Earlier this year I had the chance to review the Elogio Habano, after hearing nothing but great things from fellow aficionado’s and enthusiasts. I made a point to seek out Nabil Sabbah, the owner of Elogio, at IPCPR this summer to let him know how much I truly enjoyed the cigar. I was lucky enough to score an interview with him, which we posted here, and at the time he gave me a couple LSV. I had one at the show, but my palate was fried, so when I found the other doing some humi cleaning, I could not resist firing it up for review. Given my first review of the Habano, I was hoping the LSV could live up to my expectations, as often times when I fall in love with a blend, I find others in the line not up to par.
Dry Draw: Musk, molasses, honey, wrapper cracked from cut from cut, very dark and oily
First Third: The LSV was pleasantly rich from the get go, with the flavor of the molasses sitting on the draw without too much sweetness. Retro provided the musk notes, with cedar mixed in, and was extremely smooth with no spice whatsoever. Peanut flavors and brown sugar developed as the third progressed, and I swear the finish reminded me of peanut butter cookies. You know the kind mom makes with the forked top’s? Yeah I know it sounds crazy, but it was a combination of a liqueur type burn on the retro, the brown sugar notes, and the peanut finish all reminded me of this for a long time.
Second Third: I kept picking up the peanut butter cookie notes, and they were hitting on the retrohale as well now. I pinned it down to vanilla extract, like the bottled stuff, with the burn from the retro suggesting a liqueur type note as well. Towards the end of this third, the retro became a bit stiffer, and excited my palate like a wonderful spirit would: quick, concise flavor, with a long finish. As the LSV neared the final third, the cigar turned into full on vanilla mode with creamy hints of latte rounding out the profile changes. The peanut butter cookie had left for a significant amount of time as well.
Final Third: I started picking up some black pepper notes toward the end. Cedar and vanilla liqueur were rounding out the profile. The flavors were still rich, but the strength had increased, and this is where the crack started to play an issue. I think the wrapper must have been very delicate, because I had to slide the band down to keep it together. The peanut butter cookie returned though, and I did have to put it down a bit early, which was highly disappointing as I fell in love with the profile.
Construction: The wrapper was very delicate, and split down the cap almost an inch and had to be held together by the band. I rarely have cut issues, as I use a Palio and I lick the cap heavily before the cut. It did prevent me from enjoying the entire cigar.
Final thoughts: Immediate box buy for me is my thoughts. This was distinctly different from the Habano blend, and is another gem from Nicaragua showcasing the rich nutty, creamy, and balanced flavors that have been popping up there as of late without the overpowering spice and cedar. When I reviewed the Habano, it seemed to be one of those cigars that everyone liked, both the full body smokers and the mild folks like myself. Everyone recommended that blend to me, and I would say the same with the LSV. It just has a ton of damn flavor, and is a prime example of what I call a full flavored cigar, as opposed to full body. Just to give you insight, Regius and Elogio were the first non Cuban box buys for me in years, and the LSV will just add another. My only problem with this cigar is the fact I still need some KBF boxes as well. Decisions decisions… Nabil if you are reading this, kudos my friend, on another spectacular blend that showcases all Nicaragua has to offer and competes with the finest aged habanos in my opinion.
****Figured I'd add a picture of us at IPCPR, smoking the first LSV he gave me. You can credit Meg with the pink camera case.****
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