Posted 11 November 2010 - 06:27 AM
Smoking one now from a 5x5 marked LUT MAY 08. It's not bad. I am rather enjoying it... for the most part.
When I first got these about a year ago I thought they were pretty good... for the price anyway. Then I hit a few bad ones, or so I thought. I haven't touched them in a while, but the one I'm smoking now has elements of both the good and the bad... and I'm not convinced age has anything to do with it.
There are some really nice, sweet top-flavors and this cigar shows a lot of promise. However, it's a little under-filled and I'm having to be very careful not to hot box it. When it heats up there's a distinct bitter undertone coming through. I flame-purged and let it rest a few minutes. Now it's back to being sweet again. That's got me wondering if those I smoked a while back that I wasn't so pleased with just needed a little more careful attention to keep from getting too hot.
Let's face it, there's "Cheap & Cheerful" and there's just pain "Cheap". Being TC construction and about half the price of many cigars that still fit the C&C category, JLP's fall into a lower tier than most and risk leaving out the "Cheerful" part. I guess that's a way of saying, I don't have the same expectations from this cigar as I do with some of the higher, but still bargain-priced long-filler cigars. Let's say, I expect 75% "Cheap" from these JLP's... and 25% "Cheerful" would be enough to get a thumbs-up.
Part-2: (back to writing this post just as I'm finishing up my JLP Cremas)
There's a place in my routine, on occasion, for plain ol' "Cheap". This one is a perfect example. I managed a few pleasurable moments with this cigar when I was paying attention to it, then got distracted with phone calls and emails while I smoked the rest. Frankly, with my mind on other things, I hardly noticed the cigar. But, that's good. If it had been gawd-awful I would have noticed and pitched it. It wasn't... and I didn't.
Still, I'm a little on the fence whether I'd seek out these JLP's again or not. Ordered a bundle of Quintero Brevas, my first Quint's other than a box of Panatelas that have not yet proven themselves ready for consumption. Hoping the Vuelta Abajo tobacco will come through just a little better for me (versus Vuelta Arriba for the JLP).
Final thought: I wouldn't rule out buying more JLP's, but at the same time I'm still on the hunt for a better choice to fill the bottom rung in my list of favorites. I am jealous of you guys who've had a chance to visit Cuba and bring back some peso cigars. Sounds like most are in the same class as JLP's and Quinteros for pennies on the dollar.