Today we go back and visit the fine craft of Tony Belatto and Craig Rossi from La Barba Cigars as I review the La Barba Red cigar. This cigar, along with the La Barba Purple, which I reviewed last July, was one of the two primary blends the team created when they founded their small boutique cigar company. Since the creation, they have released two more blends; Caldwell X La Barba One & Only which is a Robert Caldwell collaboration and the Siempre which rounded out the company’s portfolio with a bold Ecuadorian Connecticut blend.
Let’s talk some more about the La Barba Red. This cigar is the actually the second incarnation of the La Barba Red. While the original was primarily a Honduran blend with some Nicaraguan filler, the new blend is described by Belatto and Rossi as a Dominican Puro with a blend made up of:
- Wrapper – Dominican Corojo
- Binder – Dominican
- Filler – Dominican
Factory of origin – Tabacalera William Ventura in the Dominican Republic
The La Barba Red is available in 4 vitolas and comes packaged in 12-count boxes:
- Petit Lancero 6 x 46 (MSRP $8.80)
- Corona Gorda – 5.75 x 46 (MSRP $9.10)
- Robusto – 4.5 x 52 (MSRP $9.50)
- Toro – 6 x 54 (MSRP $9.90)
Some say, even though the La Barba Red has been re-blended, it still has the same characteristic as the original. I never had a chance to enjoy the original but Craig Rossi was kind enough to gift me one of the of the re-blended Corona Gordas last year in Las Vegas and I promised I would take the time to review it on Stogie Press- so here it is.
The La Barba Red is aptly named, as it has a Colorado red tinge to the medium brown Corojo wrapper that has a light tooth and a fine sheen to it. There are practically no veins and it is finished with a simple cap.
There is one band that adorns the La Barba Red, it is the classic but slightly redesigned silver La Barba logo resting in a red background. The red bleeds onto the Barba razor.
Running the La Barba Red across the nose I picked up sweet cracker and chocolate aromas off foot and a pungent fermented leaf aroma along the barrel.
I sliced the cap and gave it some cold draw puffs which delivered notes of pepper, earth and savory spice.
So far the La Barba Red is shaping up to be a very enticing cigar, so it was time to hit with the soft flame of one of my trusty cedar spills.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper hits the nasals hard on the first puffs
- Medium to dark ash develops, resting on a medium char line
- Pepper slows but a cinnamon spice grows in place of it
- A touch of cedar enters to round out the early profile
- There is a sweet aroma that is trying to break into the flavor profile
- Cedar increases
- The creamy smoke is at full volume by the end of the first third
- The ash is growing well and holding tight
- Peanut appears in background moving into the second third
- Ash finally falls in the second third with a flat and centered burn cone
- Syrupy aroma evolves
- A touch of mineral enters as the aroma continues to evolve with a bit of chocolate
- There is still a core of spice coming through
- I am really digging the aromas on this – filling the nostrils on each puff
- Flavors tend to blend down near the second half
- Dry leather enters end of second third
- Spice ratchets up going through the final third
- Strength was medium plus
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 15 minutes
Overall, the La Barba Red Corona Gorda was a terrific cigar that had outstanding construction properties and a solid core of sweetness and spice with terrific flavor nuances popping up through the journey. I would like to thank Craig Rossi for turning me onto this blend and hope to be picking them up whenever I see them on a humidor shelf.