Last month saw the release of the latest in the Edición Regional series, the Por Larrañaga Sobresalientes Edición Regional Gran Bretaña. Not only was this a new vitola and the largest ring gauge of the Por Larrañaga Regional Editions, but the largest ring gauge in the history of the marca. To date this is the fourteenth ER under the Por Larrañaga marca:
- 2006 – Por Larrañaga Lonsdales (6 1/2 x 42) – Germany
- 2007 – Por Larrañaga Robustos de Larrañaga (4 8/9 x 50) – Asia Pacific
- 2007 – Por Larrañaga Magnificos (6 2/3 x 50) – United Kingdom
- 2008 – Por Larrañaga Belicosos Extra (5 1/2 x 52) – Asia Pacific
- 2009 – Por Larrañaga Valiosos (6 1/6 x 52) – Switzerland
- 2009 – Por Larrañaga Los Andes (5 x 50) – Peru & Bolivar-Peru-Ecuador
- 2010 – Por Larrañaga Encantos (6 3/4 x 43) – Asia Pacific
- 2010 – Por Larrañaga Regalias de Londres (5 1/2 x 50) – United Kingdom
- 2010 – Por Larrañaga Robustos (4 8/9 x 50) – Germany
- 2011 – Por Larrañaga Robusto Superior (6 1/10 – 50) – Andorra
- 2011 – Por Larrañaga Legendarios (6 2/3 x 50) – Spain
- 2011 – Por Larrañaga Small Robustos (4 x 50) – Italy
- 2013 – Por Larrañaga Secretos (4 3/8 x 40) – Spain
- 2014 – Por Larrañaga Sobresalientes (6 x 53) – Great Britain
Patrick Lagreid has previously explained the Edición Regional program in his review of the Por Larrañaga Robustos Edición Regional Alemania:
The Edición Regional program started in 2005 and utilizes the 17 local and multi-local brands for their releases exempting the ten worldwide premium global and niche brands. The cigars are limited production releases with a minimum run of 25,000 cigars and are made exclusively for a regional market, which can range from a specific country to a geographic region. They are available for one to two years, after which time the cigar can be added to the line’s current production range. The vitolas used for Edición Regional releases must be selected from current production vitolas, but ones that are not already used by that line. In addition, recent changes, as noted by Trevor Leask of CubanCigarWebsite.com, have included a lifespan of 12 months with release dates generally in August, September and October. While some regions have received multiple releases in a calendar year, it has been reported that starting in 2012 Edición Regional releases will be limited to one per distributor. Finally, the cigars generally use the marca’s main band with a second red and silver band that indicates the region it was made for, in the format “Exclusivo ___” with the region’s name in Spanish.
- Cigar Reviewed: Por Larrañaga Sobresalientes Edición Regional Gran Bretaña 2014
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: Miguel Fernández Roig
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 53
- Vitola: Sobresalientes
- MSRP: $32.20 (Boxes of 10, $322)
- Date Released: Nov. 19, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 5,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
As soon as I pick up the Por Larrañaga I’m impressed by the wrapper. It is a medium brown color with a slight red tone in the mix and while it looks nice but not perfect, the texture is quite smooth and oily. A slight squeeze reveals a little bit of give without having any soft spots. The aroma coming off the wrapper is quite a delicate barnyard note, with some musty hay and a slight bit of sweetness that almost reminds me of a graham cracker. Clipping the triple cap and taking a cold draw I’m greeted with familiar Cuban notes, including sweet hay, more graham cracker, a touch of cinnamon and some very light white pepper.
The first third starts out with more pepper than I would’ve expected on the tongue, though after a couple of puffs the pepper smooths out leaving a creamy profile with cocoa, more sweet hay, a touch of cedar and a pinch of white pepper. The retrohale features the white pepper more prominently, though it’s much smoother than I would’ve expected and is accompanied by hay and a bright earthy note. The burn isn’t the best, with a minor touch up needed fairly early on, though the draw is quite ideal, having just the right amount of resistance. The color of the ash is quite dark, interspersed with lighter gray tones. About an inch in the burn starts to get away from me again, lagging behind in a small section. The profile has shifted a bit as well, getting a sweeter and featuring a nice cinnamon note along with the sweet hay, cedar and white pepper.
Moving into the second third the profile continues much the same, though the burn has gotten a little better. It’s still far from perfect, bringing a pretty jagged showing to the table, but it’s even enough that no touch ups are needed. Smoke production is pretty high up there, maybe not on the level of a heavy smoking Nicaraguan, but it keeps trickling smoke long after each draw. White pepper has started to grow again, not taking over completely but prominently in the forefront. Losing some sweetness, the hay, cinnamon and cedar are still present, just more relegated to the background.
As the Por Larrañaga begins the final third, the profile deteriorates slightly getting slightly harsh and just a touch sour. That’s not to say the other flavors are gone, just a little tainted. While the burn hasn’t ever gotten to what I would call good, it’s not required any touch-ups since the first third and looks like it will finish out that way. Unfortunately with about an inch left the profile has devolved enough that it’s unpleasant and I’m ready to put it down.
- Por Larrañaga has been a consistent choice for Edición Regional releases, with at least one release every year since 2006, though many years saw two or three releases.
- The only other brand that has a longer unbroken release record is Ramón Allones, which was one of the first two marcas released in the ER series in 2005.
- This is the third Por Larrañaga ER release for the U.K. market, though this year’s bands were changed to read “Exclusivo Gran Bretana” instead of “Exclusivo Reino Unido”.
- The vitola name “Sobresalientes” translates to “outstanding”.
- The cigars for this review were provided to halfwheel by C.Gars Ltd.
- Final smoking time averaged right under two hours.
As soon as I took the cold draw on this cigar it had the familiar Por Larrañaga taste to it. From cold draw all the way to the end it was what I have become accustomed to from the brand, even down to the profile deterioration—which I experience occasionally in the regular production vitolas—it was as I have tasted before. It was good for the most part, but I was disappointed in the minor burn frustrations and the profile falling apart in the final inch or so. Leading up to that however was an enjoyable profile that I’ve found myself returning to over the years in Por Larrañaga’s various sizes. Having smoked plenty of the 2010 Encantos I have to directly compare the two and say I enjoy the Encantos better, but simply because that’s a little bit more preferable ring gauge for me and possibly because it has four more years of age on it as well. Otherwise this is an enjoyable cigar, but one that might give you a few frustrations along the way. If you can get your hands on these I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a box, smoke one or two now, and put the rest down for a while to see how they develop. I personally look forward to revisiting this cigar further down the line.