A couple weeks ago I saw Las Mareas appear on SmallBatch and I knew it was something I’d like to review. As far as I know, it’s the latest release from the Crowned Heads and is denoted only by an unpretentious blue band around the foot. Thus, using our discount, I picked up a fiver.
I’ll be pairing this cigar today with coffee and utilizing the one cut that makes us all look like a Pro – the V cut.
Las Mareas – First Third
Leather, Hay, Bread, Graham Cracker, Wood
The foot torched up rather nicely, and although this cigar feels rather dense it didn’t take much to reveal beautiful white ash and a perfect medium draw. Immediately upon torching this beauty up, I thought, “Hmmm… this reminds me of the Tennessee Waltz.” I’ve only burned one TN Waltz, regrettably, but that was the very first impression.
The first several puffs are quite a bit stronger than what it mellows into after a few moments. Leather seems to be the most readily apparent flavor with a touch of hay and bread-like sweetness on the finish.
There’s lots of interesting things going on, and I’m enjoying trying to figure out what the hell it is I’m tasting. Is it possible that it could be my first distinctive not of graham cracker? Some earthiness, a good bit of leather, and faint hay are mixing with some interestingly semi-sweet notes and producing neat results.
So far I’d place this cigar around a medium + presence (body) with a stronger potency (strength). The burn line has been surprisingly consistent after the initial torching and requires no touchup at about an inch in.
A peppery presence seems to come and go but it doesn’t have the actual flavor of peppercorns.
Nearing the end of the first third, a woodsy note comes into play that I can’t place. It’s like fresh cut timber if that makes any sense. I keep a fair amount of water on hand when using coffee to review cigars, but so far this Las Mareas isn’t taking any shit from a fairly strong coffee. It’s Standing Tall like Dwayne Johnson.
Now there’s even a tart note of some sort. Probably fruity if I were a better person.
Las Mareas – Second Third
Fruit, Cocoa Powder, Lemon Drops, Sour Grapes, Almonds
Knocked the ash off, as always, and am rewarded with more of that tart flavor I was beginning to pick up on in the first third. I really don’t know what the hell it is, but it’s pretty damn good!
All traces of lingering spice are gone and the potency of this cigar is also reduced, leaving a wonderful flavor profile. Could that be cherries? Quite possibly. Now baker’s cocoa powder and a sharp citrus note are turning this into a crazy experience.
Turning to google to make sure I didn’t use outdated cream in my coffee, I found this review by the Katman that seems to have very similar (if more experienced) results. I try not to look at reviews until after I publish, but damn this is too weird of an experience from the first couple puffs not to.
I’ve gotta say, he nailed it with the lemon stuff. For a few moments it was like smoking a lemon drop. From the way the sharp notes sting the tongue to the distinct lemon flavors, it’s spot on.
Made my first burn correction about 3/4 inch into the second third, and I’m still picking up fruity notes.
Something like sour grapes, or stale wine, touches my palette throughout this killer second third. Quite possibly the most enjoyable AND most surprising second third of any cigar I’ve had. Las Mareas shows no mercy in delivering very pleasant, very smooth, and very refreshing flavors.
The fruity notes of this cigar are interesting in and of itself – sometimes it’s bright and vibrant, sometimes it’s tart or sour. Towards the end of the second third there’s an almond note residing in the background.
Just past the halfway point and I’m seriously having to rethink my little pictograph at the top of this review. How do you rate strength? Is it the potency of the smoke, or the kick of the nicotine? I generally smoke 2-3 cigars a day while tapping away at this keyboard, but I’m already feeling this cigar kick me in the teeth right now. Not a strength of smoke, but a potency of nicotine.
The light is disappearing in Northern Louisiana, please forgive these horrible pictures.
Las Mareas – Last Third
Tart Fruit, Toast, Popcorn Jelly Belly, Oak
The Last third is an interesting transition to me. While it hasn’t lost anything from the previous two thirds, Las Mareas seems to be adding flavors. Tart fruit is still very present, almonds still come and go, and now a nice toast flavor is being added to the mix.
There’s also a delicate sweetness coming to play, almost like fondant.
Do you remember those jelly bellies back in the day? Are they still made? I’m not sure, but now there’s a popcorn note that’s very much like the popcorn jelly belly! At least, that’s how I remember that particular jelly.
And, to completely throw everything off – in addition to everything else going on, Oak decides to worm it’s way into the mix. The smoke coming off the foot is heavenly as well. I think even the Domestic Engineer wouldn’t mind hanging out here with me on the porch tonight.
With around two inches left to go, Las Mareas begins to lose some steam and the toasted oak flavors make it less enjoyable. Bitterness begins to seep in and I’m finding myself wanting to let it go. Thinking I might’ve enjoyed this cigar too fast, I consult the stop watch – 96 minutes exactly. Seems about right. Let’s carry on for the good of the audience.
Focusing on smoking this cigar slower has really done the trick. Thanks to the folks in the CigarNoise app for taking my attention away so I can let this thing cool off a bit.
You know what’s odd? Citrus is making a re-appearance in the last moments of this cigar. Let’s call it the death throes. I’m glad that I Soldiered on, because this cigar refreshed itself pretty damn well.
After a quick google of Las Mareas translation, I find that the cigar is named after the tide. Interesting. While I don’t know if they named it that after it was blended or not, I think it’s a very fitting name. Like the tide, you never know what this cigar will wash up.
Amazing Second Third
Less enjoyable Final Third
Latest posts by Dave West (see all)
- Providencia Cigars Announces La Mision Lancero - October 12, 2018
- Black Works Studio Ships Boondock Saint! - September 24, 2018
- Sombrero de Copa Releases in Collaboration with R/Cigars - September 23, 2018