Friday, September 2, 2011

Review: La Perla Habana Black Pearl

  • Price: ~$5 (received in a trade)
  • Size: 4 3/4" x 54 
  • Wrapper: Habano
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Time to completion: ~70 minutes

Smoking Experience:

It's been a long week at work, and after getting home last night, all I wanted was a drink and a smoke. I opened my humidor and saw this little guy sitting off to the side. I had received it in a trade a couple of weeks back and had read some good things, but didn't know what to expect, I was not disappointed.

The cigar is just under 5" long, and looked to be of decent construction. There was one noticeable soft spot in it, and a small tear in the wrapper, but nothing major. I was able to easily cut it, even with my cheap cutters, and it didn't appear to cause any damage, which was nice.

Upon lighting up, the draw was a little tight, and the smoke was somewhat thin and sort of limited. Still plenty to taste, but not the massive clouds of smoke I have had with some other cigars.

The cigar smoked very well for the first 1/3. It was nice and cool burning, easy to keep lit and the draw loosened up a bit at around the 1/3 mark. During the 2/3 the outer wrapper began to separate. I'm not sure what caused this, but it produced a drastic change in the characteristics of the cigar. As the outer wrapper separated,  they wouldn't burn properly, so the taste of the filler was a lot more apparent than the wrapper, then all of a sudden the outer wrapper would light up, generate a huge amount of smoke as it burned down quickly to catch up with the filler, and the process would repeat. It was actually a very...nice...experience.

The rapid change in heat, flavor concentration, smoke density, etc made this a very exciting cigar to smoke. The ash hung on like a champ (It probably helped that I was laying almost all the way back as I smoked), and this seemed to keep the cigar nice and cool, down to about the last 1/5.

At the 4/5 mark the cigar heated up quickly, the draw was still very nice, no clogs, still lots of flavor, and a very nice finish.


I was actually caught off guard by the wide array of flavors produced by this cigar. The first few puffs you take are a mild spice with some noticeable woody undertones. The flavor is pretty mild as there isn't a lot of smoke at this point, so it was a nice way to get started.

About 1" into the cigar, there is a noticeable sweetness that starts to appear. It isn't overwhelming and nicely compliments the spicy taste (like spice cookies!).

At around the 2/3 mark the flavors changed and varied a lot as the wrapper acted up (see above). Each time   the wrapper would separate from the filler, you would get a nice nutty/earthy taste, and when the wrapper lit, you would get a burst of think almost chocolate tasting smoke. The spiciness takes a backseat at this point to the ebb and flow of nutty/earthy flavors and chocolate sweetness. It was fantastic.

The finish of this cigar was very good. As you get into the final 1/3 of the cigar, the spiciness comes back and in the final 1/5 of the cigar there is a smokey peppery taste that takes over and finishes this smoke off with a bang.

Overall it was a great cigar, despite the construction issues (which turned out to probably improve the smoke by making it more interesting). I will definitively be picking up more of these in the future.