At the 2019 IPCPE Trade Show, La Barba Cigars launched a new offering under its Ricochet brand known as the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol. One year prior to that, La Barba Cigars would launch the La Barba Primitivo, which would be the company’s first Maduro offering. Due to potential trademark issues, the Primitivo would be renamed the La Barba Ricochet. The original La Barba Ricochet would utilize a San Andres Maduro wrapper. San Andres tobacco is best known for being used as a Maduro, but there are plenty of instances where it is used as a natural wrapper. Case in point, the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol leverages it that way – thus the name Crü Mexi-Sol. Today we take a closer look at the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol in the Gran Robusto size.
La Barba Cigars was co-founded by Tony Bellatto and Craig Rossi. Bellatto, who serves as the face of the company, also is a wine sommelier. At the time the Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol was released, Bellatto commented on the Ricochet brand in the La Barba portfolio:
“Ricochet is meant to be a series brand, sort of going back to my roots as a Sommelier, each blend I did takes the components of wines from around the world that I have fallen in love with. The first was blended with my love of Italian Zinfandel or “primitivo” in mind, taking cues from the wine like spicy, earthy, leathery, and a little sweetness and spice. The new Ricochet is modeled after [my] first Left Bank Bordeaux and is very balanced and complex with a definitive spicy minerality, and a touch of soft sweetness.”
Without further ado, let’s break down the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol Gran Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table:
Blend and Origin
In addition to the Sungrown Mexican wrapper, the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol utilizes an Indonesian binder and fillers from Nicaraguan, Pennsylvania (U.S.), and the Dominican Republic. Consistent with the other La Barba Cigars, the Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol is produced at Tabacalera William Ventura in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Mexican Sungrown Wrapper.
Filler: Nicaraguan, Pennsylvanian, Dominican
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera William Ventura
The La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol is offered in four vitolas. Each is packaged in 25-count boxes.
Coronita: 4 1/4 x 44
Gran Robusto: 5 1/2 x 54
Magnum: 6 x 60
Torpedo: 6 1/4 x 52
The Mexican Sungrown wrapper of the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol Gran Robusto had a medium-brown color to it with a very slight rosado tint. There wasn’t much oil on the surface of the wrapper. The Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol had a slightly bumpy surface. There were some visible leaf veins, and any of the wrapper seams from the roll were well hidden.
There are two bands on the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol. The primary band has a blue background with gold powder font.. On the center of the band is a barber-shop straight razor. To the left of the razor is the text “LA” and to the right is the text “BARBA.” Finally, the band is finished with gold powder trim.
The secondary band rests just below the primary band. This band is also blue with gold powder trim. On the center of the band is the text “RICOCHET” in gold powder font.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol Gran Robusto. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw phase. The cold draw delivered a mix of earth, mineral, cedar, and dried fruit.I deemed this a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to toast up the foot of the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol and await what the smoking phase would have in store.
The La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol Gran Robusto started out with notes of natural tobacco sweetness, dusty earth, mineral, and baker’s spice. Early on the natural tobacco notes moved into the forefront with the baker’s spice. The earth and mineral notes settled in the background. There almost was a dry-wine quality to the natural tobacco sweetness. Meanwhile, the retro-hale delivered additional layers of black pepper, mineral, and natural tobacco sweetness.
As the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol Gran Robusto moved into the second third, the earth and mineral notes increased in intensity and, shortly before the midway point, they displaced the natural tobacco and baker’s spice notes. The natural tobacco and baker’s spice moved into the background where some notes of black pepper surfaced on the tongue. The black pepper slowly increased in intensity.
The last third saw the earth and mineral notes still primary. The black pepper and baker’s spice notes were close secondary notes while the natural tobacco sweetness was in the more distant background. This is the way the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol Gran Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
On each of the samples of the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol Gran Robusto, the burn started out low maintenance but along the way, it did require more frequent touch-ups to keep a straight burn line and straight burn path. While the touch-ups did the trick, there were more touch-ups than I prefer. The resulting ash wasn’t overly firm or loose or flaky. This was an ash with a light gray color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol Gran Robusto was on the open side. While normally I prefer a little resistance on this draw, it still wasn’t a loose one either. The open draw resulted in a nice amount of smoke production from the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol Gran Robusto.
Strength and Body
The La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol Gran Robusto delivered a medium strength, medium-bodied cigar experience from start to finish. There wasn’t much in the way of variance of the intensity levels of the strength and body. At the same time, both the strength and body of the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol Gran Robusto balanced each other with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Over the years, I have enjoyed watching the journey that La Barba Cigars has been taking with its portfolio. There are no cookie-cutter blends with La Barba as each blend brings a unique profile. The La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol certainly falls into that category. Flavorwise, I did find the first half to perform better than the second half. The medium strength and body of this cigar seemed to fit the flavors delivered very well. In the end, this is a cigar I could recommend to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, the La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol Gran Robusto Is a cigar I would smoke and purchase once again.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Mineral, Earth, Bakers Spice, Black Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol to Debut at the 2019 IPCPR
Brand Reference: La Barba Cigars
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop