Review: San Lotano Habano
San Lotano Habano
6.5 x 54 Torpedo
Pre-light aroma is of sweet hay and gives the nose a tingle when inhaled through the nose deeply. This habano's wrapper is an oily dark brown, but far from the deep brown-black of it's maduro cousin. I double-guillotined the cap, creating a head slightly more narrow than the main stick and giving me a small conehead remnant to smell after lighting the stick to compare aroma notes.
First few puffs to get it going reveal dry spice notes that back off immediately after the second sortie of draws. I'm impressed with the amount of smoke that is already being drawn during those first puffs and the resting smoke at the foot is signaling it's unsublimated leaf-brothers as it floats away.
The ash at the foot after 5 minutes is salt and pepper gray and some smoke begins issuing out of the head after I've drawn and set the stick down; nice pipeline - I can tell this stick is a winner in the construction department and settle in for the event.
Moving through the first 1/3rd of the stick is a very smooth, white pepper note that teases then grows around a toasty and light tobacco flavor that also has a slight sweet note at the tail end of a medium finish on the palate. The pepper note is greatly intensified if you retrohale - surprising, this early in the smoke - and I don't recommend it unless you are a seasoned aficionado who likes that sort of thing. If it is your thing, you'll enjoy the added complexity and flavor it adds to the mix (once was enough for me).
The second 1/3rd brings a nice balance of complex flavors between the white pepper and a toasty tobacco flavor with subtle wood notes while the resting smoke has become aromatic with a bright and light sweet smell of roasty tobacco. The body, while full, makes you slightly heady but doesn't demand that you sit down. Even the smell of the stick when my nose is over it while drawing yields a pleasantly sweet smell.
As with the other two San Lotano lines the bands have to be taken off at the seams because of the generous amount of tobacco in the stick and the texture of the paper once again aims to impress - and succeeds.
When the stick moves into the final 1/3rd a dark roast coffee flavor begins to make itself known in the finish and all the rest of the aforementioned flavors take on a darker and more mellow profile.
Final notes: This medium to full-bodied treat is great if you want a complex smoke to round out your day. It's best to smoke this when you have no distractions so you can enjoy the more subtle flavor changes throughout the stick.
The ash is fairly flakey so you're not going to win any awards with ash length - but don't let that fool you - the construction is great. Try one, you'll like it!