For his third regular production line, Sam Leccia turned to the world of lucha libre and the iconic luchador. Announced in late February, the Leccia Luchador is incorporating a number of Mexican-themed aspects, including its official release date on May 5, otherwise known as Cinco de Mayo.
Leccia is using a Mexican San Andrés leaf for the wrapper, which sits atop an Ecuadorian habano binder and fillers from Honduras, Nicaragua and Pennsylvania. At the time of the release, he said the Leccia Luchador is a cigar “a seriously unique blend that goes from sweet to spicy in 0 to 60.”
The Leccia Luchador is being released in four sizes.
- Leccia Tobacco Luchador El Hombre – 5 x 54
- Leccia Tobacco Luchador El Castigo – 6 x 60
- Leccia Tobacco Luchador El Guapo – 6 x 50
- Leccia Tobacco Luchador Loco Perfecto – 6 x 58
The names translate to English as the man, the punishment, handsome, and crazy perfect. Jack Toraño of Toraño Family Cigar Company said that there is no particular reason for the names, other than that they are the ones that stuck after brainstorming sessions. He noted that given the size of the 6 x 60, El Castigo, or the punishment seemed to fit, while Loco Perfecto “just made us all laugh so we went with it.”
Beyond the band, the cigars were crafted with a small nipple on the cap, what is described as a nod to the masks that luchadores wear; an added bit of decoration for the head of the cigar.
In addition, the boxes say that the cigars were made from “a plethora of fine tobaccos,” a nod to the movie The Three Amigos.
The cigars are officially slated to be released on May 5 to coincide with Cinco de Mayo, but with shipping slated to begin on April 28, there’s a decent likelihood that the cigars will start showing up on retail shelves ahead of the official launch date.
Cigar Reviewed: Leccia Tobacco Luchador El Hombre
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: American Caribbean Tobacco S.A.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Pennsylvania Ligero, Honduras Ligero (Jamastran), Nicaragua (Ometepe)
Size: 5 Inches
Ring Gauge: 54
Vitola: Robusto Gordo
MSRP: $8.10 (Boxes of 21, $170.10)
Release Date: May 5, 2014
Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The toothiness on the wrapper is the first thing that stands out, with what in my mind has become the signature color of Mexican San Andrés morron; an earthy brown soil color that inspires a though of rich earth full of nutrients and then a well-curated curing and fermentation process that brought out the absolute best in the tobacco. The small nipple cap seems to echo the toothiness of the wrapper in addition to being a nod to the masks that luchadores wear. The cigar looks well-rolled and even, with no visual distractions or bumps, and is firm to the touch with just a slight bit of give. There are just a few small veins that don’t warrant a second look, and while it’s not the oiliest wrapper you will find in the humidor, there is a bit of sheen to be enjoyed. The pre-light aroma is distinctively dry with notes of dry leather and kindling, with no appreciable spice or pepper. One cigar was notably more fragrant than the other two, offering similar but brighter notes from the foot. The cold draw is easy and borders on being a bit too loose while showing touches of graham cracker, baking spices and just a touch of cinnamon.
The Luchador El Hombre starts off with a palate smothering amount of rich soil and plenty of smoke, firmly entrenching it in a solid foundational note that should appeal to those who favor San Andrés wrappers and hearty notes of earth and seems even more prevalent on the toothier wrappers. The ligero is certainly noticeable in the first puffs though stops short of being what I would consider overpowering, though it is a palate-full. The burn line stays even through the first third, with a tight white ash underneath that holds on well A retrohale at the transition to the second third is led by a distinctive note of chalk with the ligero also showing its presence.
After holding fairly steady with the notes of earth and pepper, there is a distinct shift to notes of meat once the Leccia Luchador reaches its second half. I have yet to find the sweetness that Leccia described the cigar having when it was announced, though I’m not exactly sure where I would put it in the equation if I had it at my disposal. The earth and soil notes push their way back into the equation soon enough, with the draw seeming to have tightened up just a bit. The burn line stays fairly sharp and hasn’t required any touch-ups or corrections so far. There is just the slightest bit of a lull in flavors as the cigar begins its transition to the final third, until a fairly intense and concentrated combination of earth and pepper signals the change with the first appearance of some syrupy sweetness as a faint undertone.
