Team Cigar Review: La Unica Natural No. 400

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Cigar Details: La Unica Natural No. 400

  • Vitola: Rothschild
  • Length: 4.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $6.45
  • Release Date: 1986
  • Source: J.C. Newman

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the La Unica Natural No. 400 is light tan and has a few slightly raised veins present. The seams are easily visible as they are also slightly raised. The head is finished with a triple cap where the top cap is lifting on one side. The band is yellow with a brass border and black and red lettering and artwork. The aroma from the wrapper is dry hay while the foot brings a graham cracker note. The pre-light draw is dry hay and a light honey sweetness. There is also a mild spiciness on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The La Unica Natural No. 400 has a sandy, tan wrapper with some slightly darker veins throughout. The band has a yellow and gold color ,with red lettering, reminding me of a 50’s or 60’s style diner or drive in. For aromas from the wrapper, I was able to get sweet tobacco and mild hay. In the foot, there was sweet hay.

Pre-light Experience

The La Unica Natural No. 400 is a bit of an ugly duckling. The wrapper is a pale claro shade with various blotches of darker brown and some areas of unfermented green tobacco. Bunch and roll is even, seams tight, veins well pressed and head well finished with a triple cap. Aromas from the wrapper tell faint cedar and barnyard. Aromas from the foot give sweet cedar and hay. Cold draw gives hay and cedar.

First Third

The cigar begins with toasted wood, hay and black pepper. At a half inch in, the black pepper has eased up a bit and some mustiness has joined the profile. The retrohale maintains the toasted wood along with some slightly sweet hay and black pepper. As the third comes to a close, the profile is toasted wood, hay which has gained some sweetness, mustiness and light black pepper. The overall profile is a bit dry. The strength in this third is mild-medium.

First Third

The first third kicks off with sweetness, some mild cedar and light hay on the middle of the profile and carrying into the post draw. The sweetness settles into the middle of the profile with the hay. As the first third progresses, dry hay defines the post draw.

First Third

The first third has mild strength and body with easy going flavors. Flavors consists of hay, generic creamed sweetness, bread and cardboard. There’s no spice present until retrohaling. And it’s not so much as spice than a spicier/raw cedar note. The finish is namely cardboard and light cedar.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the mustiness has a slight lead over the toasted wood sweet hay and light black pepper. At a half inch in, the toasted wood is up front with the hay, which has lost the sweetness, and mustiness are even and the black pepper has dropped out. The retrohale is toasted wood, sweet hay, mustiness and light black pepper. The third wraps up with an even combination of toasted wood, hay and mustiness. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly below medium.

Second Third

There’s a burning paper flavor and light hay going into the second third. Hay with some mild nuttiness defines the middle of the profile. Post draw has a dry potting soil that settles on the palate between each draw.

Second Third

The second third is the same as the first third. Mild strength and body with flavors of generic creamed sweetness, bread and cardboard.

Final Third

As the final third begins, a light bitterness joins the wood as the toasted note leaves. At a half inch in, some char now joins the profile. The retrohale is now bitter wood and mustiness. As the cigar comes to a close, the profile is bitter wood, mustiness and hay. The strength in this third remained at slightly below medium.

Final Third

Sweetness, hay and burning paper with a burning paper finish and dry soil post draw. The soil and paper start to dominate the profile as the last third settles in. As the last third progresses, those flavor components become extremely unpleasant, and the last third was challenging to finish.

Final Third

The final third becomes bitter, especially present on the finish. The bitterness also overshadows the other flavors of generic creamed sweetness, bread and cardboard quite a bit. Strength and body finishes mild.

Burn

The burn line was a bit wavy, but never needed any attention. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

The burn was uneven as the first third started. That uneven burn continued to the halfway point of the first third, requiring a touch-up. The cap of the cigar cracked shortly afterward. Burn becomes uneven in the second third requiring a second touch-up. The burn continues to struggle through the second third eventually requiring a re-light.

Burn

Burn performance was flawless. Even burn, tight ashes, cool burning temperature and no use of my lighter past the initial light.

Draw

The draw started out slightly loose, but by the start of the second third was right where I prefer it.

Overall

The cigar began with toasted wood, hay and black pepper. Some mustiness joined in and the hay gained some sweetness. The second third saw the hay lose the sweetness and black pepper drop out. The final third saw the wood gain some bitterness and char. The retrohale provided a slightly enhanced experience throughout. Construction was very good and strength never got past slightly below medium. The La Unica Natural No. 400 had a fairly average flavor profile for a Connecticut Shade offering. Some bitterness that can commonly be attributed to Connecticut Shade showed off lightly in the final third, but wasn’t a deterrent to the cigar as a whole. This is a long standing blend that I’m sure many smokers of this style would enjoy, especially with a friendly price point. Probably not something I would return to regularly, but wouldn’t be opposed to one in the morning with some coffee.

Draw

The draw was 1 to 1-1/2 notches into the open spectrum, putting it in the very good category.

Overall

The high point for the La Unica Natural No. 400 was the first third, which was a fairly average experience. The flavors became more unbalanced from there, reaching a point in the last third that was challenging to fully finish. The poor flavor experience coupled with the poor burn left me with an overall subpar experience. J.C. Newman has quite a number of great cigars, many of them sitting in my humidor, and I would rather smoke any of those than another La Unica Natural No. 400. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 17 minutes.

Draw

The draw was also flawless, providing the ideal air resistance and flow.

Overall

The La Unica Natural No. 400 was an average tasting experience. There were some pleasant flavors such as generic creamed sweetness and bread, but the burning paper/cardboard note which eventually turned bitter was a turn off. The profile felt a bit monotonous and could have used some more complexities such as greater spice. I can see myself smoking one of these in the morning with a cup of black coffee but then again, I can see myself practically smoking most premiums cigars in the morning with a cup of freshly brewed black coffee.

Aaron
John
Jiunn
AveragePre
Light
AveragePre
Light
Average
AverageFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
Average
AverageSecond
Third
SubparSecond
Third
Average
SubparFinal
Third
PoorFinal
Third
Subpar
Very GoodBurnSubparBurnAmazing
Very GoodDrawVery GoodDrawAmazing
AverageOverallSubparOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.15

Cost/Point

$1.25

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

3.78

Cost/Point

$1.70

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.40

Cost/Point

$1.19

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: La Unica Natural No. 400
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: La Unica Natural No. 400

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