Back at the 2022 Trade Show, Luciano Cigars, then known as ACE Prime, would introduce an exclusive cigar to retailers attending the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) known as Maria Lucia. The cigar is named and pays homage to company co-founder and blender Luciano Meirelles’ late mother. In blending Maria Lucia, Meirelles drew inspiration from his mother’s intricate nature, connecting every flavor note and smoking experience to her personality traits. The cigar proved to be a hit for many. When ACE Prime transitioned to Luciano Cigars, Maria Lucia would become a core line in the portfolio, and several additional sizes would be added. Today, we look at one of the sizes in the Maria Lucia line, the Magnum Box Pressed. This is the same size as the original Maria Lucia released as a PCA Exclusive.
The past twelve months have been a year of excitement for Luciano Cigars. The company has moved into a new factory and has established its own distribution. The past year has seen Luciano Cigars establish a network of partners and collaborators as a part of its business model (Foreign Affair, YPanda, Dalay, and ATL Cigar Co are among several examples of this). This has allowed these partners and collaborators to leverage the production capabilities at the Luciano Cigars factory and the sales and distribution the company has established. At the same time, core brands such as Maria Lucia complement several of these partnerships.
One note before going into this assessment. The Maria Lucia Magnum Box Pressed used for this assessment is from Luciano Cigars. We don’t believe it was part of the original batch that was the PCA Exclusive.
Let’s break down the Maria Lucia Magnum Box Pressed without further ado and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Maria Lucia consists of a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. A double binder consists of two Ecuadorian leaves (Sumatra, HBN 92). Finally, the filler consists of. combination of tobaccos from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Peru. The Luciano Cigars S.A.‘a Maria Lucia facility in Estelí, Nicaragua, handles production.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binders (Double): Sumatra Ecuador / HBN 92 Ecuador
Fillers: Nicaragua, Dominican, and Peru
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Luciano Cigars S.A., Maria Lucia
Maria Lucia is offered in four sizes. Each of the four sizes and box-pressed. All four sizes are presented in 24-count boxes (including the Magnum, which was initially introduced in ten-count boxes and is now moving to 24-count packaging).
Corona Gorda Box Pressed: 5 5/8 x 46
Cañonazo Box Pressed: 5 7/8 by 52
Double Robusto Box Pressed: 6 1/2 x 50
Magnum Box-Pressed: 5 1/4 x 54
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper on the Maria Lucia Magnum Box Pressed is quite elegant. It has the color of cocoa powder. The wrapper has a slight amount of oil and has a silky complexion. The wrapper has some thin visible wrapper seams, but the surface is almost void of any visible veins. The box-press style is a classic soft Cuban-press with slightly rounded ends.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the Maria Lucia Magnum Box Pressed. Once the cap was removed, it was time to proceed with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of cocoa powder, earth, and a slight amount of cedar. I found the Maria Lucia Magnum Box Pressed to provide a very good pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to remove the footer ribbon from the cigar, toast up the footer, and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Maria Lucia Magnum Box Pressed opened up with notes of creamy cocoa, earth, cedar, and a natural tobacco note. Early on, the creamy cocoa notes moved to the forefront. The earth, cedar, and natural tobacco settled in the background. There was a layer of wood on the retro-hale. Notes of red pepper emerged on the tongue as a secondary note and also took over the retro-hale.
The natural tobacco and cedar notes increased during the second third of the Maria Lucia Magnum Box Pressed. The cocoa notes lost their creamy qualities. By midway, the natural tobacco joined the cocoa notes in the forefront. This was rounded off by the earth, cedar, and pepper notes in the background.
The final third saw the natural tobacco notes take over. The cocoa notes receded into the background with te earth, cedar, and pepper. The pepper notes were more prominent at this point than at any other point. This is how the Maria Lucia Magnum Box Pressed came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Maria Lucia Magnum Box Pressed scored quite well on its burn. This cigar had little trouble maintaining a straight burn path and a relatively straight burn line. At the same time, any touch-ups needed were minimal. The result was light gray. This was a slightly loose ash. At the same time, the burn rate and burn temperature maintained ideal levels.
The draw to the Maria Lucia Magnum Box Pressed was slightly open. I usually prefer a little more in the way of resistance on a draw. Ultimately, this had no adverse effects other than a personal preference for how I wanted the draw to be.
Strength and Body
The Maria Lucia Magnum Box Pressed started out a little dialed back for me. The early puffs were in the mild to medium range. By the middle of the first third, both the strength and body were at a medium level. There was a build-up in the intensity of the strength and body, but in the end, both attributes stayed in the medium range for the duration of the smoking experience.
In terms of strength versus body, both attributes balanced each other nicely throughout the smoking experience.
Banding and Packaging Notes
Luciano Cigars did a tremendous job with the packaging of this cigar. The cigar box and band’s art were designed by Meirelles’ oldest daughter, Deborah, a Paris-based artist and fashion designer. Without ever seeing a photograph of her grandmother as a teenager, she drew the portrait of a woman she dreamed of. It turned out the portrait bore a strong resemblance to Maria Lucia Meirelles. As a result, the artwork was used on the packaging.
When it came to the overall experience of the Maria Lucia Magnum Box Pressed, it satisfied me. This wasn’t a typical Broadleaf experience, yet I haven’t had a typical blend with a Broadleaf cigar. The first half of this cigar was more enjoyable than the second half, but I’d still consider the second half satisfactory. The 54-ring gauge is one of my favorite on a box press, which also satisfied me. In the end, this is a cigar I would certainly recommend to any cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would undoubtedly buy and smoke again. I also look forward to trying out the other sizes in the line.
Key Flavors: Cocoa, Natural Tobacco, Earth, Cedar, Pepper
Draw: Very Good
Strength: Mild to Medium (Start), Medium (Remainder)
Body: Mild to Medium (Start), Medium (Remainder)
Value: Buy One
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on October 24, 2023 @ 3:17 pm