February 14, 2010

Review: New Havana Cigars House E.L. #2

For this weekend's review, I have a very interesting cigar that was personally handed to me by Dan Welsh of New Havana Cigars. The New Havana Cigars House E.L. #2 are Nicaraguan puros that come from the Raices Cubanas factory, which is also where a better-known brand (and my current personal favorite cigars) are created. The #2's feature a Cuban style triple cap, a Corojo wrapper, and, I am told, smoke full-bodied.  I had a good meal before this one, so let's see how it panned out.


Vitola: Corona Gorda
Length: 5.625
Ring Gauge: 46
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
MSRP: Approx. $5.35
Smoking Location: House of Cigar, Columbus, Ohio
Beverage: Coke

 The E.L.#2 has a sharp, classic appearance. The color of the Corojo wrapper is a medium-dark brown and the triple cap is expertly applied. I squeezed the cigar from head to foot and it had a very nice firmness. The aroma of the un-lit stick is of earthy tobacco and cold draw gives off some sweetness.

First Third
After a very easy toasting, the E.L. #2 opened up with a strong natural tobacco flavor which was very smooth and silky. I also detected slight notes of nuttiness and caramel. The draw on the cigar was perfect and produced lots of very dense smoke. What I didn't get from this cigar was that Nicaraguan zing that most Nicaraguan puros produce. This was a very nice surprise because I was in the mood for something a little more relaxing and less in-your-face spicy.

Second Third
The second third of my E.L. #2 brought a few new flavors to the front that I did not get at all in the first third. A nice leather flavor dominated, along with a light cedar/woody taste. The smooth smoke maintained and the earthy natural tobacco flavors were still present, just now in a more backseat role. Again, the construction of the cigar was flawless. I did not have to even up the burn once and the amount of smoke the cigar produced was excellent. The body of the cigar was in the medium-full range, fitting in directly with other popular Nicaraguan cigars.

Final Third and Final Thoughts
In the final third of my E.L.#2, the flavors really married together. I could pick out the different tastes of leather and wood, each complimenting the other nicely. The sweeter caramel flavor did reapear for a few puffs when getting down to the nub, but I couldn't smoke the cigar anymore without burning the tips of my fingers, so I'm not sure how long that would have lasted. The body was consistent with the first two thirds in staying a nice relaxing medium-full.

As you can see from the last picture, I smoked this cigar as long as I could (without a spike) and I did for good reason -- the New Havana Cigars House E.L. #2 is an absolutely fantastic cigar. I love Nicaraguan puros and, when not reviewing other cigars, that is about all I smoke. I can honestly say that, for me, this one ranks up in the top five Nicaraguan cigars I have ever smoked.  The construction is flawless down to the nub and the flavors continuously come at you. The body is perfectly relaxing and made for a great afternoon smoke.

 Would I buy it again? Not the cheapest house brand you will find but, after my experience, I'm willing to bet it's one of the best.

Would I buy a box? At $119.95 for a bundle of 25 ($4.80 a stick), this cigar is a steal. I will be picking up a bundle and maybe even more when my budget allows for it (if New Havana doesn't run out by then.)



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