The La Bohème Encantador is the second release under Boutique Blends’ La Bohème brand. La Bohème was a new brand introduced in 2014 that was meant to pay homage to three passions of Boutique Blends’ President Rafael Nodal: Music, Cuba, and Cigars. The Encantador is a blend that is slightly different than the original La Bohème. In addition, the Encantador incorporates a darker, higher priming wrapper and is a box-pressed. Recently I smoked a pre-release of the La Bohème Encantador in the Turin (5 x 46) size. I was quite impressed with the original La Bohème, and if this pre-release is an indicator of things to come, this line just went to the next level.
La Bohéme is the name of an opera composed by Giacomo Puccini and a song composed by Charles Aznavour, both favorites of Boutique Blends President Rafael Nodal. The name Encantador is Spanish for “enchanted”.
As for the cigar, it is a limited production run with 400,000 cigars planned – keeping to the Boutique Blends philosophy of limited and smaller batch runs.
Let’s take a closer look at the La Bohème Encantador in the Turin vitola and see what this cigar brings to the table. Since this assessment is based on a pre-release sample we will default to our “pre-review” format where we will share our thoughts and perspectives. Following the release of this cigar, we will revisit this cigar and provide a formal assessment rating and score.
As mentioned the blend for La Bohème Encantador is different than the original La Bohème. The cigar does utilize a darker and higher priming Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over a Dominican binder and filler.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera Palma)
As mentioned, the three sizes of the La Bohème Encantador are box-pressed. Each are packaged in 20 count boxes.
Turin: 5 x 46
La Scale: 5 3/4 x 54
Fenice: 6 x 52 (Torpedo)
One thing out of the gate is that La Bohème Encantador Turin is definitely a darker cigar than the original La Bohème. The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper of the Encantador has a coffee bean brown color to it. Upon closer examination, some darker marbling can be seen on the surface. There is also a light oily sheen on the surface. On the surface are some thin visible veins. The surface is nearly void of any significant visible wrapper seams. The box-press itself is on the firm side with no soft spots.
The pre-release sample smoked was unbanded. The final version of the La Bohème Encantador has two bands. One is a slightly modified version of the original La Bohème band. There is also a secondary band on the cigar.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Before I lit up my La Bohème Encantador Turin, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. After successfully clipping the cap, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw produced some notes of leather and natural tobacco. It wasn’t a pre-light draw that lit me on fire, but it still wasn’t a negative one either. At this point I was ready to light up Encantador and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The initial stages of the La Bohème Encantador Turin provided notes of leather, coffee, and a combination of red and white pepper notes. The coffee notes moved into the forefront quickly displacing the leather notes. The pepper notes became secondary and were joined by a slight cream note. Meanwhile on the retro-hale, I detected the red pepper notes.
During the first half the coffee notes got richer. By the second third, the coffee notes exhibited some syrupy qualities in terms of how it weighed on the palate. Meanwhile, the pepper and cream notes remained in the background.
In the second half, the coffee notes remained in the forefront, but lost the syrupy quality. There was an increase in the red and white pepper notes and they joined the coffee notes in the forefront. By the last third, I found the pepper notes were the primary ones. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall the burn performed excellent on the La Bohème Encantador Turin. For the most part, I found the burn to take a straight path. While there was a slight curvature in this photo, the burn was never in danger of tunneling or canoeing. The burn line itself leaned toward being on the sharp side – with only a slight bit of irregularity here and there. The resulting ash was tight and firm with a very light gray color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw performed outstanding. It was not too loose, nor was it too tight. Lately I’ve preferred a little more openness on the draw of a box-press – and that is exactly what I got with the La Bohème Encantador Turin. This was a low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
With the original La Bohème, I found it to be a cigar that was in the medium / medium to full range in terms of strength and body. As for the La Bohème Encantador Turin, I found it to be a notch up in terms of both attributes. I found from a strength perspective, the Entcantador Turin fell into the medium to full range. As for the body, I also found it medium to full in the first half, but by the second half, I found it increased and just made it into the full-bodied range. Overall I found the body had a slight edge over strength throughout the smoking experience.
It’s hard not to compare the La Bohème Encantador to the original La Bohème. The changes to the blend and the box-pressing really helped contribute to the La Encantador being a very different overall cigar experience. This is reflected in both the flavors delivered and the strength and body of this cigar. La Bohème is a very good cigar, and my feeling is the La Bohème Encantador is an even better one. The only thing I will say is that Encantador has less of the Cubanesque feel of the original La Bohème, but that still shouldn’t be considered a negative. This is a cigar I’d probably steer to a more experienced cigar enthusiast, but would not discourage a novice for trying. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d easily smoke again – and one I look forward to when it hits the shelves.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
News: La Bohème Encantador by Boutique Blends Cigars
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 151
Stogie Feed: La Bohème Encantador Turin by Boutique Blends Cigars (Pre-Release)