Just before the 2023 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show, JRE Tobacco Co. began shipping its Aladino Lounge Exclusive. As the name indicates, it is a cigar released as an exclusive to Aladino-branded lounges. At the time the cigar was released, there were three such lounges located in the United States: Nelson Loguasto’s Cigars/Route 30 Cigars (Greensburg, Pennsylvania), The Cigar Vault (Austin, Texas), and Final Third Cigar & Whiskey (Indianapolis, IN). Today, we dive deeper and see what this cigar is all about.
One thing we know about the Aladino Lounge Exclusive is that it uses a Sumatra-seed wrapper grown from the JRE Tobacco Farm in the Jamastran Valley in Honduras. Later, in 2023, Aladino would release the Aladino Sumatra. This was a limited edition cigar considered groundbreaking for its Honduran-grown Sumatra wrapper. In reality, it was the Aladino Sumatra that hit the stores before the Lounge Exclusive hit the shelves.
Let’s break down the Aladino Lounge Exclusive without further ado and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Aladino Lounge Exclusive by JRE Tobacco Co – Cigar Review
Blend and Origin
While the cigar is a Honduran puro featuring tobaccos from the JRE Tobacco farm, other than the Sumatra wrapper, the details of the remainder of the blend have not been disclosed.
Wrapper: Honduran Sumatra
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: Fabrica de Puros Aladino at Las Lomas Jamastran.
At press time, the Lounge Exclusive is offered in one size – a 5 x 50 Robusto. The cigars are presented in 20-count boxes.
The Honduran-grown Sumatra wrapper of the Lounge Exclusive had a medium-brown color. There was a light coating of oils on the surface of the wrapper. The surface of the wrapper also had some visible veins. As for the wrapper seams, there weren’t many that were visible on the surface.
Before lighting up the Lounge Exclusive, a straight cut was used to remove the cap on the cigar. Once the cap was detached, it was time to commence with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of sweet natural tobacco and earth. This was a satisfactory pre-light draw. With the pre-light ritual out of the way, it was time to toast up the footer of the Lounge Exclusive and move on to the smoking phase.
The Lounge Exclusive opened with more notes of sweet natural tobacco and earth. Notes of wood soon joined them. There was no dominant note during the early stages of the first third. Eventually, the combination of the natural tobacco and wood became the primary notes. The earth settled in the background, joined by notes of mixed pepper. Meanwhile the retro-hale produced an additional layer of pepper, but this was more of the black pepper varietal.
The second third of the Lounge Exclusive saw the natural tobacco notes remain grounded in the forefront. During this third, the earth notes increased, joining the natural tobacco in the background. Meanwhile, the wood diminished and moved into the background, joining the mixed pepper. There was a slight increase in the mixed pepper later in the second third.
There wasn’t much change in the flavor pattern for the final third. The primary notes were a combination of the natural tobacco and earth. In the background were the pepper and wood notes. This is the way the Lounge Exclusive came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Lounge Exclusive performed excellently. This cigar had little trouble maintaining a straight burn path and a straight burn line. The Lounge Exclusive required minimal touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash had a silver-like quality to it. The ash was on the firm side. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
The draw to the Lounge Exclusive performed exceptionally well. This draw had a touch of resistance to it. If you follow many of my assessments, you will know I consider this to be a positive for the draw experience. At the same time, this was a low-maintenance cigar from which to derive flavor.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Lounge Exclusive is not going to be an overpowering cigar. Both the strength and body started out mild to medium. There was an increase along the way, but it wasn’t until the final third that the Lounge Exclusive moved into medium territory for both attributes.
In terms of strength versus body, both attributes balanced each other nicely, with neither attribute overpowering the other.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
When the national release of the Aladino Sumatra came out, the box packaging was more contemporary. The Aladino Lounge Exclusive preceded the Sumatra in being housed in a box with a contemporary design. The bands of the Lounge Exclusive took me a little to get used to. They do not feature the usual “A” design—instead the name “Aladino” in a more contemporary font on a classic background. Eventually, I did embrace this packaging, but it took me a little while.
When it comes to lounge exclusives or event cigars, I am usually disappointed with the experience. The Aladino Lounge Exclusive cigar was an exception. It didn’t deliver an overly complex cigar, but it did provide a cigar that excelled in the most important category – flavor. On top of that, the flavors were dialed back and nuanced, and it really made for an enjoyable cigar. Furthermore, JRE Tobacco Farm has again proven you can grow and cultivate a Sumatra wrapper in Honduras. Ultimately, this is a cigar I could recommend to any cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again and buy multiples of. Coming in at 90 points, this cigar earns the Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence designation.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Earth, Wood, Black Pepper
Complexity: Medium Minus
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st 2/3), Medium (Final Third)
Body: Mild to Medium (1st 2/3), Medium (Final Third)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
News: JRE Tobacco Co. Showcases Aladino Lounge Exclusive at PCA 2023
Brand Reference: Aladino
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop