Friday, November 30, 2007

Por Larrañaga Petit Corona

Name: Por Larrañaga Petit Coronas
Length: 5 in (129mm)
Ring gauge: 42
Origin: Cuba
Manufactured: Hand Made
Format: Mareva
Weight: 8,46 gr.

Por Larrañaga was registered in 1834 by Ignacio Larrañaga. By the end of the 19th century, Por Larrañaga had become a well-known premium cigar brand producing both expensive and inexpensive cigars. In 1925, Por Larrañaga became the first factory to make machine-made cigars which soon resulted in a boycott by factory workers. At the time of the revolution, Por Larrañaga was the sixth largest producing Cuban brand.

Up until the 1970s, Por Larrañaga remained a respectable and popular premium cigar brand. In the 1980s production fell dramatically and due to trademark litigation in the 1990s, export of the brand was reduced to only a few countries. For some time the brand was been reduced to almost entirely machine-made or hand-finished and was mainly sold in Canada and the Middle East. Now the brand has made a bit of a comeback, with two of it's four vitolas being totally hand-made.

In 2006, Habanos produced a few thousand boxes of Por Larrañaga Lonsdales (a discontinued vitola much mourned by aficionados of the brand) for release in Germany. The cigars were packaged in 25-count dress boxes and marked with a special second band that read "Exclusivo Alemania" (Germany Exclusive).

Cigar Aficionado's December 2006 issue reviewed its first Por Larrañaga outside of its "Connoisseur's Corner". The petit corona selected scored an impressive 91.

Appearance: What a beautiful little cigar. Graced with an oily honey cinnamon hued wrapped, there was nary a blemish or vein in sight, looked like the apex of cigar construction.

Prelight: Clip was simple, and the prelight draw was free and easy. The pre light notes were sweet, cinnamon/sugar, and honey, with a smidge of earthiness as an undertone.

Burn/Draw: The burn and draw were never an issue on this cigar. The burn wandered a little tiny bit, but generally self corrected. The burn was also slow and cool, lasting about an hour and producing an appropriate volume of smoke. I never had to reach for my lighter after the initial light, which is a bit of a feat because I can be neurotic about the burn line. The draw was free and offered just a tiny bit of resistance, which kept this cigar from getting to hot. The ash was mottled and held for about an inch.

Flavors: These are very pleasant sweet little cigars. Most of the notes you experience are of the dessert variety. Thankfully the whole length of the cigar is underpinned with a lovely woody/earthy note, just a hint that keeps the cigar together and keeps it from becoming cloying. This cigar starts sweet and floral like clover honey. At about the third marker it becomes a bit more complex, with molasses and brown sugar notes. Over the final third it becomes a tiny bit more complex with dessert spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg become evident. Overall a nice Mild/Medium cigar that would make a great early day or afternoon cigar and would go nice with a mellow coffee. A nice change of pace.


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