Cohiba Siglo VI vs. J.L. Piedras Cremas

Ginseng

Banned
Today I carried out the second in a series investigative smoking sessions. The first involved an alleged bogus Bolivar Coronas. This one involved a suspect Cohiba Siglo VI. You can read more about this particular specimen here.

Zeebra sent me a few of the better looking Siglo VI's to try. Lucasbuck had the misfortune of taste testing one of the fugly specimens and his taste buds paid dearly for it. Sorry bro, someone had to do it and after hearing how it smoked, I'm glad it was you and not me (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) I had high hopes for this nice looking cigar especially after I took one apart and found that it had some nice leaves inside. Alas, my hopes were dashed once I put fire to the foot.

As you can see from the picture below, it was a great looking stick. The wrapper was fine and uniform with delicate veining. The bunching was nice and full and the head was topped with a well executed triple cap. But that's where the good stuff ended. There is no pre-light picture and no long ash shot. What you see below is where I had to put this stick down because it just tasted bad. The flavor was of poorly fermented tobacco with a lingering sour taste delivered by thin, harsh smoke. Based on what I have read and learned from those more knowledgeable, it's very likely that this was rolled by a professional torcedor in Cuba, probably at home and using anonymous leaf. The band is very good and likely to be authentic and stolen from the factory. In other words, rolled as a Cohiba might be rolled but using non-Cohiba quality leaf.

(IMG:http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h73/Gins...xhibaSmoked.jpg)

Here's a picture of the beautifully executed "triple-cap." Obviously the guy (or gal) who rolled this knew what he was doing.

(IMG:http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h73/Gins...eesFauxhiba.jpg)

To scrub my tongue and get back some appreciation for good Cuban leaf, I then turned to an unlikely and uncommon candidate, the Jose L. Piedra Cremas. The Cremas is a machine-bunched hand-finished, mixed/short filler cigar that is 5-1/4" x 39 rg. So, this is not a stick that most would think of when they think of a premium Habanos experience. However, this cigar was one of a bundle of circa-1998 vintage that was gifted to me by new CP'er MidGe. Thanks Michel, I'll spread the joy. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/thumbs-up.gif)

As you can tell from the pictures below, it is not a pretty stick at all. In fact, it's quite rustic in appearance no doubt compounded by the fact that it spent the better part of seven years crammed in a cello-wrapped bundle. I've got a bunch of recent production Cremas and Brevas and I can say that recent production looks much like production of the late 90's.

Lighting was effortless and a few puffs later, I was huffing some seriously mellow Cuban tobacco. While the JLP brand is often described as old-school and strong, the years this cigar spent resting had apparently softened the rough edges. Smoke volume was prodigious for such a thin gauge cigar and the texture was rounded and full. No need to look here for nuances of citrus, cedar or spices. If straight-up Havana leaf is what you're after, then this stick fits the bill to a "T." The draw was a bit loose, as was expected. Surprisingly, the gnarly medium-dark gray ash held for 1.5" at a time. The size was just right for holding between my teeth as I read my papers. I managed to smoke this little trooper down to the last inch and I enjoyed every puff. Straightforward, rich, earthy tobacco was the payload and the Cremas delivered it well.

As far as a cheap smoke goes, I'd pick one of these any day over the dozens of comparable NC bundlers. At about $2 a stick, if I had the room, I'd put down a bundle every other month so that I'd have a steady supply of these for casual smoking.

(IMG:http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h73/Gins...iedraCremas.jpg)

Wilkey
 

Sunward

another brother
Nice review Wilkey... i saw a guy in a walk in humidor full of aged ISOMS buy 2 fivers of them, and I asked the tobaconist why? he told me, the guy comes in every couple days and buys a couple fivers (JL Piedras Cremas), because those are his brand. Well just goes to show, you cant judge a book by its cover. I have some of these "beasts' in my humi, will take one out this weekend, and will throw all preconceptions aside, and give the stick a fair trial. :)
 

smallg

cigars and computars
Great read, thanks Wilkey. I had a similar experience as Sunward in regards to the Cremas but in my case it was the tobacconist himself who was a fan. He gifted me 3 from his stash of a zillion and they are resting. Ugly as they are, I'm not too shocked that they can beat out a good looking fauxhiba.
 

Kayak_Rat

New Member
Great review Wilkey. You got me drooling. Damn cigar porn pics. Yes I put it as my background. hardy-har-har. Just kidding.
 

Zeebra

Daddy still loves Padrón!
It's good to know my Fauxhiba didn't make it past 1 inch for both you and Lucasbuck. I should trash the rest from my humi right now. Oh well, thanks for the work from both yourself and Lucasbuck on test driving those sticks. :thumbs:
 

lucasbuck

Sheriff Buck
Well done as always Wilkey. Your experience with the fugazi VI pretty much mirrors mine. Sorry Zee :(

I'm a big fan of Piedras :love:
 

centurycigar

Rare Stamp & Coin Dealer
Great review, I will have to source some of these out.
Ive been looking for a good bundle cigar. Something that wouldn't break my heart if I had to put it out prematurely. (no pun intended) :p
 

Ginseng

Banned
Yep,
The humble JLP is most definitely worth a spin. Flavorful enough for those casual times when you want to smoke and not have to think about pulling out flavors. Cheap enough to hand out to buddies.

I'm gonna have to get ahold of some Quinteros to try too. The consensus seems to be that they are a better stick, but at this price, either is plenty yummy for the $$$.

BTW,
I got a PM from MidGe asking why I didn't make note of the cocoa flavors. As I think back, they were there is some form...but it took the better part of half the cigar to flush the sour taste from my tongue so I wasn't in top tasting form.

Wilkey
 

Wurm

Bratwurst and Beer
Ginseng said:
Yep,
The humble JLP is most definitely worth a spin. Flavorful enough for those casual times when you want to smoke and not have to think about pulling out flavors. Cheap enough to hand out to buddies.

I'm gonna have to get ahold of some Quinteros to try too. The consensus seems to be that they are a better stick, but at this price, either is plenty yummy for the $$$.

BTW,
I got a PM from MidGe asking why I didn't make note of the cocoa flavors. As I think back, they were there is some form...but it took the better part of half the cigar to flush the sour taste from my tongue so I wasn't in top tasting form.

Wilkey
[snapback]284483[/snapback]​
I :love: Quinteros, both the machine mades and the hand rolled. The Puritos are some of my favorite cigarillos. May I suggest you try the Quintero Panatela. It is a great 20 min smoke.
 

Ginseng

Banned
Thanks for the recommendation. I hadn't heard anything about the Panetelas but I'll put them on the list.

For my 20-25 minutes smokes, lately I've been digging the Montecristo Joyitas.

Wilkey
 

Wurm

Bratwurst and Beer
BTW Wilkey I checked my online store and the JLPs are relatively expensive over here...

8 to 12 dollars a stick depending on the size.

And check your PMs :p
 

ML237

On a prowl ...can't stop...lost my mind...up in sm
Another classic Wilkey review, fantastic and descriptive to a point of me starting to believe in the internet smell-o-vision :p

Sorry to hear you had to go through the experience of trying to taste the fako Cohiba, but we'll chalk that up to taking one for the team :laugh:

I never had any JLP's and they seem to be a must try especially due to the fact that they are so well made for such an inexpensive ISOM.

Ahh the discovery never ends ;)
 

Zeebra

Daddy still loves Padrón!
Ginseng said:
The first post has been edited to add pictures of the triple-cap.

Wilkey
[snapback]285403[/snapback]​

Those pictures made my Fauxhiba look really nice. Good job Wilkey!
 
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