In my seemingly unending search to not redux a Tatuaje, Viaje or Room101/Camacho cigar, I stumbled across the Cuba Rica Limitada. It’s been over a year since I reviewed and last smoked the flagship cigar from Stephen Adib’s Cuba Rica brand.

For its pricey limited edition, the company used an Ecuadorian habano wrapper over an undisclosed binder and filler blend. It was offered in 5 1/2 x 6 1/2 lengths with a 54 ring gauge on both. In addition, both the L5 and L6 vitolas were limited to 500 boxes of 20 cigars sold only at 33 retailers.

Unfortunately, when I smoked the original three cigars for review, one was plugged, dramatically hurting the score:

This year, we’ve been scoring each sample individually and averaging the scores across the samples. It was a change that was made for this exact reason: when one sample has awful construction, the amount of points being taken away really didn’t seem to be a realistic amount. The first sample of the Cuba Rica LImitada I smoked was nearly plugged and it dramatically hurt the overall score as the other two were quite enjoyable. That being said, if I was just buying this cigar as a consumer to see how it was, I would have tossed it before the halfway mark and never picked up another. Even ignoring the high price point, there’s not enough tolerance in today’s cigar market for cigars rolled that poorly.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Cuba Ricada Limitada No.1 L5
  • Country of Origin: Costa Rica
  • Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: n/a
  • Filler: n/a
  • Length: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Robusto Extra
  • MSRP: $16 (Boxes of 20, $320)
  • Release Date: Dec. 10, 2014
  • Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

The flat press and dark wrapper reveal a beautiful-looking cigar. The red on black contrasting bands are also great. It smells like leather, sweet nuttiness and cedar; although there’s no chocolate, which is what you would expect from the dark cigar. Off the foot I pick up a sweet wood sensation with some very sweet fruit, almost like a strawberries and cream, and some apple juice. The cold draw tastes very Cuban with a mixture of sweetness—like a fruit punch—and some breads.

Flavor-wise, the Cuba Ricada Limitada No.1 L5 begins quite mild with an array of nuts, charcoal and some bread. While there’s great smoke production coming off the foot, there’s not much in my mouth. As the first third gets going, it’s medium with some chocolate milk, toastiness, wet cedar and a touch of pepper at the top of the mouth. While the flavor coats all parts of the mouth, the cigar is medium in just about every way. Things become nuttier in the second third with chocolate, with faint hints of both licorice and toffee in the retrohale. The toasty charcoal note is still very much present on the mouth, overwhelming the toasty bread flavors from before. As the end of the cigar nears, it remains toasty now with underlying sweet coffee. Towards the final inch, there’s some sour citrus, but it’s faint compared to the toastiness.

Cuba Ricada Limitada No.1 L5

While it’s not plugged, the draw is certainly tight through the first half of the cigar. That causes some issue with the smoke in the mouth, though there’s plenty of smoke from the foot. After the first third, the Cuba Rica Limitada struggles to keep an even burn. It causes three touch-ups through the last two thirds of the cigar. The draw slowly opens and by the final third it seems like it’s finally in sync with the smoke production coming out of the top part of the cigar. Strength is medium throughout.

87 Overall Score

This is one of the largest jumps in score between a review and a redux. There’s a very simple explanation: while this was a good cigar, one sample was plugged. While the draw was a bit tight for the opening parts of the redux sample, it certainly wasn’t plugged. The burn issues I remembered from the original review unfortunately still plagued the redux sample. Flavor-wise, it’s a good cigar, but you have to put in the time and you are going to want to keep your lighter handy. Things seem to have smoothed out in regards to my tasting notes, but it’s still very much a very enjoyable medium-plus cigar.

Original Score (March 2015)
Redux Score (May 2016)
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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.