Juan López Minutos - Cuban Cigar Review
One of two Regional Editions for the French market in 2013, the Juan Lopez Minutos is a small cigar that delivers big on flavour.
One of two French Regional Editions released in 2013, the Juan Lopez Minutos is in fact a Minutos sized cigar. A small cigar that's 110mm in length with a 42 ring gauge, the Minutos looks great. There's something extremely inviting, attractive, and may I dare say it, cute regarding the Minutos. The Minutos come housed in wooden boxes of ten.
The wrapper is rustic looking, with a few green spots. The cigar is rolled well enough. It's funny, when someone describes to you a rustic looking wrapper, the first thing that pops in your mind is a rough looking José L Piedra or Quintero , however, there's nothing rough about the Juan Lopez Minutos. The presentation of this cigar is beautiful in it's own little way.
Cutting the cap, and lighting the cigar is easy enough. We have that Cuban draw with a little bit of resistance. Perfect. Now onto smoking the Minutos. I've smoked two (including this one) out of the three singles that I managed to obtain for this review. The first one I smoked back in April or May I think. The first thing that came into my mind whilst smoking the cigar was 'wow!', what a powerful little stick. If you like a Partagás Shorts or a Bolívar Coronas Junior then this would be a great alternative short smoke when you want something a little bit special. There were elements when smoking the Minutos where I knew it would need a good amount of time ageing in the Humidor to smooth out the rough flavour edges of the cigar and make it a more rounded smoke.
A few months in the humidor has done this particular stick a world of good. The strength has calmed down just a tad, but that strong flavour is there. In the mix, we have black, stewed coffee, grass , all wrapped up with a little bit of sweetness from the tobacco. In relation to the rest of the Juan Lopez range, the Minutos is a more powerful smoke than lets say a Juan López Seleccion No. 2. But the jury's out on whether you would call the Minutos at this stage in time, a Juan Lopez strictly on it's flavour profile. Yes, the Minutos has a grassy flavour tinge to it, but we have a lot more robust strength here than you would usually find in other Juan Lopez cigars.
There's not much flavour progression here. The strength of the cigar only leaves a little bit of room to manoeuvre in terms of other flavour notes, with a little more time in the humidor we may see a little more
Going back to the Minutos that I am currently smoking, there's not much I can fault the cigar on. The burn is great, the ash has a lovely white element and like I mentioned earlier, the draw is perfect. This cigar is great.
The last single that I have of the Juan Lopez Minutos will be going into the back of my humidor for a good year or so, to see how the flavours will develop and if any of that strength will die down a little. I must admit that the Minutos, for what it is, is a beautiful little cigar, full of power. You want something to kick start your morning, THEN THIS IS IT! Picture this, you and a few friends are off for a day of smoking cigars, and possibly knocking back the odd single malt. The Juan Lopez Minutos would be a great way to start the festivities.
My own gripe with not just the Minutos but the pricing of the French Regional Editions is that they are expensive for what you get. I paid around eight euros per stick, which for a Minutos is on the high side. If money was not an issue I would happily buy a few boxes of these and lay them down for a good couple of years, whilst leaving one box open to dive in from time to time, as they are smokeable now.
So in conclusion, the Juan Lopez Minutos, a little powerhouse of a smoke, stronger than it's regular production Juan Lopez counterparts, that is well worth sourcing.
Minutos - French Regional Edition
The Minutos were released on the French market in the second week of December 2013, with the Belicosos Royal shortly after.