In April, Miami-based Wynwood Cigars started shipping its newest line, The 15th And The First. The filler and binder are rolled and aged for 15 weeks before the wrapper is applied and the cigars are shipped, all of which happens on the same day.

We wrote about the release in a news story back in April:

The Miami-based partnership between Robert Caldwell and Christian Eiroa is once again focusing on the concept of fresh cigars, this time with a blend comprised entirely of Honduran Corojo tobacco.
“It is a 15 week aged bunch, so we rest the unwrapped cigars for 15 weeks, and then we apply the fresh wrapper and the cigar is shipped out that same day,” said Caldwell.

Priced between $12.00 and $14.00 per cigar, The 15th & The First is offered in four different vitolas:

  • Toro (6 x 52) – $14.00 (Boxes of 25, $350.00)
  • Corona Gorda (5 1/2 x 46) – $12.00 (Boxes of 25, $300.00)
  • Robusto (4 3/4 x 50) –   $13.00 (Boxes of 25, $325.00)
  • Mini Diadema  (4 3/4 x 48/52) – $14.00 (Boxes of 25, $350.00)

All of the sizes will be sold in individually numbered 25 count boxes, and only 1,500 individually numbered boxes of 25 will be sold with total box numbers split evenly between the four sizes. According to Caldwell the first 60 boxes shipped to retailers last week, and there will be small amounts released every week until all boxes have been sent.
The boxes that are numbered 1 or 15 have a special purpose.
“The boxes numbered 1 or 15 will be the last cigars to go out,” said Caldwell. “The last 150 boxes shipped will be sprinkled with these boxes numbered 01/1500 15/1500 101/1500 115/1500 etc. They will have the next 15/1 blend in them as a preview to the next limited release…so the customers will have a chance to taste them and be teased before they’re out.”

The Wynwood Cigars factory is fairly unique in that it integrates itself into the neighborhood that it resides in, to the point of using local artists to produce the art that is on the boxes the cigars come in. From the Wynwood Cigars website:

The Wynwood Cigar factory is located in The Wynwood Arts district in Miami, Florida. The factory manufactures the ultra-premium Wynwood Cigar line. In addition to manufacturing fine cigars, it is home to a collection of beautiful murals and art. The artists not only display their art at the factory but also design and paint the cigar boxes that The Wynwood Cigar Factory uses.  The factory is a 5,000 square foot mixture of cigar factory, lounge and gallery. It truly is a one of a kind space.

Wynwood Cigar Factory offers exclusive cigar blends rolled by some of the best talent from Honduras. Rollers competed in Eiroa’s Honduran factory for a chance to come to Miami to roll for the Wynwood Factory. The Factory produces and sells the Wynwood Factory Fresh and Wynwood Art Edition as well as other blends the rollers are creating at this time.

Wynwood Cigars The 15th And The First Corona Gorda Box 1

Wynwood Cigars The 15th And The First Corona Gorda Box 2

Wynwood Cigars The 15th And The First Corona Gorda 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Wynwood Cigars The 15th And The First Corona Gorda
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Factory: Wynwood Cigar Factory
  • Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
  • Binder: Honduran Corojo
  • Filler: Honduran Corojo
  • Size: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • MSRP: $12.00 (Boxes of 25, $300.00)
  • Date Released: March 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 375 Boxes of 25 Cigars (9,375 Total Cigars)*
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 4
*1,500 individually numbered boxes of 25 will be sold with total box numbers split evenly between the four sizes.

The Wynwood The 15th And The First is visually almost nondescript with a medium mocha-brown wrapper that is extremely smooth to the touch. A royal blue foot band is the only ornamentation on the cigar, and there is the perfect amount of resistance when it is squeezed. The aroma coming off the wrapper is a combination of light leather, wood and coffee notes, but nothing overly distinctive. 

The 15th And The First starts out with strong notes of leather, wood, dark coffee and a slight herbal flavor that I can’t quite place yet. I can taste a small amount of the sourdough bread flavor that I picked up in the cold draw—but it comes and goes—never very strong. There is some nice black pepper on the retrohale and just a tad bit of spice evident on the tongue. Smoke production is above average, and while the draw is perfect so far, the burn is a bit wavy. Overall, the strength is quite mild ending the first third on the mild side of medium.

