October 27, 1949 – that is the day José Blanco was born. Señor Blanco started his long career at the age of 25 as a rum salesman in the Dominican Republic. After 6 years he moved over to Grupo León Jimenes as a salesman for Presidente beer and Marlboro cigarettes. He quickly moved up the ladder, taking on ever-increasing positions in the company, until 1999 when accepted a position in the company’s cigar division La Aurora. It is here where José started to learn about may different tobaccos from around the Central America. As time went on he grew passionate about blending and has been quoted as saying:
“I don’t care how good a cigar is, if it’s good and it’s one-dimensional, to me it’s just a good, boring smoke. I like cigars that are complex and change a lot.”
His resume of popular and award-winning blends include:
- 100 Años, created to celebrate La Aurora’s 100th anniversary in 2003.
- 100 Años Belicoso
- La Aurora’s 1495 Series
- The La Aurora 107
- The La Aurora Barrel Aged blends
After a solid 31 years in the business he eventually retired in 2011, or so he thought. Just 3 months later the cigar world came knocking on his door and he accepted the position of Senior Vice President of Joya de Nicaragua S.A. responsible for Blend and Brand Development, reporting directly to Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca, owner of Joya de Nicaragua S.A. Although he stayed with the company for only 2 years, he left a lasting mark with the blending of the famed CyB cigar that was showing up on numerous Cigar of the Year lists in 2012.
So Señor Blanco decided to retire once again, but being the man he is, that once again lasted a short time, as he started his own company Las Cumbres Tabaco and showcased his first blend, the Señorial at the 2014 IPCPR. Do the math and he would be 64 years old so to put the icing on his cake, Las Cumbres Tabaco announced the Senorial by Jose Blanco 65th Anniversary Cigar for his 65th birthday in October, 2014, which was released in December and is the subject of today’s review.
The Senorial by Jose Blanco 65th Anniversary Cigar
This is obviously a special cigar for José Blanco and is available in only one 5 3/4 x 55 Perfecto vitola. Such a cigar required a blend that only the man himself could create. He personally chose each priming that would be used and all leaf used had to have at least five to six years of aging. The blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Dominican Piloto Cubano from the La Canela farm (6 years aged)
- Binder – Dominican Piloto Cubano ligero, from La Canela farm (5 years aged)
- Filler –
- Dominican Corojo viso from the Jacagua farm
- Dominican Corojo seco from the Gurabo farm
These come packaged in 10-count boxes and have a retail of about $14.00.
The Senorial by Jose Blanco 65th Anniversary cigar is gorgeous perfecto, perfectly finished on the head and a foot that showed some excellent bunching. It has a well marbled dark tan wrapper with an outstanding sheen and beautiful vein structure.
The adornment on this cigar is just as beautiful as the cigar with a primary band that uses a gold and white motif and has the phrase “Senorial by José Blanco” centered of the a well-printed painting in the center. A secondary band declares this as the “65th Anniversary”.
The foot exuded notes of butter and nut but there was little aroma along the barrel.
I cut this as i would a torpedo, slicing the cap about a 1/4 inch down. The draw was perfect and offered pre-light notes of citrus peel (did not expect that) and eventually some red pepper that grows and warms the palate, as you roll it about before lighting it up.
Cigar Review Notes
- Great draw to start with a light sweetness on the palate
- The sweetness is quickly followed by deep pepper notes
- Full volume of creamy smoke
- Light grey ash rests on a medium char line
- The pepper tones down and notes of cocoa powder and cinnamon enter
- The smoke just increases as it burns
- Beautiful ash structure with lot’s of tooth showing in the ash
- As it moves trough the second third there are notes of espresso and sweet vanilla
- Ash fell just before second band
- Flat and fairly centered cone
- Cedar notes have entered near the secondary band to join the early sweetness
- Dry leather and spice enter after primary band was removed
- The final third brought a muted spice that balances with the natural sweetness
- Medium to full
- Total Smoking Time was one hour and twenty minutes
Overall, the Senorial by Jose Blanco 65th Anniversary was an excellent cigar that provided a delightful and flavor filled journey. The continued back note of sweetness made this an easy cigar any enthusiast would enjoy. Maybe some day I should have a cigar like this in honor of my 65th birthday. I purchased this cigar at a local shop and it was resting for about 6 months before the review.