|La Duena by My Father Cigars|
The La Duena Cigar has been long awaited by many cigar enthusiasts for quite a while. This cigar had been referred to quite sometime as the “Janny Garcia” cigar. Janny Garcia is the daughter of legendary cigar maker Don Pepin Garcia. For some time she has been involved in the operations of the Garcias family company – My Father Cigars. The name La Duena translates to “the (female) owner”. The La Duena is a cigar that was blended by Tatuaje’s Pete Johnson and made by Janny’s brother Jaime Garcia. The La Duena is sort of a reverse scenario – as for many years Don Pepin and Jaime Garcia have blended many cigars for Johnson’s Tatuaje brand. The La Duena was officially launched at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show and quickly shipped to retailers following the trade show. I recently have had a chance to sample La Duena and the combination between Johnson and the Garcias once again hits gold as this is another winning cigar.
The blend seems to have some analogies to the La Casita Criolla blend that was released by Tatuaje last year. The La Casita Criolla is a unique cigar in that it is a Connecticut Broadleaf maduro. The La Duena is sort of an off-shoot in that it incorporates Nicaraguan tobacco while maintaining Connecticut Broadleaf in the wrapper, binder, and filler. Obviously different crops, vintages, and batches make this a completely different blend.
Let’s break down the La Duena cigar and see what it delivers:
The La Duena has a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Combinations of Connecticut Broadleaf and Nicaraguan tobacco make up the binder(s) and filler(s).
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf and Nicaraguan
Filler: Connecticut Broadleaf and Nicaraguan
The La Duena will be available in five vitolas. The interesting point is that the vitolas are sewed more toward either shorter length or thinner ring gauge.
Robusto No. 5: 5 x 50
Belicoso No. 2: 5 1/2 x 54
Petit Lancero No. 7: 6 x 42
Petit Belicoso No. 9: 4 3/4 x 48
Petit Robusto No. 11: 4 1/2 x 52
For this cigar experience I went with the La Duena Robusto No. 5. Upon examining the La Duena Robusto, it appeared to have a milk chocolate wrapper with some darker spots on it. The wrapper itself had a slight amount of oil on it. There were also some visible wrapper seams and a couple of visible veins.
The color scheme to the band of the La Duena is red and white. It is highlighted by a “cameo styled silhouette” . To the left and right of the cameo is the text “LA DUENA” in a white font on a e red background.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I went with a staight cut into the La Duena Robusto No. 5. It was now on to start the pre-light draw experience. The dry draw flavors provided notes of chocolate with some pepper. Overall, I considered the pre-light flavor profile to be satisfactory. At this point, it was time to toast the foot of the La Duena cigar and see what the overall experience would bring to the table.
The start to the La Duena cigar provided me with a traditional Garcia family black pepper blast. The pepper blast slowly subsided and some of the chocolate flavors that I detected on the pre-light draw started to fold in. By the midpoint of the first third of the La Duena the chocolate and spice were pretty much on equal footing in the flavor profile.
Around the 1/3 point, leather notes joined the chocolate notes in the forefront. The pepper subsided to the background where some cream notes were now also present. While the pepper subsided to the background, it could still be detected prominently through the nostrils.
By the midway point of the La Duena, the leather and chocolate notes were pretty much on equal footing in the forefront. The pepper notes started to re-emerge from the background again. This is the way the flavor profile held until the end. The pepper never completely took over the flavor profile (and I consider that a positive). The close to the cigar was flavorful and not harsh. The resulting nub was outstanding – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
From both a burn and draw perspective, the La Duena scored very well. For the most part, the burn remained sharp from start to finish requiing minimal touch-ups. The resulting ash was tight and white in color. The burn rate and burn tempertature were ideal from start to finish
|Burn of the La Duena cigar|
The draw to the La Duena cigar was outstanding. This made for a most enjoyable smoking experience.
Strength and Body
The La Duena actually provides both a nice amount of strength and some nice depth in the flavor profile. From a strength standpoint, this cigar is going to have a little more kick than one might think. I assessed this to be a medium to full strength cigar. From a flavor standpoint, the notes fall just a little short of full-bodied – therefore I assessed this cigar to be medium to full-bodied. The strength and body of this cigar balance each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Since there is Connecticut Broadleaf in the wrapper, binder, and filler of the La Duena, one can draw a parallel to the La Casita Criolla. However, the La Duena is still a different blend and has a very different profile overall. It actually had a less complexity than the other Connecticut Broadleaf La Casita Criolla. It also provided a much different taste overall. On the flip side, there were some parallels I could draw to the Tres Reynas cigar (blended by the Garcias and distributed by S.A.G Imports). The reason is both Tres Reynas and La Duena both have a chocolate and spice profile. At the same time, while the flavors are analogous, they also have a much different feel (i.e. the chocolate and spice of the Tres Reynas is different from the La Duena’s chocolate and spice).
The La Duena is a cigar that I would definitely recommend for anyone looking for a flavorful cigar that is medium to full in strength and body. This is one of those cigars that would be good for a novice enthusiast looking to graduate to something medium to full. The only “area for improvement” is I would have liked a little more in terms of flavor complexity, however this is still a very good cigar – and one that I would definitely smoke again.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment for purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Note: Since this cigar was launched at the 2012 IPCPR, we have opted to include this in our 2012 IPCPR coverage.