Le Artesanos de Miami
The following is a re-release of a review that we pulled off the site earlier at the kind request of the cigar manufacturer’s public relations department. Apparently, Bullz-Eye indeed got the scoop on this exciting new cigar hitting the market, even before the national publications. In all fairness, the cigar’s original release to the market was moved to June instead of May. The fact that the creator of the cigar, Ernesto Perez-Carillo, was so focused on the cigar and his work as a master blender of fine cigars versus the PR machine is a credit to him and the cigars his factories produce. It’s good to know that this type of craftsmanship and personal accountability is alive and well in Miami.
The Artesanos of Miami
Some of the best cigars on the market today are coming out of Havana, but not the city in Cuba. Instead, they are being manufactured and sold in a neighborhood not far from the business district of Miami, Florida known as “Little Havana”. In my last visit to Miami, I made it a point to stop in to a number of the cigar shops and factories that dot the main street, Calle Ocho, in Little Havana. My favorite experience occurred while stepping through the wrong door and directly into the factory rolling area of El Credito, makers of the famed La Gloria Cubana brand of cigar (see my last review). My wide eyed amazement, not unlike the kids in the Willy Wonka movie who step through the doors of the candy factory for the first time, drove Victoria McGee, a Public Relations Director for General Cigar Co., to kindly ask, “Can I help you?”.
As we began our explanation for being there, she was guiding my brother and I towards the door. She was probably most concerned that my drooling may get on some of the fresh rolled cigars. I asked where El Credito’s retail shop was and mentioned my cigar reviewer role that I have with Bullz-Eye. I also mentioned my respect for her boss, Ernesto Perez-Carillo, founder of El Credito and a living legend in the Cigar industry. She stopped us short of the door and asked, “Would you like to meet him?” No offense to Victoria, but this was a silly question to a cigar reviewer who was over-salivating at the sights and smells around him).
I recognized Ernesto from across the room, as I had seen his picture a number of times, mainly in cigar publication advertisements for La Gloria Cubana. He appeared to be having a serious business conversation with two younger gentleman, each of the three men were professionally dressed, but enjoying a cigar as they talked on the factory floor (not your typical workplace sight). Victoria made the introduction and we talked cigars for a few minutes. Upon learning of my cigar reviewer role, Ernesto insisted on providing me with a handful of his latest blend, Le Artesanos de Miami (LAdM). He proudly proclaimed that this was his next national brand that would be introduced to the market in June of 2008. To my surprise, he confirmed that this review may be the first of for the Le Artesanos de Miami! However, he kindly asked that I allow the cigars that I would use for the review to sit for at least a couple of weeks. I assumed to allow for the fresh rolled tobacco to marry and attain a proper and stable humidity. However, we had enough cigars allowing us to spark a couple before leaving the shop. I realized immediately, that I likely had just then hit a peak in my cigar reviewing career.
So thank you Ernesto, Victoria and El Credito for your hospitality and kindness! For those of you who get the chance to spend some time in Miami, do yourself a favor and visit El Credito’s retail shop and pick up some LGCs or LAdMs and tell ‘em Bullz-Eye.com sent you.
So, lets get smokin'!
Le Artesanos de Miami
Size: Toro (about 6.0” in length; roughly a 50 Ring Gauge)
Price: (These are not yet priced in the market)
El Credito offers a number of cigars, but is by far known for its very successful La Gloria Cubana line. The majority of La Gloria Cubana (LGC) cigars on the market are rolled in traditional cigar manufacturing countries in South America, not Miami. I have enjoyed everyone that I have smoked, independent of where it was manufactured and I count the LGC Serie R as one of my favorites.
Ernesto purposely provided little information regarding this new cigar. He did not answer my question when I asked about the body of the cigar. He reasoned that any information he provided could bias my opinion of the cigar. He simply challenged me to smoke it, determine whether you like and write about it. So that is what you are getting.
- Wrapper: Unavailable
- Binder: Unavailable
- Filler: Unavailable
I smoked one of these in Miami, fresh from El Credito, outside of a Spanish restaurant, it was damn good, but as I promised would not influence my review. I waited a couple of weeks and smoked one back in North Carolina, in my garage on a recent cold night. The last one was smoked outdoors on a nice evening.
Look and feel
The Le Artesanos de Miami is a “looker”. The wrapper is neither maduro, nor a traditional light tan Connecticut Shade. I am guessing that it may be a Cameroon or Havana 2000. It had some light veining and it was very well constructed, including its triple cap. The feel was one of a well packed, balanced cigar.
Aroma and Taste
Upon lighting, there was a burst of cream – after about the 4th or 5th puff of pure cream, a slightly spicy pepper comes into play. The peppery spice builds to a noticeable presence in conjunction with the creaminess. However, they stay balanced with one another. Some cedar notes show up as the cigar moves beyond its first 1/3 and the woody flavor slowly builds as you smoke the cigar down towards the nub. The cigar kept the experience interesting. The aroma was rich.
RATING: 9.3 (on a scale of 1 to 10) – the construction, the look, and level of complexity provided a real treat. Boosting its rating was an abundance of smoke with each puff, and the smoke lasted for over an hour! I would characterize this as a medium bodied cigar, both in flavor and in nicotine strength.
This cigar should be very well received by the market. Many thanks to Ernesto and Victoria for allowing my brother and I a memorable experience.
Keep the comments and recommendations coming – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Not really a cigar quote, but a fitting one given the fortunate meeting in Little Havana:
"Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then." – Unknown