Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 1 Cigar Review

Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 1 Cigar Review

by Nick Hendry

Juan Lopez is a name that many Cuban cigar lovers may be a touch unfamiliar with.  Despite being in operation for around 150 years there are now only 2 vitolas in the regular production line, although the brand is a fairly popular choice for Regional Editions.  Their popular Seleccion No.2 is a classic robusto size, but the longer and slimmer Seleccion No. 1 is an elegant, if lesser-known, way to enjoy a blend classed as medium-full in body by Habanos SA.

The cigar is presented in a Coronas Gordas vitola, measuring 46 ring gauge by 5 5/8 inches – exactly the same as the much more well known Siglo IV from Cohiba.  It will fill around 45-60 minutes with smoking pleasure.

The Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 1 Cuban cigar

The Juan Lopez No. 1 is around 45 minutes of smoking time.

Construction: 8/10

  • The wrapper of this cigar was a lovely colorado brown, and with a fairly heavy, rustic grain. The fill was even along the body, no hollow or tight areas.

Draw: 10/10

  • Each gentle puff or long, deep draw from this cigar gave a fantastic amount of smoke. No difficulty or struggle for the whole of my enjoyment of it.

Combustion: 9/10

  • The line of the burn was crisp and even throughout and, although I did have to relight once after setting the cigar down for a very short time, generally very good.

Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 1 with ash forming

Ash clung lightly to the end of the cigar.

Ash: 3/5

  • The ash of this cigar was a fairly dark grey and did not seem keen to hold on to the stick, dropping off fairly regularly.

Smoke: 4/5

  • A good amount of smoke flowed from each end of the cigar and had a rich, warm aroma to it.

Flavour: 23/25

  • The official classification of the Juan Lopez brand is medium-to-full body, but to my tastes this cigar remained medium bodied throughout. Flavours were warm and spicy, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Overall: 30/35

  • The initial appearance of this cigar was a touch rough, though by no means ugly. Despite this less than perfect first impression, which may make the brand seem less desirable than others to cigar smokers at the beginning of their journey, the flavour journey of the tobacco more than made up for any misgivings around the grainy wrapper or soft, flaky ash.  A fine cigar, worth experimenting with.

The Juan Lopez Seleccion No1 is a fine cigar

The Juan Lopez No 1 is a fantastic alternative to more popular cigars

Final Score: 87/100

  • One of the first Regional Editions I ever tried was the Juan Lopez Don Juan and I have had a soft spot for the brand ever since, though I have rarely chosen the Seleccion No. 1 over the No. 2. Upon revisiting the cigar for this review I was immediately struck by the warm, nutty flavour notes as soon as I lit it up. Rich chestnut came and went, being replaced by a touch of oak wood and the faintest hint of black pepper.  As the cigar progressed into the middle third a slight sweetness approached, along with notes of fresh bread.  This sweetness was fleeting as a richness returned in the final third, flavours of pure roasted tobacco and perhaps a slight intensification of body rounded off the smoke.

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