Launching its debut cigar in December, La Verdad entered the cigar world with a single size—the Serafines Habano. La Verdad is the dream of Doug Owen, who isn’t your normal new brand owner. Owen didn’t own a cigar shop, a tobacco farm, or work in the industry prior to launching his company. What he has done however, has turned his passion and hobby into a business, working with Luis Sanchez of La Tradicion Cubana to create and launch the Serafines.
With the initial run being limited to 1,000 boxes, the Serafines will be regular production. In addition, there will be a maduro version using a San Andrés negro wrapper that is planned to launch at the 2016 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show.
- Cigar Reviewed: La Verdad Serafines Habano Corazones
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Tradicion Cubana
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: Brazil & Dominican Piloto Cubano
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Corazones
- MSRP: $8.25 (Boxes of 10, $82.50)
- Release Date: Dec. 2, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The Serafines is an interesting shape. What was called a soft box press by Owen, looks to be quite a sharp line on the front and almost a rounded back. The wrapper is a mottled light brown with dark streaks along some of the veining, quite soft, and is finished off with a very neat little pigtail cap. There aren’t any soft spots when squeezed, though there is some give, keeping it just short of firm. Off the wrapper there isn’t much aroma, mostly a damp earth with some wet vegetation – almost like the smell of walking through a forest after a rainstorm. The cold draw is quite flavorful, with cinnamon and nutmeg up front, along with a touch of mild peppers and a very vegetal undertone.
Starting into the first third, there is a ton of sweetness, black pepper, some spice, cocoa, more nutmeg and a touch of cinnamon. The draw is right in the middle of ideal. While the burn is a little wonky because of my initial light, the Serafines Habano corrected itself wonderfully and it’s razor sharp and even after only an inch. The ash retention is impressive, not even wanting to easily fall off at the inch mark. As the flavors shift, the pepper moves towards the background while cocoa turns into more of a chocolate note that joins the sweet spices of nutmeg and cinnamon up front.
By the second third the pepper is mostly gone, while the sweet and spice remains. The previous chocolate note has faded back to cocoa again, though the nutmeg and cinnamon have melded more into the general baking spice note that has been around from the beginning. Espresso and a nuttiness have appeared, making the profile one that is interesting and enjoyable. Around the halfway mark one side has lagged behind slightly, needing a little touch up. The ash is still holding on fairly well, though there is a bit of flakiness that is dropping ash pieces off.
As I move into the final third, the sweetness has died down some, but the flavors mostly remain the same. Cocoa, spice, espresso and nuttiness are all fairly even, with no particular flavor standing out front or hiding in the background. An earthy undertone has developed however, which could have been there previously and just been hidden by the sweetness. The burn hasn’t stayed as even as it was in the first third and needs another little touch up, but it isn’t too uneven. As the cigar wraps up the flavors persist without getting muddled up by any harshness, allowing me to enjoy the cigar all the way until my fingers started getting too hot.
- Searching around, it does appear that La Verdad did have another initial cigar called the Series I Premium Blend. The cigar doesn’t appear to be for sale anywhere else however, and looks like it was only released on La Verdad’s site. The Serafines then looks to be the first cigar the company has shipped to retailers to sell in addition to being available on their site.
- Owen started down the path of brand owner by rolling cigars out of his home for fun.
- La Verdad translates from Spanish to The Truth, while the size Corazones means hearts. Tatuaje makes a cigar called La Vérité, which is French for the truth.
- Serafines translates to seraphim, which according to Wikipedia is a type of heavenly being that appears in Christian and Jewish theology.
- As mentioned above, the first expansion to the company’s lineup is planned for the 2016 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show in the form of a maduro in the same 6 x 52 size.
- The cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by La Verdad.
- Final smoking time averaged around two hours.
La Verdad’s initial offering is a solid one that certainly is as good an entry into the cigar world as any new company could hope. Starting out with one solid blend in a single size that works great with it is a good move, as it allows people to get to know the brand with its best foot forward. The Serafines’ profile is full of flavors that meld well together, shifting enough throughout the cigar to keep me interested and engaged. Paired with solid construction that only needed a little intervention on my part definitely puts this brand on my radar to keep an eye on, and definitely gets me excited to try the upcoming maduro.