Reading Time: 2 minutes We tackle all your most pressing questions including one on which nearly every cigar enthusiast has an opinion—whether Cuban cigars are really better—in this month’s Cigar Advisor Fan Mail.
CA Review Panel: Aladino Corojo by JRE Tobacco Co.
Discover Aladino Corojo’s Flavors with our Cigar Review & Video!
Aladino Corojo by JRE Tobacco Backstory
The story of JRE’s Aladino Corojo isn’t about who; it’s about what. Namely, the most sought-after tobacco of all time. According to James Suckling of Cigar Aficionado, “El Corojo is dead.” Corojo’s last remaining seeds were sewn and harvested during Cuba’s 1997 growing season. As he tells it, the plants were ultimately too susceptible to disease to be profitably cultivated and were replaced with hybrids like Corojo ’99. These Frankensteined leaves basically combine Corojo with other disease-resistant tobacco varietals. The result is a similar leaf, but it’s never quite the same. As always, the palate knows.
Talk to the Eiroa family in Honduras, however, and they’d tell a different story of Cuba’s most beloved leaf.
Authentic Corojo is Alive and Well
The late 80s was a formative time for the cigar industry. The post revolution climate in Cuba saw cigarmakers fleeing and kickstarting a renaissance—including Julio Eiroa. He fled in 1960, setting up shop in Honduras. By the 80s, he had acquired authentic Corojo tobacco seeds. The real deal. Julio promptly brought them to Honduras.
Since then, he and his son, Christian, have employed science to give the leaves a new lease on life. There are no hybrids—just a painstaking diligence to keep the diseases that threaten Corojo at bay. To this day, the Eiroa family has the only authentic seeds left (or at least are the only ones willing to risk sowing them) and this blend—comprised of Corojo entirely—is indeed a love letter to the leaf.
Factory: Fábrica de Puros Aladino, Honduras
Size Reviewed: 6” x 50 Toro
Wrapper: Authentic Honduras Corojo
Binder: Authentic Honduras Corojo
Filler: Authentic Honduras Corojo
Construction & Draw: All agreed the cigar was superbly rolled with a perfect draw.
Pre-Light & Toasting Flavors: Hay, earth, sweetness, nuts, and spice.
Key Cigar Flavors: Salty, sweet, and spicy across the board.
Smoke Aroma: Rich, tobacco sweetness with floral notes.
Burn & Ash Color/Quality: Burn ranged from even to serviceable with light-grey, speckled ashes.
Presented in boxes of 20
Gary’s Tasting Notes…
My Toro begins nutty with a cashew-like flavor. These initial flavors are joined by a distinct saltiness combined with sweet tobacco. On the the finish, a light, earthy spice. Aladino’s smoke is creamy and medium-bodied.
The cigar is burning very evenly. Saltiness continues to stand out. Nutty flavors yield to accents of hazelnut and leather; flavors are well balanced. By midway, the cigar is impressively consistent. Its most noticeable change is that the body and strength have equalized.
Aladino’s final stretch offers a slightly darker experience as earthiness rises. Nutty flavors and salt are still pretty dominant but some of the sweetness has faded. A note of fennel drives by. The cigar is closer to full in body at this point. By the final inch—literally—my Toro was pretty much played out.
This cigar certainly lived up to my expectations. I’ve been smoking Aladino cigars for the past several years. It all started with the Aladino Cameroon. As for this Corojo Toro, getting into whether it offers a classic Cuban flavor is a waste of time. But I’ll tell you this: The Corojo used in this cigar is as close as you’ll ever get. I was more concerned with how well the cigar is made, how well the tobaccos were cured and aged, and how the blend meshes. Like a great movie you can watch over and over again, like Animal House, it’s good every time.
All-in-all, I liked the nuttiness, the natural sweetness, and even the saltiness, which you do find in some Cuban tobacco. Let’s just say it’s a very straight-forward, even tempered cigar with a few nice surprises for smokers of every level.
Paul’s Tasting Notes…
As I said to Gary in the video, this Aladino is all sweet spot.
Authentic Corojo the star here, but not just the star—the prized leaf comprises the entire cast. Upon ignition, as if right on cue, the Aladino starts off with classic Corojo sweetness, baking spices, and an awfully light touch of pepper. An earthy component—somewhere between earth and hay—joined in and brought a chef’s kiss of salt along with it. There was a pop-up flavor of coffee in the first third that held promise as the first section closed. So far, Aladino Corojo was medium bodied with a short and clean finish.
Now, here’s where I make like Keith Richards and get into some muddy waters.
Throughout the remainder of the smoke, the Aladino Corojo didn’t send the flavor wheel spinning like some whirling dervish. While strength built throughout, and the flavors each had their moment in the sun, this never became an overtly complex cigar. However, it’s my contention that was never the intent. Remember, this a Honduran puro. And Aladino Corojo is perhaps the purest of puros—comprised of a single tobacco leaf varietal from a single country.
From its first appearance to its final performance, Aladino Corojo is every bit of a classic cigar. Of the type that your father or grandfather would’ve enjoyed. Or the type that made me fall in love with cigars in the first place. Most importantly, the type I’ll remember and reach for time and again. In many ways, Aladino Corojo had the same effect on me as certain meals, with flavors that not only captured my senses, but also my imagination.