barrel along my nose and picked up sweet spicy notes and then moved onto the foot which offered notes of citrus and a light sprinkle of black pepper. I should note that this is a solidly packed cigar and even with the wrapper veins, the seams were practically invisible.
I sliced the cap with ease and turned to the cold puff stage where I noted the mild restriction to the cigar and pre-light notes of earth and pepper. The pre-light exam was making me think this was going to be a peppery spice bomb. So read on as I take you through the journey of the New Era Cigars Licencia Particular.
For this review I sampled the Licencia Particular Toro which I received from the company for the purpose for reviewing on Stogie Press.
Cigar Review Notes
- An expected pepper burst on the initial puffs especial on the retro-hale
- The pepper settles back but still present after 1/2 inch of burn
- A breakthrough of sweetness, cocoa, and earth notes are delivered through a dry cocoa smoke
- Flaky light grey ash rests on the char line
- Sweetness evolves into a toasted caramel
- There is a lingering pepper on the center of the tongue
- Aroma is floral
- The sweetness plays with the pepper on the tongue moving back and forth fighting for position
- Aroma shifts to more maple syrup near end of first third
- Ash fell after first third
- Nicely centered burn cone
- While the pepper and sweetness fought it out, the dry cocoa took front and center
- Nut enters end of second third
- A sweet butter note laces the palate as it enters the final third
- Off burn started in final and required a touch up
- Peppery spice enters and the maple aroma intensifies
- Nut continues to add delight
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was
Overall, the Licencia Particular from New Era Cigars was just what I expected from a broadleaf maduro with its early but lingering pepper and sweet and enticing flavor nuances. This cigar was a delight to smoke and review. My only issue was the final third that went off burn and required a touch-up, Of course it is a thick wrapper and I come to expect that. If you are looking to expand your palate experience this is certainly one to try as it offers a fantastic set of flavor notes. Try pairing this with a nice aged rum to enhance the sweetness.