I first met Noel Rojas of Rojas Cigars in Miami where the two of us developed a friendship. He came to the states after he left Cuba where he was once arrested for peddling cigars on the street. Not wanting to work in the industry the government had placed him in, he decided to leave his homeland. From the first time I met him, his dream was to own his own cigar company. Through years of hard work, Noel Rojas is now well on his way to being a known cigar manufacturer.
Today Noel Rojas is based out of Texas and he is currently making his cigars with Tabacalera Flor de San Luis S.A. in Esteli, Nicaragua. Rumor has it he is currently renovating a building in Esteli to open his own factory and further control his own destiny.
Cigar Review: Rojas Statement
Wrapper: San Andres
Ring Gauge: 46
Size: Corona Gorda
The Look: Packaged in brindle looking boxes of wood these stand out on the shelves with a distinct look. Inside 20 cigars sit with dual band, the first showcasing the stylish logo of Rojas and a secondary thin band denoting the line, Statement. Featuring a dark San Andres wrapper from Mexico that is both oily and virtual flawless, the cigar is finished off with a closed foot. In the hand the cigar is firm with no voids of tobacco and heft weight due to the densely packed cigar that has a perfect draw.
The Notes: The cold draw reveals notes of dried fruit with a hints of raspberries while the aroma off the foot and wrapper reveals a subtle sweetness of cocoa. Once the cigar is lit, the first note is that of charred meat with a burst of pepper on the aroma.
Smoking our way into the first third notes of slightly charred meat dominates the palate before slowly fading after toffee is introduced along with a strong espresso component that becomes dominant. The retrohale adds some dried fruit to the mix with some early aggressive pepper.
The second third sees the espresso and toffee notes jockey for position for the prevalent flavor profile with the occasional touch of dried fruit providing a welcomed sweetness. Around the half way point touches of toast are added occasionally becoming easily identifiable. The retrohale sees toffee with a hint of raspberries as the pepper has faded away.
The final third of the cigar burns incredibly slow which is good considering the tasty experience this is providing. Notes of toast become dominant with espresso and a touch of leather. There is some spice on the lips bringing this to a cigar that is full on strength by the end with a long coffee finish. The retrohale sees the coffee intensify with a subtle toffee sweetness.
The Finish: The Statement from Rojas Cigars does just that, it makes a statement. Noel Rojas has arrived and while not many know his name or his story, they will. This is a complex cigar that isn’t overpowering and it needs to be tried. I smoked it right down to the nub, and interestingly the last third lasted in duration longer than the first two thirds without getting hot. It’s box worthy, and I plan to have a box of them on the table at this weekend’s upcoming Memorial Day BBQ.
Price: $9.99 / $179.99