In 2003, Ashton Distributors Inc. reintroduced the La Aroma de Cuba brand, an old Cuban name the company had acquired, as one of the new non-Ashton badged lines the company would sell. First, Ashton tasked the Flor de Copan factory in Honduras with production before moving it to the García family’s new Estelí, Nicaragua-based factory, My Father Cigars S.A.
Today, the brand has grown to encompass 11 different regular production sizes and three line extensions: Mi Amor Reserva, Mi Amor and La Aroma de Cuba Edición Especial—each with a handful sizes.
Last year, the Levin family, who owns Ashton as well as the retailer Holt’s, opened up a new cigar bar next to the company’s main store in Philadelphia. Aptly named, the Ashton Cigar Bar, the location was supposed to get two exclusive cigars, including a new La Aroma de Cuba called Noblesse, which translates to nobility in French.
That cigar never came to the Ashton Cigar Bar, but over the summer Ashton announced that it would be releasing Noblesse as a limited edition cigar offered to retailers at the 2014 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show. The 6 1/2 x 52 toro uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper, Nicaraguan habano and criollo binders and Nicaraguan fillers.
Noblesse is limited to 3,000 boxes of 24 with the cigars separated individually by narrow strips of cedar. The upscale packaging does not come cheap as the new La Aroma de Cuba retails for $16 per cigar.
- Cigar Reviewed: La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo & Habano
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $16 (Boxes of 24, $384)
- Date Released: Sept. 25, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 3,000 Boxes of 24 (72,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
The La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse is covered in a medium brown wrapper that has some extremely prominent veins and some moderate tooth to it. The foot has a noticeable box-press and is moderately spongy when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of earth, leather, coffee and sweet nuts, while the cold draw brings flavors of nuts, cedar and peanut butter.
Starting off the first third of the La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse, flavors of oak and creamy peanuts are dominant, while leather, dark cocoa and slight barnyard notes are present in different amounts. I am tasting a really nice bread-like graham cracker sweetness that is relegated to the retrohale that seems to be getting stronger as the first third continues. In addition, there is some significant pepper through the nose and just a touch of spice on the tongue that sticks around for the entire first third. The burn is a bit wavy, but not bad enough to correct, and the draw is excellent, with just the right amount of resistance for me. Smoke production is about average, and while the overall strength ends the first third under the medium mark, it is still increasing.
The sweetness in the Noblesse takes a major turn in the second third, morphing from the graham cracker note to a distinct vanilla bean sweetness that combines nicely with other flavors of creamy nuts, dark chocolate, slightly bitter espresso, leather, oak and earth. The smoke production has increased slightly, and while the spice on the tongue is long gone by the halfway point, the pepper on the retrohale is still going strong. Construction-wise, both the burn and draw continue along the same lines, with the burn still a bit wavy. The strength is still increasing, and hits a point just under the medium mark by the time the second third comes to an end.
The final third of the Noblesse is an almost carbon copy of the second third with the same distinct vanilla bean sweetness combining with the dominant peanut butter creaminess, dark chocolate and coffee notes. Other flavors of coffee, earth, oak and leather flit in and out, and the smoke production stays consistent as well. Strength-wise, the La Aroma de Cuba limited edition finally punches through to a solid medium mark, but stalls out there. The burn has evened up nicely by this point, and the draw continues to be excellent until I put the cold to the touch nub down with about an inch left.
- I really love the overall design and look of this release. The secondary band with the baby blue background matches nicely with the same colored ribbon on the foot. Baby blue is not a color that is seen very often on cigars these days, so it tends to stand out.
- While it is billed at a “medium to full” strength cigar, the Noblesse never came close to the full mark. Honestly, that is a good thing, as I think that a stronger profile would detract significantly from the balance the cigar possesses.
- The 6 1/2 x 52 toro size of this release is a signature vitola of the My Father Cigars S.A. factory. My Father Cigars Inc. has used the size on many of its limited editions.
- At $16, this is the most expensive La Aroma de Cuba in history.
- The burn was far from perfect, but also gave me no major issues at all, while the draw had great resistance on both samples I smoked.
- There is a Korean webtoon named Noblesse that has been published continuously since 2007 and features the story of a powerful noble’s experiences in a modern world after waking up from a 820-year slumber.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- The final smoking time for both samples averaged just under two hours.
- Site sponsor Atlantic Cigar Co. carries the Noblesse, but is currently backordered.
If I had to use one word to describe the Noblesse blend, the first thing that would come to my mind is smooth. The profile is very well-balanced, with an ever present but never overwhelming pepper kick on the retrohale and a touch of spice on the tongue. The combination of nutty creaminess, morphing sweetness and solid medium strength is quite nice, with no one flavor detracting from the rest. Yes, the price is a bit of a kick in the pants, but as a once in a while smoke, it performs extremely well.