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Cigar Review: La Barba Cigar Co. One and Only

Cigar Review: La Barba Cigar Co. One and Only

In April of this year La Barba announced that they entered into an agreement with “Down and Back LLC” which is synonymous with The Caldwell Cigar Company. Down and Back will now handle all of La Barba’s Distribution and importing leaving time for its founder, Tony Bellatto to focus on the highly anticipated “blue project” which is being named “One and Only.” The “One and Only” is an undisclosed blend that was created at the Tabacalera William Ventura factory in the Dominican Republic, and boasts artwork from Jade Rivera, a prominent artist located in Miami.  

Tony Bellatto told Cigar Smoke – 

“This is the only limited edition we are ever going to do with la Barba and I wanted it to be epic, it is also to celebrate the partnership between Caldwell and myself, which was needed to push La Barba forward in a huge way” Tony also explained “One and only is kind of a marriage between the red and purple. Habano wrapper from Ecuador, I’m keeping the filler under wraps for now but the average age of all the tobaccos is 15 years”

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  • APPEARANCE 

The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper is graham cracker in color with some very notable seam, tooth and veins. The cigar looks like it was rolled quite awhile ago, the tobaccos in the blend have been confirmed at 15 years, the cigar had that lighter feel which in my experience goes with it’s notable age. There are two bands on the vitola. The primary band has a portrait I assume of Tony Bellatto himself dressed in Victorian garb, he looks like one of the founding fathers ready to be placed on a $20.00 dollar bill. Centered on a light grey background with blue accents on each side of the portrait reads “ONE” and “ONLY” following the band to the end is the signature straight razor, the symbol synonymous with La Barba translated to “The Beard”. The secondary band is matte black with grey accents reading “La Barba”. The vitola had a wide open foot with a rounded cap. Pre-Light aroma with leather, floral notes and natural tobacco. The cold draw produced minimal flavors of cedar and dried tea.

  • FIRST LIGHT

Upon first light there is slight bitter leather with orange peel. A nutty flavor of dried sunflower seeds, woody flavors of oak and aged natural tobacco. Minimal black pepper is noted, felt mostly in the throat. The retro is producing white pepper at a medium level with a woody cedar aftertaste.

  • CRUISE CONTROL BURN

After cruise control burn the vitola really opens up flavor wise. Cream, hazelnut and a floral sweetness of aged natural tobacco. The blend has been labeled as “Secret” or “Undisclosed” but at this point I’m getting flavor characteristics that are distinctly Cuban. I have no idea what the blend consists of, its just very reminiscent of Cuban tobacco! (Disclaimer) cigar smoking and tastes are extremely subjective to the individuals smoking them! At this point I’m just sharing my opinion, I highly encourage you to smoke this cigar and form your own. Finishing up the second third vanilla notes have appeared as well as a creamy nutmeg nuance with a cinnamon sweetness. The pepper has decreased significantly, only notable on the retro evolving into sweet notes of cedar.

  • FINAL THIRD

Moving into the final third the woody core flavor of cedar is dominant. Hazelnut with salted cashews are balancing perfectly with sweet flavors of vanilla bean and cinnamon. Any remnants of pepper have completely vanished only notable on the retro in the form of minimal white pepper evolving into flavors of woody cedar. Throughout the smoking duration the aroma of the cigar was amazing! Producing distinct woody cedar aromas with a bouquet of natural tobacco.

  • CONSTRUCTION/STRENGTH

Construction of the La Barba One and Only was slightly loose with the seams looking like they could give way at any time. I’m happy to report the cigar kept its integrity and it speaks volumes to the construction of the vitola. The draw was perfect, the v-cut produced the proper amount of resistance and provided thick amounts of creamy white smoke filled with an array of nose pleasing aromas. The ash was extremely loose and had a distinct blackish color to it. The strength of the La Barba One and Only was in the solid HIGH MEDIUM bodied range that was full of extremely complex and very well balanced full flavors. I purchased a five pack for review however a box purchase is highly recommended with no further aging required.

NOTABLE FLAVORS

  • Woody Cedar, Oak
  • Hazelnut
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Cinnamon 
  • Sunflower Seeds, Cashews
  • Minimal Black Pepper
  • Retro White Pepper Evolving into Woody Cedar Notes



Cigars Purchased From: Boiling Springs Wine & Cigar (5 pack) Box Purchase Recommended 

Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Cigar Smoke Rate: Solid 95

Size: 6 x 50 (Toro)

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Binder: undisclosed

Filler: Undisclosed

Production: 500 Boxes

Produced at: Tabacalera William Ventura (Dominican Republic) 

Toar

Toar

Love of all things cigars, craft beer, IPA's (any beer). Follow me on Untapped @Toar Campbell. Writer, reviewer, founder cigarsmoke.net
Toar

2 Responses to “Cigar Review: La Barba Cigar Co. One and Only”

  • Rob Malgieri Rob Malgieri:

    First Light
    -Leather, cedar, almond, coriander

    Cruise
    -Nutmeg, vanilla bean, almond, mild black pepper
    Retro has a very subtle pepper with lots of nutmeg. For once, an enjoyable retro that does not burn! I know, more taste sensors in the nose than the mouth and I have to do it, but I use it sparingly. Required in order to do a fair and thorough review. I find myself retro-haling on every puff, which I never do. It’s that enjoyable.
    Meaty smoke that you can just chew.

    Final Third
    -Nutmeg, smooth charred cedar, toasted almond, mild black pepper
    Yes, the final third has ramped up just a bit as evidenced from the flavors moving to chars and toastiness. Finish still has that meaty, chewable smoke. I’m not finding cinnamon only because that tends to have more of a hot bite and sweetness, so I am sticking to the nutmeg, which permeates the cigar from cruise to the end.

    Conclusion
    The La Barba One & Only is a smooth, well-balanced blend of exceptional flavors accompanied by a perfect roll (although slightly soft after warming up) and draw. Ash clings firmly and the burn line is just a little jagged requiring some touch-up. I rate the strength at a little above medium given the balance of pepper that I enjoy (not too much). The best retro experience ever.

    Rating: 94

  • Bob Langmaid:

    Man… This sounds like a cigar I could really get into!

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