In 2014, the Meerapfel family released an extremely unique cigar named La Estancia, which translates to The Stay from Spanish. Although the family has been in the tobacco business for 142 years—growing and selling leaves tobaccos from Cuba, Indonesia and Germany—they are perhaps most famous for their work with Cameroon tobacco grown in Africa.
It is that fact that makes the blend of the original La Estancia so interesting, since the cigar is made up of a Nicaraguan wrapper with an internal mix of tobaccos from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua, with no Cameroon to be found. The two vitola line is made at an undisclosed factory in Honduras and is sold in boxes of 25.
Fast forward to late last year, when the Meerapfel family announced the release of La Estancia Edición Exclusiva, a three-size extension to the original La Estancia. Edición Exclusiva is described as the personal blend for the Meerapfel family, which is headed by brothers Jeremiah and Joshua. However, other than that, very little is known about the cigars, including blend, production numbers and where they are rolled.
The La Estancia Edición Exclusiva debuted in three different vitolas packaged in boxes of 10.
- La Estancia Edición Exclusiva 52 (5 5/6 x 52)
- La Estancia Edición Exclusiva 56 (6 1/2 x 56)
- La Estancia Edición Exclusiva 60 (6 x 60)
- Cigar Reviewed: La Estancia Edición Exclusiva 52
- Country of Origin: n/a
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: n/a
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: n/a
- Length: 5 5/6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro Extra
- MSRP: $27.57 (Boxes of 10, $275.70)
- Release Date: December 2018
- Number of Cigars Released: n/a
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The La Estancia Edición Exclusiva 52 is covered in a cinnamon brown wrapper that looks like it features some tooth but that is actually smooth when I run my finger across it. While the cigar is nicely firm when squeezed and there is a dearth of distracting veins, there is a canoe-shaped soft spot under the backside of the main band. The aroma from the wrapper is an intoxicating combination of aromatic cedar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa nibs, cloves and hay, while the cold draw brings flavors of cedar, leather, nutmeg, hay, freshly roasted coffee beans, earth and a bit of spice on my tongue.
Starting off the first third, the La Estancia Edición Exclusiva 52 features a number of flavors all fighting for dominance, including creamy cedar, toast, peanuts, coffee beans, leather, hay, earth and dark chocolate. There is a very distinct apricot sweetness that is present on the retrohale, combining nicely with some black pepper that is noticeable as well. Both the burn and draw are excellent so far, with the smoke production coming from the foot well above the average level. Strength-wise, the La Estancia Edición Exclusiva 52 starts out fairly mild and goes almost nowhere by the end of the first third.
The apricot sweetness on the retrohale changes completely during the second third of the La Estancia Edición Exclusiva 52, morphing into a distinct maple syrup note that joins the still creamy cedar and peanut flavors in the profile. Other notes of popcorn, hay, cocoa nibs, espresso beans, toast and slight cinnamon flit in and out as well, but one major change is the addition of a distinct jalapeño note on the finish that only gets stronger as the second third burns down. Construction-wise, the burn and draw continue to impress, while the smoke production has increased slightly. In terms of strength, the Edición Exclusiva 52 decides to take off running, hitting a point very close to the medium mark by time the second third comes to an end.
Thankfully, the jalapeño note on the finish continues to be a major factor in the complexity of the profile during the final third of the La Estancia Edición Exclusiva, combining very well with dominant flavors of creamy cedar and toast. Secondary notes of creamy leather, dark chocolate, popcorn, earth, nuts and cocoa nibs are also present, while the maple syrup sweetness continues to dominate the retrohale. Unfortunately, the construction becomes a bit problematic, specifically the burn, which becomes bad enough that I have to touch it up a couple of times in quick succession. Interestingly, the overall strength passes the medium mark easily before stalling out as I put the nub down with a bit less than an inch left.
- Neither La Estancia release is available in the U.S.
- In addition to their work with various tobaccos, the Meerapfel family is also in charge of Arturo Fuente’s international distribution and is the distributor of Stefano Ricci cigar accessories.
- Charlie Minato took the above portrait of Jeremiah Meerapfel, and neither he nor I are quitting our respective day jobs.
- Just by looking at it, I can tell the wrapper on this cigar is not Cameroon.
- The press release makes note that the bands are made entirely of gold holographic foil, a feat the company calls “a first in the industry.”
- Speaking of the main band, it is quite unique, although it is difficult to tell if looking at the cigar from the front: instead of two cigar bands with one on top of the other, the band features a rectangular hole in front that simulates the look of two bands but meet up on the sides, forming one band across the back.
- The boxes are quite heavy and very reflective, similar to the Cohiba BHK boxes.
- I suggest smoking this cigar very slowly, as every time I puffed either too hard or too fast, I was punished with almost overwhelming bitterness.
- While the jalapeño note is quite prevalent on the finish, the vast majority of the flavors are only found on the retrohale.
- The cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by the Meerapfel family.
- Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 37 minutes.
While the vast majority of the people reading this review have probably never heard of the La Estancia brand, the Meerapfel family is regarded very highly both in and outside of the industry, so it should come as no surprise that this cigar features a seriously good blend. The interplay of the jalapeño heat on the finish and the apricot/maple sweetness on the retrohale was phenomenal, and the strength level is nicely integrated into the overall balance. Throw in the extremely good construction for all three samples in terms of both burn and draw, and you have a winner no matter how you slice it. While it does annoy me a bit to not know the details of the blend, that is a fact I can overlook when the cigar is this good.