La Verite 2008 (Churchill), 7 x 47
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Criollo
|Cigar age||2 yr. 10.6 mo.|
BACKGROUND: This postscript review is on the La Verite 2008 from Pete Johnson and Tatuaje. I first featured this cigar in Episode 253 of the Stogie Fresh 5 podcast on Saturday, January 1, 2011. These cigars have now been aging in my humidor for 2 years, 10.4 months and I pulled out a couple of samples this past week for a revisit.
The La Vérité Vintage line of cigars is made entirely from tobacco grown on the La Estrella farm in Nicaragua. With this line of cigars, Pete Johnson is taking a vintner’s approach to cigarmaking by creating a brand using tobacco from a single vintage and a single farm. The 2008 Vintage consists of 100% Nicaraguan-grown Criollo tobacco grown from Habano seed.
In a decidedly unorthodox approach, Johnson decided to construct this brand, not only with tobacco from one year and from only one farm, but also with tobacco that has skipped the traditional aging process. Rather than aging the tobacco in bales after fermentation, as is traditionally the case, he bypassed this aging phase and rolled the cigars right after fermentation. Whatever aging that occurs in the tobacco takes place in the form of a completed cigar.
Pete said that his love for great Bordeaux wine inspired him to create his own vintage cigar line. He was also challenged by the fact that there has never been a true vintage cigar in the cigar business.
Today's featured cigar is the 7-inch by 47 ring gauge 2008 La Vérité Churchill.
TASTING NOTES: This cigar is nothing if not earthy. It brings to the table the peaty flavor and aroma normally reserved for fine scotches. It also displayed some red wine tannins, which made me conjure up visions of wine barrels in some underground cave. Retrohaling the smoke added notes of light aromatic wood and some white pepper spice.
There was a slight grassy bite on the finish, where a year ago I noted more natural tobacco sweetness.
The burn was razor-sharp and dead even. The medium gray ash was firm and pellet-like when it came off into my ashtray. The draw was smooth and silky.
During the second half the cigar developed a tunnel, which made it burn hot and I tried purging to burn off any unwanted chemicals that might be building up. The end result was that the final third did not smoke that well and I ended up abandoning the cigar a little earlier than I would have liked. By the end of the cigar, the notable lack of tobacco sweetness along with the tunnel meant that I couldn't continue to smoke it to the nub (Note: of the 7 cigars I've smoked from this batch, this was the only one that exhibited significant burn problems).
FINAL THOUGHTS: The 2008 La Verite is still producing great results. In the nearly 3 years since this tobacco was rolled into these cigars, the flavors continue to impress and the construction and burn are flawless. I voted this the Best New Cigar of 2010 and I am happy to report that this cigar still has plenty left in the tank.
My only question is, "What in the world warrants the $20 per stick that is being charged for these sticks?" For the life of me, I can't figure it out. While this is certainly a great cigar, I doubt I will purchase any more of them. In today's market, there are way too many great cigars that won't hurt the pocketbook like these do. Nevertheless, I can highly recommend this cigar to those who would like to taste a true vintage product. This is a special occasion smoke and one to savor when you have time to kick back and really enjoy it.
These cigars come packaged in a wood box of 10 cigars and are bundled inside a wax paper sheath. There are no cellophane sheathes. I want these sticks to age slowly so I keep them wrapped in the wax paper.
This is the second and final "Postscript" review of these cigars, which have been aging for 2 years, 10.6 months.
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