So I was watching Game of Thrones, catching up on missed episodes, and it occurred to me to enjoy the next element in my Full-Bodied Cigar Sampler from Pipes and Cigars.com; the La Perla Habana Black Pearl Morado Torpedo.
I chose this one because we were talking about thrones, and this cigar looks very regal. The exceptionally attractive purple wrapper and royal purple ribbon with cedar shaving provided for ease of lighting makes this cigar extremely appealing on the outset. The wrapper note was, not surprisingly, cedar and coffee with a dash of cinnamon. The cigar itself is a pleasing cinnamon Colorado Maduro colour with a relatively smooth texture; visible but not large veins, and a tight roll. The torpedo shape appeared well constructed and the pack was firm; but not rock-hard, as my La Cohiba XV had been. It is a large, 52 ring gauge cigar; a lot of smoke!
I have read that the Morado line was created to celebrate La Perla Habana’s ten year anniversary. There’s a limited supply due to the scarcity of its signature Cameroon wrapper. It was designed by Cuban-born Rafael Guerra with Nicaraguan long fillers and a Nicaraguan Habano binder. Since they are handmade in the Torano family factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, this is not surprising!
Delighted in the overall promise, I easily sliced the tip with my guillotine cutter, and unwrapped the ribbon. The pre-draw light was reminiscent of nutmeg and coffee. Without further ado I promptly torched the end. A nutty-cinnamon room note filled the air; very light and pleasing. Although it was unmistakably tobacco, it was generally agreed by all present, smoker and non-smoker alike, that the scent was attractive. I don’t know if I would liken it to royalty, but certainly it struck me as high-class.
The first third was unmistakably caramel, coffee, and a hint of vanilla and cinnamon. It was not oily and did not leave a lingering taste of butter on my lips, however. This cigar has been described by some as dry and cracking. It was on the drier side but not unpleasantly so. It ashed beautifully; the tip held on for a good inch and a half before I tapped it off. The smoke was almost perfectly uniform straight, too; unusual for me!
The second third was like tobacco and spiced bread. I almost forgot that I was doing a review, between the pleasant mellowness of the smoke and my absorption in the complex plots of Westeros! The nicotine content seemed to bring a pleasant, alert buzz; nothing overwhelming or obtrusive.
The last third was leather, coffee, and spice. Very nice. I had a stub burning my fingers before I realized it, and I put out it out with great reluctance.
Total smoking time: Well, I saw two episodes, without commercials, of Game of Thrones while smoking, so that would be around an hour and a half from start to finish, since I lit it right at the beginning of the two episodes. It left a pleasant room note that lingered for a couple of days, so don’t smoke indoors if your neighbours don’t like tobacco!
I have read that others have had problems with plugged cigars and impossible draws, but I did not have even the shade of such a problem myself. It was probably the most easy-smoking cigar I’ve ever tried, actually. It didn’t go out even once and required no correction to its light.
In nautical lore, a sailor wears a black pearl in his earring when he has survived a sinking ship (betcha didn’t know that, Pirates of the Caribbean fans, didja?) but this ship definitely sails tight in her stays, as far as I’m concerned! It’s not my usual type – I generally prefer maduros or candelas – but I will certainly smoke this jewel of a cigar again if given the chance!
Cigar Aficionado gave the Black Pearl a 92 rating and it was the #16 Cigar of the Year in 2008. I can see why! My rating would be:
I am sorry to say that I could not find this elusive hidden treasure anywhere online save through sets at Pipes & Cigars.com, so you’d better get them while you can! They are available at Cigars-Now.com, and they are available, but backordered, at Best Cigar Prices at $69.95 US for a box of twenty.
And that’s a lady’s perspective!