Nearly every cigar enthusiast, whether or not they are cognizant, has experienced the product or influence of the Eiroa family. Despite the absence of their family name being displayed in the marketplace, such as “Padrón” or “Fuente,” the Eiroas have been content to remain behind the scenes, quietly operating some of the industry’s largest brands over the past two decades.
Baccarat “The Game,” Camacho, Asylum Cigars, Edgar Hoill Cigars, and CLE Cigars have all shared the common denominator of Eiroa influence/ownership over the years; the latest of which is an operation known as JRE Tobacco Company. JRE was the result of a split within the Eiroa family operation, as family patriarch Julio Eiroa returned to the production side of the business (departing from C.L.E. Cigar Co.); teaming with his son Justo to introduce a lineup of three brands: Aladino, Rancho Luna, and Tatascan.
These three brands were originally introduced at the 2015 IPCPR trade show, residing within the C.L.E. Cigar Co. booth—a company that is owned by Julio’s son (and Justo’s younger brother) Christian. C.L.E. later began shipping the cigars in November of 2015, but the brands were transitioned to the newly-formed JRE Tobacco Co. only two months later.
Among the three lines offered by JRE, Aladino is marketed as the most premium offering.
- Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
- Binder: Honduran Corojo
- Filler: Honduran Corojo
- Factory: Las Lomas Factory (Honduras)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 5″ × 50 Robusto
- Price: $10.00
JRE Tobacco Co., like its close relative C.L.E. Cigar Co., is named for its founder; displaying Julio R. Eiroa’s initials. Julio has been involved in the industry since he was a young boy, following in his father’s (Generoso J. Eiroa) footsteps, whom owned a farm near the famed Vuelta Abajo Valley in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. Following the Cuban Revolution, the Eiroa family emigrated to America in 1960, where Julio followed one opportunity after the next within the cigar industry—eventually settling in the Jamastran Valley and Danlí areas of Honduras, where the Eiroas have since become one of the country’s top producers of premium cigars.
Julio’s passion has long centered around the agricultural side of the industry, with his re-introduction of “Authentic Corojo” in 1997 being perhaps his crowning achievement. Authentic Corojo is a tobacco varietal revived from Cuba’s heyday of the 1950s that had later been hybridized/abandoned; this is the seed that positioned Camacho as a household name in the cigar industry, eventually leading to the company’s purchase by Oettinger Davidoff Group in 2008 (now operating as one of the biggest brands in the premium cigar industry).
And though Julio had since returned to the industry, working with his son Christian and providing tobaccos for C.L.E. Cigar Company’s products, it is JRE that signals Julio’s return as a Master Blender. As such, Julio’s first three brands focus on his Habano and Corojo tobaccos grown on his Eiroa Tobacco Farm, located in the Jamastran Valley.
For Aladino, the blend showcases not only a Honduran puro, but an “Authentic Corojo” puro, with the famed tobaccos making up all three portions of the cigar—which has been hailed since its launch as a true, old school blend that purists will quickly identify with.
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Aladino is offered in a whopping twelve vitolas, with prices ranging from $4 to $13.50, though most sizes fall in the higher end of this spectrum, with the benchmark robusto size landing at $10.
The cigar’s look matches its background, offering an understated band that is highlighted by a jarring, yellow strip. This feels very old school, like a ’70s diner or the notorious side pipes from cruising vans of the same era. The band centers around an “A” design, with “Aladino” wrapped around it. On the underside is Julio’s full name, and the dates 1947 and 1961 are flanked to the right and left (representing the “Golden Era” that Corojo tobacco dominated amongst Cuban cigars).
The construction appears top notch from the get-go, showing invisible seams, nearly invisible veins, and a consistently medium-pack bunch from head to toe. The wrapper has a Cubanesque hue to it, with a shade in the range of light-roast coffee. There is also a nice, suede-like fizziness on the wrapper when rolling the cigar between the fingers.
On the nose is a nice cinnamon and sweet maple syrup vibe, with cherry and aged tobacco notes on the cigar’s foot. A pre-light draw reveals a medium-light resistance and notes of pork rinds.
The cigar begins with a clear-cut spice and coffee with the first puffs. It is balanced, has a perfect draw, and showcases a medium-plus smoke output. Added notes of barnyard hay and an increased oomph from the spices in the retrohale will easily hold your attention; though the zinging spice may be a bit much for the novice smoker. The coffee notes begin to be more apparent, showing a freshly ground medium roast, with an added backbone of bread dough. Throughout the first third, the spices intensify, eventually becoming more of a cayenne or chili note. The end of this third is marked by a touchup.
The raw tobaccos against the tongue is sometimes an added benefit I look for, and Aladino has a nice saltiness to it—adding to the overall experience. The profile hovers around medium-plus to full flavor, medium strength, and medium-plus in body. Throughout the midsection, added nuances come in the form of cedar, pretzel dough, and an overall brighter flavor profile that has touches of citrus. The cigar is also noticeably aromatic, with a floral/perfume note lingering in the smoking room.
Aladino’s ash is a medium gray with dusty texture and fairly flakey—unfortunately only holding at a maximum of one and a half inches (usually less). With the lightening/brightening flavors comes an unusual buttermilk flavor, complimented by chewy nuts (walnuts and cashews) and a smooth and buttery finish. The cigar settles down to medium on all fronts, with a noticeable retreat of the spiciness.
Nearing the end, there are added notes of caramel, a general toastiness, a subtle zest in the retrohale, and a touch of vanilla on the finish. The cigar’s strength kicks up a few notches as a final hoorah before being extinguished.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
I would, and often. Aladino attempts to be a retro smoking experience and, while I haven’t smoked many of the Camachos from Julio’s day, and certainly not any Corojos from Cuba’s heyday, Aladino imparts a classic feel that does a good job convincing you of its old school intentions. I could easily see this becoming a daily smoke or weekly smoke—as the price may be a bit high for most smoker’s daily choice.
- Smoking Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes.
- Pairing Recommendation: barrel-aged rum, Belgian tripel, old Cuban cocktail
- Purchase Recommendation: full box
- Classic flavor profile
- Awesome draw
- Balanced & flavorful throughout
- Short smoke time
- Around 3 touchups
- Flakey ash falls easily