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Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: American Caribbean Tobacco S.A.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Pennsylvania Ligero, Honduras Ligero (Jamastran), Nicaragua (Ometepe)
The word “exotic” pops up in blend descriptions on occasion, usually when it’s not really warranted, but I think this one qualifies. Sam Leccia’s 3rd release under the Leccia Tobacco Co. banner, the Luchador is a five-country blend of tobaccos, including a Mexican San Andres wrapper, an Ecuadorian Habano binder, and Nicaraguan Ometepe, Jamastra Valley Honduran, and Pennsylvania Ligero fillers: an inventive combo in true Leccia style. When the Luchadors were dropped on my desk earlier this week I wasted no time in tucking one away for review, I just had to see how Sam would follow-up the Black and White lines, which had been two of the best new sticks of 2013 in my opinion.
The cigar was well-wrapped and solidly filled, and though I really liked the cool luchador mask band decked out in the colors of the Mexican flag, the most striking visual
aspect of the cigar to me was the wrapper itself, a thick, dark, and textured San Andres maduro leaf that looked good enough to eat. Instead of cutting the cigar I opted to just pluck off the convenient little pigtail, and pre-light draws gave off an earthy and syrupy sweetness.
After an easy and even light, the Luchador started out with an earthy and peaty, palate-coating dose of rich flavor with a hefty pinch of peppery spice on the finish. The cigar’s richness and spice intensity began to build rather quickly during this first inch or so, and clouds of thick, opaque smoke poured out with every draw.
The profile shifted and became creamier in the second third, but still had quite a bit of “zest” to it, though now in the form of a rich tobacco taste instead of the relentless spice that had dominated the intro. Here the ligeros seemed to reveal themselves and the cigar took on a hearty, meaty flavor with a potent tobacco taste and notes of dark cocoa. Eventually a trickle of malty sweetness began to creep into the fold and the solid two-inch ash that had been hanging tough finally dropped off (see photo.)
The final portion of the Luchador continued the parade of heavy flavor through a wide-open draw and even burn. Every now and then I’d pick up a nuance of coffee or leather, but for the most part this stick stayed the course that it had established early on; one of bold and well-rounded, deeply rich taste. I finally dropped the nub with about an inch and 1/2 remaining.
The Leccia Luchador turned out to be a full-fledged flavor-bomber with a cool look and fun theme. While not especially complex, the unique combination of tobaccos used in the blend culminated in a bold and balanced taste that commanded my full attention from the explosive intro and held it right on through the end. It also doesn’t hurt that this stick smoked like a dream, with absolutely no burn or draw issues at any point. I would have liked a little more flavor transition from this cigar, and I’m curious to see how it smokes after some rest. This is one of those cigars that has great potential to evolve over time, and I plan on lighting one up in a couple months to test my theory. In the meantime, based on today’s smoke the Luchador gets a B+ grade. If you like potent, palate-testing rich flavor with just the right amount of kick, the Luchador is likely to win you over.