Boutique Wednesday Cigar Review: El Josco


Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Connecticut

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican

Strength: Mild

Price: Box of 25, $92.00

Grade: 8.7

Luis Falto of La Garita Cigar Company was gracious enough to send us samples of his full line of cigars, as well as sponsor a couple of our contests. Over the next several months we’ll start reviewing the line. Today is our first review. We’ll also have an interview with Luis Falto in the next few weeks.

La Garita’s website provides an excellent history of the company and I’ve included some of it here:

La Garita Cigar Co was founded 14 years ago, while Luis J. Falto was a student at the George Washington University. It all started when he bought and sold cigars to a growing list of cigar lovers.

Falto decided he had experimented and tasted so many different cigars that he wanted to produce one according to his personal tastes. With the connections he had in Washington, D.C., Falto visited the Embassy of the Dominican Republic and got a list of all major manufacturers of cigars established there.

After a journey that took him to innumerable visits to many cigar factories, he finally met Manuel J. Inoa, the Production Coordinator for La Aurora, S.A. When he eventually met with the group from La Aurora, they endorsed his ideas and views of what a cigar bearing the Falto name should be.

First, Falto wanted to choose the different tobacco blends for his cigars and decided that the productions should be small and exclusive. Such small quantities would insure a strict quality control, for which La Aurora was already recognized for. To this date, all Falto cigars are hand made in La Aurora S.A., the oldest cigar maker in the Dominican Republic, founded in 1903.

You can visit La Garita Cigars online and on Twitter.

The El Josco, or El Jincho, is first up. The El Josco was one of the first cigars Luis made when founding his company in 1995. Originally Falto was unhappy with the aging process of the Connecticut wrapper so he discontinued the line in 1999. When discontinuing the Josco, Luis set aside the wrapper leaves for later use. In 2008, Luis reintroduced the Josco, utilizing the original wrapper now aged nearly twelve years. The run on the cigar was two thousand and when it’s out, it’s out.

So, with the limited run in mind, let’s toast this 12 year old leaf!

Pre-light, 1.7:
The Josco appears to be a bit of a wallflower—smooth, almond color wrapper, unspectacular band, and a slightly rustic exterior with lots of veins and a few that are raised and stalk-like. The band is black and gold and sports JOSCO in Old English lettering with a picture of a bull beneath it. The draw is just right once the cut is made and the aroma matches the cold draw–sweet and spicy with a strong nuttiness. On looks alone, I’d expect this to be a bundle cigar.

Burn, 1.8:
The burn on the Josco is nearly flawless. It toasted very well and maintained and even burn throughout. The draw was perfect and created an excellent sheet of white-gray ash. I smoked a couple of these and the first smoke went out twice. On the second one however I did not encounter any problems so maybe it was the humidity of the night, not sure. If you smoke one of these you may want it to let it sit out a little while before toasting.

Flavor, 2.5:
This was a very, very consistent smoke that never went hot or harsh. The first third carried some rather strong notes of nuttiness and moved into a creamy sweetness that offered a brief detour. The final third remained creamy and returned to the nutty notes. Overall, this was an uneventful smoke by way of transition and complexity, but the smooth consistency was delightful and would make this a fairly frequent smoke for me.

Overall, 2.7:
At around $3.60 per stick on a limited run cigar with some excellent age on it, this is a deal that will be hard to top. Though the appearance does not slap you in the face and demand your attention, its subtle demeanor matches the smooth characteristics of this consistent cigar. If you can find these I would definitely recommend picking one up and lighting it. It sat in my humidor for around 2 months but with the age Luis has put on the wrapper, it is ready to go right out of the gate!

(Total: 8.7)