In Spanish, La Riqueza means “the wealth” or “the riches”. The La Riqueza is the result of the collaboration between Pete Johnson of Tatuaje and Don Pepin Garcia of the El Rey de los Habanos factory in Miami, FL. Pete describes the blend as a full flavored, medium bodied, natural maduro. The blend is available in ten different vitola’s. For todays review, I have chosen the No. 1 which is a 6.5 x 42 Lonsdale. Not a vitola I am typically drawn to, but lets mix it up a bit and burn this baby!
Wrapper: Connecticut USA Maduro
Size: 6 1/2 x 42
This is one good looking ugly smoke! The wrapper is a typical Connecticut broadleaf, rustic and veiny. As a fan of broadleaf, the hideous sight of the wrapper already has me salivating in anticipation of the flavors to come. The wrapper color is on the lighter shade of the maduro color spectrum. It is firm with no evidence of voids and has a rich tobacco scent. The red and gold band has a Cuban feel to it and is an attractive contrast against the dark leaf behind it. Once the triple cap is clipped, the pre-light draw is free flowing and offers up some sweet tobacco flavor.
After toasting the foot, I instantly get a blast of pepper that blender Don Pepin Garcia is famous for. The pepper quickly settles down and I am left with a nice mix of dark chocolate, leather, and spice. A good start so far! The burn and draw are decent for an Lonsdale and the ash is holding for about an inch. There is a moderate amount of smoke on each draw. I notice the leather is more evident on the retro hale.
At the onset of the second third, the stick begins to canoe and becomes hot. The flavors follow suit and I am quickly overpowered with a lot of bitterness. A touch up using my torch lighter and the bitterness dissipates. I am left with a nice blend of cedar and spice. The finish is much longer now but I am enjoying it a great deal. By the end of the second third the ash is holding for a full two inches and the cigar seems to be back on track.
The last third is where the La Riqueza really shines. There is a lot of rich broadleaf flavor. A complex mix of espresso, dark chocolate, wood, and spice. There is a lot more sweetness and I am really digging this smoke. The draw has opened up a bit and is perfect. The burn has become very jagged but I don’t care and continue on my way until the Lonsdale becomes to hot. I fall short of smoking it down to the nub and find myself wishing there was more.
I am not sure how this cigar flew under my radar for so long. I enjoy most sticks that Tatuaje and Don Pepin produce but up until now I had not had the chance to try the La Riqueza. I am really glad I did. I thought the cigar offers some great, enjoyable broadleaf flavor with enough complexity to keep my attention. The last third was incredible and I vocally displayed this several times with a “Wow!” to my fellow BOTL who joined me for a lunch time smoke. The vitola is not something I prefer mostly due to my past experiences with draw and burn in this size. This stick did display some issues in those categories but nothing that would deter me from smoking it again. In Conclusion, I am giving the La Riqueza No. 1 a Stogie Geeks Rating of “The Fiver” with one caveat. That caveat being that I fully intend to try some other sizes of this blend. I feel this cigar could easily become “Box Worthy” in a different vitola.