La Sagrada Familia, you might only know that name as the masterpiece of Spanish architect and artist Antoni Gaudi, since late 2016 its also a cigar brand from a Dutch entrepreneur, Tom Mulder, who blended this cigar with the master blenders at Joya de Nicaragua, the factory where his cigars are being made. Now I have known Tom for years, I tried several test blends, smoked the pre-release and I was there when he and Sasja van Horssen (cigar distributor in The Netherlands, owner of Cigaragua, the worlds only “all Nicaraguan” cigar shop) talks about making a brand together, later on they decided it was better if Tom did the brand on his own. From day one the idea was to give a donation to a Nicaraguan charity for each cigar sold, an idea that eventually evolved into pronica but that didn’t stop Tom from still donating $0.10 per cigar sold to another charity, a project with single mothers that recycle paper into postcards but his charity will change every year. My idea of including a postcard in every box didn’t make the final cut, still think it would be a nice touch but it was too complicated to make it happen Tom told me. In another conversation I heard them brainstorm on how to get the message across on the charity, and what charity Tom picks every year because advertising tobacco isn’t allowed in The Netherlands and Tom can’t make a La Sagrada Familia website. I interupted them and asked “what about just a charity website?” and that’s what happened (click here).
Now the cigar, it is a 5×50 robusto, there is also a 6×50 toro and a 6×60 gordo, and its made with Nicaraguan habano from different regions as binder and filler with an Ecuadorean habano as a wrapper. I know this isn’t the exact same blend as the test blend that was chosen or the pre release versions I smoked, later in the process Tom decided to change the wrapper to the Ecuadorean habano that is used now. The cigars are cellophane wrapped and this robusto has a €8 price tag in The Netherlands. I took the cigar out of the cellophane and feel a silky smooth wrapper that looks good, a few thin vins and its quite oily, the color is medium light, like the crust on a loaf of white bread. The cigar feels firm, well packed and has a nice cap. The ring looks big, but actually isn’t, I don’t know what it is, the color scheme or the design, I don’t know but it looks bigger to me than it is. The base colors of the ring are a dark blue and gray/silver that are supported by two thin white lines. On the front there is white lettering with the La Sagrada Familia name and a silver logo that represents the La Sagrada Familia towers in Barcelona but instantly made me say Rolex. I don’t know if Rolex used the La Sagrada Familia for inspiraton but the resemblance is striking. On the sides it says handmade and nicaragua in blue letters. Its a nice ring but it could use a bit more finesse to make it really pop since the design is also quite simple. The aroma is medium strong and warm, no ammonia at all, just hay, wood and sawdust.
I punched the cigar and the cold draw is perfect. I taste hay with raisin and a little bit of white pepper on the background. I light the cigar with a soft flame and taste espresso with a hint of licorice. The licorice disappears quickly and after a centimeter I taste coffee with a faint chocolate flavor. Soon after I taste white pepper with some wood. After a third the pepper is pleasantly strong with a mild lemon in the aftertaste. I also taste the licorice on the tip of my tongue again but it’s faint yet very pleasant. Later on its pepper with leather, the leather is cubanesque but the pepper makes it too strong and too flavorful to be Cuban and that’s a good thing in my book. I also taste a wood flavor.
The smoke is rich and full, just the way I like it and the draw is perfect. The ash is light colored, firm and dense. The burn is straight as can be. This cigar is full bodied and certainly full flavored. The evolution is good. The smoke time is an hour and a half.
Would I buy this cigar again? No doubt, this will be a staple in my humidor.