Luis Martinez Silver Selection Churchill. A brand with a history going back to 1876 when Don Luis Martinez opened his cigar factory in Cuba. And now, almost 150 years later, the brand still remains. Not as a Cuban brand though, but as part of the portfolio of J.C. Newman. And as a budget brand, both machine-made and hand-made. The machine-made cigars are produced in Tampa. The handmade cigars hail from J.C. Newman’s PENSA factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
The Luis Martinez Silver Edition is the premium line of this budget-friendly brand. It is made in several different sizes, and some of the sizes come in beautiful glass tubes. Like this 7×48 Churchill. The blend consists of three year aged Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers. The binder comes from Nicaragua. The wrapper is a Sun Grown leaf from Ecuador.
The beautiful and colorful ring is on the outside of the glass tube. The cigar isn’t completely straight, that’s the first thing noticeable when taking the cigar out of the tube. The color of the wrapper is beautiful, but it feels and looks a bit dry. It’s not oily, but there aren’t any ugly veins. So looks-wise, this cigar isn’t good, but it’s not bad either. The aroma is bad though, think fish market mixed with urine. And all quite strong. My wife smelled the cigars and said “these stink like unwashed private parts”.
The cold draw is great and very peppery. A mix of white pepper and chili pepper. Once lit, it’s dark roast coffee, pepper, earthiness, and sourness. The first puffs aren’t promising much for the rest of the cigar. The sourness takes control, and it’s not a pleasant sourness. Some sweetness shows up too, but not enough to neutralize the sour flavor of the cigar. The sourness slowly tones down a little, giving the sweetness and the pepper some more space. Slowly a little wood flavor shows up as well. But the sour flavor, like milk that has gone bad, ruins everything. At the end of the first third, some vanilla shines through. Which is an improvement? The second third is less sour. It starts with a sweet, old book taste and wood. Sweet chocolate comes in play halfway in the cigar. It’s not as bad anymore. There are hints of citrus and vanilla as well. Near the end, pepper grows.
The draw is great. Construction-wise there is nothing wrong with this cigar. The light-colored ash is pretty, yet not too firm. The smoke is plenty in volume, but not very thick. This is a cigar that directly competes with J.C. Newman’s best selling bundle cigar Quorum. It delivers the same, yet is more expensive than Quorum. As much as I love J.C. Newman, this cigar won’t get much love from us. It’s medium-bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is a little over two hours.
Would I buy this cigar again? Hell no!