The year 2019 was special for La Sirena Cigars founder, Arielle Ditkowich. It was the year to celebrate 10 years in the cigar business, a business she and her father Danny started back in 2009. To celebrate the event, the company reached out to Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos S.A. de C.V. in San Andrés, Mexico to craft an anniversary cigar, which by no coincidence is called La Sirena Aniversario Especial.
Expressed in a single (5 3/4 x 54) robust, the La Sirena Aniversario Especial has a multi country blend described as:
- Wrapper – 10-year-old Mexican San Andrés
- Binder – Mexican Criollo 98
- Filler – Mexican, Brazilian, Nicaraguan, Dominican
The release was extremely limited with just 1,000 total cigars being produced and packaged in 10-count boxes. The company set the MSRP at $19.00/cigar.
The La Sirena Aniversario Especial has a dark chocolate brown wrapper that has noticeable veins, a nice marbled texture, and so a decent tooth. The packing is tight and the cigar feels solid to the touch. The presentation is finished with a triple cap.
A single band adorns the cigar. It has a light blue seascape background along with a black silhouette of a mermaid that has Arielle’s initials printed in gold on the tail. The top of the band sates it is a La Serina cigar and the blend “Aniversario Especial” is printed below.
Running the cigar along the nose, I picked up a lightly pungent barrel and an enticing baking spice note off the foot.
Slicing the cap straight along the shoulder, I proceeded to give the La Serina Aniversario Especial some cold draw puffs that I would describe as a bit more open than normal while delivering a mild earth note to the palate.
It was time to fire up the anniversary cigar and see what it has to offer. Reaching for my double flame torch I warmed it and drew in the first puffs of earthy and peppery smoke.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initially earth with a light peppery note
- A touch of citrus tang quickly joins the profile
- White flaky ash forms on a jagged char line
- Toasted bread notes appear on the nose
- Bitter cocoa notes add to the flavor profile
- There is a lot going on, early in the burn, but it seems to be searching for a core
- The ash begins to show a split
- Natural sweetness moves in
- Once the ash fell it had a off centered and flat burn cone
- Cedar notes enter and brighten the profile
- Sweetness forms a nice core
- Off burn appears that eventually requires a touch up
- Spice notes after the touch up
- Flavor shifts to more of a savory sensation (spice and light sweetness)
- Aroma has shifted to a spicy note
- Burn has been behaving well after the touch up
- The sweetness and spice continue nicely to complete the journey
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 30 minutes
Overall, the La Sirena Aniversario Especial was not what I would expect from a $19.00 cigar. The flavor profile took a good inch plus of burn to settle in and the ash was just not pristine nor the burn, until after I finally touched it up after an off burn midway. The second half performed much better and was more balanced in flavor. I rate this a 85.
Point Deductions: (-1) Jagged Burn; (-1) Off Burn; (-1) Required Touch up; (-1) Flat Burn Cone; (-1) Off Centered Burn Cone; (-1) Flaky Ash; (-1) Bitter Notes Early; (-2) Not Recommended