At the 2022 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show, Casa Cuevas Cigars would introduce its eighth regular production line, Sangre Nueva. Sangre Nueva means “New Blood” and it was an appropriate name. This was a cigar line that was spearheaded by Alec Cuevas, who now is the company’s Director of Brand Development. Alec would become the fifth generation of the Cuevas family to be in the cigar business and would join his grandfather and father, Luis Cuevas Sr. and Luis Cuevas Jr. respectively. Cuevas represents “New Blood” in Casa Cuevas. For his first blend, Sangre Nueva; Alec would develop quite an innovative blend – one that features a Cameroon wrapper and one that even incorporates a small amount of fire-cured tobacco. Today, we take a closer look at the Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva in the Double Perfecto size. The Double Perfecto also happens to be the first vitola in this format in the Casa Cuevas portfolio.
While the Cuevas family has a long history in the tobacco business, for many years they have produced cigars for other manufacturers out of their Las Lavas factory in the Dominican Republic. In 2016, the Cuevas family decided to go to market with their own branded cigars, Casa Cuevas Cigars. Over the past 6 1/2 years, the Casa Cuevas portfolio has slowly grown. The fire-cured tobacco incorporated into Sangre Nueva might be a first for the Casa Cuevas portfolio, but it is not new when it comes to the Las Lavas factory. Nine years prior to the release of Sangre Nueva, Las Lavas produced a cigar for Leccia Tobacco known as the Leccia Black – and that cigar also featured fire-cured tobacco.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva Double Perfecto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The blend for the Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva is not your cookie-cutter blend. As mentioned the wrapper is a Cameroon wrapper that was grown in Ecuador. The binder is Honduran Corojo. The fillers come from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and the U.S. This includes Pennsylvania Broadleaf and of course the small amount of Kentucky Fire Cured.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Cameroon
Binder; Honduran Corojo
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Pennsylvania Broadleaf, Kentucky Fire Cured
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Las Lavas
The Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva is available in three sizes. Each is presented in ten-count boxes.
Robusto: 4 3/4 x 52
Toro: 6 x 52
Double Perfecto: 6 x 58
The Ecuadorian Cameroon wrapper of the Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva Double Perfecto had a caramel color to it. There was a light coating of oil on the surface. While there were some visible veins and some thin wrapper seams, the wrapper surface was smooth and overall had an elegant and pristine look to it. The cigar doesn’t have much tapering toward the cap. The cigar has an open footer with a short and gentle taper leading to it.
A straight cut was used to remove the Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva Double Perfecto cap. It was then on to the pre-light draw phase. The cold draw delivered notes of earth and wood with a very subtle smoky note to it. This wasn’t the most exciting of pre-light draws, but given the pre-light draw experience is not factored into our numerical score or value rating, there was no loss of points here. At this point, it was time to toast up the Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva Double Perfecto and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva Double Perfecto opened up with notes of black pepper, earth, natural tobacco, mesquite, a slight bbq sweetness, and creaminess. Early on there wasn’t a dominant note, but by the middle of the first third, the earth notes emerged as the primary note. The black pepper, natural tobacco, and creaminess settled in the background. The mesquite and bbq sweetness were more distant. Meanwhile, the retro-hale produced an additional layer of mesquite and pepper.
The second third of the Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva Double Perfecto saw the earth notes remain grounded in the forefront. The black pepper, natural tobacco, and creaminess remained secondary. The mesquite and bbq sweetness remained more distant, but still contributed to the flavor profile. During this phase, there was a slight increase in the black pepper on the tongue.
The final third saw some classic wood notes mix in with the earth. The pepper notes were more prominent. There still were background notes of mesquite, natural tobacco, and a touch of bbq sweetness still present. The creaminess subsided by this point. This is how the Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva Double Perfecto came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The construction of the Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva Double Perfecto was excellent, and this was reflected on the burn. The burn maintained a straight path and had a relatively straight burn line. The resulting ash was silver-gray. The ash was on the firmer side. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
The draw of the Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva Double Perfecto performed excellently. It had a touch of resistance which is a personal preference of mine. In many cases, I find the draw of a perfecto to be too open. This was not the case with the Sangre Nueva Double Perfecto.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva Double Perfecto delivered a medium-strength, medium-bodied smoking experience. There wasn’t much in the way of variance as far as the intensity of the strength and body went. At the same time, the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute having an edge.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
According to an interview we did with Alec Cuevas, the unique color of the bands on the Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva came as a result of leaving a red-colored Casa Cuevas Habano band out in the rain. The discolored Habano band would inspire the colors for Sangre Nueva. The packaging is a home run for this one. The vintage-looking bands and vintage-styled packaging look excellent. While it’s a contrast to what is a more contemporary-styled cigar blend, I find this contrast works great.
The Casa Cuevas Sangre Nueva delivered an excellent smoking experience. While it wasn’t a cigar that underwent a lot of radical flavor transitions, it had plenty of flavor nuances. I think the flavor nuances are what made this blend work so well. You can taste the influence from the fire-cured tobacco with some of the mesquite and bbq sweetness, but this is not a case where the fire-cured tobacco overpowers. With this blend, Alec Cuevas was a bit of a mad scientist with the tobacco selection, but he found a way to make these tobaccos work and the result is an outstanding debut for this fifth-generation cigar maker.
This is a cigar I would recommend to any cigar enthusiast to try. I would encourage someone who may not be a fan of fire-cured tobacco to try this blend. As for myself, this is a cigar I would buy and smoke again. Coming in at 90 points, this cigar earns the Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence designation.
Key Flavors: Earth, Natural Tobacco, Classic Wood, Mesquite, BBQ, Pepper, Cream
Assessment: Buy One
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
News: Casa Cuevas Cigars to Introduce Sangre Nueva at 2022 PCA Trade Show
Source: Casa Cuevas
Brand Reference: Casa Cuevas
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted
Originally posted on April 7, 2023 @ 5:17 pm