Wynwood Cigars The 15th And The First Corona Gorda 2

Coming into the second third of the Wynwood Cigars product, the sourdough bread note from the cold draw has become noticeably more pronounced to where it has become the dominant flavor of the cigar. Other notes of bitter espresso, leather, oak, and earth float in and out throughout the smoke as well. There is an interesting floral flavor that is strongest right around the halfway point, but it starts to recede quickly after that. Construction-wise, the draw is still wonderful, the burn is still a bit wavy and the smoke production is still copious. The black pepper on the retrohale has remained constant, while the strength has increased slightly to a solid medium by the end of the second third.

Wynwood Cigars The 15th And The First Corona Gorda 3

The final third of The 15th And The First ends up being much the same as the second with the sole exception being the sourdough bread note, which starts to recede quickly and continues to disappear until it is essentially gone by the time the cigar ends. There are other flavors present including a strong earthy note, as well as leather, wood and coffee, but the floral note from the second third is long gone. The draw continues to be excellent and the burn has evened out nicely. The amount of smoke has remained consistently impressive and there is still quite a bit of black pepper noticeable on the retrohale. Overall strength ends over the medium mark by the time I hit the nub.

Wynwood Cigars The 15th And The First Corona Gorda 4

Final Notes:

  • The idea of a Honduran Corojo puro is very interesting to me, but it is not a new idea by any stretch. In fact, Camacho, where Christian Eiroa used to work, had at least two releases made entirely of Honduran Corojo tobacco – the  Camacho Corojo and the Camacho Corojo 10th Anniversary. The new Wynwood Factory Fresh cigars are also made with 100 percent Honduran Corojo.
  • The cold draw profile was extremely unique, a strong sourdough bread note that was just shy of being too sour. Interestingly, that flavor was also most prevalent in the second third, although I tasted it in various amounts throughout the smoke.
  • While the wrapper is applied fresh, all of the tobaccos used in The 15th And The First are aged a minimum of four years.
  • I smoked two of the Corona Gordas, one of the Robustos and one of the Toros for this review. Each one of the vitolas had quite a bit in common profile-wise, but I feel the Corona Gorda is the best of the three with flavors that are more easily discernible. In fact, I found the Toro to be a bit bland flavor wise, with the Robusto coming closer to what I tasted in the Corona Gorda vitola.
  • Wynwood is actually an up and coming section of Miami, Florida that has three distinct sub-districts.
  • The use of guns on boxes is not a new thing for the Fabricas Unidas/Tabacaleras Unidas brands. Edgar Hoill’s EH Cigars also featured firearms on some of his event boxes.
  • There is a noticeable lack of sweetness of any sort in the profile, which I find fairly unusual.
  • While I am sure some will think it is nothing more than a gimmick, I have to admit, I find the idea behind wrapping a fresh wrapper on a bunch that has been aged for 15 months intriguing.
  • Wynwood Cigars has a fairly active Pinterest account.
  • The finish is extremely dry, almost to the point of being distracting.
  • Yes, the “And” and the “The” in the name are capitalized.
  • The ash is quite flaky and the burn was wavy until the final third where it evened out nicely, but the draw was nothing but perfection on all four samples I smoked.
  • Smoke production was wonderful for the entire cigar on both samples.
  • The overall strength never rose above the medium mark for the entire smoke, which was somewhat surprising to me, mostly due to the preconceived notion I got from looking at a box covered in spray painted guns.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by Wynwood Cigars.
  • The final smoking time for both samples averaged one hour and 15 minutes.
  • Site sponsor Cigar King has the entire Factory Fresh line-up in stock, including The 15th And The First. You can call them at 1.800.669.7167.

Update (June 5, 2013) The original version of this post indicated the binder and filler were aged for 15 months in one portion of the review. They are aged for 15 weeks.

85 Overall Score

I am always interested to try a new blend by a new brand, and this was no exception. While the 15th And The First had some interesting notes, most notably the almost too sour sourdough bread flavor in the second third, the rest of the profile was somewhat lacking in complexity. The construction was okay overall, although the burn was far from perfect in the first two thirds and the flavors that it did have were well-balanced. In the end, this is a solid blend—and one that people should try—but I don't mind saying was hoping for a bit more in the overall package.

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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.