Los Blancos Premier – Criollo

Los Blancos Premier Criollo - 1Brand: Los Blancos Premier Criollo
Vitola: Corona
Ring Gauge: 44
Length: 5.50
Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Nicaragua
Origin: Nicaragua
Price: Roughly $5.00

Brand:
The Los Blancos Cigar Company was established in 1998, but has a family lineage that goes back 80 years to the Pinar del Rio region of Cuba. The distribution center and corporate office is located in the city of Chicago. One of the strong parts of Los Blancos Cigars is their family operation. Each person within the family plays a very important role in the day to day operations of the company.

The cigars are crafted in Esteli, Nicaragua, in Nestor Plasencia’s Segovia Factory. The selection of this particular factory has everything to do with its tradition and values. For years it has been referred to as “The Cathedral” for its large stained glass windows and exposed wood beams.

The Premier line of Los Blancos Cigars is made up of four varieties, which include a Connecticut, Criollo, Maduro, and Sumatra. Each wrapper is available in several sizes and come packaged in boxes of twenty-four. The sizes within the Criollo line include a Churchill Tubo (46 x 7.00), Double Corona (52 x 7.00), Torpedo (52 x 6.50), Toro (52 x 6.00), Corona (44 x 5.50), Robusto (50 x 5.00), and a Sesenta (60 x 6.00).

Pre-Light:
Los Blancos Premier Criollo - 6
In my traditional fashion, at the last minute I went rummaging through my cooler looking for one of the many cigars I have on my schedule to review. The first Los Blancos cigar I came across was the Premier Criollo Corona.

After getting the cellophane off of the cigar and snapping a couple of pictures, I started to give it a good looking over. One of the first things that I noticed was the color of the wrapper. The cigar had a worn leather color which was consistent from head to foot. There were several veins throughout, all of which were small and went unnoticed while checking for texture.


Los Blancos Premier Criollo - 2

Giving my cigar a gentle pinch, I found the stick to be firmly and consistently packed with tobacco. I was unable to find any soft spots throughout. The aroma on both the wrapper and exposed foot were very mild and almost bland. The same lack of flavor was presented on the cold draw.

First Third:
Los Blancos Premier Criollo - 3
Once I was finished up with my pre-light inspection, I moved to getting my Los Blancos Premier Criollo burning. The lighting process was quick and easy which resulted in a even burn. The draw had little resistance and produced plenty of smoke with each puff.

Throughout the early stages of the cigar, the body was in the medium range. The smoke did a nice job of coating the palate without being too much. After expelling the smoke from my mouth and sinus, the finish faded quickly and left me with a crisp sensation.

The flavor was a little slow to start but once given a little time to warm up, the cigar began presenting a rich and enjoyable flavor. My first thought was that this taste was due to the Criollo wrapper, as it reminded me of a Corojo Tobacco flavor. After this sort of distinct Corojo like flavor began to pass, I picked up a slight soapy flavor. This flavor wasn’t enjoyable but only lasted a moment before fading.

As the cigar turned to ash, I was a little concerned with the burning characteristics. The burn line, or mascara, was fairly wide and showed some minor blistering. The ash was fairly light in color as well as compact, but was very weak. After a little more than a half inch developed on the foot of the cigar, the ash would drop without warning. The draw had slight resistance and provided me with plenty of dense smoke to enjoy while the burn rate was about average for this size stick.

Second Third:
Los Blancos Premier Criollo - 4
As I rounded the one hour mark, I was just about through the second third of my cigar. The body picked up a little over the first third and compliments the finish and flavor nicely. In regards to the finish, I am still getting a very nice crisp feeling on the palate after each puff. As the cigar grows shorter, the finish is moving towards becoming nice and creamy.

The soapy aftertaste from the first third is just about gone at this point and the Corojo like flavor is becoming richer and smoother by the puff. As a secondary flavor, I am getting some nice woody tones. I can’t pick out what type of wood I am getting but it is certainly not a cedar flavor.

The burning characteristics of the cigar were getting better as I smoked along. The minor blistering I was getting along the burn line is just about gone, while the burn line itself was thinning out. For the most part the burn was even and the burn rate remained about average for this sized cigar. The draw continued to be a little loose but provided lots of cool smoke.

Final Third:
Los Blancos Premier Criollo - 5
An hour and a half after lighting my Los Blancos Premier Criollo, I reached the final stages of my cigar. The body has been more or less the same throughout the smoke, if anything it has progressed slightly. The finish has become rich and creamy as the cigar nears its end.

The prominent Corojo flavor of the previous third has continued to grow in complexity with each puff while the background wood flavor is now transitioning to a defined cedar taste. The soapy flavor from the first third has faded and is being replaced by a slight grassy taste. This new flavor isn’t very enjoyable, but it isn’t hindering the smoke much either. It comes off as a little something that doesn’t belong.

The burn line has thinned out considerably and is now what I would call thin and even. The burn rate is about average and doesn’t make me feel like I’m smoking too fast or taking too long to finish the cigar. The draw is a little loose but provides puff after puff of cool, dense, flavorful smoke.

Final Thoughts:
After smoking a total of three Los Blancos Premier Criollo cigars, I can easily say that so far this is my favorite of the Los Blancos line. The flavor profile suited my preference well with its rich Corojo like flavor that became more complex and the cigar turned to ash.

I could certainly do without the Soapy and Grassy flavors of the first and final thirds, but the richness of the smoke made up for it. They simply came off as something that didn’t belong. With a price point of around $5.00 per stick, I think that this is a decent value and will certainly pick them up on occasion for further enjoyment.

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