Back In June I started a series of “Must Try” cigars based on reviews Stogie Press has done over the past six years. The first article focused on Nicaraguan cigars, today we will focus on Honduran cigars.
Honduras does not always get the attention from the American cigar market as well as Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, but you may not realize, that Honduras has been producing cigars from as far back as 1765, when Spain established a royal tobacco trading post in Copan.
A really good article on the Honduran Cigar industry can be found in TobaccoAsia.com written by Eric Piras. In that article Eric takes you through the history of the Honduran Cigar Industry and notes:
“The tobaccos grown in Honduras are mostly Cuban seed, and both Cuban Criollo and shade-grown Corojo are cultivated for their strong flavors, along with Connecticut shade for wrapper, sometimes called ‘Honduran shade’.
There are three main growing regions in Honduras. In the southeast near the Nicaraguan border is the aptly named province of El Paraiso (translating into “Paradise”). This is where the Jamastrán Valley is located, and just next to it is the Danlí area, hosting several factories and cigar-rolling facilities in addition to plantations. The Jamastrán Valley is to Honduras what the Jalapa Valley is to Nicaragua, and for good reason: they’re geographically very close, just the border between these countries keep them apart. El Paraiso’s soil is rich and fertile and produces a very high-quality tobacco; it is home to different types of tobacco including Connecticut shade-grown wrappers and Corojo shade-grown wrappers, as well as sun-grown filler leaves which are often used in premium cigars.“
So have fun and check out out must try and possibly lesser known Honduran cigars, I am sure you may have some others to add to the list, so comment on this article and you may win a care package from yours truly – Boston Jimmie
In no particular order or ranking here are some of the must try Honduran cigars we reviewed.
Overall, the Maya Selva Villa Zamorano Reserva Soberano was a pleasurable journey that offered an interesting array of flavors and aromas. Once the early pepper notes toned down there was a core of sweetness that maintained through a good part of the cigar with various and intriguing nuances. Expect notes of peppery spice, sweet malt, nut, sweetness, cream, cocoa , and coffee.
The Danli Honduras Tabaco Don Juan Calavera Sumatra Toro was one of those cigars I smoked plenty of and enjoyed each one. Each sample performed excellent and the flavors and aromas were well balanced and transitioned well. Expect notes of fruit, sweetness, spice, coffee, cinnamon, nut, and cedar.
The JRE Tobacco Aladino Corojo Reserva is a Honduran puro that was an awesome cigar with a fine array of balanced and pleasurable notes and aromas. I especially enjoyed the cherry notes that moved in and out and brightened the profile. The smoke was cool and pleasant from the foot down to the nub. Expect notes of pepper, sweet floral, nut, spice, coffee, cherry, and cedar.
The Alec Bradley Magic Toast was a quite the flavor full cigar with a enticing aromas. The final third actually brought an array of flavors to the palate that wanted me to smoke another or perhaps to pick up the toro vitola for a longer smoking experience. Expect notes of bread, jam, pepper, coffee, butter, wood, syrup, earth, and malt
The C.L.E. Wynwood Hills Mayhem was a terrific 1 hour plus smoke and offered a consistent set of spice and savory flavor notes. I would not described the Mayhem as complex but it did have some shifts and moves in flavor and aroma. All in all, at a price point of $7.50, this is one that is worth the money and certainly highlights the great Honduran Corojo leaf that C.L.E. is famous for. Expect notes of pepper, salt, savory spice, syrup, and spiced nut.
The Oscar Valladares Ciseron Edition was a fine cigar from this young and growing boutique cigar company. It had a pleasant array of flavors and aroma that were wrapped in a core of sweetness. The burn was spot on with a long solid ash that fell just once throughout the journey. Expect notes of sweetness, pepper, vanilla, cedar, spice, and almond nut.
The Providencia Cigars Trinitas was a cigar that aged well and delivered a well balanced array of delectable flavors and aroma. I found the spice was much diminished in the final third than that of the pre-release version. It held a solid ash and never required a touch-up or re-light. Expect notes of natural sweetness, spice, malt, coffee, cocoa,vanilla, almond, and mint.
The La Palina Bronze label was a relatively complex smoke with some unique flavor notes not normally found in cigar blends. I will repeat again Sarsaparilla. If you did not know the flavor you may describe it as root beer, but this is a much more complex soft drink. The burn was perfect all the way to the nub. Expect notes of spiced fruit, dry cocoa, cream, fruit, dry leather, cocoa, citrus zest, pepper, cherry, vanilla, and sarsaparilla.
The Asylum 13 Medulla was a well constructed Honduran puro that held a decent ash throughout the burn. The full creamy smoke enticed the palate with a fine array of flavors and aromas that transitioned well through the journey. Expect notes of black pepper, sweetness, citrus tang, spice, dry leather, fruit, and espresso.
The Hostage by Providencia Cigars is a cigar that was full of great flavors, and at times, unique flavors like clove and currant. This is a nicotine punch for sure. Just looking at the foot you can see the amount of ligero (black leaf) that is filled in this cigar. The smoke was full, throughout the over 1 hour smoking journey. Expect notes of black pepper, current, sweetness, peanut, floral, earth, cocoa, cream, and clove.
Every year, Gran Habano releases a limited edition cigar known as the the Gran Habano – Gran Reserva. I have enjoyed every release year after year of this brand. In construction of these, the company pulls aside the top 10% of the yearly crop and ages it for 7-8 years after curing and fermentation. The result is a complex array of flavors and aromas. It is a slow burning cigar that never needs a touch up. Expect notes of bread, malt, pepper, cream, coffee, sweetness, citrus, spice, earth, and cocoa.
The Eiroa “First 20 Years Colorado” was the second iteration of the original First 20 Years cigar which was blended by his father as celebration of Christian’s 20 years in the business. This Colorado extoension was releases in 2017 and uses a Honduran Corojo wrapper that has been aged 5 years giving it a Colorado shade. Expect notes of pepper, chocolate, dry leather, cinnamon, nut, cream, earth, and white pepper.
The Island Jim #2 is the most viewed cigar review on Stogie Press. One can only assume it is a highly sought after cigar and I can understand why. The blend is not known and that is done on purpose as Jim wanted you to enjoy this without thinking about whats in it. It has a shaggy unfinished foot, kind of like Jim’s hair and the flavors on this were excellent. Expect notes of pepper, roasted nut,coffee bean, sweetness, chocolate, cedar, and white pepper.
The 2012 by Oscar Maduro torpedo was a fine smoke with a complexity of flavor nuances running through the burn. The citrus was a bit overpowering at first but did tone down giving way to more subtle notes in the second half. Expect notes of citrus, espresso bean, cinnamon, white pepper, grapefruit, earth, cocoa, vanilla, sweetness, and almond.
The CLE Corojo is certainly a timeless cigar and a standard for what a budget conscious consumer can find on a shelf. This was a well constructed and flavorful Honduran puro and it is no wonder these are still selling strong after many years. This is one cigar I highly recommend as an addition to your every day rotation in your humidor. Expect notes of pepper, sweetness, cinnamon, cocoa, vegetal, roasted nut, creamy coffee, and citrus.
The Kristoff GC Signature Series is certainly a cigar that will please your palate and should be one of your picks when entering a humidor. The burn was error free with an amazing ash, and the flavors were complex. I have enjoyed this cigar with a mid-afternoon coffee and also a sweet rum in the evening. I have read the Kristoff GC Signature Series is Glenn Case’s personal favorite and I can understand why. Expect notes of pepper, espresso, sweet chocolate, maple syrup, butter, spice, cedar, and citrus.
Overall the Maya Selva Flor de Selva Grand Pressé was a terrific cigar that I actually enjoyed in the Parisian noon day sun. The burn was perfect and the draw excellent. The smoke was filled with delicious flavor transitions. I have to say it paired very well with the Guinness I was enjoying outside the Galway Irish pub just a few meters from Notre Dame Cathedral along the river Seine. Expect notes of cocoa, earth, pepper, vegetal, spice, chocolate, sweetness, and fruit.
The Ventura Cigars Strange Passage was a relatively complex cigar that delivered some terrific flavor notes wrapped in a delicate sweetness. It was a delightfully smooth smoke with enticing aromas. Of the original three Archetype Series lineup, I think Strange Passage is the best. Expect notes of pepper, cream, nut, sweetness, coffee, fruit, oak, citrus, vanilla, and spice.
The Dominion Cigar Black Lotus is a cigar that should have been on the US market since 2014. This cigar is full of flavor and has impeccable construction and burn qualities. Finishing at a medium plus in strength the Dominion Cigar Black Lotus is one I would recommend for any cigar enthusiast to try. Expect notes of red pepper, fruit, floral, espresso, nut, leather, cedar, spice, dark chocolate, and sweetness.
The Kafie 1901 Don Fernando Maduro was solid medium strength and flavorful cigar that has some complexity to the smoke. The construction was spot on with little burn issues. I would certainly pair this with a cup of dark coffee or possibly a full body rum. Expect notes of coffee, white pepper, leather, nut, spice, fruit, and sweetness.
The Cavalier Genève Black II Series was an intriguing cigar from a flavor and presentation perspective. I was especially intrigued by the coriander notes that it delivered. It does develop a bit of an off burn once it hits the gold foil but otherwise it was fine. Expect notes of licorice, coriander, cocoa, cream, savory spice, and wood.
The Amendola Family Cigars Habano 2000 Toro was a fine cigar that offered enticing notes and aromas from foot to nub. A medium strength smoke with a full body of flavor. Expect notes of cocoa, coffee, spice, plum, sweetness, cedar, earth, and nut.