Review: La Escepcion Don Jose Exclusivo Italia 2015

When I reviewed the La Escepcion Selectos Finos back in 2013, I commented that it was as near a perfect Cuban as I’ve ever had. The friend that had originally bombed me the La Escepcion Selectos Finos decided to follow up with a generous bomb of the La Escepcion Don Jose.

The La Escpecion was a brand that launched with a misspelling. Originally intended to be La Excepcion it managed to last from 1850 until the 1980s when it was discontinued. Known for being a very strong cigar, the market had changed and it fell out of demand.

It was relaunched in 2011 with the Selectos Finos, a cigar that received glowing praise worldwide. The Don Jose is the follow up exclusive release, and pays homage to the marca founder, Don Jose Gener y Batet.

It is released as a single vitola, the Hermosos No. 4, in 4,000 numbered boxes of 25 cigars.


Vitola: Hermosos No. 4

Size: 5” x 48 Ring Gauge 

Wrapper: Cuban

Binder: Cuban

Filler: Cuban

Cigars Smoked for this Review: One each

Price Point: MSRP €15.00

Cigar Purchased: Bomb from a friend

Quick Note: For this review we used Logan’s rating system. You can view it in detail here.


“The La Escepcion Don Jose Italia Edition 2015 is good, but it’s hard to live up to a predecessor that had significant age on it.”



Check out my video review here:


Surgeon’s Rating: 87 AKA “A 5 Pack”

On the nose I get an immense Cuban tobacco sweetness. There’s some subtle cedar underneath that with faint chocolate, hay, and spices in the foot.

Using a single v-cut I found the La Escepcion Don Jose extremely tight. Not to the point I couldn’t draw on it, but I ended up having to work the cap and the last inch in order to open it up.

Initial impressions are creaminess, lots of sweetness to start. The retrohale has a hint of chlorophyll with spices, trailing cedar and chocolate. The chocolate and creaminess take over most of the flavor profile as the La Escpecion settles into the first third.

After rolling the cigar to loosen it up, I get more spices on the retrohale at the same strength level as the chocolate and creaminess. They linger nicely between draws.



Moving into the middle third, the chocolate intensifies to a medium almost medium plus, with the creaminess falling to a light plus. The spices are present at the end regular draw at a light plus level, lingering somewhat. Some light cedar comes through as the middle third settles in.

The chlorophyll returns at a light plus as the La Escepecion moves into the final third. There’s also some sourness that comes through for about 5 – 10 minutes and then falls off. No other flavor transitions in the last third.

Is it good? The La Escepcion Don Jose Italia Edition 2015 is good, but it’s hard to live up to a predecessor that had significant age on it. I think this cigar could really come into its own with two years of age on it.


Surgeon’s Pairing Recommendation:

With Cuban cigars I’m always thinking coffee, espresso, Cuban coffee, or rum.

Views: 362

Comment by Charlie on May 10, 2016 at 4:03pm

I wont touch mine, as I only picked up a 5 pack. I will say, I will cherish my box of Selectos Finos for as long as possible...I totally agree, as near to perfection as a Cuban cigar gets, I was hoping you would say the Don Jose was too but its still WAY too early to make those claims.

Comment by shadowbates on May 11, 2016 at 9:58pm
Sitting on some myself. Guess I will do as the good Dr says ans hide the for a couple years.
Comment by Aaron Loomis on May 12, 2016 at 4:36pm

I like how you misspelled the name in the sentence where you reference misspelling. Nice touch.

Comment by Cigar Surgeon on May 12, 2016 at 5:06pm

Only you would catch that Aaron :D


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