For the better part of the last year, Eiroa (Salud, Amor, Pesetas) has been not only the eponymous line for Christian Eiroa, but also the flagship line for Eiroa’s company. But now, that’s no longer the case.
The new flagship line is the CLE Signature Series, a collection of cigars rolled in Miami using leaves that Eiroa says are individually selected and rolled by the same rollers responsible for his personal cigars. The first in the Signature Series is known as Primera Liga de Miami (PLdM), the first line from Miami, and is offered in four sizes.
Eiroa is not willing to talk about the blend, although he is willing to talk at length about the concept. He says he’s envisioned it since 2006 and it starts with the tobacco selection. The cigars are presented without band and in a rather plain box, all of this is done on purpose. Eiroa said he wanted it be something where only the smoker themselves knows they are smoking a special cigar. To help protect against damage, these cigars are wrapped in tissue paper and packaged in the box with Boveda packs.
All this speciality comes with a price as PLdM is the most expensive cigar in the CLE Cigar Co. portfolio to date.
- CLE Signature Series PLdM 5 1/2 x 46 —$15 (Boxes of 25, $375) — 116 Boxes of 25 Cigars (2,900 Total Cigars)
- CLE Signature Series PLdM 4 1/2 x 50 — $16 (Boxes of 25, $400) — 198 Boxes of 25 Cigars (4,950 Total Cigars)
- CLE Signature Series PLdM 6 x 52 — $17 (Boxes of 25, $425) — 87 Boxes of 25 Cigars (2,175 Total Cigars)
- CLE Signature Series PLdM 6 x 60 — $18 (Boxes of 25, $450) — 57 Boxes of 25 Cigars (1,425 Total Cigars)
The cigars shipped in July, shortly before the 2014 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
- Cigar Reviewed: CLE Signature Series Primera Liga de Miami Robusto
- Country of Origin: U.S.A.
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: n/a
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: n/a
- Size: 4 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Short Robusto
- MSRP: $16 (Boxes of 25, $400)
- Date Released: July 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 198 Boxes of 25 Cigars (4,950 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
There are a few small, but obvious, veins running down the coffee-colored wrapper. It’s not the prettiest cigar I’ve seen this year, but it looks quite good. Aroma-wise, there’s a faint chocolate and a bit of barnyard, somewhat typical fare. The foot of the Primera Liga de Miami features an awesome barbecue note, candy cane and a bit of pepper. There’s very good resistance from the cold draw of the CLE with full flavors of oatmeal cookies, citrus, white pepper on the back and jalapeño pepper on the finish.
Once lit, it starts quite different: sweet cedar, floral, some burnt blackberries, espresso, a bit of cedar on the finish and some spices. As the PLdM burns down, there’s a few changes with the oatmeal cookie note losing some sweetness, meatiness picking up and white pepper through the nose. There’s a lot of complexity on the finish—wheat, black pepper and a melting cocoa. While the draw and smoke production are ideal, the burn is fairly uneven, although I avoid touching up the CLE Signature Series in its first inch.
The PLdM Robusto remains a full-flavored, full body and medium strength cigar in the second third. A creaminess picks up, mellowing out the bite of the flavors, although espresso and meatiness are still there. A grassiness emerges and there’s a grapefruit sweetness through the nose, although it’s somewhat limited. The finish remains a source of a lot of complexity: cinnamon, teriyaki and creaminess. I make two touch-ups in the second third, one at the start and one towards the end, which isn’t ideal.
Roasted coffee notes begin to overtake as the main flavor, although the grass and creaminess are still both very much present. In addition, there’s leather added to the rotation of flavors, but once again, the finish is where the PLdM shines. There’s citrus, cinnamon, coffee, peanuts and a harshness that reminds me of the Tatuaje Black Label Corona Gorda 2013. Another touch-up is needed, although the draw and smoke production remain quite good. I’m not sure where it takes place, but at some point in the latter half of the cigar the Primera Liga de Miami gets to be medium-full in strength.
- The PLdM is a rare instance where I think the final third is far and away the best portion of the cigar.
- Interestingly, many cigar manufacturers actually bunch cigars in a manner that puts the richer parts of the leaf on the foot.
- Fortunately, the cigars don’t come completely naked, as the tissue paper makes it easier to find in the humidor. Alternatively, a foot band could achieve the same thing.
- I don’t really understand the production numbers, although it’s somewhat unique.
- You are going to be seeing a lot more Boveda in boxes. The company is expanding its co-op program with manufacturers, which requires cigar companies to place a Boveda in every box they sell.
- Eiroa told me there isn’t a name for the factory yet.
- Strength is medium-plus: medium for the first half and medium-full by the end.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 35 minutes.
- One cigar for this review was given to halfwheel by CLE Cigar Co.
Put the Eiroa (Salud Amor Pesetas), Eiroa CBT Maduro and the CLE Signature Series PLdM on the table and it does not matter if it’s free or $20 per cigar, that’s the order I choose them based off of preference. I think the PLdM is a good cigar, easily my favorite of the CLE-branded cigars, but I do not think it reaches the level of excellence of the original Eiroa. The Robusto of the PLdM delivers a cigar that is complete, changing and building from the first puff to the last, but it’s not the best cigar I’ve had from the new Christian Eiroa portfolio.