Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cigar Review: Jose L. Piedra Cazadores

Jose Piedra. To me, the name piques my imagination to a place where seedy third world gangsters are trafficking dope and carrying AK47’s. Other times, I picture a farmer, poor but content, living off the land and happy with his stogie, rum, and family close by. I really want to get drunk on mojitos with Jose and Sancho Panza, but that might get me placed in a Cuban jail. Enough rambling, this is the final leg of the cheapo challenge Seth and I are doing with the Partagas Mille Fluer, Por Larranaga, Flor de Cano, and the Piedra Cazadores. In the past, I had enjoyed Piedra cigars as chew sticks and yard gars, but I had always opted for smaller sizes then the Cazadores. Amongst the Habanos faithful, this always seemed to be the size folks talked about, so I figured it would be best for us to include. The Cazadores is referred to as a Long Corona, 6x43rg so it is a bit longer and larger then a standard corona. Since it is a short filler, I kept this to a first half and second half review.

First Half: Woody, cocoa bean, and black coffee all hit the palate right out of the barn door. The profile overall is very smooth, mild in nature, with a shorter finish then I am accustomed to. As I dug into the depths of the short filler extravaganza, the finish grew in length, and became very creamy. Hints of cedar hit the nose mostly, and the main flavor stayed the course as a smooth creamy coffee smoke, perfect for the morning or afternoon latte.

Second Half: Sweet and rich, a pleasant sugary flavor began to coat the tongue. The retro became rather toasty, almost almond cookie like at times. Brown sugar was very distinct, and the coffee notes and original cocoa came in and out as well. Light spices coated the lips at times that ended up leaving substantial body on the palate by the end. The aftertaste and finish were absolutely wonderful really, and my mind was reaching for bourbon to compliment the spice at the end.

Construction: Draw was a bit tight, but nothing major. There were green spots on the wrapper as well.

Final Thoughts: Of all the cigars I smoked in this, the Piedra Cazadores reminds me most of a real cigar. Granted, given the construction you will not get a perfect experience, but why the hell would I buy a cheap NC when this is available for $2. The finish is excellent, and I would not mind giving this to a friend to introduce them to Cuban tobacco, or hand them out at a wedding or event where folks may not appreciate cigars as much as we all do.

So here it is, my vote on the cheapo challenge for Habanos Critic of Cuban cigars under $3:
  1. Jose L. Piedra Cazadores
  2. La Flor de Cano Petite Corona
  3. Partagas Mille Fluers
  4. Por Larranaga Panatelas
I think for the money, the Jose L Piedra Cazadores is the best under $3 Cuban cigar I have smoked thus far.  Now, there are plenty of others we have not included in this shootout, but of these four, the Piedra is something I would buy regularly by the bundle.  After that, I would say the Flor de Cano as it was a perfect mild cigar, but may not appeal to all palates.  The Partagas was sort of a letdown, as they smoke like short filler, but are priced a bit higher.  The Por Larranaga I would not buy again personally.