Late last year, I had the chance to smoke the La Aroma de Cuba Pasión for a an episode of Cigars & Coffee. I remembered being impressed with it and decided that it needed the full review treatment. I’ll be honest, when I first smoked this back in December, I did not have high hopes. La Aroma de Cuba cigars have, for me, always been a bit on the strong side. That isn’t to say that they don’t make a great product. Quite the opposite. In fact, I enjoy their cigars but have found that they are usually better on a full stomach. Perhaps I was just pleasantly surprised that I didn’t need to lie down after smoking it? This review was done to find out find if the La Aroma de Cuba Pasión was as good as I remembered.
The Pasión is a Nicaraguan puro and is blended by the father and son duo of José ‘Pepin’ and Jaime Garcia. According to their website, the Pasión’s wrapper is a shade grown tobacco and was grown in the Namanji fields east of Estelí. I’m more intrigued that this a Garcia family collaboration than anything else.
Inside the warmth of my garage
February 23, @1:00pm
Janus Coffee Roasters Dark Roast and Ice Mountain bottled water
14° outside, but 65° in the garage. 72% humidity
HOW MANY CIGARS SMOKED:
RELEASE TYPE Regular Production
ORIGINALLY RELEASE DATE September, 2021
Typical Box Size: Boxes of 25
Production Totals: Unknown
o Marveloso (6″ x 52)
o Robusto (5-1/2″ x 50)
o Corona Gorda (5-5/8″ x 46)
o Encanto (6″ x 60)
o Box-Pressed Torpedo (6-1/8″ x 54)
o Churchill (7″ x 49)
The band is ornate and gorgeous. All of the La Aroma de Cuba bands have an “old world” feel to them and look similar to the Pasión band. The difference comes down to color. The “sea foam” green, or at least that’s what I think it looks like, makes the yellow and gold accents really pop. The detail on the band is ornate and screams “old world.” The Pasión is double banded, with the second band naming the cigar.
The shade grown Nicaraguan wrapper is a dark shade of caramel brown. The wrapper is smooth to the touch and has a bit of tooth to it. There are several veins visible on the surface of the cigar that add to its character. The seam is quite visible, too. The cap is expertly applied and the cigar is beautiful looking.
The wrapper has me searching for any kind of aroma…there is almost nothing. Just the faintest hint of barnyard and cedar come through. The foot, however, easily gives up its secrets. Floral and honey notes are accompanied by baking spices and a hint of chocolate.
With each draw the Pasión gives up copious amounts of smoke. The smoke is creamy and extremely satisfying.
>> Honey, Baking Spices, Chocolate
After the initial light calms down, an herbal note becomes dominant. It isn’t bad, but is a bit unexpected. It’s followed by a honey sweetness, baking spices, and a touch of chocolate. The herbal note stands up to the black pepper on the retrohale. It reminds me of sweetened tea. The kind of sweet tea you get in the South. Toasted bread comes forward and adds some depth to the Pasión. The burn line is razor sharp, but burning unevenly. The ash is compact and looks like stacked nickels. There is a black line following a vein in the cigar. I am mesmerized. There’s a slight woodiness that begins to come through. The sweetness comes and goes.; wrapping itself around the woody and herbal notes. A hint of fig newton brightens this first third up, as a nice caramel note begins to morph from the honey and wood notes.
>> Caramel, Avocado Oil, Coffee
Caramel, avocado oil, and coffee begin the second third. Notes of charred wood begin to come through, and it blends well with the coffee. White pepper on the retrohale. The smoke is creamy and coats my palate. The burn is still wonky and more than disappointing. The ash though, is impressive. It’s compact and holds on like a champ. Black pepper now rules the retrohale as the second third begins to wane. Baking spices linger on the finish, as does a faint floral note.
>> Dark Chocolate, Campfire, Black Pepper
Dark chocolate, a hint of honey, avocado oil and a strong herbal note begin the final third. The burn line is still uneven, but at least it’s consistent. The ash has been absolutely amazing. I have ashed once so far, but I dare not press my luck. Floral and black pepper on the retrohale. Espresso, roasted nuts, and butter on the finish. Campfire joins the chorus. Black pepper on the retrohale. The burn is getting progressively worse as this third goes on. The ash is a bit more flakey than previously, but not anything egregious. The final third is just as smooth and tasty as the the rest of the Pasión.
RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS
The flavor progression is straightforward if, perhaps, a bit boring. The first third had the most complexity, and the herbal note came and went throughout the Pasión. That was followed by bits of chocolate, honey, and nuts. The flavors always made sense and built off of each other. My complaint is that the Pasión wasn’t as complex as I’d like. There were a few instances where it seemed like it wanted to be more complex, only to fall just a little bit short.
The burn progression for the Pasión was consistent…consistently uneven. There were no touch-ups or relights required, but the Pasión burned uneven on all three of the cigars smoked for this review. Now, would an uneven burn have any impact on your enjoyment? Probably not. It’s mildly annoying at best; however, it does go to the construction and overall burn of the cigar.
0.78 / 0.80 … Craft & Aesthetic
0.50 / 0.50 … Pre-Light Characteristics
0.45 / 0.50 … Lighting Process
6.80 / 7.70 … Smoking Experience
0.48 / 0.50 … Personal Enjoyment
COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES
THE PASIÓN SHINES THROUGH.
The father and son collaboration between José and Jaime Garcia is pretty damn good. It hits all the right notes for me and is firmly in the medium to medium-full area. It’s full of flavor that kept me interested throughout. The Pasión’s flavor progression was solid. Would I have liked some more nuanced flavors? Absolutely. Do I wish that the burn would have been even and the ash less flakey? Absolutely. However, the Pasión is a solid release that I’ll be adding to my regular smoking rotation.