Established in the 1870s, Juan López is a long standing marca in the Habanos S.A. lineup. When the Edición Regional program was launched in 2005, it only consisted of two marcas — Ramón Allones and Punch—with two vitolas for each. The following year saw the program expand to other marcas, and Juan López was one of them.
Patrick Lagreid wrote an excellent description of the Edición Regional program:
The Edición Regional program sees Habanos S.A., the marketing and distribution company behind Cuban cigars, create unique, limited vitolas for its distributors around the world. Sizes must be those that are in the Habanos S.A. portfolio, but not amongst the regular production offerings for the brand, although some discontinued regular sizes can be created. New vitolas created for a certain brand are also not eligible to be used. In addition, the “global” brands—i.e. Cohiba, H. Upmann, Hoyo de Monterrey, José L. Piedra, Montecristo, Partagás and Romeo y Julieta—are not eligible to be made into an Edición Regional.
Since 2012, distributors have been limited to a single release per year, a change from prior years when some distributors would receive multiple releases per year. Distributors are the ones to initiate the idea of a new release, and the cost for any new Edición Regional must be underwritten by the distributor. There is no guarantee that any particular region will get a new release in a given year.
Since then, the marca has seen 14 more Edición Regional releases with one more planned — not one every year, but some years up to three different regions received a version from Juan López.
- Juan López Obus Edición Regional Francia (2006) — 5 1/2 x 52
- Juan López Short Torpedo Edición Regional Caribe (2008) — 5 x 50
- Juan López Maximos Edición Regional Suiza (2008) — 6 1/8 x 48
- Juan López Short Robusto Edición Regional Andorra (2009) — 4 x 50
- Juan López Selección Suprema Edición Regional Reino Unido (2009) — 6 3/4 x 52
- Juan López Selección No.5 Edición Regional Andorra (2010) — 4 x 40
- Juan López Selección No.4 Edición Regional Asia Pacifico (2010) — 6 1/8 x 52
- Juan López Selección No.3 Edición Regional Benelux (2010) — 4 3/8 x 52
- Juan López Distinguidos Edición Regional Alemania (2011) — 6 3/8 x 52
- Juan López Ideales Edición Regional Austria (2011) — 4 x 50
- Juan López Supreme Edición Regional Canadá (2011) — 5 1/4 x 52
- Juan López Minutos Edición Regional Francia (2013) — 4 3/8 x 42
- Juan López Don Juan Edición Regional Benelux (2014) — 5 1/4 x 52
- Juan López Chiado 1864 Edición Regional Portugal (2014) — 4 x 50
- Juan López Malecon Edición Regional Andorra (2015) — 5 1/8 x 55
- Juan López Eminentes Edición Regional Suiza (2016) — 6 1/2 x 54
- Cigar Reviewed: Juan López Minutos Edición Regional Francia (2013)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Length: 4 3/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 42
- Vitola: Petit Corona
- Est. Price: $10 (Box of 10 Cigars, $100)
- Release Date: 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 5,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The Minutos wrapper is a lighter brown, with a bit of a reddish tint to it. While the wrapper is soft, it’s far from what I would call smooth, with many bumpy veins running across the entire cigar. There is a slight give when squeezed, though there are no soft spots that I can tell. There is only the lightest aroma from the wrapper, and after a little concentration I’m able to pull out the tiniest hint of hay and general tobacco. The cold draw has notes that are much more detectable, though it remains quite light as well, with hints of cinnamon, hay and a trace of leather.
Starting into the first third the profile is mild, though not nearly as mild as the cold draw. Light spice, hints of pepper, creamy leather and sweet dark fruit notes mix together to form an easy going profile that is fleeting on the palate. The retrohale is another story, with potent white pepper assaulting my sinuses, which is somewhat shocking considering how mild everything else has been up to this point. The draw is right in the middle of ideal, with a spectacularly sharp burn line. Dense ash holds surprisingly strong, despite the smaller ring gauge, easily to around the inch line.
Moving into the second third of the Juan López, the pepper has grown to move out of the background and into the fray, joining the spice, creamy leather and sweet fruit. Despite the increase in pepper, the profile is still very smooth and mild, really forcing me to concentrate to pull out specific notes, despite the fact that they haven’t really changed. Burn continues to be impressively sharp, while the ash is still dense and creating an even, ringed design that is visually appealing. Just after the halfway mark a light grassy note appears in the background, meshing well with the spice, leather, fruit and pepper.
The final third doesn’t see much change, still continuing with the light spice up front, quickly followed by the pepper, leather, sweet fruits and light grassy notes. The burn line finally has its first hiccup, which isn’t really a hiccup more than just a slight waver that takes it from sharp and even to slightly uneven—not even something that requires a touch up. Taking the cigar all the way to finger—burning lengths, it finishes as smooth and mild as it started, without any harshness or unpleasant flavors cropping up.
- The box code is TPO JUL 13.
- The Juan López Edición Regional releases have quite a range of the number of cigars released, with the 2013 France edition being right in the middle. The smallest release was 2008 Caribbean Short Torpedo, which only had 15,600 cigars made, while the largest was the 2006 France Obus, which was also re-released in 2007, for a total of 115,000 of that cigar.
- Normally, Habanos S.A. only chooses one marca per region per year, but France has two distributors. Because of this, each France ER release has consisted of two releases, with the exception of 2010 where the was only one. In 2013, the other marca chosen for France was Quai d’Orsay.
- Habanos S.A. classifies Juan López as a local brand.
- The first sample was ultra mild, to the point where I could barely taste anything while smoking it. The other two samples, while still mild, did have distinct flavors I could pick out.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time averaged just around an hour and 15 minutes.
I’m not wildly familiar with the Juan López marca, having only tried it a small handful of times that I couldn’t tell you about in detail. So while I’m not overly familiar with what one might call a classic Juan López profile, I still wouldn’t expect this kind of mild, smooth profile from a cigar that is only around three-years-old. Having said that though, the profile of the Juan López Minutos wasn’t necessarily what I would call aged or refined—just mild to the point of difficulty picking out notes. There certainly was a little kick to the profile with the pepper note, particularly noticeable on the retrohale. Despite the mildness, the profile was quite enjoyable and the specific notes did work together well. To top it all off, the construction with each sample was spot on, with a great draw and sharp, even burn lines—a consistency that is always nice to see. So if you stumble across these, this is an easy suggestion to try, regardless of if you’re familiar with the Juan López marca or not.