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Staff Reviews

La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial #1 Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Gifted cigar-maker Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia and his son, Jaime Garcia, possess immense instinct for growing, aging, and blending premium Nicaraguan tobaccos for which they have achieved much recognition over the past fifteen years. While they are the noted father-and-son cigar-making team behind lauded brands like My Father and Flor de las Antillas, they are equally celebrated for blending the top-rated La Aroma de Cuba and San Cristobal collections.


Today, I am reviewing a distinguished cigar within the La Aroma de Cuba lineup, Edicion Especial. La Aroma de Cuba hails from historic Cuban roots in the late 1800s when the brand was an early favorite of Winston Churchill. Long before his summit as statesman and prime minister, Churchill indulged his budding obsession with fine cigars with the now-iconic Romeo y Julieta and La Aroma de Cuba brands. While Romeo y Julieta has enjoyed a consistent spotlight for generations, La Aroma de Cuba receded into obscurity after the turn of the century.

The brand’s broken lineage has lent an aura of mystery and intrigue to its modern-day revival which began in the early 2000s when the label was resurrected by the Levin family, founders of the Ashton brand. The original La Aroma de Cuba artwork was recovered and revitalized to adorn a stunning and contemporary collection of premium cigars meant to restore and advance the brand’s old-world reputation.

La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial is indeed a special blend. It was the first La Aroma de Cuba cigar blended by the Garcia family when it debuted in 2008.  A series of high ratings and a ranking in Cigar Aficionado’s ‘Top 5 Cigars of the Year’ followed. Edicion Especial has long been characterized as a cigar for the true connoisseur, courtesy of its meticulous Cubanesque profile.

Now is an essential moment to indulge in this cigar’s rich and evolving taste. In 2020, we are treated to an all-new rendition of La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial. The new and improved blend builds on a strong foundation with amplified flavor, aroma, and savoriness. The Garcia family lends greater complexity to the original Edicion Especial with a higher-priming Ecuador Habano wrapper leaf and a well-aged blend of tobaccos cultivated in Nicaragua’s primary tobacco-growing regions: Jalapa, Estelí, and Namanji.

Visually, La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial entices at a glance. While I have had the pleasure of smoking each of the blend’s six sizes, I am reviewing Edicion Especial #1, a captivating 5.625 x 46 Corona. An oily Cuban-seed wrapper shimmers with a dark cocoa hue from head to foot. The updated band reveals the brand’s well-known maiden in sharp detail set upon a bright yellow pastel background shrouded by an intricate slate-blue banner and ruby red lettering announcing the brand name.

The cigar’s unlit foot and cold draw surrender marvelous notes of raw coffee beans, wood, and leather with hints of sweetness. It’s evident the cigar is impeccably constructed. Its density is perfect and by all accounts promises to meet high expectations.

Upon lighting up the latest chapter of Edicion Especial, tasting notes of smoked almonds, sweet wood, and chestnuts embrace the senses with a plethora of signature Nicaraguan spices. While the cigar possesses an ample zest, it is not overly peppery. Bold but balanced flavors layer the palate in the company of creamy, rich aroma.

A firm gray-and-white ash emerges intact throughout the entire first third. Edicion Especial is hearty and conveys notes of campfire kindling with a frothy, fresh espresso aftertaste. The cigar’s profound spice predominantly resides in the nostrils. Solid, slow-burning draws deliver consistent woody and nutty flavors that never lag or introduce bitter unwanted surprises. The blend is firm, rich, and reliable past the halfway mark.

As the final third unfolds, La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial impresses with sumptuous notes of earth, fresh espresso, oak, and leather. Familiar Garcia family spices influence a creamy and robust finish that lingers with sheer satisfaction. Revisit and rediscover an enhanced profile that fits in perfectly with a neat glass of Macallan single malt beside a roaring fireplace.


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