Sometimes, you have a good cigar that comes with an equally good story. Not too long ago, my son, Rayyan, spilt his flask of water onto my knapsack. Normally this wouldn’t be such a big deal, accidents happen. But that day, i had my leather cigar carrier in the bag, and it was drenched. Worse still, i had some great sticks in that carrier, one of which was a Por Larranage Petit Corona (PLPC). The carrier deflected and absorbed most of the water, but a good measure still got through. Fearing the worst, i did what i could to salvage the cigars, drying them out, and dry boxing them for a period of time. Once they dried out, i put them back into the humidor and forgot about them. Until today.

It’s Halloween, so i guess its fitting i smoked a monster. The pictures will show you what i mean: the PLPC, after being soaked, then dried, then rehumidified, looked like a beast, a Frankenstein. The normally gorgeous medium claro wrapper, smooth and spotless, had turned into a veined disaster. Mottled and an ugly, dirty brown, the cigar looked horrible. Yet, it passed all the other modes of inspection — it wasn’t spongy, it felt firm and was in all likelihood perfectly smokable. Scent wise, it was woody, cedary, quite similar to when i first reviewed this cigar 6 years ago (this is one of the few survivors from that box, so it had a good amount of age on it).

A quick cut, and light later, i was taking deep draws, and was pleasantly surprised that the water damage had done nothing to hamper the draw, or even the burn. The first third was a strange metallic, almost rusty flavour. Some pleasant bitterness and nuts. I’m not sure whether this was because of the soaking it received, and the subsequent rehabilitation, or was this because of the aging it had undergone. It wasn’t a bad tasting start, it was just very unusual.

The one thing unchanged about this cigar, and one of the reasons why i’m enamored with PLPCs in general, is that the cigar produces the most wonderful aromas you can imagine. Very unlike many other cigars, even those that comes from supposed superior tobacco such as the ELs, the PLPC is, and has always been my “perfume stick”. Lush plumes of smoke, with a lovely sharp, woody sweet smell accompanied each draw and i must say that multiplied my enjoyment of the cigar. Flavour wise, the second half was much richer, smoother, almost silky with pronounced nuts and chocolate tones.

Compared to 6 years ago when i first had this cigar, i’d say time has provided a lot more balance to the cigar. The cigar flavours feel “heavier” in the mouth, more seasoned. It’s a bit like salt in food — when you add salt to bland food, the food tastes better, not because you taste that saltiness, but because salt brings out the natural flavours of the food better. Time is like salt to this cigar.

The last third of the cigar was like the end of a symphony of music — a burst of sound, in this case, pepper and spice. The nuttiness remains quite prevalent right to the end, and the tingle on the lips was more than a bit exciting. The finish is a bit short, and quickly washed away with a glass of water.

Verdict: 85/100. It’s a delightful cigar, quite a bit of character to it, but the staying power of the finish was a bit disappointing.

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