Since launching in the United States in 2014, Nick Syris and LH Premium Cigars have built up a loyal following. Over the past few years, Syris has expanded his portfolio to not only include his three core LH blends, but more recently the Nick & Jim and Nick lines. Until 2020, LH Cigars did not have a limited edition offering but that changed when Syris released the Lavida Habana LE. Lavida Habana is the name that “LH” is derived from. Today it’s the Lavida Habana LE that we take a closer look at for this assessment.
LH Premium Cigars is a brand that established itself well in the international market before coming to the U.S. The Lavida Habana LE was a cigar that was made for private clientele outside the U.S.. Over time, Syris began getting feedback from those who tried the cigar and the demand for the cigar increased. Eventually, Syris opted to offer the Lavida Habana LE on a limited basis for his U.S. customers.
When LH Premium Cigars came to the U.S., they had a black and gold band. After receiving feedback from retailers, Syris redesigned the LH band to become more ornate. For the Lavida Habana LE, these cigars will carry the original LH black and gold bands as they are symbolic to this cigar originating in the U.S. market.
Due to the availability of the tobaccos and time it takes to age and ferment, the cigar is being offered on a limited basis.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Lavida Habana LE and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The LH Lavida Habana LE features a blend that consists of an Ecuadorian Vuelta Abajo seed wrapper, a favorite that Nick Syris likes to work with. Other than that the tobaccos in the blend have undergone an additional period of aging and fermentation, there is no other information above the Lavida Habana LE blend being disclosed. As with all LH Premium Cigars, production is handled in Costa Rica at the Tabacos de Costa Rica factory.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Vuelta Abajo
Country of Origin: Costa Rica
Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
The LH Lavida Habana LE comes in one size – a 6 x 52 Toro. It is currently available in 25-count bundles, and will eventually be made available in 10-count boxes.
The Ecuadorian Vuelta Abajo of the Lavida Habana LE had a dark brown color with a slight Colorado tint to it. Upon closer examination, some subtle mottling can be seen on the surface. There wasn’t much in the way of oil on it, and the wrapper also had a slight toothiness to it. While there were some visible veins as well as some thin wrapper seams present, this was a wrapper that was on the smoother side. The cigar is finished with a covered footer.
The band on the Lavida Habana Maduro is black in color with gold font. On the center of the band are the letters “LH”. Surrounding the text are some shield-like adornments. There are two leaves on both the left and right side. The top and bottom of the band had a gold-colored trim.
A straight cut was used to commence the smoking experience of the Lavida Habana LE. Once the cap was removed it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered a mix of coffee, baker’s spice, and earth notes. While it was a relatively straight and simple experience from the cold draw, it was quite a satisfying one. At this point, it was time to toast up the foot of the Lavida Habana LE and await the smoking experience.
The coffee, baker’s spice, and earth notes that were present on the pre-light draw continued as the smoking experience of the Lavida Habana LE began. In addition, there were some notes of black pepper, cedar, chocolate, and citrus that emerged. The coffee notes quickly moved into the forefront. The baker’s spice, earth, pepper, cedar, and citrus notes settled in the background. As for the chocolate notes, they floated between the forefront and background of the flavor profile. Meanwhile on the retro-hale, there was a layer of black and white pepper.
The second third saw the coffee notes remain grounded in the forefront. The chocolate notes gradually diminished more into a secondary note. There was a slight increase in the pepper and cedar. Meanwhile notes of baker’s spice, earth and citrus rounded out the flavor profile.
By the final third of the Lavida Habana LE, there were still notes of coffee. The pepper and cedar notes were close secondary notes while the citrus, earth, and baker’s spice were more distant. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Lavida Habana LE did require some touch-ups along the way in order to maintain a straight burn path and straight burn line. While there were a few more touch-ups than I preferred, the touch-ups did the trick to keep the burn on track. The resulting ash was light gray in color. This was an ash that came off the cigar in clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Lavida Habana LE was on the open side – and I would not categorize it as a loose draw. The openness also was accompanied by a decent amount of smoke production.
Strength and Body
The Lavida Habana LE can best be described as one of Nick Syris’ bolder cigars. It’s a cigar that delivers medium to full strength and medium to full-bodied flavors from start to finish. There wasn’t much variance in the intensity level throughout the smoking experience. Both the strength and the body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Since Syris brought LH Cigars into the U.S. market, I’ve been impressed with his offerings. When it comes to the Lavida Habana LE, this is Syris’ finest work to date. This is a cigar that performs stellarly in the flavor department from start to finish – and it’s important to note that because many times a cigar might “run out of gas” when it gets into the later stages. The flavors are bold and rich, but not overly aggressive. Finally, the flavors complemented each other very nicely. This is a cigar I would recommend to a more experience cigar enthusiast, but it’s not overly aggressive for a novice. In the end, this is a cigar that I would easily smoke again – and it’s one worthy of a box or bundle purchase down the road. At 92 points, this cigar easily exceeds the threshold needed to meet the Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Chocolate, Earth, Cedar, Baker’s Spice, Citrus, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good
Value: Box Purchase
*Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence*
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop