Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cigar Review: Juan López Chiado 1864 Edición Regional Portugal (2014)

 Possibly one of my favorite brands, Juan López is a brand that delivers a flavor profile that is sweet and spicy, balanced, and always complex. They can smoke great young,and with age they are awesome. The brand is limited to only three vitolas which is kind of disappointing, but those vitolas are simply incredible. Because of the brand being a Local Brand though, it qualified to be part of the regional edition program, and that is a total plus. Since 2006 the brand has had a regional edition released, but it is not a brand that has had a regional every year. In 2014 however the brand received two regional editions, both for Europe, and today I take a look at the release for Portugal. I have already touched on the one for Benelux. The Habano is called Juan López Chiado 1864, and the name Chiado comes from a particular square within the city of Lisbon, Portugal. 1864 marks the year that the Treaty of Lisbon was signed, thus marking the borders between Portugal and Spain.

Habano: Juan López Chiado 1864 Edición Regional Portugal (2014)

Country: Cuba

Factory: La Habana Factory

Wrapper: Cuban

Binder: Cuban

Filler: Cuban

Length: 102 mm (4.0")

Ring Gauge: 50
Vitola: Petit Robusto

Production: 5,000 numbered boite nature boxes of 10 (50,000 Habanos)

The Habano spots a smooth wrapper and it is slightly oily as well. It has a nice dark brown coloring, and it is easily a Colorado Maduro overall. There is a beautiful triple cap to finish it off, and it is firm throughout showing few veins. The wrapper is giving off an aroma of leather, tobacco and salted wood, and the foot is showing notes of  wood, raisins and soft cocoa. There is a nice cold draw with the Habano, and the draw is showing similar flavors.

The Habano opens up by showing some solid tobacco and rich earth flavors. I am getting some espresso bean notes on top of that, and it has a finish of milk chocolate, damp wood and hay. It is a filling first third, and it has a few touches of spice present as well. I would classify the flavor profile as being medium-full overall, and the same goes for the body and strength. It is a very balanced smoke and it is filling overall. The construction thus far has been a little off however, and it is producing a slightly wavy burn line with a dark charcoal ash on the end. The draw has been cool though, and it is producing a nice finish with a decent amount of smoke.

The second third delivers a softer and creamier flavor profile than that of the first and I am getting a nice balance between wood and cream. There is a still a barnyard quality present, these subtle sweet notes as well, and it has a finish of hay and milk chocolate. I would classify this third as being medium in terms of flavors, and the same goes for the body and strength. The transitioning has been lovely thus far, and it is great to see a small smoke like this smoke in the manner that it is. The construction has improved greatly in this third and I am finding the burn line to be a lot better and with that is the dark charcoal ash on the end. The draw remains cool in this third and it is giving off a nice bit of smoke on the end.

The final third shows a slight shift in the flavor profile being delivered and it is showing a nice leather, meaty and woody quality. I am still picking up some tobacco and barnyard notes, but the chocolate and creamy qualities have faded away. There is a touch of hay present on the finish, and it is a nice closing touch. I found that the flavor profile ends on a medium level, very similar to that of the second third, and the same goes for the body and strength. The Habano has showing transitioning throughout, and it has had a solid level of complexity with that. The construction in the final third is top notch and it is producing an even burn line with a nice dark charcoal ash on the end. The draw remains cool on a majority of the samples to the end. and it is producing a nice bit of smoke before I put it down.

The Chiado 1864 is a release that is growing on me more and more. It is a release that needs age, a lot of age, but with that time it will improve greatly. I felt that the other regional Juan López release for 2014, the Don Juan, needed a lot of age well, but this one needs more than that. Overall though, the Chiado 1864 is a fun release and one that I look forward to smoking in at least one year. I like the vitola offering, it's a very cool petit robusto, and it is always fun to smoke the brand in new vitola offerings. It shows some different traits than the brand typically delivers, which is also nice, and I think it will be a well received release in time. The construction improved as the Habano progressed in smoking and this is a classic example of a Habano needing to be smoked at a lower RH level. I am giving the Habano a rating of 85-87 right now, but I believe it can get to that 89-91 level with time.

Young Rating: 85-87
With Age Rating: 89-91