The Señorial by José Blanco is the debut release from his new company Las Cumbres Tabaco. Blanco is best known for his time with with La Aurora Cigars and Joya De Nicaragua. For the Señorial, Blanco collaborated with his cousin Jochi Blanco and the Tabacalera Palma Factory in the Dominican Republic (known for Aging Room among others).
“This is a full-bodied and truly full-flavored cigar. The flavors are rich and complex throughout the smoke with some spice and a hint of sweetness. The cigar has a rich and pleasant aroma and ends with a good long finish.” – lascumbrestabaco.com
Before we get to the nitty gritty, be sure to check out our quick interview with José Blanco at IPCPR 2014.
Country of Manufacture: Dominican Republic
Rolled: Tabacalera La Palma
Size: 5.25×52 Parejo
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua, Esteli
Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano and Dominican Corojo
Quantity smoked: 1
Age: 3 Months
Activities Prior to Review: Slept
Most Recent Food Eaten: A breakfast for lunch of two eggs over-easy, sausage and toast.
Pairing: Aquafina bottled water
A beautiful, dark, marbled and oily Ecuadorian wrapper covers the Señorial. There are some decent sized veins and tight, visible seams. There is a subtle tooth present across the entire wrapper with a few sections where it pops out at you. The cigar is finished off with a nice triple cap but the foot had two fairly large stems in plain view that I hoped wouldn’t get in the way of combustion. The cigar is heavy in the hand but has a few soft spots when squeezed and is slightly spongy overall, even after 3 months at 65rh. Some of this could be due to the rainy weather we’ve been having for the past few days.
Wrapper smells of leather with a touch of sweetness. The foot smelled of raisins, spices and red pepper. The cold draw offered up some raisin bread, cedar and an intense lingering red pepper. There is also the Dominican twang note that can almost be described as grapefruit citrus. The draw is nice and even, without being too tight or too open.
The Señorial kicks off with a punchy red pepper that tingles everwhere: lips, tongue, throat, sinuses. While the pepper holds court, a nice caramel sweetness develops on the palate with an undertone combination of bread, cedar and earth. The Señorial is a rich cigar, already full-flavored with oily aromas and a long-lasting, mouth-watering finish. Ash is exceptionally solid with a nice even concrete color. Body full and strength medium-full.
Rounding into the second third there are a few subtle changes afoot. The caramel sweetness begins to transform into a slightly darker toffee or molasses-like note. The pepper begins to soften, but still remains king, while bits of leather wax and wane into the profile. The draw tightens up a touch, providing a thicker, creamier smoke. Undertones of toast and earth linger on the long finish with a slight Dominican twang. Some harshness does present itself at the back of the throat but thankfully it remains slight. The concrete ash was solid as a brick and held on for almost half of the cigar. Body has come down a hair because of the softening pepper and strength continues at medium-full but slowly rising.
The Senorial takes on a much earthier character in the the final third. The red pepper continues to feature on the retro-hale but has finally dispersed on the palate. Bits of saltiness enter the picture as the leather takes on a more meaty quality. The molasses transitions back to caramel, providing plenty of sweetness and necessary balance. All the while, the texture of the smoke is creamier than ever and the aromas suggest toast and caramel. The finish still consists of some earthy tanginess that lingers between puff’s along with the sweetness. Construction wise, the ash continues to go for an inch and a half or so before falling but the cigar does get a bit soft and spongy and it tends to burn a little hot at the nub. While I wouldn’t say it got harsher in the final third, it continued to make my throat itch to where I definitely reached for my water. Body medium-full, strength a touch below full.
A cigar full of red pepper that levels out towards the half with notes of earth, caramel, toast and leather. While it doesn’t exactly fit any of our classes perfectly I was hovering between Regal and Marquee. The development of the cream and salt in the final third nudged this towards Marquee just enough.
The Señorial is a solid offering from Jose Blanco’s Las Cumbres Tabaco. While it provides a little more pepper kick than I’m usually after, it’s loaded with richness and plenty of complexity for the seasoned palate. My sample came from IPCPR in late July of this year and I still feel like it’s 3-6 months away from being special; there was a little harshness that I suspect will dissipate with age. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent construction of this sample which was just about perfect. If you’re looking for a medium-full bodied, rich Dominican based cigar, look no further than the Señorial.