La Preferida 452

Didier Houvenaghel is a Belgian agricultural engineer who’s passion is tobacco and he wrote what is probably the best book about cigars ever: The cigar: from soil to soul. I have seen the book, read parts from it but I have yet to find a copy for myself but the book is out of print and its not available on Amazon, Ebay or any other sites that I know. Maybe I should ask Didier when I see him either in Singapore where both his and my wife live or at the Intertabac trade show.

Didier also started his own cigar brands, La Ley and Nicarao but last year he expanded with a new line, La Preferida. All his cigars are made by A.J. Fernandez and Didier handed me this cigar in person. The cigar comes in two sizes, 4×52 or 5×52 an its made with Honduran and Nicaraguan filler, a Mexican binder and an Ecuadorian Habano Colorado wrapper. I smoked the 4×52 for this review.

The dark chocolate colored wrapper looks smooth, not big veins, a nice even color, a very clean wrapper. The ring is very classic, just a 1920’s era lady on the baby blue ring and a yellow banner with the La Preferida name. The cigar feels well constructed and looks good.  A medium dark aroma finishes the cigar, I think of dark chocolate with some pepper.

I used a butterfly cutter to decap the cigar. The cold draw is perfect, I get a spicy tangy flavor on my lips. After lighting I taste a strong, pleasant espresso with a subtle sweetness. There is also a hint of cocoa. After a third it’s a spicy coffee and cedar combination with a little chocolate. After a third I taste wood with cocoa, a little sweetness, spice and pepper. Halfway the cigar gets sweeter, with some vanilla over spices and dry cedar. There are subtle changes in flavor, the final third has something floral, with still some pepper.

The draw is flawless, the smoke is thick, white and voluminous. The ash is white, dense and firm. I’m positive awed by the balance in the strong flavor. The burn is great. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is long, an hour and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, over and over again. I loved it so much that I grabbed my Nub tool.

Score: 95

Categories: 7-20-4, 95, La Preferida, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

7-20-4 torpedo

Kurt A. Kendall had worked in the cigar industry for years when he decided to bring back the old 7-20-4 brand. He bought the name and started to make cigars in Honduras with tobacco from Nicaragua, Mexico, Columbia and Honduras with a Costa Rican binder and a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. The original 7-20-4 is a brand created in 1874 and it existed till 1963. They were made in Manchester, New Hampshire, on 724 Elm Street and that’s where the name came from.
The 6×52 torpedo I smoked had a sharp point and a nice dark and oily wrapper that has a few veins. The construction feels good. The predraw is fine and tastes quite spicy. The cigar has a mild barnyard smell.
I taste coffee and some dry wood. The flavors are nice and smooth but full and it has a bit of a bite. After a quarter of an inch the coffee disappears. I taste wood with a little bit of pepper. The pepper grows stronger after half an inch and I taste a pleasant mustiness too with some chocolate. The wood changes into straw with herbs, nice spicy. The mustiness disappears and the chocolate moves to the aftertaste.
After an inch I also taste some sweetness, the flavors are dry. Halfway I taste dry hay with a mild chocolate like sweetness and wood, I like it. After two thirds I taste autumn leaves with a mild sweetness. Near the end the cigar gets spicy and sharp.
This cigar has a smoke time of an hour and ten minutes. I got a lot of thick smoke, a great draw and a beautiful burn. The ash is light colored and quite firm. This cigar is full flavored and medium bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a cigar I would like to smoke 7-20-4

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: 7-20-4, El Paraiso, Honduran cigars | Tags: ,

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