Come take a journey with me, down to Brazil, specifically state of Alagoas, some 84 mi from the state capital, Maceió. Known as “The Brazilian Tobacco Capital” Alagoas is where some of the most revered tobacco is grown, known as Arapiraca. You may know this leaf from other cigar brands, but what Terra Nova does, is take it one extra step and age the leaf under pressure in whiskey barrels for one year. This is similar to another famed tobacco – Perique – that is found in Saint James Parish Louisiana using a centuries old process of the Choctaw American Indians. The company calls this ‘Method Perique’ and calls the resulting leaf Araperique.
Today I offer my review of the Terra Nova Araperique. It is not a new cigar to the world, but it is new to the United States, as of January 2022, when it was picked up for distribution by the United Cigar Group.
The Terra Nova website notes:
“Araperique is one of the rarest and most sophisticated tobacco types in the world. This tobacco is matured using the ‚Method Perique‘ (layered in oak whisky barrels and matured under high pressure for at least a year) which is still based on the methods used by the Choctaw Indians.
It provides a special note in the aromatic blend for this unusual long filler cigar. Masterfully blended with other prestigious tobaccos for a refined, aromatic and truly exciting flavor experience such as you have never had before.”
Besides the Araperique leaf, the Terra Nova Araperique cigar includes leaf from 4 other countries for a 5-country blend.
- Wrapper: Connecticut Seed, Ecuador
- Binder: Sumatra Seed, Ecuador
- Filler: Dominican Republic, Peru, Nicaragua and Brazil
The Terra Nova Araperique is expressed in 4 vitolas, each packaged in 20-count boxes:
- Short Robusto (3 7/8 x 54) – MSRP $8.00
- Robusto (4 7/8 x 50) – MSRP $8.20
- Toro (5 7/8 x 50) – MSRP $8.40
- Belicoso (6 1/2 x 50) – MSRP $8.60
For this review, I sampled one of the Terra Nova Araperique toros, which I received as part of a Secret Santa package this past holiday season.
The Terra Nova Araperique is gorgeous, silky smooth, golden tan cigar that exhibits minimal veins and is firmly packed from head to foot. It does not have much if any oily sheen and I did notice some loose leaf in the center of the foot. A simple cap finishes the presentation.
A rather but elegant band adorns the cigar stating simply “TERRA NOVA Araperique”. Sometimes simple and elegant is just fine.
The wrapper has an aroma that reminds me of the father’s pipe tobacco humidor or even that of one of his old pipes themselves. The foot exudes similar notes with an added touch of sweetness.
I used my double blade Xikar cutter to slice the cap straight across the shoulder of the cigar and proceeded to give this one some cold draw puffs. I found the restriction to be just a bit to the open side but then that is just me, you may feel different. The draw offered notes of a growing red flake pepper, butter, sweetness.
Using my single flame torch, I warmed the foot to an even orange glow and drew int he first puffs of moderate peppery smoke to start the journey. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial draw offers a moderate peppery note on the palate and the nose.
- The draw is smooth and offers a full volume of smoke.
- Light grey ash forms on top of a medium thick char line
- Mild bitterness joins the profile early along with a light spice
- Ash is growing beautifully
- A hint of floral nuance joins momentarily for a few puffs
- A tasty natural tobacco sweetness enters near the end of the first third
- The smoke is consistently thick and chewy
- A lingering peanut note rests on the palate
- Fruity zest begins to develop in the second third
- Strength rachets up a from medium to medium full deep in the second third
- Spice increases but also the bitter notes
- Smoke is a tad hot in the final
- Medium to full in strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 30 minutes
I found the Terra Nova Araperique to be a moderately complex cigar that had awesome construction and burn qualities. It carried an amazing ash and a well-defined burn cone. In fact, the ash fell only twice through the journey. The flavors started with peppery notes and quickly evolved into spice and a touch of floral along with a growing bitter note that seemed to carry through the journey. The midway was quite pleasant with notes of peanut and fruity zest. Sadly, the underlying bitter notes slightly overwhelmed the palate through the journey. It is right priced to easily grab a fiver. I rate this a 90.
Point Deductions: (-2) Dominant bitter notes; (-2) Smoke was a tad hot in final; (-2) Extra Bitterness
Bonus Points: (+1) Long Ash; (+1) Pristine Burn