Juan López Selección No. 1
The Juan López Selección No. 1 is a classic Corona Gorda that was released in the 1990s, and is still in current production. The Encyclopedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars states the Selección No. 1 is similar in taste to the Selección No. 2, a robusto, but is a touch stronger and has a more pronounced straight tobacco taste. A minimum of 3 years of age is recommended. Since this sample was from my cab with a production date of April 2001, I easily meet that recommendation.
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The wrapper of this cigar was very light, with a few spots of darker mottling near the foot. The cigar was also very light in weight, and had a somewhat rustic quality in its appearance. The cigar appeared to be well-bunched and constructed, though there were a few slight bumps in under the wrapper. There was one small vein running the length of the cigar, but it was no big deal – it was almost not worth mentioning. There were no other issues to speak of.
AROMA: The prelight aroma had some floral notes with some almost perfume-like qualities. There were also straight tobacco flavors – it was very pleasant.
TASTE: There were dried fruit flavors in the prelight taste – particularly raisins and apricots. There was also a subtle sweetness on the wrapper.
The cigar started off with some very delicate light toast flavors, along with some butterscotch. There was a slight touch of grassiness in the finish, and the retrohale was very mild and unassuming with some very light hay notes. The draw was excellent, and the ash was firm and a medium-dark gray.
The light toast flavors became a little deeper – a little more robust and almost like the toast was slightly more done, and the butterscotch flavor started to remind me more of straight caramelized sugar. The flavors at this point were quite deep and complex, and I found myself really taking my time to enjoy the cigar at this point. The retrohale became more pronounced and exhibited a green, mossy character.
In the final third, the flavors of he second third continued, with the balance changing. The toast and caramelized sugar flavors fell to the background a bit as the grassy and mossy characters became a little more dominant. The cigar still remained well-balanced overall, and at the end of the final third, a creamy and musky character emerged as the cigar ended.
Overall, this Juan López Selección No. 1 was a light and pleasant cigar, with the sweetness really making this a well-balanced cigar with an evolving profile that still managed to remain “thematic” for lack of a better term. While these typically are a little more “in your face” when they are youthful, 11 years of age has really turned them into a deep and complex cigar that would be a pleasure to smoke any time of the day. I only wish that I had more than about a third of the cab left.
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