This smoke is machine made short/mixed filler with hand applied wrapper. It consists of scrapings of tobacco of more prestigious brands.
Place of purchase: Brnik International Airport, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Duty free shop
TASTING SHEET RESULTS
APPEARANCE: poor, even though it`s a cheapie: looks like it walked all the way from Cuba, veiny with large veins, evenly colored colorado maduro wrapper, slight oily sheen, loose seams, sloppy cap, sloppy, tainted band
CONSTRUCTION: average: firmly applied wrapper and cap, even though it does not seem so, firm, nicely filled bunch - machine made, with fine give, seams visible and not very tight on several spots, cap lousy, but holds well
BURN: good, tipical cuban
AROMA: good to very good
FLAVOR: good to very good
DOMINANT FLAVORS: cocoa, leather, earth
AFTERTASTE: salt, sweet cocoa, leather
STRENGHT: somewhat mild
GENERAL IMPRESSION: good to very good
LIGHT: torch flame lighter, took some time
BEVERAGE: coffee black
At the outset, soft, sweet cocoa greets me with just hints of earth and leather. Very chocolaty aroma. Nice and smooth nose blow defines salty background. Tipical cuban burn, thick, jagged mascara. Finish is short with salty and sweet cocoa notes. Slowly, sweetness seem to be reatreating in favor of salt. Cocoa dominates with touch of earth in the back. Ash is fragile and drops easily, but it is afterall a short filler smoke. Body in mild to medium range.
Reveals nothing new, but it does remain enjoyable with no physical problems. The stick does not tolerate overpuffing well, so relatively slow smoking recommended.
Burn problems arise and transcend to flavor, as it starts turning to bitter, almost chemical notes. May be my fault as I almost let it go out. Touch-up necessary, although I don`t favor regulating burn this way. Soon, the stick behaves again, but the addition of pepper is noted.
Pepper dominates at this point, with bitter, charry wood nuances in the background. Body settles in lower medium.
Quintero Brevas are another cheap cuban brand. They cost somewhat more that Jose L. Piedra, but IMO deliver a bit more also. Flavor profile is darker, sweeter with rich, strong cocoa, even coffee notes, while JLP tend to be in the lighter profile range with flavors more in the earth, cedar and leather fashion. Quinteros are usually milder than JLP, but not necessarily. Both age well, as I have a few Quinteros left from 2004 purchase that are really stellar at this point. Just remember not to stare at them and judge them heavily on their appearance and you will have a great everyday companion.