Announced in August of 2012 and available at tobacconists the next month, Perla del Mar (spanish translation, Sea Pearl) is a Nicaraguan box press cigar made by the same Nicaraguan factory that manufactures the Brick House and El Baton cigars for J.C. Newman.
The Perla del Mar blend is comprised of an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos from four regions in Nicaragua; Pueblo Nuevo, La Reina, Condega and Jalapa.
The cigar is available in four vitolas: Perla P (3 ¾ x 56), Perla M (4 ¾ x 52), Perla G (6 ¼ x 52) and Perla TG (6 x 60).
I received a sampler of all four sizes for this review.
The cigar band is eye catching. In the center is a drawing of a Clipper ship sailing near a fort at the edge of the sea. This drawing is surrounded by gold medallions and a gold and blue border. Above the drawing is a gold crown with a shield and the initials JCN. A ribbon with the words “Tobaccos Superiores” are on either side of the crown. Below the sea scene, the cigar’s name, Perla del Mar is in gold against a blue background.
Taking a look at the cigar itself, the wrapper is a uniform tan color with fine veins and a slight sheen in the sunlight. There is a rich tobacco aroma from the Ecuador Connecticut wrapper and an earthy, ‘barnyard’ aroma from the foot. The cigar was very firm to the touch with a slight give at the foot.
The pre-light draw was easy with a slight amount of resistance. I didn’t pick up on any particular flavor on my lips from wrapper but, I did get a sweet tobacco flavor from the filler tobacco.
Once lit, the cigar produced an excellent amount of smooth, creamy smoke. There was a wavy burn at first but it evened out by itself. The cigar had a thin carbon ring and there was no need for touch ups during the smoke. The cigar developed a nicely formed gray ash that dropped once it reached a length of about one inch.
The flavor profile started off with a woody tobacco flavor and some sweetness on the finish. The finish was somewhat short and clean. There were no spice sensations on the exhale making the cigar seem very mild at this point.
As I continued smoking the cigar the finish became a bit more pronounced and lingering. Along with the initial woody tobacco and sweetness, there were coffee notes in the background. The strength of the cigar seemed to increase slightly at this point as well.
J.C. Newman’s Perla del Mar certainly performed as described in their press release. This is a mild strength, medium bodied cigar with enjoyable flavors and excellent construction. The cigar would be great as a morning cigar but has enough complexity that it could be enjoyed at any time of day. With a price point of $4.65 to $6.15, the cigars are also a great value for the money.