Today, we are looking at the Foreign Affair Corona by Luciano Cigars. Foreign Affair is a collaborative brand launched by Luciano Cigars early in 2023. In 2022, Luciano Meirelles reorganized his operation and created Luciano Cigars from ACE Prime. One of the most exciting things about Luciano Cigars is that it has established a network of partners and collaborators that are a part of its business model. This has allowed them all to leverage the production capabilities at the Luciano Cigars factory and the sales and distribution the company has established. This model reminded me quite a bit of what C.L.E. Cigar Company had done with the Fabricas Unidas model – serving as an “incubator” for its partners and collaborators. For the Foreign Affair brand, Luciano Cigars is teaming up with Mike Dounoulis (Luciano Cigars’ Regional Sales Manager and co-founder of Astorian Cigar Co.) and Frank Cossio (co-founder of Astorian Cigar Co.). Foreign Affair is a cigar that debuted at the Total Product Expo (TPE) 2023 trade show.
A constant with Luciano Cigars is that each brand has a story behind it. When Foreign Affair was released, Meirelles described the brand as follows: “There is something extraordinarily magical that occurs in the shared space of smoke, cigars, and people. It’s as if barriers are bridged and guards lowered. The experience goes beyond language, culture, gender, or any sense of otherness. Varied pathways lead to this common ground, a sacred ambiance where we can connect and understand that no matter how foreign we may be to one another, the humanity in us overwhelms our perceptive differences. Those once strangers to one another are brought together under the influence of a worldly cigar.”
Without further ado, let’s break down the Foreign Affair Corona by Luciano Cigars and see what this cigar brings to the table:
FOREIGN AFFAIR CORONA CIGAR REVIEW
Blend and Origin
The Foreign Affair is a four-country multi-national blend highlighted by an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. One thing that stands out is that the multi-national blend fits the cigar’s “global culture” theme.
Wrapper: Sumatra Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua & Ecuador
Filler: Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Dominican Republic
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Luciano Cigars Factory
Foreign Affair is offered in four sizes. Each size is presented in 24-count boxes. This cigar is a regular production line.
Corona: 5 5/8 x 42
Rothschild: 4 1/2 x 48
Toro Extra: 6 1/2 x 52
Belicoso: 6 x 54
The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper of the Foreign Affair Corona has a media brown color with a slight rosado tint. Looking closer at the wrapper, a very light sheen of oil and some toothiness is present on the surface. In addition, there are some visible veins and some thin, visible wrapper seams.
Before lighting up the Foreign Affair Corona, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw stage. The cold draw delivered a mix of cedar, earth, and classic wood notes. While it wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, there was no loss of points since the pre-light draw is not a part of the numeric score or assessment rating. At this point, it was time to toast up the foot of the Foreign Affair Corona and proceed to the smoking phase.
The Foreign Affair Corona opened up with notes of cedar, earth, natural tobacco, fruit, and a touch of mixed pepper. Early on, the cedar and the earth notes moved into the forefront. At the same time, the natural tobacco, fruit, and pepper notes settled in the background. On the retro-hale, there was an additional layer of black pepper present.
The second third of the Foreign Affair Corona continued to see the cedar and earth notes primary. The natural tobacco and pepper notes were present in the background. The pepper notes slowly increased. Meanwhile, the fruit notes receded further into the background.
There wasn’t much change during the last third. The cedar and earth notes remained grounded in the forefront. The pepper and natural tobacco notes remained secondary notes. There were still some occasional touches of fruit remaining. The cigar closed with a soft, cool nub as the Foreign Affair Corona finished.
The burn of the Foreign Affair Corona performed quite well. The cigar maintained a straight burn path and a relatively straight burn line, requiring minimal touch-ups. The resulting ash had a mostly light gray color with some darker spots. There was some occasional flaking, but it was a mostly firm ash. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
The draw to the Foreign Affair Corona performed exceptionally well. There was a touch of resistance on this draw – which I like. At the same time, the Foreign Affair Corona was a low-maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The Foreign Affair Corona started on the lower end of medium for strength and body. Along the way, there was a slight increase in the intensity levels for both attributes. By the end of the cigar experience, the Foreign Affair Corona was a “dead-center medium” for both strength and body.
In terms of strength and body, both attributes balanced each other nicely, with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
The bands to the Foreign Affair are red, gold, and black. The band features a gold leaf on a red global background. The leaf design was slightly changed from when it was initially announced. All in all, I really liked the change. It gives the band a retro look and vibe.
I am impressed with the collaborative framework Luciano Cigars has put in place – and it seems to work quite well with the Foreign Affair cigar.
In addition to the retro look of the Foreign Affair cigar, it also felt like a throwback cigar. It’s a straightforward smoke that isn’t going to deliver anything radically different in terms of a flavor profile, but it has a satisfying flavor profile. The Corona was a nice expression of this blend that can be enjoyed in just under an hour. I could recommend it to any cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s a cigar I would buy and smoke again.
Key Flavors: Cedar, Earth, Natural Tobacco, Fruit, Pepper
Complexity: Medium Minus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: Luciano Cigars Launches Foreign Affair at TPE 2023
Brand Reference: Luciano Cigars
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
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