As part of its name change and the revamping of its portfolio in December 2014, La Hoja Cigar Co. added a new maduro-wrapped cigar, the La Hoja Edición Maduro. The cigar is a new spin on the company’s original Hoja de Flores Auténtico Maduro, now known as the La Hoja Edición Clasica 1962, but with a Mexican San Andrés wrapper in place of the Ecuadorian corojo wrapper.
Due to an issue regarding the use of the name Flores, the company announced that it would be changing its name from La Hoja de Flores to La Hoja Cigar Co. 1962, while giving the cigars updated names and focusing on three lines, the two previously mentioned and another new addition, the La Hoja Reserva Limitada 1962, a limited production release.
The Auténtico Maduro was the company’s best line, according to J. Carlos Gomez, executive vice-president of La Hoja Cigar Co. 1962, and as such, it remained in the portfolio during the change while also serving as the basis for this new line. It dates back to July 2013, when it was announced ahead of the 2013 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
The new Edición Maduro began shipping to retailers in mid-December 2014, and comes in four sizes, the No. 1 Robusto (5 1/4 x 52, $11), No. 2 Belicoso (5 1/4 x 54, $11.50), No. 6 Toro Gordo (6 x 60, $13.50) and No. 9 Toro (5 3/4 x 56, $12.50)—all offered in boxes of 20.
- Cigar Reviewed: La Hoja Edición Maduro 1962 No. 1 Robusto
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tamboril DBL S.A.
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano & Nicaragua
- Size: 5 1/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $11 (Boxes of 20, $210)
- Release Date: Dec. 14, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The La Hoja Reserva Maduro is a good looking cigar and would look right at home in any premium cigar humidor — the roll quality is good and the color on the wrapper is uniform. A closer look reveals a ton of tooth on the top leaf and some veins that are so small you almost have to search to find them with a few larger ones appearing from sample to sample. It’s uniform in firmness from head to foot, showing a little bit of give but nowhere near concerning. There’s a mild floral fragrance off the foot that gets followed by brown sugar and wheat, though all are subtle in their forthcomingness. The cold draw errs on the firm side and presents a fairly mild, neutral flavor akin to lightly toasted and buttered wheat bread.
The first puffs of the La Hoja Edición Maduro 1962 are rather inauspicious, with the firmness of the draw the most noticeable thing that stands out in one particular sample. I’m getting a bit more of the wheat bread note, which seems to be teetering on the idea of becoming more like dry firewood, with neither pepper or sweetness a factor until the latter faintly shows up shortly after the cigar is lit. It’s hard to pin down the exact note because of the complexity, but it makes me think of a green apple but without the tartness. It’s when the burn line, which has been very straight and even so far, reaches about an inch in that I begin to sense any sort of appreciable flavor kick from the cigar, beginning with just a touch of pepper and earth. Pepper is the first of the two to step forward and makes its biggest leaps in strength via retrohales, where it is much more alive than it is on the palate. The burn has been fantastic so far staying sharp and even with an adequate amount of smoke being produced.
The intensity begins to dial itself up in the second third as the pepper takes the lead ahead of the midway point, though it’s still just on the milder side of medium and has a bit of an aged taste to it, one of the mildest showings I can recall from a cigar bearing a Mexican San Andrés wrapper. There are a few touches of terroir, with a bit of chalk showing through, while the sweetness has faded into the background and appears briefly on the finish with the same apple profile it showed earlier. Strength continues to be almost a non-factor as I’m getting little if any nicotine from the cigar, and with the pepper seemingly geared primarily to the nose, my palate doesn’t feel like it’s getting much of a workout until some dry wood notes enter around the midway point. The burn line continues to be solid with no technical issues whatsoever.
The transition from the second to final third is fairly seamless, bridged largely by the wood note that has come out and with pepper providing the main backing note. With the buildup in the second third, it seemed like the La Hoja Edición Maduro 1962 was due for another step forward in the final third, though for the most part it doesn’t materialized, staying medium at best in both flavor and strength, with a finish that is lingering a bit longer now than it did earlier. The pepper component continues to be most prominent in the nose by way of retrohales, as the ambient smoke is a bit tamer and for whatever reason, it simply doesn’t translate to the tongue. Strength has advanced closer to a medium level for most of the final third, a bit fuller than it was earlier but by no means a powerhouse, while the flavor is also a bit fuller and has picked up a more solid core than it showed earlier, as the dry earthy flavors of San Andrés begin to come back around. The cigar finishes with some of its best notes yet, offering a good bit of terroir through dry, clay-filled earth notes with wood and pepper on the finish.
- When I first saw the color scheme on the bands, I thought it was closer to Espinosa Cigars’ Laranja Reserva than it actually is, with more red in the shade used on the La Hoja Reserva Maduro.
- La Hoja is working on a new event-only cigar, according to this Instagram post.
- The company has also mentioned plans for a new milder cigar that is slated to be released at the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
- Brooks Whittington reviewed the La Hoja Reserva Limitada 1962 in January.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 40 minutes on average.
- The cigars for this review were provided by La Hoja Cigar Co.
Put a cigar with a Mexican San Andrés wrapper in front of me and you’ve got my attention; the varietal has become a favorite of mine and without fail piques my interest. Yet for some reason, I didn’t get the flavors that I have come to associate with San Andrés in the La Hoja Edición Maduro 1962. Yes, there’s pepper and earth, but it’s the overall robustness of those notes that fell just short and left me wanting for the cigar to ramp things up, and sweetness was pretty much a non-factor throughout the cigar that it’s hardly worth mentioning. While the construction and burn were outstanding, the flavor left me wanting more throughout each sample. It’s certainly a mellower take on things with good balance but will leave fans of San Andrés feeling a bit shortchanged.