|Felipe Gregorio Power 2014 Triple R|
Just prior to the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show, Felipe Gregorio Cigars announced a new installment of its Power series – the Felipe Gregorio Power 2014. The Power was launched in 2007 and is intended to be a limited production cigar released once every seven years. There was an additional twist to the release in that the Power 2014 is a Costa Rican puro. In terms of releasing a Costa Rican puro, this is the end result of a transformation Felipe Gregorio is undertaking in terms of leveraging Costa Rica for tobacco and production. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to sample the Felipe Gregorio Power 2014 in the Triple R format. While I can’t say I’ve smoked Costa Rican puros before, I can say that this one was a very impressive and enjoyable cigar.
Felipe Gregorio is a boutique cigar company that has been around since 1990. The company was founded by Philip Wynne. Wynne has produced his cigars in countries such as Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. This year, Wynne moved production of the Power and the Pelo de Oro lines to Costa Rica. He is leveraging tobaccos grown on farms he owns in Costa Rica, and now these lines will consist entirely of Costa Rican tobacco.
The Power series was launched back in 2007. The Power 2007 featured tobacco from a 2000 crop. The Power 2014 follows suit by using seven year old tobacco from 2007. The Power 2007 and Power 2014 blends are completely different. The original Power 2007 was a multinational blend as opposed to the all Costa Rican blend of the Power 2014. The plan is there will not be another Power release until at least 2021.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Felipe Gregorio Power 2014 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
While not all of the specifics of the tobacco are disclosed, there are several key pieces of information that have been made available. First up, as mentioned earlier, the cigar features seven year aged tobaccos from Costa Rica. Secondly, the cigar is finished with a Rosado wrapper grown in Costa Rica. Finally the blend itself also contains tobacco from Pelo de Oro (Golden Hair) seeds grown at 3000 feet in the Cordillera Central region of Costa Rica. The cigars were blended by Wynne.
Wrapper: Costa Rican Rosado
Binder: Costa Rican
Filler: Costa Rican featuring Pelo de Oro
The Power 2014 will be available in five sizes. The company called this “Extremely Limited Production” as each size will have production capped at 1000 boxes of 25.
Torbusto: 4 1/2 x 58
Special Robusto: 5 x 50
Triple R: 5 1/2 x 55
No II Torpedo: 6 1/4 x 52
Full Power: 6 x 62
As mentioned above, for this cigar assessment, I went with the Power 2014 Triple R. The Power 2014 consists of a medium brown wrapper. Upon closer examination, a little bit of darker marbling can be seen on the surface. I would definitely categorize the complexion of this wrapper as oily. There are some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams giving the Power 2014 Triple R a slightly bumpy surface.
The band of the Felipe Gregorio Power 2014 features a metallic red-colored crown and a metallic-red colored shield resting on a white oval background. Both the crown and shield contain gold adornments. In between the crown and shield is the text “POWER” in large black font. There is a gold medallion on both the lower left and lower right side of the red shield. Surrounding the white oval background is gold trim. Outside the white oval background is ivory coloring. At the top of the band is the text “Felipe Gregorio” in gold font. On the lower portion of the band is the text “PUROS FINOS” – also in gold font. Sitting on the ivory background on both the left and right side is a white colored design almost resembling a fist. On that background is the text “2007 Crop” in black font and on the right side is the text “2014 Collection” in black font. The lower portion of the band has red trim angled more toward the left and right. On that trim is the text “EXTREMELY LIMITED PRODUCTION” in small black font with gold trim.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up my Felipe Gregorio Power 2014 Triple R, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. Once I clipped the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw provided a mix of wood, natural tobacco, raw sugar cane, and a tingly spice. Overall, I was quite pleased with the pre-light draw experience of the Felipe Gregorio Power 2014 Triple R. At this point I was ready to light up the cigar and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
One thing I found interesting. While the analogies I use for the flavor notes are not new, I found many of these notes had a unique spin that I had not tasted before.
The start to the Felipe Gregorio Power 2014 Triple R provided a mix of natural tobacco, grass, and pepper notes. Early on, the pepper notes had a slight floral component to it. The retro-hale had some exotic pepper qualities, but it definitely had a milder edge early on.
In the first third, some coffee bean joined the natural tobacco flavors up front. The natural tobacco flavor had some sweetness to it. The sweetness had somewhat a cross between mixed fruit and red licorice. The sweetness and coffee bean alternated in intensity throughout the first half while the spice and grass remained in the background. The spice on the retro-hale increased and had more of a red pepper quality.
By the start of the second half, I found the coffee bean notes to be in the forefront. The natural tobacco notes still had that unique fruit sweetness to it. Toward the last third, the spices on the tongue ramped up. These spices were still mostly pepper and they displaced the coffee bean notes as the primary flavor. Overall, the cigar finished up nicely. While there was some spice, I did not get any harshness. The resulting nub was excellent – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
I found the Felipe Gregorio Power 2014 Triple R to be a well-made cigar and this was reflected nicely on both the burn and draw. The burn line remained straight from start to finish requiring only some occasional cosmetic touch-ups. The resulting ash had a silvery gray color. The ash itself was firm and came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of Felipe Gregorio Power 2014 Triple R|
The draw had a touch of resistance – which is something I do like. There was one sample I had with a much tighter draw, but this was more the exception than norm as the other samples had more of a touch of resistance. Overall taking that one sample out of the equation, the draw performed very well.
Strength and Body
Perhaps the most intriguing part about smoking a Costa Rican puro was going to be how it would rank in terms of strength and body. Costa Rican tobacco is not known for producing strong, full-bodied flavors. At the same time, given some of this tobacco was Pelo de Oro, this is known for being somewhat robust.
The end result was pretty much what I expected – a cigar that smoked somewhere in the medium / medium plus range of the spectrum in terms of strength and body. The strength remained medium from start to finish. The flavors did start off medium-bodied and by the midway point of the smoke progressed to medium to full-bodied. The body still increased in the second half, but it didn’t quite make it to full-bodied.
The Felipe Gregorio Power 2014 Triple R was my introduction to a Costa Rican puro, and I must say I was impressed. While I mention notes of coffee bean, natural tobacco, pepper, and fruit – the one thing I can say is that they all had a different spin to these notes to what you are used to getting from Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. I also was pleased that this did not have the typical milder profile that I’ve gotten from cigars that have a good share of Costa Rican tobacco. There is no doubt Costa Rica is producing some great cigars, and this is a great example of the work coming out of this country.
This is a cigar I’d recommend to either the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast looking to try something different. The price point is $14.00, so one should consider that when looking to “experiment” with something new. As for myself, I really enjoyed this cigar – and it’s one I would certainly consider a box split.
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
News: Felipe Gregorio Power 2014
Source: Cigars provided by Manufacturer
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