Two years ago, I smoked a little cigar from JRE Tobacco Co. called the Aladino Maduro Rothschild.
Patrick Lagreid had reviewed the cigar and I needed to smoke it for consideration for our Top 25 that year; it finished 18th on halfwheel’s 2017 Top 25 list. That little cigar was fantastic. So fantastic that ever since then I’ve been waiting to have another production from JRE like that.
So when the company announced the Aladino Corojo Reserva Corona No.4 Limitado, a 5 x 44 petite corona, I was excited to see what the cigar would taste like.
It’s the first in the company’s new Our Cuban Heritage Series, a collection of limited edition cigars that could include as many as four new cigars. For this release, the Corona No.4 Limitado is a Honduran puro that uses higher priming leaves that have all been aged between 4-5 years.
Production is limited to 800 colorfully decorated boxes of 20 cigars, a total run of 16,000 cigars.
- Cigar Reviewed: Aladino Corojo Reserva Corona No.4 Limitado
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Las Lomas Factory
- Wrapper: Honduras
- Binder: Honduras
- Filler: Honduras
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 44
- Vitola: Corona
- MSRP: $10 (Box of 20, $200)
- Release Date: Nov. 14, 2019
- Number of Cigars Released: 800 Boxes of 20 Cigars (16,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
If you told me that I was opening a box of cigars from 1972, I would have zero reason not to believe you. The packaging is very old school, particularly the bands. There’s a fairly dark wrapper, certainly darker than the regular Aladino line with which I have become familiar. Once the tissue paper—which when combined with the bands cover nearly 70 percent of the surface area of the wrapper—is removed I smell a mixture of leather, barnyard and some rock salt. One sample smells like actual horse poop, like I’m on a horse farm. The foot is rather different with a mixture of floral flavors and plain crackers. There’s some irritation a few seconds after the rest of the flavors have left my sense. The cold draw has a lot of bubble gum, drowning out some hay and rice flavors. On that one sample, I can smell the horse poop coming off the wrapper.
The Aladino Corojo Reserva starts with wet grass, lemonade, a sharp cheese flavor and some white cracker flavor. I’m a bit concerned about the draw, which is rather open, perhaps even more open than a robusto should be. An inch in, the first third has hay, creaminess, some mineral flavors and paprika. Retrohales have a lot of Worcestershire sauce, some floral flavors underneath that, corn and a candied grape flavor. The finish tastes like an aged version of Gentleman Jack, corn whiskey with a lot of cinnamon. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium-plus, and strength is medium-plus. The draw is still too open, which forces me to touch up the cigar to keep it from going out.
While there’s a dramatic shift in the profile, I struggle to find any big flavors in the second third. There’s a mixture of popcorn, soggy pizza crust and some citrus flavors. Retrohales have meatiness, cinnamon, cloves and some of the doughy mixture; somehow the retrohale is even more intermixed than the mouth flavor. The finish has bread, sawdust, some spices and an IPA-like bitterness. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium-plus and strength is medium-plus. Smoke production improves, but the draw could be better.
I wait and wait for the Aladino Corojo Reserva to provide another dramatic shift, but it never happens. The profile in the mouth remains largely the same, though perhaps it’s now a bit more of a sourdough character than generic bread. Retrohales have greater differences: it’s creamier with earthiness, but most notably, the cinnamon is gone Flavor, body and strength finish medium-plus.
- There’s a certain “I don’t give a fuck” attitude to a lot of what JRE does and given what Julio Eiroa has been through and accomplished, I understand it. Anyone with some marketing experience would tell you that the “Aladino Corojo Reserva Corona No.4 Limitado” is already a long enough name and probably doesn’t need to be combined with “Our Cuban Heritage Series.”
- There is a regular Aladino Corojo Reserva line, though that too is limited. It is also described as a Honduran corojo puro, though no statement was given about the age of the tobacco. While the boxes are different, the cigars are packaged the same.
- The bands themselves definitely would not be the recommendation from most creative agencies. Sure, it could be “old school,” but there’s also a feeling that this is what Julio Eiroa wants to do and he really doesn’t care whether you like the bands or not because he cares about the cigar.
- If you have ever met Eiroa, this is all a lot easier to understand. He—along with Nestor Plasencia Sr.—is the last of a generation, particularly when it comes to Central America and its development both for cigars and otherwise. As such, he’s got a type of confidence; in other words, as long as he’s doing what he knows to be correct, it doesn’t so much matter what the market trends are.
- I think it’s also a lot easier for Eiroa as JRE to be as small or big as it needs to be to produce the types of products Eiroa wants; something that cannot really be said about most companies.
- This is the first time I’ve smoked a product from JRE that’s had anything other than stellar construction. I suspect that it was mainly due to the draw, which forced touch ups.
- For whatever JRE has refused to sell the Aladino Maduro Rothschild, which makes no sense to me.
- Don’t let the “higher primings” part of the description scare you away, the cigar was just a few ticks above medium.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and Cigar Hustler carry the Aladino Corojo Reserva Corona No.4 Limitado.
I'm not sure how much better this cigar would have been if the draw was where it should have been. There were times in which the flavors showed moments of greatness, but it lacked the dynamic profile I was hoping it could have been. As the score will inevitably indicate, the Aladino Corojo Reserva Corona No.4 Limitado is still a good cigar, just not a great one.