One of the cigars I searched for in 2012 with the most fervor, the La Duena finally made an appearance in the area.  While I had to purchase it from one of the shops that over price fairly regularly, I just couldn't pass it up.  Being blended by Pete Johnson and Don Pepin's Daughter, Janny Garcia, the pedigree of this smoke speaks volumes.  How was it?  Let's see....
Construction: Like most of Pete and Pepin's creations, it's a rustic looking cigar.  The band is elegant with a nice cameo feel and it really stands out against the deep almost black wrapper.  I love the cigars with substance rather than looks approach that Pete Johnson takes to his creations and this is a great example.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: Out of the cellophane, the La Duena is light and sweet and chocolaty under the nose. As expected the draw is perfect.
Light and Burn: Two matches and she blazed up perfectly.  Laser perfect burn from start to finish with a nice clingy light gray ash.
Tasting: Here is where the La Duena really shines.  It starts with a terrific floral spice - very similar to the Tatuaje Havana VI, which earned top honors in my 2012 cigars of the year -  and continues into rich cocoa and coffee notes.  Into the middle I picked up even more cocoa with a delicious lemon zest flavor.  Also picked up a terrific flavor that reminded me of those pink quasi-strawberry flavored sugar wafers.  Towards end it blossoms into a full bodied powerhouse of espresso, toast, and dark chocolate.  Truly excellent!
Value: As I stated before, I overpaid for this one.  Easily $5 more than the going price.  If you can snag one for about $10, you are doing well.
Final Thoughts:  Was it worth the wait?  Absolutely.  I will certainly consider adding a 5 pack of these to my stash and then hoarding them like a miser.  Pete and Janny really did a great job on this limited edition offering and I, for one, can't wait to see what they throw together next.  I highly recommend this cigar.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf, Nicaragua
Filler: Connecticut Broadleaf, Nicaragua
Strength: Medium to full
Size: 5 1/2 x 54
I love the play of the rustic looking cigar against the elegant cameo band
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