Juan Lopez Belicoso


In which the author, having spent the previous several days recovering from a head cold by ingesting large quantities of vitamin C and reading Tom Jones, attempts to satisfy his craving for a good Nicaraguan cigar…

Altadis acquired the U.S. rights to the Juan Lopez trademark and released this Nicaraguan puro in 2004. The brand was originally registered in Cuba in 1876, and is still in production as a quality medium-bodied smoke.

The Altadis USA cigar is a Nicaraguan puro which tends more toward the heavy end of the spectrum. Made in Esteli by NATSA, it’s square pressed with a mottled, pretty colorado maduro wrapper.

The Belicoso measures 6 1/8 x 52 with a sharply pointed head which I promptly sheared with a double-bladed guillotine. It fired up with a little reluctance, but once going it burned well. The draw is effortless with a nice volume of smoke.

It’s a nice cigar, but not all that complex. I wandered over to the back of the yard to see what my neighbor’s horses were up to, and they were about as interested in me as I was in this cigar. They came over to say hello and then went about their business.

But it’s not a bad cigar by any means. Medium to heavy in body, a little woody, a pleasant fragrance and slightly spicy on the finish. But overall just a decent straight forward cigar. The only problem is a thick wrapper that requires touching up periodically. Not a Padron, but a decent Nicaraguan.

3 thoughts on “Juan Lopez Belicoso

  1. Great to have you back. I know what you mean about having a cold. A bad cold has set me back on accasions. The thing about touching up the burn on a cigar is that often times it taints the taste a tad… it’s too bad when that happens.

  2. It usually doesn’t bother me if a cigar burns a little askew, so I try not to mess with it unless necessary — alas, sometimes it is necessary… and then I have to agree with you that the flavor is affected. I expect that carbonizing bits of good wrapper doesn’t do much for the blend, but burning lopsided isn’t such a great thing either. The Juan Lopez is a brute though, so I didn’t notice much of a problem in this case. Take it easy, EZ… if you take requests I’d like to see you review a Partagas Serie D!

  3. “…if you take requests I’d like to see you review a Partagas Serie D!” — Consider it done. I’ve got a Partagas Serie P#2 coming up soon though… I’ll fit the D#4 in some time after that.

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