Por Larranaga Lonsdale (EAR MAR02)


n2advnture
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Por Larrañaga History

Por Larrañaga was registered in 1834. By the end of the 19th century, Por Larrañaga had become a well-known premium cigar brand producing both expensive and inexpensive cigars.

In 1925, Por Larrañaga became the first factory to make machine-made cigars which soon resulted in a boycott by factory workers. At the time of the revolution, Por Larrañaga was the sixth largest producing Cuban brand.

Up until the 1970s, Por Larrañaga remained a respectable and popular premium cigar brand. In the 1980s production fell dramatically and due to trademark litigation in the 1990s, export of the brand was reduced to only a few countries.

For some time the brand was reduced to almost entirely machine-made or hand-finished cigars and was mainly sold in Canada and the Middle East. Now the brand has made a bit of a comeback, with two of it's four vitolas being totally hand-made.

In 2006, Habanos produced a few thousand boxes of Por Larrañaga Lonsdales (discontinued in 2001 much mourned by aficionados of the brand) for release in Germany. The cigars were packaged in 25-count dress boxes and marked with a special second band that read "Exclusivo Alemania" (Germany Exclusive).

Por Larranaga Lonsdale

Vitola: Cervantes (one of my favorites)

Gauge: 42

Length: 165

Presentation: 25 dress box

Box Code: EAR MAR02 (you may remember in the history that the Lonsdale was discontinued in 2001. You will often find box codes for the early part of the following year after a vitola is discontinued)

This is my last one from before they were discontinued

Wrapper:

Light to medium colored wrapper and with the exception of a two arching veins deeply embedded into the leaf, the wrapper was void of veins but slightly rough to the touch.

Feels like a firm roll so I hoped there were no draw issues

Smoke Time: 1 1/2 smoke

Pre-light draw: slightly deliberate (these can be tight drawed at times)

Pre-light flavor: light aged salty tobacco flavor

1st third:

Started out dry & salty & cedar.

Towards the end of the 1st third, it transitions greatly with touches of sweet honey and is earthy. There are undertones of vanilla bean.

2nd Third:

The honey and earth continues with a more vanilla bean but now has a little nutmeg spice dancing across the palate. There is also hint of fruitiness. The smoke is smooth & creamy but not chewy. The aroma is earthy.

At this point, I would classify this smoke as medium bodied but complex.

Transitioning into the 3rd third, some Floral touches come in (rose pedals)

3rd third:

Less sweet and more dry smoke but builds a little more spice. There are very pleasing hints of toasted almond.

Ash Color: Graphite in color with thin black ribbons

Very long finish and dry

One of the better lonsdales in my opinion, very good indeed but these are a “hit or miss” smoke. One time it’s great, another not so great (usually because of the draw).

Overall, an excellent medium-bodied cigar that finishes long with a myriad of flavors throughout. This should age well if you don’t get a box that is underfilled.

This is a cigar to be smoked pretty slowly because of the thinner ring gauge and on a clean palate, to enjoy the subtle flavors.

Recommended drink: water, sprite or scotch

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Fantastic review Mark :clap:

I miss the Larranaga Lonsdale. You mentioned construction issues and you are right. It wasn't just the Laranaga which suffered but all Lonsdales and thin gauge releases during this period 98-2002. I don't know how many lovers of Lonsdales just walked away from the vitola and it is one of the reasons that I think it was unfair for HSA to cut cigars such as the PLL on the basis of decreasing sales.

The German release is an excellent cigar but different (as expected..different year/different tobacco). I find it to be sweeter in profile and a more "chewy" smoke overall.

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» Fantastic review Mark :clap:

»

» I miss the Larranaga Lonsdale. You mentioned construction issues and you

» are right. It wasn't just the Laranaga which suffered but all Lonsdales

» and thin gauge releases during this period 98-2002. I don't know how many

» lovers of Lonsdales just walked away from the vitola and it is one of the

» reasons that I think it was unfair for HSA to cut cigars such as the PLL

» on the basis of decreasing sales.

»

» The German release is an excellent cigar but different (as

» expected..different year/different tobacco). I find it to be sweeter in

» profile and a more "chewy" smoke overall.

100% agree. It's a shame that lonsdales are hit & miss with their construction. With that said, when you get a great box they are stellar (a lot are good-very good in terms of construction).

I have some mid 70s ERDM and mid 70s SLR lonsdales (I think I gave you one at the RTDA). Both with great construction and tons of subtle flavors even at 30 years old.

I think that the 06's taste very similar to old PLLs but like you mentioned, a little "chewier".

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