Wrapper: Sun Grown USA Connecticut Broadleaf
Size: Lonsdale 6.5″ x 42 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com
La Riqueza; The Riches, or The Wealth. Interesting choice of names for what might be one of the ugliest cigars I’ve seen since a Padron. I kid a little, but it really isn’t a pretty cigar and that has solely to do with the wrapper. It is a sun grown USA Connecticut broadleaf wrapper that is rough, bumpy, toothy and rumpled looking. Not what you’d think would be a first choice for a cigar wrapper leaf. Another interesting thing about this cigar is that it represents the first time Pete Johnson stepped away from making a Nicaraguan Puro with a Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper. The Tatuaje Brown Label, Havana VI, and P series all used Nicaraguan tobacco and all use Corojo wrappers. Of course since Pete released the La Riqueza he has gone on to use this naturally dark sun grown wrapper on a number of cigars like some additions to the Reserva line (Regio and Noella), The Frank from the Monster Series, and the Cabiaguan Maduro (which is a misnomer since the wrapper isn’t really a maduro in the traditional sense).
So the wrapper was a new thing, but the binder and filler are still composed of robust Nicaraguan tobacco. The cigar has a rather rough box press adding to its ugly duckling appearance and they come in traditional Cuban style dress boxes. At least originally they were in dress boxes. They still are, but now you can also get a slightly prettier version that isn’t box pressed referred to as the Cabinet Series which comes in, you guessed it, a slide top cabinet. They come 50 to a box and the band is slightly different. It has some white space to the left and right of the main center logo. The band on the box pressed version is red with white stripes as it wraps around the back. Pete uses the Flor de Lis on the band tying it in to his now famous Tatuaje brand. They come in five sizes and they are:
- No. 1 — 6 1/2 x 42 (Lonsdale)
- No. 2 — 5 1/2 x 52 (Torpedo)
- No. 3 — 5 5/8 x 46 (Corona)
- No. 4 — 5 x 48 (Robusto)
- No. 5 — 4 3/8 x 42 (Petite Corona)
The Vitola names in parentheses are not official, but just what I have chosen to identify the sizes as. Some times those names give people a better idea of what the cigar is than just a number or measurement so that is why I added them. The La Riqueza is made in Pepin’s Nicaragua factory. I am smoking the no.1 this time, so onto the review…
I say it all the time, but I love Lonsdales. For me it is the perfect size. I really like how the wrapper comes into play with the flavors of the blend. The sun grown wrapper on this cigar imparts a nice robust sun grown twang with a slightly sweet undertone. This compliments the chocolate and earthy notes that are rich and smooth. these flavors alternate with blasts of leather and wood and an occasional spiciness That makes for an interesting and complex smoke. I have smoked a few Torpedos in this line that I wasn’t impressed with. I found them to be more full bodied than the no.1 but not as complex. The no.1 is a smooth, flavorful, and complex medium bodied smoke. In the last third some black pepper joins the party giving the cigar a bit more bite and it develops a slightly nutty finish.
I have smoked three different sizes of this cigar, and guess it is not much of a surprise that the Lonsdale is by far my favorite in the line. The construction is perfect with a nice draw and a sharp even burn. The ash is a little loose and flaky but I can live with that given how good this cigar is.
You can get your La Riquezas @ CigarsDirect.com
Other takes on the La Riqueza:
- Burn problems aside, Ben of Cigar in Hand enjoys the no.3
- The no.1, 3, and 4 were enjoyed by panelists at A Cigar Smoker’s Journal
- Keepers of the Flame likes the no.3
- Cigar Command declares the no.1 a humidor staple