It was tough for me to choose what to smoke for this weekend's review, as these are three of my preferred sizes, and they are all represented pretty well in my humidors.
I decided to go with the Juan Lopez, as I hadn't had one in quite a while.
Initial impressions: Nice, oily wrapper. Sweet tea and leather on both the cod aroma and cold draw. Much looser draw than I like.
The first inch was fantastic, with honey, baking spice and bready flavors. After this it got disappointingly tannic and hot. I'll split the responsibility for this between loose construction, and my not having paid enough attention to the frequency at which I was puffing.
Tannins/acidity doiminate, as I struggled a bit to slow down my drawing frequency enough to let things cool down, but not require a relight. Toward the end of the 2nd third, things began to improve.
Final Third: While never getting back to the pleasure of the first inch, things improved greatly, with bread and floral notes all the way to the end.
Overall, this was a medium-bodied, quite strong cigar. I'd give it an 89 (which is a B+, and not bad at all). Had I been more mindful, and the construction been a little better, it would have scored in the 90's.
I look forward to trying one again in a few months.