In 2020, J.C. Newman announced it would be revamping its Perla Del Mar line. Perla Del Mar was a brand that was reintroduced by J.C. Newman in 2012. It would first be released in a Connecticut Shade with the Perla del Mar Maduro coming in 2016. 2020 would bring several changes to the line. First, the Connecticut and Maduro would receive upgraded blends. Perla Del Mar is an all-box-pressed line, and the 2020 version would change the box press to a more Tampa-style “rectangular” press. While the vitolas remained the same, they would receive new names. The line would also undergo a major makeover in box and band design. Finally, a Perla Del Mar Corojo would also be added to the line. For today’s assessment, we will take a closer look at the Perla Del Mar Maduro in the Double Toro 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.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Perla Del Mar Maduro Double Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Perla Del Mar Maduro features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over all Nicaraguan tobaccos. On paper, these seem like similar tobacco components as the 2016 Maduro edition. The difference is the blends were changed to include tobaccos that are not only more aged, but stronger in general. Production is handled at the J.C. Newman PENSA factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: J.C. Newman PENSA
The Perla Del Mar Maduro is offered in four sizes. Each is presented in 25-count boxes. As mentioned above, the vitolas feature a new rectangular box-press design. There are also new names for the Shade and Maduro lines. These lines now feature traditional vitola names as opposed to the previous names that were derived from the French weights (M, G, L, and TG) and measures system for oysters.
Robusto: 4 3/4 x 52
Toro: 6 1/4 x 54
Double Toro: 6 x 60
Corona Gorda: 5 1/2 x 46
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper of the Perla Del Mar Maduro had almost an espresso coffee bean color to it. There wasn’t much in the way of oil on the surface. The surface also had a slight amount of mottling on it. There were some visible wrapper seams as well as a few visible veins on it. The box press had a rectangular press design to it. The box press itself was on the firmer side.
Prior to lighting up the Perla Del Mar Maduro Double Toro, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. After the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw had notes of roasted coffee beans and cedar. It was a simple, but satisfying pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to toast the foot of the Perla Del Mar Maduro Double Toro and move on to the smoking phase.
The Perla Del Mar Maduro Double Toro started off with notes of coffee, earth, and cedar. Early on the coffee and earth notes moved into the forefront. The cedar notes settled in the background. As the cigar moved into the forefront both dried fruit and mineral notes emerged in the background. The coffee and earth notes that were present in the forefront alternated in intensity. Meanwhile, there was an additional layer of cedar present on the retro-hale.
During the second third of the Perla Del Mar Maduro Double Toro the coffee and earth continued to alternate in intensity. The cedar, mineral, and dried fruit notes remained in the background. At the same time, some notes of white pepper also surfaced in the background. The retro-hale changed from a cedar note to a mixed pepper note. Toward the end of the second third, the dried fruit notes dissipated.
The last third saw the pepper notes increase in intensity – closing in on the coffee and earth notes in the forefront. Meanwhile, the cedar and mineral notes were still present in the background. By this point, there was definitely more spice present, but there also was some harshness. This is the way the Perla Del Mar Maduro Double Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Perla Del Mar Maduro Double Toro did require frequent touch-ups. The touch-ups were needed because the burn line was jagged and at times the burn path meandered. The resulting ash wasn’t overly firm, and at times some flowering emerged. This was an ash that was gray in color. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature remained ideal.
The draw of the Perla Del Mar Maduro Double Toro was on the open side. Normally I prefer more resistance on a draw. At the same time, this was a cigar from which it was not difficult to derive flavors. This was also a cigar that produced ample amounts of smoke.
Strength and Body
The Perla Del Mar Maduro Double Toro started out with medium strength and medium-bodied flavors. As the cigar experience progressed, there was an increase in intensity for both the strength and body. Toward the end, the cigar approached but did not cross the threshold of medium to full for strength and body.
In terms of strength versus body, both attributes balanced each other very nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
Overall I like the packaging and banding changes J.C. Newman made to the Perla Del Mar line. While I didn’t have a problem with the blue and gray lighthouse design on the previous Perla Del Mar release, the new packaging and banding is clean and traditional looking. I also like that the blend is identified on the band (in this case Maduro).
While I had smoked the previous iteration of the Perla Del Mar Maduro, I had never smoked that previous iteration in the Double Toro. With the 2020 version, I found the first two-thirds to be more or less average and one that didn’t really offer any wow factor. The harshness that surfaced in the last third was somewhat disappointing. The Perla Del Mar Double Toro has an attractive price point of $7.85, and it certainly delivers a lot of cigar for the price. At the same time, my recommendation is to try a sample before purchasing this one. I’m still inclined to check out the revamped Perla Del Mar Maduro in some of the other sizes and see how it performs.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Dried Fruit, Mineral, Pepper
Draw: Very Good
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
News: J.C. Newman Revamps Perla Del Mar and Adds Corojo Blend
Source: J.C. Newman Cigar Company
Brand Reference: J.C. Newman Cigar Company
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop