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Juan López

Juan López 1Editor’s Note: Each week, our friends at the Smooth Draws Radio Show, based in Atlanta, GA, do a review of ‘The Cigar of the Week’ on their radio show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on AM1230 ESPN the Fan 2 (WFOM radio) from 10AM to Noon. That review is printed (in its entirety) here on Cigarweekly.com, usually on the Monday following its broadcast.

The Smooth Draws Radio Show Pick of the Week

THE CIGAR

We often review boutique brands or new cigars on the market. And sometimes, we review standard brands. This time around, for our ‘Premium Cigars of Georgia’ cigar review of the week, we have a hybrid – you might say an oldie but goodie! It’s the Juan López by Altadis USA.

BACK STORY

Juan López is a cigar brand in Cuba that dates back to pre-revolutionary times. The company was founded in 1876, when Juan López Díaz established a factory in Havana and created the brand. In 1908, the brand was passed to his heirs. It was then sold to the Cosme Del Peso Company in 1918. Under this latter ownership, Juan López became one of the biggest selling brands in Cuba.

Following the revolution, the brand was nationalized under Cuba Tobacco. But by the mid1970s, the brand had gone into decline. It now has a minor market share, and is classified as a local brand.

About fifteen years ago, Altadis acquired trademark rights to Juan López in the United States. They started producing and marketing a non-Cuban version of the cigar that was rolled in Nicaragua, only to discontinue it sometime later. Then, at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show and Convention, Altadis USA announced the re-introduction of Juan López, with a new blend and new sizes.

Juan López 2

THE CONSTRUCTION

The original USA versions of the Juan López line were box-pressed, and were available in five vitolas. The re-introduced line is comprised of rounded cigars, available in four sizes of larger ring gauges. Each presentation box contains sixteen cigars.

The Juan López is not only produced in Nicaragua; it is a Nicaraguan puro in regular production. The cigar’s somewhat oily wrapper is a Nicaraguan Habano with a chocolatey reddish hue. The binder and filler are also from Nicaragua, including tobaccos from three of the four growing regions – Esteli, Condega and Jalapa. The Juan López comes topped with a double cap. Its construction is meticulous.

Juan López 3

THE DRAW

The Juan Lopez had a great draw, with just a slight resistance. The cigar produced just the right amount of tasty, smooth smoke.

Juan López 4

THE CIGAR TASTE PROFILE

The Juan López was a medium to full-bodied smoke – a bold powerhouse of flavor, Cuban-esque, but with additional complex flavors and that earthiness that we love so much in Nicaraguan cigars. It was well balanced and creamy. We tasted woody cedar, chocolate, and the spiciness of black and red pepper, while a sweetness from black cherries teased our senses.

Juan López 5DOES IT GET A BUY RECOMMENDATION?

The Juan López is a perfect cigar for the experienced smoker with a well developed palate. And this cigar’s attractive price point makes it a great buy.

Cigar Aficionado Magazine rated the cigar a 90 in August of 2014, and Smoke Magazine rated the Juan López a stellar 94 the very same year. It’s no surprise then that we absolutely award the Juan Lopez a Smooth Draws Radio Show buy recommendation!
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Alan

Alan "Cigar Savant" Friedman

Doc

Gary "Doc" Laden

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