This year marks the tenth anniversary of La Sirena Cigars, and the company has released a limited edition cigar to mark the occasion – the La Sirena Aniversario Especial. Over the years, La Sirena has established partnerships with many leading cigar manufacturers in the leading cigar countries of the world. These countries have included Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. For the Aniversario Especial, La Sirena ventured into new uncharted territory going to Mexico and working with the Turrent family at their factory to create the blend. The Turrents are best known for being the leading growers of San Andres tobacco in the world. The result is that the La Sirena Aniversario Especial becomes the company’s first Mexican-made cigar and features a Mexican-forward blend. Today, we take a closer look at this cigar.
La Sirena Cigars was formed by Arielle Ditkowich back in 2009. The company partnered with My Father Cigars to make its first cigar, the La Sirena Original and worked through Miami Cigar and Company to handle distribution. In 2014 Old School Cigars, the company owned by Arielle’s father Danny was merged into the La Sirena portfolio. Concurrently, the company took control of its own sales and distribution. Since then, La Sirena has been a family-owned company as Danny and Arielle’s sister Mariah have also been involved in the company’s operation.
The La Sirena Aniversario Especial carries a price point of $19.00 and it is positioned as La Sirena’s most premium offering to date.
Without further ado, let’s break down the La Sirena Aniversario Especial and see what this cigar brings to the table:
Blend and Origin
The La Sirena Anivoersario Especial features Mexican tobacco in all three components of the cigar highlighted by a ten-year-old San Andres Negro wrapper and a Mexican Criollo ’98 wrapper. The filler not only includes Mexican tobacco, but Brazilian, Nicaraguan, and Dominican as well. Production is handled at the Turrent family’s Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos S.A. facility.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Negro, Aged 10 years
Binder: Mexican Criollo ’98
Fillers: Mexican, Brazilian, Nicaraguan, Dominican
Country of Origin: Mexico
Factory: Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos S.A.
The La Sirena Aniversario Especial is available in one size -a 5 3/4 x 54 box-pressed vitola. It’s a limited production vitola available in ten-count sizes.
The San Andres wrapper of the La Sirena Aniversario Especial had a dark chocolate color. Upon closer examination there was some darker mottling on the surface. This was a wrapper that didn’t have much oil on it. The dark color of the wrapper did an excellent job at hiding the veins and wrapper seams. San Andres wrappers usually have a rugged texture to it. This wrapper wasn’t as rugged as many other San Andres wrappers, and it helped give the cigar some charm. The Aniversario Especial itself has a soft Cuban-style box-press to it.
The band is highlighted by its deep ocean blue background. There is a mermaid silhouette on the tail with the initials “AFD” in gold. The text “The text “LA SIRENA” and “ANIVERSARIO ESPECIAL” appear above and below the silhouette in dark font respectively. The text “2009” is on the far side of the band – also in dark font.
After using a straight cut to commence the cigar experience of the La Sirena Aniversario Especial, it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The dry draw delivered notes of chocolate and earth with a slight red pepper note on the tongue. This was a satisfying pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to light up the La Sirena Aniversario Especial and see what the smoking phase would entail.
The La Sirena Aniversario Especial started out with notes of chocolate, earth, wood, and maduro sweetness. Maduro sweetness is a term I use to describe a cross between natural tobacco and dried fruit. Early on the chocolate and maduro sweetness notes moved to the forefront. The chocolate notes took a slight edge. Meanwhile, the earth notes settled into the background and were joined by a slight black pepper note on the tongue. The retro-hale delivered a combination of fruit-sweetness and black pepper.
Later in the first third, the maduro sweetness became more prominent. The chocolate notes were still very much present, but the maduro sweetness still had a slight edge. There was a slight increase in the pepper and earth notes. At times there was a slight dank quality to the earth notes, but I found that worked more positively in terms of the overall flavor profile. In the more distant background remained some of the woody notes.
Toward the latter part of the second third, the earth notes moved into the forefront joining the maduro sweetness. The pepper notes stopped increasing in intensity, but were more present on the tongue than earlier on. There still were touches of chocolate and wood remaining. This is the way the La Sirena Aniversario Especial came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
While there was an occasional wave on the burn line, the burn of the La Sirena Aniversario Especial was low maintenance. This was a cigar never in danger of getting off its burn path. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color to it. This was an ash that was skewed toward the firmer side. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the La Sirena Aniversario Especial is one that I would characterize as “open”, but not loose. There were no problems deriving flavor from this cigar, and this was a cigar that generated a significant amount of smoke production.
Strength and Body
The La Sirena Aniversario Especial is a cigar that started out as medium strength. For the most part, the strength level remained in that range. Toward the final third of the cigar, there was a slight spike in the strength level, but I didn’t find the cigar increased enough in intensity to move to medium to full.
The Aniversario Especial also started out medium to full-bodied. The body increased more linearly and gradually. By the second third, the body was in medium to full territory. The increase in the intensity of the body leveled off in the second half.
In terms of strength versus body with the La Sirena Aniversario Especial, I found the body had a slight edge throughout the smoking experience.
One thing that I really liked is how La Sirena has been a company that has not been afraid to work with different factories to introduce products to its portfolio. There aren’t a lot of third-party companies contracted with the Turrent factory to make a cigar, and certainly there are not a lot who are working with the Turrents on an ultra-premium release. La Sirena is succeeding here with the Aniversario Especial. The La Sirena Aniversario Especial is a cigar that I felt smoked like an ultra-premium cigar. I found the flavors well-rounded and well-balanced. There have been some very good Mexican-forward blends over the years, and this one can be added to the list. Overall it’s a cigar I could recommend to any cigar enthusiast. It’s certainly one I’d buy and smoke again in the future.
Key Flavors: Chocolate, Maduro Sweetness, Earth, Wood, Black Pepper
Complexity: Medium Plus
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (Second Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: La Sirena Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Aniversario Especial
Source: La Sirena
Brand Reference: La Sirena
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop