Late last year, J.C. Newman Cigar Company announced it was revamping its Perla del Mar brand. Perla del Mar was J.C. Newman’s premium box-pressed brand and was offered in two blends – a Connecticut Shade and a Maduro. While the company felt it had a good brand in Perla del Mar, they felt they could do better. First, they decided to overhaul the packaging of the Perla del Mar brand. Second, they opted to update the blend on the Shade and Maduro offerings. And finally, they decided to introduce a third blend under Perla del Mar in the form of a Corojo wrapped offering. Today, we go and take a closer look at the Perla del Mar Corojo in the Corona Gorda size.
The story of the Perla del Mar brand traces back to 1905 Cuba. At that time four Cuban brothers started hand rolling cigars using tobacco from their family farm. They named the company Perfecto Garcia Brothers. The cigars were called Perla Del Mar because of the beautiful Caribbean waters surrounding Cuba. Eventually, they built a large cigar factory next to J.C. Newman’s El Reloj factory in Ybor City where it became a leading premium cigar brand. In 2012, J.C. Newman reintroduced the brand in the Connecticut Shade and added the Perla del Mar Maduro in 2016.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Corojo wrapper used on the Perla del Mar Corojo was grown in Ecuador. The remaining part of the blend features Nicaraguan tobaccos for the binder and filler. Production is handled out of J.C. Newman’s PENSA factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: J.C. Newman PENSA
The Perla del Mar Corojo is offered in four sizes. Each is presented in 25-count boxes. These four sizes are also found in the Perla del Mar Maduro and Perla del Mar Shade lines.
Robusto: 4 3/4 x 52
Toro: 6 1/4 x 54
Gordo: 6 x 60
Corona Gorda: 5 1/2 x 46
The Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper of the Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda had a medium-brown color with a slight rosado hint. There also was a slight amount of oil on the wrapper. There wasn’t much in the way of visible wrapper seams, and any visible veins were on the thin size. One change that was made from J.C. Newman’s first iteration of the Perla del Mar was the introduction of the “Tampa press.” This is a more rectangular version of the box press as opposed to the square press found on J.C. Newman’s previous iteration.
The band of the Perla del Mar Corojo has a plum, yellow, and gold color scheme. The upper part of the band has a pale yellow circular field with the text “PDM” in dark font. There is a gold ring surrounding that field with the text “PERLA DEL MAR” in dark font. To the left and right sides of the band is a maroon nameplate. The left side has the text “EST 1985” and the right side has the text “J.C. NEWMAN CO.” in light font. Toward the lower part of the band is a plum stripe. On the center of the band is the text “COROJO” in gold font. The left and right sides of the band have the text “Hand” and “Made” respectively – each in gold font.
The cigar experience of the Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda commenced with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered notes of wood, cream, earth, a slight natural tobacco sweetness, and a slight white pepper note. There was quite a bit going on and this made for a very satisfying pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to toast up the footer of the Perla del Mar Corojo and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda started off with a potpourri of flavor including natural tobacco, earth, wood, a slight dried fruit, and some mixed pepper. Early on the natural tobacco notes moved into the forefront. The earth, wood, and pepper took a secondary role. As for the dried fruit, it varied in intensity, floating between the forefront and background. On the retro-hale, there was a second layer of mixed pepper.
During the second third of the Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda, the earth notes started to become more prominent. The earth notes joined the natural tobacco in the forefront. Heading to the midway point the dried fruit still from time to time popped into the forefront. As the cigar passed the midway point, the earth took over as the sole primary note. Both the natural tobacco and the dried fruit notes settled in the background. There still were some wood notes also present in the background while the pepper notes began to increase.
The last third of the Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda saw an increase in the pepper spice as those notes closed in on the earth notes. The natural tobacco, dried fruit, and wood notes were in the more distant background. This is the way the Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda performed quite well. This was a cigar that had no problems maintaining a straight burn path and a straight burn line – requiring a minimal amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash was slightly firm with a mostly silver-gray color. The burn rate and burn temperature were excellent.
The draw to the Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda was more on the open side. This wasn’t an overly loose draw, but normally I prefer a little more resistance on my draw. In the end, there were no combustion problems and this was a low-maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda delivered a medium-strength, medium-bodied smoking experience from start to finish. During the smoking experience, there wasn’t much in the way of variance of the intensity levels. At the same time, the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
As a whole, I was pleased with the changes that J.C. Newman made to the Perla del Mar brand, and I was also quite pleased with the addition of the Corojo blend. I found the Corojo blend to be something very different than I’ve seen with the premium offerings in the J.C. Newman portfolio. In a way, this was a bit of a tale of two cigars. I had a strong preference for the first two-thirds as opposed to the final third. Still, the Perla del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda is a solid cigar where the pluses outweigh the minuses. At $6.45, it’s a cigar I could recommend to any cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is still a cigar I would buy and smoke again.
Key Flavors: Earth, Natural Tobacco, Wood, Dried Fruit, Black Pepper
Draw: Very Good
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: J.C. Newman Revamps Perla Del Mar and Adds Corojo Blend
Source: JC Newman Cigar Company
Brand Reference: J.C. Newman
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop