I was in my favorite reservation smoke shop a couple weeks ago and came across a couple crates of unbanded cigars that looked pretty good. I thought they might be Rocky Patel Edges. I asked what brand they were and the lady behind the desk said “Lobos”.
That Chuck Norris cigar?
No. What she meant was “Lovo.” Inquiring further, I asked her where they came from. “California,” she replied. Hmmm… that rare and exquisite California maduro. I had to carefully lift the crate and peer underneath to see the Nicaragua stamp. There were two crates of Lovos: square pressed maduro robustos, and some fat torpedos with a delicate rosado wrapper. I thought I’d give the robustos a shot first and picked up three at around 2 bucks each.
I can give you almost no background on this stick, except that it’s made in Esteli. The Lovo Cigars website is enigmatic at best, but it appears that the company is named after Egda Lovo Ramaz, an esteemed Nicaraguan cigar roller. After a little more research, I discovered that Ms. Ramaz is a featured cigar roller at the Las Vegas Cigar Lounge… The Cigar Lounge website says she started rolling cigars as a young girl and as a teenager rolled cigars in the Esteli Plasencia factory. I don’t know if these robustos were actually rolled by her, but there’s a connection there, somewhere. The Lovo is indeed a well rolled cigar.
These smokes are sharply square pressed and wrapped in an oily maduro. Prelight they smell a bit wild, like they probably would benefit from some aging. They are solidly rolled and every one had a slow even burn.
They start out a little rough but quickly come around to a smooth rich taste that reminds me of the standard Padron line. They start out with a peppery flavor that soon becomes decisively woody, while the sweet maduro aroma floats overhead.
This is a heavy bodied, after-dinner cigar. I had one out on the patio this evening and listened to my neighbor’s country-western radio station while he was tending to the horses. I had to put down the cigar for a few minutes to help my wife with something and when I returned it was still smoldering, holding a solid white ash.
It’s got a little bite to it, and a pretty good nicotine kick. I think these sticks probably would get better with time, but they’re smoking good now. With a few months in the humidor I bet I would have a hard time telling the difference between the Lovo and several premium brand name Nicaraguans.
I smoked a Padron 6000 the other night just to compare, and while this Lovo maduro is a little rougher than the Padron maduro, it’s really damn close. A very pleasant surprise from a no-band no-name cigar from “California.”