The LUJ Serengeti is one of four new lines that will be showcased at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show by LUJ Cigars. The company is named for its founder Luj Oluyeba. LUJ Cigars are made in the Dominican Republic. For the most part, LUJ Cigars has established its foothold in the midwest – especially the Chicago, Illinois area. This year, the company is making an aggressive plan to expand their footprint. Recenty, I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the LUJ Serengeti in Toro size. LUJ Cigars just continues to impress and once again they bring another excellent offering to the table.
Sean Young, Chief Operating Officer for LUJ Cigars provided an explanation of the profile of the Serengeti.
“Blended for that after-dinner palate. Profound spiciness begin at the light off, gradually turning into mouth watering creamy smoke with that subtle fruity hint in the blue smoke. This blend leaves you. The Serengeti’s intense flavor and aroma is unrelenting.”
The portfolio of LUJ Cigars is based on small batch releases. The company’s blends are built on finite supplies of tobacco. Once tobacco supplies become exhausted, the company makes not only adjustments to its blends, but to its branding. Thus, one can expect there will be a point that once the tobacco supplies are no longer there, a new brand will be introduced to replace the Serengeti.
The company does not disclose details of the tobaccos in their blends. As mentioned, LUJ Cigars are produced out of the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Not disclosed
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Not disclosed
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
The LUJ Serengeti is being launched in five sizes: Toro, Robusto, Lancero, Petit Corona, and Perfecto.
The LUJ Serengeti Toro’s wrapper has a medium brown color. Depending how the light hits the Serengeti cigar, it might give off a cinnamon-colored tint to it. There is a light coating of oil to it. The surface of the wrapper is slightly bumpy, but it gives the cigar some real charm. While there are some visible veins, the wrapper seams are well hidden.
The band to the LUJ Serengeti is brown in color with copper font. Prominently displayed toward the center of the band is the text “LUJ”. Just below it is the text “SERENGETI” in smaller font. The center of the band has a copper stripe protruding from the text. The cigar is finished with a cinnamon bun-styled pig-tail on the cap.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As opposed to pulling off the pig-tail, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap of the LUJ Serengeti. Once the cap was successfully removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw provided a mix of cedar sweet-spice and caramel. Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the LUJ Serengeti Toro and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the LUJ Serengeti Toro delivered a mix of pepper, caramel, and cedar sweet-spice. While there was a healthy amount of spice at the very beginning of this cigar, I did not find this an overpowering spice. As the cigar progressed through the early stages, I found the cedar sweet-spice became primary – with more of an emphasis of the sweetness. The pepper and caramel became secondary notes. The sweetness of the cedar component delivered the subtle fruit note as advertised while the caramel delivered smoothness. On the retro-hale, I detected some black pepper notes.
During the late stages of the first third, and early stages of the second third, the caramel sweetness floated in and out of the forefront joining the cedar notes. Meanwhile the pepper notes remained a secondary note. I also detected some oak notes in the background.
As the LUJ Serengeti moved into the second half, I found the caramel notes receded into the background. At the same time, the oak and pepper notes increased in intensity and made their way into the forefront.
The last third of the LUJ Serengeti had a mix of the oak, pepper, and cedar notes. The spice level definitely climbed higher during this phase. There still was a touch of caramel in the background. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was outstanding – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn to the LUJ Serengeti took a straight path from start to finish. There was some jaggedness along the burn line requiring some touch-ups, but overall I did not consider this to be a major chore. The resulting ash was a mix of white, silver, and dark gray. The ash itself was not overly firm, but was not a loose one either. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw to the LUJ Serengeti Toro was excellent. It was not too loose, nor was it too tight. This was a low maintenance cigar to derive the flavors from this cigar.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the LUJ Serengeti Toro started out as medium. There was a gradual, linear increase in strength and by the second half, the strength crossed into the medium to full territory. There still was some gradual increase in strength in the second half, but I found it did not move out of the medium to full range.
As for the body, the LUJ Serengeti Toro also started out medium. While there also was a linear increase in body, this occurred at a somewhat more accelerated rate then the increase in strength. I found by the second third the Serengeti was medium to full-bodied. Well into the final third, the Serengeti was now delivering a full-bodied smoke. In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had the edge.
The Serengeti is the third blend I have smoked in LUJ Cigars’ portfolio following the LUJ Morpheus Anniversary #4 Maduro and the LUJ Morpheus Anniversary #4 Natural. Both of the LUJ Morpheus Anniversary cigars were highly impressive, and the Serengeti follows suit. However, I found the Serengeti to be a very different cigar. The Serengeti is going to deliver more in the way of strength and body. It is also going to deliver somewhat of a more spicy cigar. This is probably a cigar I’d steer to a more experienced cigar enthusiast, but it would make a nice cigar for a novice to progress to something bolder. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d easily smoke again – and it’s a box worthy cigar.
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Third), Medium to Full (2nd Third), Full (Last Third)
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
News: LUJ Cigars to Showcase Four New Offerings at 2015 IPCPR Trade Show
Price: $10.60 and $15.00 (For Line)
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 143
Stogie Feed: LUJ Serengeti Toro