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Juan López Chiado 1864 (ER Portugal 2014)

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Habanos S.A.’s Edición Regional program added another 2014 release recently, when the Juan López Chiado 1864 started shipping to retailers in April, close to a year late. The newest Edición Regional release for Portugal is named after a square and surrounding area located in the city of Lisbon and is distributed by EMPOR Importação e Exportação, S.A., the exclusive distributor of Habanos in the country.

Juan Lopez Chiado 1864 (ER Portugal 2014) Box 1

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Juan Lopez Chiado 1864 (ER Portugal 2014) Box 2

Juan Lopez Chiado 1864 (ER Portugal 2014) Box 3

According to Habanas S.A., the blend of the Juan López Chiado 1864 is made up of tobaccos from the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba, and it is one of two different Edición Regional releases for the marca in 2014. The cigar is a 4 x 50 petit robusto sold in boxes of 10 with a total production of 50,000 cigars, each selling for about $12.

Juan Lopez Chiado 1864 (ER Portugal 2014) 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Juan López Chiado 1864 Edición Regional Portugal (2014)
  • Country of Origin: Cuba
  • Factory: n/a
  • Wrapper: Cuba
  • Binder: Cuba
  • Filler: Cuba
  • Size: 4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Petit Robutso
  • MSRP: $12.35 (Boxes of 10, $123.50)
  • Date Released: April 24, 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: 5,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

Covered in a dark chocolate wrapper, the Juan López Chiado 1864 is fairly smooth to the touch and features a sheen of oil up and down its length. It has the appropriate amount of give when squeezed and no noticeable veins are apparent. Aroma from the wrapper is a combo of milk chocolate, leather, mulch, coffee and manure, while the cold draw brings favors of string orange citrus, cinnamon, oak and cream.

Starting out, the Juan López Chiado 1864 exhibits dominant flavors of hay and salty peanuts, interspersed with notes of bitter espresso, oak, barnyard and sweet milk chocolate. I am tasting the orange citrus from the cold draw on the retrohale, but it is not nearly as strong not as it was on the cold draw. There is a nice amount of white pepper also present in the retrohale, as well as a touch of spice on my tongue, and the finish has a slight metallic tinge to it. The draw is excellent so far and while the smoke production is about average, the burn is just wavy enough to be annoying, without being bad enough for me to actually touch it up. Strength-wise, the Juan Lopez ends the first third well short of the medium mark, and shows no signs that it will increase in any major way.

Juan Lopez Chiado 1864 (ER Portugal 2014) 2

As the second third begins, the profile of the Juan López Chiado 1864 becomes noticeably creamier, with a touch more cedar in the mix, but the dominant flavors are still a great combination of salted peanuts and hay, with other notes of leather, coffee beans, earth and bread flitting in and out. Sadly, the orange citrus note from the cold draw and the first third is just a memory by the time I hit the halfway point, although the milk chocolate sweetness has stepped up to fill the gap, and the white pepper on the retrohale has remained fairly constant. Construction-wise, the draw is still excellent, but the burn is also still quite wavy, and I am forced to touch it up a couple of times to avoid it getting out of hand. The blend has added a noticeable amount of body compared to the first third, and the strength as increased as well, although I doubt it will go much higher than the solid medium it is at when the second third comes to and end.

Juan Lopez Chiado 1864 (ER Portugal 2014) 3

The final third is where the profile of the Juan López Chiado 1864 falls apart, as I start to notice the cigar is getting hot in my hand at about the halfway point. The flavors turn bitter and soapy, as well has harsh on the finish and retrohale, and I realize I have very little time left. Interestingly, the burn finally evens out, and the draw is as good as it has been, but the strength has stalled at a solid medium, and that is where it remains as I put the cigar down with more than an inch left.

Juan Lopez Chiado 1864 (ER Portugal 2014) 4

Final Notes

  • The combination of orange and cream on the cold draw reminded me strongly of a orange cream soda, reminding me strongly of the same note I noticed in the Romeo y Julieta Romeos from the 1970s.
  • 1864 was a fairly significant date in Portugal, as it was the year that the Treaty of Lisbon was signed, which set the boundaries between Spain and Portugal.
  • The Juan López Chiado 1864 were launched at an event on April 24.
  • I am not usually a fan of short robusto vitolas, mostly because they tend to get hot at the end, forcing me to end the cigar before I am ready. That was indeed the case with this cigar as well, and I was only able to get about a third into the final third before each sample turned bitter and too hot to keep smoking.
  • Before it turns bitter in the final third, the finish is extremely dry, one of the driest I have had in a while, especially on a Cuban cigar.
  • While the draw was excellent on all three samples I smoked, the burn was consistently wavy, although it never wandered far enough for me to have to touch it up more than a few times.
  • The cigars smoked for this review  were purchased by halfwheel.
  • These were very fast burning cigars, even for its size, and the final smoking time for all three samples averaged just over 45 minutes.
82 Overall Score

As a blend, the Juan López Chiado 1864 is actually fairly enjoyable, with a dominant combination of hay, salty peanuts and milk chocolate sweetness that belies the fact that it is surprisingly full bodied. Unfortunately, the combination of the short smoking time and the fact that I basically had to stop smoking after a little more than two thirds of each cigar killed the overall enjoyment for me. If you don't mind putting it out after 45 minutes, this is a pretty good option, but those wanting anything more will need to look elsewhere.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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