Before we light up our Alma del Fuego which means, soul of fire in Spanish we decided to take a look at the company history.
The history of the family should make them one of the most well known in the industry. It wasn’t until until 2017 when they launched their own line of cigars did more people know the name, Plasencia.
The story began in 1865 when Don Eduardo Plasencia left the Canary Islands in search of success and opportunity and started growing tobacco in Vuelta Abajo, Cuba. The company grew as any company would until 1963, due to the Cuban political turmoil, the farms were confiscated. Sixto Plasencia Pérez and his family fled to Mexico and later relocated to Nicaragua. Starting again from scratch in 1965, Sixto Plasencia Pérez planted his best seeds in the fertile soils of Nicaragua. Then the Nicaraguan unrest began in 1978 and the family was forced to flee to Honduras. Eventually the family would make it back to Nicaragua and in 2005 their factory was producing over 30 brands for various manufacturers. In 2015 the family would become the largest tobacco growers for premium cigars. Today, their cigars are available in 80 countries.
Cigar Review: Plasencia Alma del Fuego
Size: 6 x 54 Toro
Wrapper: Nicaragua Sungrown (Jalapa)
Binder: Nicaragua (Condega)
Filler: Nicaragua (Condega)
Debut: July 2019
Box Count: 10
The Cigar: Plansencia cigars stand out on the shelf with their 3 band system. The Alma del Fuego uses two bands on white on red. The first a small one with the letter P repeated. The second denotes the company and the brand. The first which is overkill is red on white and mentions the line once again. The box pressed cigar features a closed foot and the cut lines of the oily wrapper aren’t as sharp as one would hope. Someone needed to sharpen their chavetta. In the hand the cigar is well packed though it feels heavier toward the closed foot.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Alma del Fuego is reminiscent of sriracha before giving way to a subtle chocolate and cedar component. The aroma from the wrapper and foot has a subtle marshmallow sweetness with a touch of pepper. With the cover foot we opt not to toast our foot and draw immediately to get the flavors from the wrapper which consist of dried apples and white pepper.
As we kick back and relax the first third notes of brown sugar, cinnamon and toffee all make an appearance creating a desert like enjoyment. The retrohale adds notes of apples and white pepper. As the slow smoking first third concludes notes of cinnamon are the dominant flavor profile while a touch of cocoa begins to develop.
The second third sees notes of earth develop with notes of apples, brown sugar and cinnamon sliding into the background. Around the halfway point the sweetness begins to disappear as notes of coffee and earth become the focal point. The retrohale sees a mix of black and red pepper that at times make my eyes water.
After we remove the primary band we enter the last third where there are notes of red pepper, earth, and coffee notes. The cigar has a dense mouthfeel to it though the smoke production is average at best. It engages all areas of the palate and there is a subtle caramel sweetness on the finish. The retrohale continues to serve up red and black pepper.
Conclusion: While expensive cigars were around before Plasencia launched I feel in 2017 where the Alma Fuerte launched it set a new bar on cigar pricing. Plasencia had made cigars for a lot of companies, but they were for the most part average priced cigars in the $8 to $12 range. I remember at the time thinking why buy a more expensive cigar when I can get one for a lower price from their factory. Well, since that release the rest of the market has caught up. Are they to blame, definitely not but I tend to link their arrival with the new cigar pricing structures.
The Alma del Fuego is less expensive than the Alma Fuerte but I often walk passed them in the humidor. They aren’t a bad cigar just think they should be a few dollars cheaper. It’s one of the few cigars on the market that I let the pricing structure dictate my purchasing. This is on me however as the cigar is well executed. It’s a flavorful smoke that has a nice amount of strength to it coming in at full in my perception.
Price: $17.60 (Before any local and/or state taxes)