When entrusted with the opportunity to blend a premium cigar to honor his mother, Master Blender Luciano Meirelles sought to draw inspiration from her own intricate nature connecting every flavor note and smoking experience to her personality traits. The result was the launch of “Maria Lucia” at the 2022 Las Vegas PCA Trade-show. The new cigar is inspired by the story of grit, passion and survival of Luciano Cigars founder and co-owner Luciano Meirelles’ mother – Maria Lucia Meirelles.
Speaking about the Maria Lucia, Luciano noted:
“It took me many years before I dared to blend something inspired by my mother. She passed away when I was only twelve years old, and it was only recently that I was able to fully understand and know her complicated life’s story.
The late Maria Lucia was as valiant as she was brilliant, as kind as she was unashamedly bold. She was the flower that rises from cracked pavement, the beauty that survives brokenness, the redemption that overcomes tragedy. This cigar echoes the life of a complex woman who reminds us that even when all odds are against us, we nevertheless have the capacity to hold onto the light.
Even the box and band art design was inspired by Luciano’s mother, through a drawing created by Meirelles’ oldest daughter, Deborah, a Paris-based artist and fashion designer. Without ever seeing a photograph of her grandmother as a teenager, she drew the portrait of a woman she dreamed of.
“When I saw the drawing next to old photographs of my mother, I saw the similarity immediately. It was almost supernatural the way things happened. It’s hard to believe it was only a coincidence… And now years later, when I decided to finally create this cigar, naturally, in a full-circle kind of way, we thought there would be no better idea than to use my daughter’s drawing for the box.”
The Maria Lucia has a bold multi country blend described as:
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binders (Double): Sumatra Ecuador / HBN 92 Ecuador
- Fillers: Nicaragua, Dominican and Peru
The cigar is expressed in a single (5 1/4 x 54) Box Pressed vitola and comes packaged in 12-count boxes (representing the age Luciano was when his mother passed away). It has an MSRP set at $12.80/cigar.
For this review, I sampled 3 Maria Lucias that I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The Luciano Cigars Maria Lucia is draped with a dark tan wrapper that has a mild reddish hue. The wrapper has a mild grit to the touch with a slight marbling and light oily sheen. It is devoid of veins. The box press is well done with fairly crisp edges and has decent give along the barrel when squeezed between the fingers. A well applied cap finishes the presentation.
Two bands adorn the cigar. The primary band is elegant and beautifully displays Deborah Meirelles’ drawing of her grandmother complete with flowers in her hair. The band also includes the statement “Since 1957” which symbolizes the year Maria was born. It is obvious from the band that she loved her flowers. The cigar also has a white satin footer band.
Running the Maria Lucia along the nose I noted pungent barn yard notes along barrel while the foot exuded an enticing baking spice aroma.
I used my CigarMedics Baller cutter to open the cap perfectly and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs that I found to be smooth and easy on the restriction and offered an even more enticing array of notes including natural tobacco sweetness, pepper, and a tasty hint of vanilla.
I used a lit cedar spill to warm the foot and ignite the cigar which delivered a satisfying, medium peppery spice note to start the journey. Follow along as I burn this one to ash!
Cigar Review Notes
- Peppery notes start the journey
- Earthiness with an early balancing cream note
- Full volume of smoke
- Light grey ash forms on top of a thin char line
- Floral notes add to the core of the blend
- Slight jag in the burn
- Delicate natural sweetness evolves deep in the first third
- Chocolate and nut aromas waft of the foot
- Mild spice notes add to the pleasure
- Pleasant dry fruit notes grow in the second third with an ever present mild floral note
- Clean finish with just a mild lingering fruity cream note
- Ash fell in a solid chunk revealing a flat but centered burn cone
- Darker chocolate notes swirl into the profile midway
- The flavors are well balanced and easy on the retrohale
- Spice notes grow deep in the second third as the strength ratchets up to medium-plus taking it to the finish
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 25 minutes
After smoking three Maria Lucia cigars from Luciano Cigars, I can say I have learned a little bit about Luciano’s mother. If this cigar depicts who she was, I would say Maria was spicy at times yet grounded to the earth and sweet in disposition. She loved flowers, fruit and chocolate and had a sweet disposition but was strong when she had to be. These are the key characteristics the Maria Lucia offered through the journey. Construction wise, it was well made with just a mild jag in the burn. This is most certainly is a box worthy cigar. I rate this a solid 95.
Point Deductions: (-1) Slight Jag in Burn; (-1) Flat but centered burn cone
Bonus Points: (+1) Box Buy; (+1) Pleasant and Consistent across Multiple Samples; (-1) Extremely Complex, Nuanced and Balanced