La Perla Habana Black Pearl Belicoso – tasting notes

La Perla Habana Black Pearl Belicoso

Artie 74 – This dark brown belicoso has a rough feel to its wrapper, and a slightly musty unlit aroma. It’s heavy in the hand and appears to have a dense pack. The filler is layered rather than bunched…this could cause burn issues. We will see as I light this one up. Here goes… Right from the start there are issues. It’s hard to get lit because the draw is tight, and I’m getting very little smoke out of the cigar. I am literally puffing like mad and can’t get enough smoke in my mouth to taste the cigar. The stick is burning, but all the smoke escapes out of the lit end. Smoking this cigar is a fool’s errand, and I’m not going to waste my time and kill my palate dealing with a cigar that has nothing to give. I’m done 🙁

Rob 80 – The wrapper is a dull matt finish and is very well rolled: very tight invisible seams. Nice easy light, which followed with a razor sharp burn and grey/white ash. Albeit, not a parejo, the draw was a bit tight but did have a nice smoke volume. The stick offered a mild experience with a predominant ‘tobacco’ flavor, not much else. The smoke turned very creamy both on the exhaust and retro-hale. It did offer both a very long finish and the ash held on past the half-way point before I initiated its tapping off. The last third yielded a very squishy feel which got rather warm. Although a nice smoke, it offered very little in flavor: hence the -2 for wow factor as that was a disappointment.

Will 82 – Had an issue with this stick when I first took it out of the humi on May 28th, I noticed 4 holes in the wrapper leaf of this very dark torpedo, all holes about the size of the head on a small pin. I immediately thought beetles but after inspecting the 65 odd sticks in that particular box I thankfully found no other damage. I actually took some wrapper leaf off a Partagas maduro and cut very tiny patches and along with a wet gummy I patched up this dark stick. I let it sit in the humi for another week before smoking it. On to the review-Cold nose was rich tobacco and coffee, cold draw was straight toasted tobacco. The wrapper leaf was very veiny with lots of tooth. On initial light I got bitter chocolate and dark roast coffee and within a few minutes the flavor of roasted chestnuts was strong on the finish. Medium Body and strength. At the 15 minute mark the flavors became muddled in a very earthy way, kind of like a mouthful of dirt. Perhaps a nice stout would have helped but I stuck with H20. The flavor became increasingly unpleasant and I let it go at the 30 minute mark.

Paul 80 – Medium brown wrapper, minimal veins, very firm. A little tobacco and barnyard aroma on the wrapper and a firm cold draw. Some sweetness on the lips. First 1/3: Mild tobacco flavor and sweetness. Light amount of smoke, light body, mild strength and mild retrohale. Faint dark fruit and oak notes. Second 1/3: Most of the flavor disappears, light smoke and mild body and strength, very short finish. Last 1/3: no changes. A very mild cigar with little flavor. Offers little of interest.

Jim 84 – Initial appearance of the wrapper shows some blemishes and I suspect that the leaves were stained darker by the inconsistent shade of colors. The torpedo cap was split but that might be a shipping issue. This is a firmly rolled cigar and the draw takes some effort. I recut the cap a little deeper but same results. Although a little labored, I’m still getting ample smoke. Initial taste is tangy citrus with a very slight black pepper finish. The tangy grapefruit like taste continues as it heats up. I’m also getting some slight notes of cedar. It leaves behind a very sweet taste on my palate. At first I was skeptical about the fruit forward flavors of this cigar but it’s totally different profile that I am used to in a cigar. I can see paring this with a cool glass of chardonnay or maybe even an icy mug of sangria. It is between mild to medium in strength. Burn is wavy yet burning consistently. Draw is still firm but has loosened up. Approaching halfway its all fruity and the slight spice finish has dropped off almost completely. in the end, the flavor was interesting but for me I got tired of it in the second half.

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