JML 1902 Coronita
I’m on a bit of a Luis Sanchez kick. I reviewed the LTC Deluxe Anniversary two weeks ago, and today I have a more recent release from Sanchez-Romay, the JML 1902 Coronita. Big thanks to Jesse at Cigar Jack, who turned me on to these with his intriguing review last May.
Two words: Pennsylvania Broadleaf. And not just a little bit of it buried in the filler blend, either. This cigar is wrapped in PABL. The old Purofino Dom from the 90s (anyone remember those?) used a PABL binder, but I’ve never run across a premium brand using this wrapper. The filler is Dominican and the binder is Honduran.
The JML 1902, named in honor of Luis Sanchez’ grandfather, Jose M. Losa, debuted at last year’s R.T.D.A. show. The first thing I noticed upon cracking open my bundle was that these wrappers are, well, ugly. They’re not particularly veiny, but ruddy in texture and streaky in color. Nut brown with streaks of black. Maybe this is why we don’t run into more PA wrapper?
Not that it matters, but the bands are curious as well. Luis has taken great care in producing band and box art for his other brands, but he obviously punted on these.
Despite the dainty name, the Coronita is healthy-sized corona at 5.75″ x 44. It clips and lights without a hitch. The initial flavors are what you’d expect from a broadleaf — a healthy dose of pepper with woody undertones. First I detect a bit of dry cocoa on the finish. Again, typical of a broadleaf.
But then things get interesting, as the finish develops flavors I usually associate with an Ecuador sungrown — slightly sweet, caramelized, even bready. While the base pepper and wood notes are always present, the highlight of this smoke is the middle third, where there is a pronounced cookie dough note on a long finish.
It’s at this point I also notice the aroma is warmer and toastier than a CTBL. Typically, I find broadleaf maduros to have a sharp, occasionally obnoxious aroma. Not the case here.
The power picks up notably on the final third, as the sweetness on the finish fades and pepper begins to dominate. It ends where it began, but considerably stronger and with some fleeting dark coffee notes.
CONCLUSION: The JML 1902 Coronita starts and finishes like a classic CTBL, but the 30-minutes in between are a robust, interesting hybrid between CTBL and SG. In other words, the PA Broadleaf wrapper is more than just a novelty. These lack the sophisticated presentation I’m accustomed to seeing from Sanchez-Romay, but this under-the-radar brand delivers where it counts — flavor, burn properties and value ($57.00 per bundle/20!).