Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cigar Review: Por Larrañaga Encantos Edición Regional Asia Pacifico (2010)

I have not been shy about speaking my disdain for the brand Por Larranaga. I just do not get most of their blends, and none fresh or age have impressed me. However, I had always heard wonderful things about their regional releases. Specifically, the Encantos seems to be one that is popping up in the forum circles as a true winner. The size is a classic Dalia, or the same thing as a Partagas 898. Think of it as almost lancero long, and a few ring gauges bigger. Given the current prices of these are over $25 if you can find them, I honestly had high expectations going in, even though I am not a Por Larranaga fan.

Dry Draw: deep, dark honey notes that leave a long finish worthy of five minutes of puffing

First Third: I am not sure if tea is huge in Asia, but for a Regional Release, if their region loves tea, the Encantos was a pure tea bomb. I am not much of a tea connoisseur, so I cannot name it specifically, but it reminded me of a distinct breakfast tea. The flavors swirled around front of mouth, while coating the roof with a long finish, complimented by an incredibly smooth retrohale. The body of the finish was very light, not intrusive at all, just creeping along slowly introducing the depth of the Encantos to my palate. The retro as smooth, I could retro the entire draw, which makes me as giddy as a jr higher seeing Alyssa Milano on tv, because I love mild cigars, and I love retrohaling, and Alyssa Milano was HAWT back in the day. The finish slowly continued to build in intensity, consisting of the dark honey notes and tea notes both through the nose and draw.  

Second Third: The intensity of the finish continued to rise, like a roller coaster slowly climbing a hill, climbing to the top of a hill that will make you scream in enjoyment. Green vegetal flavors began to arrive. Light Anaheim pepper notes hit on the draw and finish, along with a slight white pepper burn through the nose. Dried citrus arrived at midpoint, and a sugar cane texture to the draw front of mouth. I can now see why the Encantos has such a great reputation, as the complexity is off the charts. The tea and dark honey notes still lingered in the depths of the finish.

Final Third: A clove note showed up, so distinct it took me back to high school lunch, sneaking off campus freshman year smoking cloves on the corner to cop a buzz before class. Honestly, the Encantos had the most distinct clove note I can remember in a cigar to date. Light cream arrived as well with the tea notes on the draw. The sugar cane turned into toffee candy at times on the draw. The finish still banged out incredible tea notes, while the clove hit the nose and crept all over the mouth. The toffee really stood out as I neared the nub, and I swear I got a hint of rosemary. The honey also returned, nice and sweet, to make for a wonderful ending full of complexity.

Construction: perfect

Final Thoughts: Holy Jesus that was good, and I must thank Guy for sending me such an amazing cigar really. I have stated before, I am not huge on the regionals, simply because I feel that the cost outweighs the risk. Because of that, I will end up missing on cigars like this, and this experience has changed my mind significantly. Most of my experience with regionals, has been as good as aged Habanos in the 6-7 year range from normally production. However, the Encantos stands as one of the better Habanos I have smoked, and it may be due to the blend, age, or size really. Buy these if you find them. The Encantos is a classic Habanos that delivers incredible flavor and complexity, only to be enjoyed by a discerning palate. They are worth every penny in the range of $25-30.