Earlier this year, Habanos S.A. began shipping two of its Edición Regional releases for the Belux region, which is comprised of the two countries of Belgium and Luxembourg: the Juan López Dragones and the La Gloria Cubana Medaille D’Or Especial.

While the La Gloria Cubana Medaille D’Or Especial is a 6 x 38 petit lancro, the release we are reviewing today is the Juan López Dragones, a 4 1/2 x 52 petit robusto vitola that carries the factory name of Mágicos, which translates to Magical from Spanish. The Mágicos vitola has been used not only for a number of Edición Regional releases but also for the regular production Cohiba Magicos and a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure de Luxe release that is sold exclusively at La Casa del Habano stores.

If you are unaware of what Habanos’ Edición Regional program entails, my colleague Charlie Minato summed it up nicely:

The Edición Regional program is offered by Habanos S.A. to its various distributors around the world. Each year, distributors can select one cigar to be commissioned for their region, though there have been exceptions when some distributors have been able to select more than one. Those cigars must come from a brand that was not part of the company’s former “Global Brands” and must be a size that is currently not offered in that specific brand.

Edición Regional cigars are signified by a secondary red and silver band that reads Edición Regional followed typically by the name of the region represented by that specific distributor. Oftentimes the cigars do not arrive at stores during the year they are selected for, sometimes multiple years later.

Production of the Juan López Dragones Edición Regional Belux is limited to 10,000 boxes of 10 cigars for a total run of 100,000 cigars. Pricing is set at €18.50 ($20.19) in Luxembourg and €19 ($20.73) in Belgium, and the cigars began showing up on retailer shelves in mid-June.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Juan López Dragones Edición Regional Belux (2020)
  • Country of Origin: Cuba
  • Factory: Undisclosed
  • Wrapper: Cuba
  • Binder: Cuba
  • Filler: Cuba
  • Length: 4 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Petit Robusto
  • Est. Price: $24.84 (Box of 10, $248.43)
  • Release Date: June 2023
  • Number of Cigars Released: 10,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (100,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The first thing I notice about the Juan López Dragones is its somewhat diminutive size—especially when held in my massive hand—followed by the gorgeous cinnamon brown wrapper that features a touch of red. While there are numerous veins running up and down the lengths of all three cigars, the wrappers are smooth as silk to the touch, and there is plenty of oil present. In addition, the cigars are quite spongy when squeezed, and I find small soft spots on two of the Dragones during physical inspections. Aromas from the wrappers include woodiness, earth, generic nuts, barnyard, and dark chocolate along with a light vanilla bean sweetness. However, scents from feet are infinitely more engaging, with sweet cedar and graham crackers leading cinnamon, straw, leather tack and citrus peel. Finally, after straight cuts, the cold draws bring flavors of cinnamon, sweet cloves, leather, gritty earth, black pepper and earth.

Starting out, the Juan López features a combination of both earth and leather along with some very obvious—but not overwhelming—spice on my tongue. After about 10 puffs, the profile turns noticeably creamier, with main flavors of peanuts and hay taking over the top spots in my first two cigars, while a combination of cotton candy sweetness and aromatic cedar easily outpaces the rest of the flavors in my final cigar. Secondary flavors of cinnamon, lemongrass, earth, cocoa nibs, sawdust and leather tack flit in and out at various points, while the retrohale is full of raisin sweetness and white pepper, neither of which seem to be backing down. Flavor ends the first third at a solid medium, while both the body and strength lag behind at a point just under the medium mark. In terms of construction, the burn line is far from razor sharp on all three cigars and as a result, two cigars need corrections with my lighter, but the draws and smoke production are giving me no problems thus far.

The profile of the Juan López remains on the creamy side during the second third, with hay and peanut flavors easily continuing to outpace secondary flavors of lemongrass, earth, cinnamon, oatmeal and freshly brewed coffee. White pepper and raisin sweetness are still very obvious on the retrohale of two cigars, while the third features less pepper and more cotton candy sweetness. Flavor increases slightly to a point just over medium, and while the strength increases to land at a solid medium, the body stays put at a point under the medium mark. The smoke production is copious and the draws remain excellent, but the burn continues to be an issue, as all three cigars need corrections to stay on track.

I begin tasting mineral saltiness on my lips around the time the final third of the cigar begins, and that note combines nicely with the peanut flavor that remains on top of the profile during the final third. Additional flavors include creamy leather, cedar, hay, cinnamon, coffee beans, cinnamon, sourdough bread and light citrus peel, and although there is a noticeable decrease in the amount of white pepper on the retrohale, the raisin sweetness is now present on all three cigars. Flavor ends the cigar at medium-full, while both the body and strength end at a solid medium by the time I put the nub down with less than an inch remaining. Construction-wise, the draw and smoke production continues to be trouble-free for all three samples, but the burn issues once again plague all three cigars, all of which need attention from my lighter to avoid larger problems.

Final Notes

  • My last cigar was far superior to the other two in just about every way: the profile was more flavorful and more dynamic, with quite a bit more sweetness and creaminess overall.
  • In addition to the Juan López Dragones, the distributor released La Gloria Cubana Medaille D’Or Especial at the same time, something that historically has not happened very often.
  • Making the above even more interesting is the fact that the La Gloria Cubana has been listed as part of the 2020 group of Ediciónes Regional releases while the Juan Lopez is part of the 2021 group.
  • Laguito 1492 is the distributor of Cuban cigars in the Belux region.
  • There is a tequila brand named Casa Dragones that is based out of San Miguel De Allende.
  • While I had no problems at all with the draws or smoke production, all three cigars ran into enough issues that I was forced to correct their burn lines multiple times.
  • The box code for these cigars was SER NOV 22 and our box number was 02107/10,000.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel. We paid €235 ($248.43) for our 10-count box, or about $24.84 for each cigar.
  • Final smoking time for all three cigars averaged one hour and 29 minutes.
86 Overall Score

Consistency has not been one of Habanos S.A.’s strong suits for quite a while, and that trend continues with the three Juan López Dragones Edición Regional Belux cigars I smoked for this review: while the profiles of my first two cigars were enjoyable enough, the last cigar blew them both away in just about every aspect. There is no doubt that the persistent burn issues had a minor impact on the overall profile, but if the first two cigars had mirrored what I experienced from my last cigar, the final score would have been significantly higher.

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Brooks Whittington

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.