Cigar Review: Señorial by Jose Blanco

Cigar Review: Señorial by Jose Blanco
7 years ago 7 comments

Señorial by Jose Blanco Cigars

Senorial. In Spanish, it translates to "lordly" or "stately," basically meaning distinguished and set apart, refined, or just plain special. How fitting and appropriate, then, to give such a name to the first cigar entirely produced under the sole supervision of a master such as Jose Blanco, one who has been in the business longer than most brands have even been in existence? Quite appropriate indeed, as to simply call this stick special would be a severe understatement. In recent years, the tobacco industry has seen some of the finest cigars ever made, some of which are still around, some of which have come and gone. However, it’s a true rarity to see something come on the scene quietly and without much hype, only to become an incredible success and an easily recognized gem that slowly earns the right to be deemed a cigar for the ages, a masterpiece. This is the exact story of Senorial Cigars. SHOP SENORIAL CIGARS

Cigar Review - Señorial by Jose Blanco

So who is Jose Blanco, anyway? Well, his might not be a household name among cigar freaks, but many would be surprised to know just how many projects he’s had his hands on over the years. Heck, even people that don’t smoke cigars would be surprised to know that he once worked with beer and cigarettes when he was getting his feet wet at a young age. Truth is, the guy has been around for decades, slowly but surely climbing the ladder of success and coming to live out his dream of being a legendary cigar maker. In fact, he even comes from a family of tobacco experts, so it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that it’s "in his blood."

Born in the late 1940s to parents in political exile, Jose Blanco was fortunate enough to return with his parents to the Dominican Republic following the assassination of corrupt dictator Rafael Trujilo some 12 years later. It was at this time that his father began growing tobacco, which would end up being used in his uncle’s cigar factory. Throughout their adolescence, Jose Blanco and his cousin Jochi, (who you may recognize as the man behind some of the Aging Room blends) spent their summers at the cigar factory learning all things tobacco, from how to age and ferment the leaves to how to sort the different types of tobacco, and everything in between. At the age of 15, Jose Blanco enjoyed his first cigar fresh out of his uncle’s factory, and it has been pure passion ever since.

Cigar Review - Señorial by Jose Blanco

Fast forward to the 1980s. A young and ambitious Jose Blanco would acquire a position as a salesman for Presidente beer and Marlboro cigarettes, quickly climbing the corporate ladder and eventually becoming the company’s Sales Manager for the Northeast Dominican Republic in the mid-90s. Ultimately, he would become a member of the company’s cigar taste testing panel under the infamous Guillermo Leon, who would end up being the front man for La Aurora cigars. Jose Blanco was soon offered the position of Sales Manager for La Aurora, and obviously jumped at the opportunity. From here, he ended up traveling, learning, traveling, and learning, and eventually got into blending cigars, the two most famous of which are the hugely successful La Aurora 1495 and 107.

After about three decades with La Aurora, Blanco retired from the cigar business. Wait a minute, he retired? Well, let’s just say his retirement from cigars was about as lengthy as Michael Jordan’s first retirement from basketball. Not even a year later, Blanco accepted a position as Senior Vice President of the Nicaraguan giant, Joya de Nicaragua. From this point, he further demonstrated his blending expertise with the much-celebrated collaboration with Alejandro Cuenca(Joya de Nicaragua owner), Cuenca y Blanco, later shortened to CyB. After making his mark and bringing even more success to Joya de Nicaragua Cigars, Blanco finally left a couple years later, this time set out to fulfill his ultimate goal.

Cigar Review - Señorial by Jose Blanco

That goal was to begin his own company. And that he did. Las Cumbres Tabaco, Spanish for "the summits of tobacco," is entirely owned and operated by Blanco himself, and is based in the Dominican Republic. The first cigar to come out of his new company is produced at his cousin Jochi's factory, the same factory that produces the Aging Room Quattro F55. This first cigar would end up getting several 90+ ratings on Cigar Aficionado and would make many "Top Cigars of the Year" lists. It would end up being talked about, shared, and sought after by many of those "in the know" about what's hot in the industry. This cigar is Senorial by Jose Blanco.

Rolled in classic Jose Blanco's preferred fashion of near-flawlessness, Senorial boasts immaculate construction and uses only the very finest tobacco available. The draw is incredible; the burn is sharp; the ashes are long. Senorial is a true masterpiece. As far as makeup goes, Senorial consists of a bold blend of Dominican Piloto Cubano and Corojo leaves and a Nicaraguan binder from Esteli. The wrapper is a dark brown Ecuadorian Habano leaf, which, added to the rest of the blend, makes Senorial the strongest cigar Jose Blanco has ever made, according to him, at least. Senorial is available in five vitolas: Corona Gorda (5 ½ x 46), Paco Robusto (5 ¼ x 52), Toro Bravo (6 x 54), Le Grand (6 x 60), and Belicoso No. 2 (6 ¼ x 52.) Only the most seasoned cigar connoisseurs should attempt to smoke Senorial, not just because of the strength, but because the immense complexity of the blend is far too much for a non-seasoned palate to truly appreciate. Senorial burns slow, so set aside a good couple of hours to get all the way through, as once you fire up this stick, trust me, you won't want to put it down. Now for the good stuff, the tasting notes!

