In 2015, cigar enthusiasts were treated to the first smoking experience from Julio R. Eiroa since selling off his Camacho brand to Oettinger Davidoff AG nearly a decade prior. The cigar was dubbed Aladino, offering a Honduran puro experience geared to resemble the Corojo-heavy cigars from the timeframe of 1947 to 1961—what the Eiroas consider to be the heyday of Cuban tobacco.
Aladino was followed by the Aladino Maduro in 2017, the Aladino Corojo Reserva in 2018, the Aladino Connecticut in 2019, and the Aladino Cameroon and Aladino Habano Vintage Selection in 2020. While each of these subsequent releases differentiate themselves with unique wrapper components (with the exception of the Aladino Corojo Reserva), all cigars center on similar core recipes of original Cuban-seed Corojo tobaccos, grown for decades by the Eiroa family on their farms throughout Honduras.
In the case of JRE’s Aladino Habano Vintage Selection Rothschild, the cigars not only showcase a new wrapper component, but the benefits of cigar aging as well. This is because the cigars were rolled throughout 2015 and ’16, being aged for roughly five years prior to the eventual debut in July 2020.
Aladino Habano Vintage Selection Rothschild
- Wrapper: Honduran Habano
- Binder: Honduran Corojo
- Filler: Honduran Corojo
- Factory: Las Lomas Factory (Honduras)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 4½” x 48 (Rothschild)
- Price: $6.00 (MSRP)
Differing from prior Aladino releases, the Habano Vintage Selection is positioned as more of a daily smoke, being packaged in bulk-sized cabinets of 50 cigars and priced at an approachable six dollars per cigar. The bands carry over the familiar “A” logo and ’60s-inspired color palette of brown/cream tones—variants of which have been strung throughout the Aladino brand since its debut. The cigar itself is a bit more rustic in appearance than the Corojo-wrapped Aladino. The wrapper is Colorado in hue (or maybe a touch darker), with bumps, veins, and ripples working their way from head to toe. The cigar feels well made though, having a medium-firm bunch and a consistent density.
The wrapper gives off aromas of musk and cedar, while the foot brings notes of cinnamon, lemon, and fresh rain. With a pre-light draw, the resistance is on the firm side, adding elements of vegetation, nutmeg, and a continued cinnamon vibe.
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In my experiences, the first puff or two aren’t quite in the range of the cigar’s eventual comfort zone, hitting the palate with overaggressive spice or bitter vegetation. But the profile gets its bearings soon after, offering sweeter nutmeg and cream. There are also zesty cabinet spices through the retrohale, followed by brown sugar and caramel sweetness, playing well to the expected characteristics of the cigar’s wrapper. The flavor doesn’t slow down once finding its groove, taking the lead role and being followed by a medium (or just a touch under) body and a medium-light strength.
Like the pre-light draw indicated, the smoking draw is somewhat snug; however, the cigar makes up for this with an above average smoke output, justifying your efforts with satisfying plumes on each puff. Additionally, the cigar handles itself well between puffs, staying lit and maintaining a fairly straight burn line for minutes—if need be—between draws. This allows the smoke the chance to remain cool—something that short cigars often struggle with—translating to enjoyable flavors and a lack of astringencies much further along than expected.
What would normally be considered a cigar’s second third is this cigar’s halfway point. Here, I found a sweet undercurrent to support the primary, retrohale-friendly profile of nutmeg, cinnamon, and roasted chestnuts. This ranged from sweet custard to cotton candy, lasting from about mid-puff to well into the finish. The profile is zesty and sweet, chewy in texture, and nicely balanced, hitting the palate on the front sides (saltiness), a touch on the tip (sweetness), back center (bitterness), and back sides (acidic/mouthwatering) in roughly that order.
Eventually, the previous sweetness evolves into a boozy coffee vibe, having an Irish coffee cocktail taste to it. The spice component remains, turning up the heat a little to land more in the red pepper range. This occasionally crosses into the sugar sweetness from before, coming across with an uncanny likeness to Redhots candies. The cigar’s intensity doesn’t progress much, coming across as medium-full in flavor, medium in strength, and medium in body. The smoke eventually succumbs to a building temperature, translating to dry/charred flavors of burning orange rind and fiery clove, followed by bitter botanicals that resemble Campari liqueur.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Ab-so-lutely! Outside of a month’s subscription to Disney+ or a Robinhood bet on Dogecoin, I can’t figure many better ways to occupy an hour of my time for six bucks. The cigar shows off the Habano style nicely, grabbing your attention with a good amount of zestiness through the retrohale and backing it up with plenty of sweetness and cream to keep the profile in check.
- On a recent episode of Smoke Night LIVE, featuring JRE Tobacco co-owner Justo Eiroa, he revealed that the company is set to expand the Aladino Habano Vintage Selection to include toro and lancero sizes at this year’s TPE trade show. This will be followed by a gordo format for the PCA trade show this summer.
- Being Julio Eiroa’s favorite size, he had slightly over 200,000 Aladino Habano Vintage Selection Rothschild cigars rolled when he set out to begin crafting cigars again in 2015. And while the vintage strategy will carry over with additional sizes, the cigars will not share the same five years’ age as the 2020 release. Instead, additional releases are said to have a year to a year and a half of age when released to consumers moving forward.
- Aladino Habano Vintage Selection was awarded Cigar Dojo’s Value-Priced Cigar of the Year 2020.
- Flavor: Medium-Full
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- Roasted Chestnuts
- Red Pepper
- Redhots candy
- Smoke Time: 1 hour
- Pairing Recommendation: Bourbon | Dr. Pepper | Old fashioned cocktail | Old Cuban cocktail
- Purchase Recommendation: 20-pack
- Good balance of zesty and sweet components
- Great value
- No unwanted or overheated flavors until very end
- Off-putting vegetal start
- Slightly firm draw