Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Los Blancos Criollo

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The Los Blancos Cigar Company was founded in the late 1990s, but the Blanco family has been in the tobacco industry since before the Revolution in Cuba, with roots in the famous Pinar del Rio region. The company is based in Chicago, IL, while their factory is located in Esteli, Nicaragua. The Blancos, along with their cousins the Plasencias, create the Los Blancos cigars in the Segovia factory, commonly known as the "Cathedral", for it's large stained glass windows and exposed wood beamed ceilings.

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I plan on posting several reviews in the upcoming weeks on various brands available from Los Blancos. A special thanks to Mr. David A. Blanco for all his help in making this possible.

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The first cigar I really enjoyed when I smoked it was the Los Blancos Criollo. It is available in six sizes, with many ring gauges to satisfy all connosieurs. I happened to smoke the robusto size which is 52 ring gauge by 5 inches. They are a great value. I have seen prices for singles listed at around $5.50. They are also available in boxes of 24.

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The Los Blancos Criollo is medium brown in color, with a matte finish. The wrapper is slightly veiny and toothy, but the seams are wrapped pretty tightly. The workmanship overall is satisfactory with points taken off for a sloppy cap and some glue smudges left on the cigar. The robusto comes well adorned with a double band, one at the foot and another in it's traditional spot.

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As far as flavor goes, the cigar tastes great right out of the gate. The body of smoke was a little disappointing. I usually like a thick volume of smoke. This cigar emits a light-medium volume but it is loaded with flavor. The cigar has a nice creaminess and sweetness with strong notes of espresso and cedar. Occasionally, the cigar gets tangy with lemon acidity, but certainly nothing overwhelming. A pinch of cinnamon is also present and a welcome addition to the flavor blend.

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The flavors deepen nicely to a syrupy thickness from the second third on. Heavy mocha and cedar dominate while the cigar stays smooth. Care should be taken to smoke slowly to avoid any bitterness from over-heating the cigar. Overall, I experienced no harshness, and found the spice level to be very tolerable.

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If you are looking for another great value cigar. I would recommend trying the Los Blancos cigars. The Los Blancos Criollo is great in that you get nice deep flavors without being overwhelmed. It is balanced and smooth and would make a great everyday cigar. I plan on buying and smoking more of these cigars in the future.

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By the way, if you are not already a member of Women Who Smoke Cigars, you might want to sign up. The Los Blancos Cigar Company is running a contest for members to win a free trip to the Cathedral (Los Blancos factory) in Nicaragua. I for one, would not mind worshipping at that Temple of Tobacco! Click here for details.

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