Name: Jose L. Piedra Type: Cigar (Cuban) Brand/Blender: Jose L. Piedra Rating: 4 stars Summary: An inexpensive, medium flavoured cigar with a pleasant bouquet; perfect for hosting guests who are casual smokers or as an "every day" cigar.
The immediate draw of the Jose L. Piedra brand of cigars is the great price -- it is a popular brand for domestic consumption in Cuba and in Canada is one of the cheapest Cuban cigars available. A box of five cazadores can be purchased for about $20 locally (I shop at Walper Tobacco Shop in Kitchener -- the oldest tobacco shop in Canada) which, when one considers all the taxes involved, is really a very very good price. All the other Cuban brands start at about $10 per cigar.
With the price range in mind, one cannot expect this to be the best smoke ever, but the Jose L. Piedra delivers much more "bang for your buck" than other Cubans I've tried. It is much better than many more expensive brands I've tried. The smoking time for a cazadore is about 45-65 minutes making it great for a friendly gathering or leisurely stroll.
I've read other reviews online claiming that the Jose L. Piedra cazadores' appearance with spots, big veins, and strange coloration -- I myself have never noticed this to be the case with the cazadores I have purchased. The flavour is sweet with a noticeable earthy tobacco taste but not too strong, which makes it good for the uninitiated. It has an authentic Cuban taste which I cannot describe to those who have never had a Cuban cigar (there IS a difference between Cubans and others). It has an easy draw. The smoke has a very pleasant aroma to it, which as in previous tobacco reviews, I consider an important consideration as a basic courtesy to non-smokers.
They store quite well and do well in my "poor man's humidor" which is a plastic container with a moisture packet inside. I will invest in a proper humidor eventually. They certainly do not decline in quality and I would say even get a bit better over time. In sum, I give it 4/5 stars because it provides excellent value relative to cost -- it deserves 4 as an everyday cigar or one that can be easily offered to friends and house guests who are inexperienced, casual smokers. It is my "go-to" cigar when having a gathering of menfolk at my place.
Posted on the Feast of St. Hilarius, Abbott, a.D. MMXI