Perla del Mar (translating to “Pearl of the Sea”) was a discontinued Cuban brand cigar rolled by the Perfecto Garcia Brothers in the early 1900’s. Due to its growing popularity and growth, they built a large factory next to the J.C Newman’s El Reloj factory in Ybor City in 1905. Unfortunately, the glory days of Perfecto Garcia Brothers didn’t last. In October of 1960, the U.S placed an embargo on Cuba cutting off their supply of Cuban tobacco, and eventually sold their factory like many other cigar companies in Ybor City.
In 2012, J.C Newman resurrected the brand, paying homage to the Perfecto Garcia Brothers. The revived brand came in 2 different blends: Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper and a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro. In late 2020, J.C Newman introduced a third line of Perla del Mar featuring a Corojo wrapper. This is the cigar I blind reviewed today.
- Cigar Reviewed: Perla del Mar Corojo
- Wrapper: Ecuador (Corojo)
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Size: Corona Gorda (5”1/2 x 46)
Appearance & Construction
The café au lait brown wrapper gives the cigar a very inviting presence. The surface is smooth and soft. Visually the corojo wrapper seems dry, but I can feel the oil being collected between my fingers after holding onto the cigar for more than half a minute. There is one visible vein that has been flattened by the Tampa-Style box press (more of a rectangular shape than square). Lastly, I feel a soft spot an inch from the foot as I softly squeeze my fingers down the cigar.
Flavor and Smoke Characteristics
While still studying the wrapper, I trace it across my nose and am greeted by a very floral scent. On the foot, I smell sour dry plum and a hint of pepper. After shaving off the cap, I go in for a cold draw and get dry plum and light tan leather. There is also a savory aftertaste that travels from the tip of my tongue to the back of my cheeks, which is a very unique experience from a cigar.
I decide to smolder the foot with matches instead of using my lighter. Once the foot resembles a brick, I take my first puff and am greeted with cedar, raw peanuts, light leather and red pepper spice. There is a sweet and acidy citrus aftertaste which cleans my palate. However, unlike my clean palate, red pepper spice begins a cannonade on the retrohale. Once accustomed to the pepper, flavors such as stone fruits and light leather became clearer while the red pepper continuously sizzles throughout my nasal cavity. This cigar contains a lot of nicotine.
Once I arrive at the second-third of the cigar—like clockwork—the smoke from the draw becomes even more full and silky. There is a slight burnt cedar hidden within the smoke itself which gives off a pleasant sweet and bitter profile. It isn’t until the half way point that the pepper spice loosens its grasp and I became more focused on other flavors such as cedar, tan leather, and roasted peanut. Retrohaling also becomes more bearable, mimicking the sweet and savory notes on the palate.
In the final third, the Perla del Mar is finally conveying its true intention with notes of sweet cedar, caramel, roasted peanut shells, and a small amount of red pepper spice, all cooled off by the creamy texture in the smoke. Regrettably, just when I begin to fully enjoy the experience, I find myself performing the final retrohale.
The Perla del Mar Corojo had its ups and downs. I recommend to have it as an end of the day cigar, especially with the high nicotine content and the overwhelming pepper bomb through the retrohale. With that being said, the sweet and acidy citrus note are very unique and kept my palate clean, which is something I rarely experience in a cigar.
Ultimately though, the downfall for this cigar is the lack of complexity and imbalance throughout the whole smoking experience. However, if you appreciate a pepper bomb cigar, then you may want to give this blend a try.