The Cuban Cigar Field-guide presents: The Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2


Type: Figurado specifically: culebra

Origin: Cuba

Brand: Juan Lopez

Background: Founded in 1876 by Mr Juan Lopez


Last night I decided to crack open a very special bottle of Quinta do Portal “40 Year Old Tawny” Port (one of the few Ports still crushed by foot, yum!) to enjoy with an after dinner Habano; the Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 (given to me as a wedding gift almost 2 years ago).

I spent a few hours braising beef short ribs for the wife in a homemade demi-glace, alongside roasted root vegetables and hearty polenta made with Vermont cheddar… What a meal!


The Drink

Alas, to the main event:

Juan Lopez started his eponymous brand in 1876 and his heirs eventually sold it in 1918 to la Sociedad C. Del Peso y Cia. Eventually, like all Cuban cigar brands, it was nationalized after the revolution.

At the first draw I thought this was going to be a medium-to-full-bodied cigar and it was, although about one third of the way into the cigar it began to mellow quite a bit with background notes of chocolate. As it burned, now halfway through, the bluish/grey some was almost as good looking as the 2-inch ash (a sign of great craftsmanship). At this point this cigar comes to full bloom with an array of flavors ranging from rich creamy coffee to more dark chocolate that evenly coated my mouth. Towards the end a slight-peppery note and spiciness let’s you know this was a multi-faceted smoke and burned perfect from start to finish!

The Smoke

The stick matched up perfectly with my Quinta do Portal which had a very predominant fruit flavors, notably figs (a favorite) which, with the stogie’s slight flavors of cocoa and black pepper, you have a dessert to die for!-RT


Ron Tulotta, a Staten Island Native and trained Chef has worked in the kitchens of some of the America’s most renowned restaurants and lends his discerning palate, sacrifices it really, for TGG’s newest column, posted every other Wednesday: The Most Benelovent Cuban Cigar Field Guide”.


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