Here is a new cigar brand that has come across my desk – La Hoja del Chan Cigars. Based out of Puerto Rico, La Hoja del Chan is a small boutique cigar manufacturer that has a mission described on their website as:
“…to be able to offer the opportunity to all cigars and tobacco brands in Puerto Rico a way to offer their products internationally. We want to regain our position in the tobacco world. “
One of the unique qualities of the company’s blend is that they use a native Puerto Rican tobacco. They company notes; we cultivate part of our product we want at some point to be able to supply the WORLD with our native Tobacco Leaf
Known as the Big Habano, this (6 x 60) Gran Toro is priced at $10.00/ cigar and though sold in singles currently, the company does offer the option of purchasing 20-count bundles.
The blend of the El Chan Habano Gran Toro is described as:
- Wrapper – Habano 2000
- Binder – Indonesia
- Filler – Nicaragua/Puerto Rico
The cigars are produced at the company’s factory – La Hoja del Chan Cigars in Puerto Rico.
For this review I sampled two of the El Chan Habano Gran Toros separated by three months. The samples were provided by the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The El Chan Habano Gran Toro is kind of a rustic looking cigar with a medium brown wrapper that has some noticeable veins running through the barrel. The wrapper has some significant marbling throughout. There are a few softs in the roll, which I noticed in the center and near the head of the cigar, when I gave it some gentle squeezes. The presentation is finished with a simple cap.
A single band adorns the cigar, using a copper, black, and white motif. The name “EL CHAN” is proudly presented at the bottom along with a caricature of the brand owner, Gaby Cruz Ayala-Chan(El Chan), centered in the band.
Running the cigar along the nose, I picked up pleasant baking spice notes along the barrel, while the foot exuded some herbal and fruit notes.
I used my CigarMedics HumidiMeter to check the moisture content and got a decent reading of 68%, which allowed me to move on to the cold draw stage.
Using my double blade cutter, I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs that had a decent restriction and offered notes of earthiness to start. As I puffed a little longer, I picked up hints of butter along with a growing pepper and tanginess.
Using my double flame torch, I warmed the foot to an even orange glow, and drew in the first puffs of peppery earth to start the journey. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- First light offers earthiness and pepper
- Light grey ash forms on a jagged thin burn line
- Hint of cedar add to the profile
- Off burn develops
- Burns a tad hot to the touch
- Coffee and spice notes start to build
- Touch up required
- Ash fell in a big chunk revealing an off centered burn cone
- Earthy aroma
- Flavor gets a tad harsh deep in the second third
- Multiple touch-ups were required through the journey
- Sweet and fruit nuances moving into the final
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 30 Minutes
In the final analysis, the El Chan Habano Gran Toro had a decent array of notes that transitioned well through the first half of the journey. The second half brought forward some harsh notes that lingered on the palate deep through the second third and then gave way to nuances of sweetness and fruit. From a construction perspective, the cigar had numerous off burns and required multiple touchups to keep the burn straight especially after the first long ash fell. I ate this an 86. I do have the smaller ring gauge version of this and will sample it to compare later.
Point Deductions: (-1) Noticeable Pre-Light Soft Spots; (-1) Early Off Burn; (-1) Harsh Notes deep in the Second Third; (-2) Multiple Touch-ups; (-2) Burns hot to the touch; (-1) Off Centered Burn Cone; (-1) May try one again
Bonus Point: (+1) Long Ash