Cigar Review - Señorial by Jose Blanco

The first light of the Senorial is incredible. A blast of sweetness and smooth, nutty flavor overloads the palate as the thick smoke rolls around the mouth like fine cognac at the bottom of a snifter. The very first impression I get is that the flavor profile is surprisingly similar to an exotic Fuente cigar. Not an Opus X, Senorial is much tamer, but the sticks that come to mind are Ashton ESG and Casa Cuba. The sweet brandy flavor lingering in the background, the chewy raisin notes, the sugary spice on the retro hale, it's all so familiar. With Senorial, however, it's different. Rather than with overwhelming power, Senorial delivers the flavors with a subtle smoothness, slowly introducing new complexities with each puff. Although full-flavored and high on the nicotine scale, Senorial is surprisingly easy and pleasant to smoke, never getting harsh or violent on the palate.

As the cigar progresses, smooth tobacco flavors become apparent and hints of cherry and red wine are hard to ignore. An earthy, rustic flavor haunts the blend oh-so subtly, truly rounding out the intricately woven, masterfully perfected profile. Lord only knows just how long Jose Blanco spent fine-tuning this blend, as it's truly something to behold. Generally, cigars this complex walk on thin ice. With too many twists and turns in the flavor story, it's a common occurrence for a stick to lose the interest of the one smoking it, or even worse, to fall into the "harsh and heavy" realm, making for an early extinguishing on many occasions. However, with Senorial, this isn't the case at all. Every flavor, every nuance, every subtle note is perfectly choreographed to create a dazzling ballet on the palate. Senorial is truly an aficionado's cigar.

Cigar Review - Señorial by Jose Blanco

Finishing off, the final two inches or so are the most intense. Here, the raw power of the Habano wrapper and the spice of the Corojo in the filler blend make their presence felt. It’s bold and strong, but remember, this isn’t just any cigar. Despite the immense power of the final stretch of the smoking experience, not one hint of harshness can be detected. It’s velvety smooth to the very last puff. It’s a sad moment when this display of blending perfection comes to an end, but at the same time, it leaves one looking forward to the next one. I can definitely see someone getting hooked on this stick and making it a go-to. With a decent price point, there’s really no reason not to. It’s not every day that you can find a masterfully-blended top-shelf Dominican cigar for under $10, after all.

Senorial is without a doubt Jose Blanco's crowning achievement to date. With its introduction to the market, his name is quickly becoming more and more familiar among cigar fans the world over. Senorial is a great cigar to pair with bourbon or a fine single-malt; however I prefer it simply with a glass of water. Sticks of this stature deserve to be in the spotlight, and any complimenting beverage takes that spotlight away from the true elegance of the cigar. With its strength, Senorial makes for a great finish to a steak dinner. With its exotic flavor profile, it's a perfect celebration cigar. With its price point, it can be enjoyed at any time. There is literally nothing bad to be said about this cigar. It's a cigar lover's dream come true.

Cigar Review - Señorial by Jose Blanco

It may have been over 50 years in the making, but Senorial was definitely worth the wait. Few cigars on today’s market can really compare with the blending and quality that this cigar has to offer, at least not at such an affordable price. If you’re still fairly new to the cigar game, I suggest you pick up some La Aurora 1495s. Pick up some La Aurora Barrel Aged. Heck, even grab a CyB if you can find one. Get familiar with Jose Blanco’s skills. If you’re a long-time cigar connoisseur that is constantly in search of the perfect cigar, however, there’s no time to waste. Get your hands on a Senorial ASAP and experience how a cigar master’s personal idea of a great cigar really tastes. For more of this master’s latest creations try the Senorial Maduro and the Senorial 65th Anniversary as well.

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Mark VS 7 years ago at 7:43 PM
Great review of an amazing cigar
Not Sure 7 years ago at 9:45 PM
Incredible cigar. Love these!
Tim McCabe 7 years ago at 10:53 PM
I finally got my hands on one of these now I'm just waiting for the right time to fire it up. Thanks for the review.
Joe Canez 7 years ago at 8:47 PM
Awesome stick!!!
Doug 7 years ago at 1:40 AM
Excellent review. Thank you!
Texican8 7 years ago at 11:13 PM
Love this stick!
Bill Williams 7 years ago at 6:46 PM
Love these cigars.. can't wait to try the Maduro
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