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Written by Paul

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

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juan lopez obusratings and scores

juan  It seems Habanos SA has decided to make the "Regional Edition" cigar something that is going to stick around for a while.  Since I tend to be a sucker for something new, and I have a feeling many serious cigar smokers fall in the same category, this likely is a bad marketing move.  2008 seemed to be a banner year for this practice, as 17 regional edition cigars were created for 12 different regions.

 


 

Spain: Ramón Allones Grandes (size 49x180mm). 
Asia Pacífic: Larrañaga Belicosos Extra (size 52x140mm) and Bolívar Short Bolívar (size 50x110mm).
France: Ramón Allones Especial de Allones (size 52x140mm) and Bolívar Petit Libertador (size 50x102mm).
Middle East: Ramón Allones Phoenicios (size 54x164mm) and Punch Robustos (size 50x124mm). The latter will be sold only in the United Arab Emirates.
United Kingdom: Punch Serie D'Oro No. 1 (size 52x156mm) and La Gloria Cubana Gloriosos (size 50x155mm).
Hong Kong: Bolívar Armonía (size 57x184mm). 
Portugal: Vegas Robaina Petit Robustos (size 50x102mm). 
Switzerland: Bolívar Legendarios (size 50x155mm) and Juan López Máximo (size 48x157mm).
Caribbean: Juan López Short Torpedos (size 50x127mm).
Adriatic Region: La Gloria Cubana Marshal (size 50x124mm).

(courtesy Habanos S.A. website)

The Juan Lopez brand was founded in the 1870s by a Spanish businessman named Juan Lopez Diaz.  Since Juan Lopez is not the most common of Cuban cigar brands, it was a bit of a surprise to see a regional edition from this line.  While a surprise, it surely was a pleasant surprise, as this is one of the most underrated lines of cigars I have seen come out of the island nation.  Normally quite inexpensive, they provide a solid smoke for any time of the day.

Getting your hands on these regional edition cigars can be quite difficult, most of the time you need to be traveling in the country in which they were produced for.  That is the case with the cigar reviewed today, the Juan Lopez Obus, a 5 ½ x 52 torpedo.  The Obus was produced for the country of France.  Only 2400 boxes were made, and they come in a SLB cabinet of 25 cigars.  The new red and gold Juan López band is a big improvement on the old drab looking one.  This cigar is then also complemented by a deep red and silver band, indicating it is exclusive to France.

Juan Lopez cigars have always been a favorite of mine.  The Juan Lopez Selection Number No. 2, has been a "go to" cigar in my humidor for many many years.  My hope in picking up one of the regional editions, was that I would be similarly rewarded.

The wrapper is toothy, Colorado colored, and feels a bit spongy to the touch.   The draw is wide open, and provides an immense amount of smoke.  The draw was almost to open, but not enough to be concerned about.  Construction was pretty decent, and the ash seems to hold on better than most shaped cigars I have had.

I would love to tell you this is a stunning cigar, but "stunning" would be saying a bit too much.  It is a very good cigar, and something most people will enjoy, but it's also not going to set the world on fire.

Upon lighting the cigar has a very distinct Cuban flavor, a nice little smack that if continued through the whole cigar would make for a very enjoyable smoke.  The cigar quickly mellows though and puts together a somewhat simple, creamy flavor that's earthy and a bit harsh at times.  If there was ever a cigar that was a candidate for a couple years of aging, this is one of them.

As I smoked this cigar with my traveling companion, he wondered aloud if this cigar was as rude as the French people.  While I didn't experience the same with the people of France, the cigar did have it's edge.  Again though, ageing will make the difference...I hope.

I truly have high hopes for this cigar based upon my experiences with the other marks in this line.  If I was given a choice I would focus back on the Sellecions No. 1 and No. 2 instead of investing heavily in this cigar.

If I learned anything in smoking the Juan Lopez Obus, it's that the regional editions hold much more promise than the limited editions.  While not disappointed with the Juan Lopez Obus, I have been disappointed with many of the limited-edition.  With the right aging, the Juan Lopez Obus will likely turn into a top-notch smoke.  The question is, will I be able to wait that long?



 




Comments 

 
0 # JL Obus replyDonp 2009-01-28 09:33
I purchased a box of 10 of the JL Obus over a year ago. They were fairly new (2007) and, I bought them out of curiosity. I like them very much. They are rich, sweet, cedary with a leathery flavor. The construction is good and the draw is to my liking. While smoking them though, I did notice about the 2nd third, the flavors became kind of vague, then a bit harsh. But, in the final third it became earthier with a creamy sweetness that never left. I agree, they can use some more time getting older. I think with a bit more time at rest, they will really come into their own. I am glad they will stick around, they have potential to be something special.

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