|El Tiante Habano Rosado|
The name Luis Tiant is a name many baseball enthusiasts know very well, most notably from his days with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. Many people also know that Tiant has also been a long-time cigar enthusiast. A few years ago, Tiant and his son Daniel launched a cigar company called El Tiante Cigars. Recently, some changes happened in the company.The original company was replaced by a new company, Tiant Cigar Group LLC. As a part of the new company, new blends were launched as well. In this assessment, we will look at one of the two new blends released, the El Tiante Habano Rosado. With this particular cigar, the Tiants deliver a solid cigar and one that can have an impact in the cigar market.
For the new blends, the Tiants decided to team up with Don Pepin Garcia and the My Father Cigars’ factory. While Garcia is known to be a big baseball enthusiast, that is not the reason for the collaboration. In a recent article in Cigar Aficionado, much of the reason for the changes with the cigars made by the Tiants was to give the company a more serious focus around cigars.
In addition to the Habano Rosado blend (which we will assess today), there is also a Habano Oscuro blend. We will discuss that blend at a later time.
The Habano Rosado features an Ecuadorian-seed wrapper as well as Nicaraguan binder and filler.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian-seed Habano Rosado
Currently, the El Tiante Habano Rosado is available in four frontmarks. They will be sold in boxes of 20. Initially, there have been 32,000 cigars rolled.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 50
Pyramid: 6 x 52
Toro Gordo: 6 x 60
For my cigar experience, I opted to go with the El Tiante Habano Rosado Robusto. While the name of the cigar is “Rosado”, the wrapper does not have a noticeable colorado reddish tint to it. The wrapper is more of a medium brown-colored wrapper. The wrapper itself is not too oily. It has some visible veins and wrapper seams. It is also slightly toothy in its appearance. Still, the wrapper has a classic cigar look to it, and it gives the cigar some charm.
The band has a maroon background with a light image of Cuba on it. The name “El Tiante” is front and center on the band in gold font. Under that name is “Habano Rosado” in smaller font. There is more gold trim and design on the band as well. Toward the top is the number 229 (representing Tiant’s total Major League wins) in gold font. To the left and right of the center of the band are the numbers 23 and 75 respectively. Number 23 is represents Tiant’s old Red Sox number while number 75 represents the year the Red Sox went to the World Series. To the far right are the Cuban and American flags in a small circle with a gold T over it.
The cigar itself has a sweet, natural tobacco aroma. This will play a role later on in the assessment.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up my El Tiante Habano Rosado Robusto, I placed a straight cut into the cap. I then proceeded to start the pre-light draw. The dry draw flavors provided notes of pepper, cedar, and a natural tobacco sweetness (consistent with the aroma I had gotten). Overall, I considered this a satisfactory experience on the pre-light draw, therefore I was ready to fire up my El Tiante Habano Rosado and see what else would be in-store.
As soon as I took my initial puffs from the El Tiante Habano Rosado, I knew this was a cigar with the Garcias’ footprint on it. The initial flavors provided the signature spice blast that are so common on the Garcia family cigars. This pepper had a combination of both pepper and cedar spice. As typical with many Garcia family cigars, the spice subsided early, but did not completely dissipate.
As the spice settled early on, notes of nut and natural tobacco flavors surfaced. These notes fused nicely with the spices creating what I term a “sweet spice”. Around ten percent into the cigar experience, I detected a little bit of cinnamon on the after-draw.
When the cigar reaches the second third, the sweetness component diminished a little, resulting in the primary notes of the flavor profile being nut, pepper, and some wood. By the end of the cigar, most of the natural tobacco sweetness is gone and the finish was mostly nut and pepper. While the finish had some spice on it, I would not categorize it as a harsh finish. The resulting nub was outstanding – cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
It might seem like a broken record, but when it comes to the Garcias, the construction attributes are consistently getting high scores. No question the Tiants have brought in the “A” team to make their cigars. The El Tiante Habano Rosado had a consistently sharp burn from start to finish. The burn rate and burn temperature were also ideal from start to finish. The draw was effortless and made the El Tiante Habano Rosado a great cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
The El Tiante Habano Rosado is not going to knock you out in terms of nicotine, it is going to provide just enough to classify this as a medium strength cigar. As for the flavor notes, they have some depth. I wouldn’t classify these notes as overly robust. I assessed the El Tiante Habano Rosado to be medium-bodied. In the case of this particular flavor profile, I think the medium-bodied notes work well and I’m not sure if I would want more depth to them. Overall, the strength and body balance each other very well as one attribute does not overshadow the other.
I’ll admit, I have not smoked the previous incarnations of the El Tiante, so I’m not sure how this cigar stacks up. I can say that this provided a very good smoking experience. The Garcias do a lot of cigars and a lot with Habano Rosado wrappers. The El Tiante Habano Rosado did have something unique to it – maybe because it does a good job at providing a natural tobacco sweetness. At the same time, I liked the fact that these flavor notes worked well at a medium-body level. This cigar is a great cigar to recommend to both novice and experienced cigar enthusiasts. I know I will be looking for these cigars and will want to smoke them again. Finally, it always is a risk to make large changes to a line of cigars, and the Tiants clearly took a risk that has paid off. The Tiants should be commended for being passionate and infusing that passion into their business. The result is demonstrated in the end product that has been produced. I would expect more great things to follow.
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Cigar 1 Lounge just outside of Miami Florida.