Monday, April 26, 2010
La Riqueza No. 5
La Riqueza No. 5 - Yet another cigar from Tatuaje creator Pete Johnson, the La Riqueza has been receiving rave reviews from the cigar community. As much as I hate to let perception of a brand sway my opinion on a cigar, I can't help but come in with high expectations for this smoke.
The La Riqueza is generally a box-pressed cigar (the cabinet line are not box-pressed and kept in cedar boxes). I have smoked the Cabinet No. 5 and absolutely loved it. This review will feature a few comparisons between the Cabinet and regular La Riqueza.
La Riqueza, meaning "The Riches" in spanish, features a Nicaraguan filler and binder, with a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper. Most Tatuajes are Nicaraguan Puros, so its nice to see Pete experiment with some different mixtures.
Prelight - The cigar smells great. It has a subtley sweet aroma with the prelight draw matching the smell. The cigar has a rustic looking wrapper, but appears to be well constructed. I've been on a kick of small cigars lately, and the No. 5 is a perfect size for the ride home from work or a lunch smoke.
The box-pressed version seems rather dry, while the Cabinet No. 5 had a sheen of slick oil.
Sparking it - With a torch to the foot we're off and smoking. The cigar opens with a smooth caramel flavor. Surprisingly, both the box-press and cabinet line don't have the initial spice of most Pepin cigars. This leads me to believe that Pete is taking on a bigger role in the blending process.
Both cigars start off with sweet aroma and a mild/medium strength. The cigars produce an even burn and solid light gray ash.
Smoking it - The cigar progresses to a medium smoke that produces a lot of smooth creamy smoke. Truly a delight to smoke; great for any time of day.
Surprisingly, I found some differences in flavor between the box-press and cabinet lines. The box-press line, while tasty, never evolves from its early flavors.
The cabinet on the other hand, is loaded with complex flavor and aromatic sweetness. A little honey, a little caramel - a lot of delicious flavor. Both cigars are great and yet another winner from Pete Johnson.
I hate to be a Tatuaje whore, but I love the Cabinet series of this cigar. The box-press is good, but the cabinet is great.
I recommend this to all Tat smokers and anyone who smokes mild to medium cigars. I like full smokes, but this cigar has so many flavors that it keeps you interested and wanting more. I'm going to check out the larger vitolas and see how they compare.
Overall - A-
I like the Cabinet line a little more. I think the storage in the cedar box adds something to the cigar. Maybe its that sweet scent the cedar leaves behind. Whatever it is - it works.