For fans of the notes that I tend to think of when I think of Mexican Andrés tobacco, there is a real sweet spot at the beginning of the final third, with the terroir rushing back into the equation and the ligero and Nicaraguan Ometepe offering their best to this point. With the firepower that you’d think would be in this cigar given its blend notes, it doesn’t overstep in any one direction, keeping things full but still manageable at its strongest. The intensity backs off a bit from its crescendo and opens the door for a rich tobacco note to shine through that shifts gears a bit from big and spicy to a subtler note of thick pepper and tobacco that has an almost oily feel in the mouth. Another retrohale at the beginning of the final third continues to show the chalk note but with a touch more white pepper, and while the smoke is certainly passable it offers a bit more of a challenge than it did earlier and now demands smaller amounts be attempted. Big hits of pepper from what feels like almost straight ligero come out in the final puffs that get all over the tongue and in the eyes, a fitting finishing move from the Leccia Luchador.
- While this cigar is being released on May 5, it is not a limited edition by any sense and will be a regular part of Leccia Tobacco’s offerings.
- It is certainly a departure from Leccia’s other offerings, known simply as Black and White, with the colorful bands offering that much more separation.
- The toothiness on some of these wrapper leaves is incredible and will give you a real appreciation for the term when you see them in person.
- There always seems to be a bit of confusion as to what Cinco de Mayo is all about when May 5 rolls around, and it bears mentioning that it is not Mexican Indepndence Day, which seems to be the most common association. That day, is September 16.
- From what I have found, Cinco de Mayo is a much bigger deal in the U.S. than in Mexico, save for in the state of Puebla where it is known as The Day of the Battle of Puebla, or El Día de la Batalla de Puebla. That celebration honors the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces on May 5, 1862.
- The current American interpretation of Cinco de Mayo dates back to 1860, and currently is seen as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage.
- I have been to several WWF/WWE events in my life, but never a traditional lucha libre event.
- The mask of a luchador is considered a near sacred thing, and removing it is generally grounds for disqualification in a lucha libre match.
- Masks often represent a number of things that the luchadores use in developing their character, from animals to gods and ancient heroes.
- That said, luchadores will have matches where they put their mask on the line, known as luchas de apuestas or matches with wagers, and the losing luchador is forced to take the mask off. This can be done either at the end of one’s career or as a way of retiring one persona before launching another.
- Wagering your hair is also fairly common.
- It bears mentioning that while common in lucha libre, not all luchadores wear masks.
- The Arizona Diamondbacks adopted a luchador as one of its mascots in 2012, but seem to have parted ways with him this season. They even offered a mask and cape as promotional items in recent years.
- I did not try pairing this with any Mexican beers, though Negra Modelo would have been my first choice.
- I do wonder what holiday will get its own cigar next. President’s Day would seem to be a fitting tie-in, especially since Ezra Zion has already released the Reagan.
- Final smoking time was two hours on average.
- The cigars for this review were provided by Torano Family Cigar Co., the distributor for Leccia Tobacco Co.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar carries Leccia Tobacco, but they have not posted the Leccia Luchador for sale yet.
I am an unabashed fan of Mexican San Andrés leaves, particularly in their natural form when they seem to show the unique flavors that the soil of the region offers. The Leccia Luchador does a commendable job showing off the flavors that have become synonymous with the region and should be familiar and appealing to those who already like them, as well as a solid example of what they can offer for those not familiar with San Andrés tobacco. Top it off with some powerful ligero that shows its strength without getting out of balance and you have a complex cigar that seems to offer some of the best characteristics of all its component tobaccos. A commendable, full bodied offering to Sam Leccia's portfolio.