About a month before the PCA tradeshow this year, Luciano Cigars (formerly Ace Prime) announced a new PCA exclusive cigar “Maria Lucia.” The cigar takes its inspiration from the story of Luciano Cigars founder and co-owner Luciano Meirelles’ mother, Maria Lucia Meirelles.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
“It took me many years before I dared to blend something inspired by my mother. She passed away when I was only twelve years old, and it was only recently that I was able to fully understand and know her complicated life’s story.” – Luciano Meirelles. The original press release went on to say: “The late Maria Lucia was as valiant as she was brilliant, as kind as she was unashamedly bold. She was the flower that rises from cracked pavement, the beauty that survives brokenness, the redemption that overcomes tragedy. This cigar echoes the life of a complex woman who reminds us that even when all odds are against us, we nevertheless have the capacity to hold onto the light.”
The artwork for the boxes and bands were designed by Meirelles’ oldest daughter, Deborah, who happens to be an artist and fashion designer out of Paris. Having never seen a picture of her grandmother, when she was a teenager, she drew the portrait of a woman she saw in a dream. This woman happened to have a striking resemblance to Maria Lucia Meirelles.
“When I saw the drawing next to old photographs of my mother, I saw the similarity immediately,” Luciano Meirelles said. “It was almost supernatural the way things happened. It’s hard to believe it was only a coincidence… And now years later, when I decided to finally create this cigar, naturally, in a full-circle kind of way, we thought there would be no better idea than to use my daughter’s drawing for the box,” Luciano said.
The company describes the Maria Lucia as medium-full strength. It comes in just one size, a 5 1/4 x 54 box-pressed Robusto. The blend uses a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and Ecuadorian Sumatra binder as well as an HBN 92 Ecuador binder, and fillers from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Peru. The Luciano Maria Lucia comes in 12-count boxes with each cigar carrying a price tag of $12.80. Production is limited to 4,000 boxes.
Length: 5 1/4
Ring Gauge: 54
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: USA Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra, Ecuadorian Habano 92
Filler: Dominican Republic, Peru, Nicaragua
Factory: Luciano Cigar Factory
Blender: Luciano Meirelles
Number of reviewers: 5 – Doug S. (Unpossible_1) Jason H. (Jokey Smurf) John A. (Bostoneo) Alan (Eulogy) Mickey T. (irratebass)
Age: 1 Month
Release Date: August 2022
Contributed by: Luciano Cigars
Initial Impressions – Luciano Maria Lucia
“A beautiful box pressed robusto adorning a dark reddish brown hued wrapper with an awesome smooth appearance. This sample is neatly constructed and topped with a wonderfully applied triple cap.” –John A. (Bostoneo)
“I don’t pick up any aromas on the body, but there are heavy chocolate cake notes on the foot. ” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“Upon lighting up this box-pressed beauty, I am greeted with a medium-bodied profile of damp earth, dark leather notes, and a lingering graham cracker sweetness on the tongue. As this cigar burns down, the profile mellows a bit out from the initial strength of the profile, creating a more complex flavor profile from the aforementioned flavors. The flavor train keeps going and only getting more complex as a supreme creaminess sets in towards the end.” –John A. (Bostoneo)
“The initial flavors of this cigar are creamy and sweet with nougat and almond, very reminiscent of a Mars bar. Through the nose, the smoke has sharp hits of pepper but it’s not overbearing at all which is nice.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“This cigar is right at a medium and is very balanced. At the beginning of the second third walnuts are taking over the flavor road. I am still getting the cream and butter on the retro and the black pepper continues to dominate my palate. ” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“There is a lot of stone fruit in the front of the profile now. It is pretty similar to the previous third with tobacco, leather, baking spice, and red pepper and it all works so well together. ” –Alan (Eulogy)
“The final third is dominated by heavy doses of black pepper as the strength fires on all cylinders. The strength was never anything less than medium from the start, but it is really throwing haymakers looking to finish me off. It’s been some time since a cigar had this type of impact on me, but I’m hanging in there to get the full picture of what it has to offer. As it comes to a close, a shot of espresso completes the journey for me. ” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
“In the final third there is a mustiness component that has crept in and pushed the chocolate and walnuts out of the picture. It’s not a foul flavor, but one I was not expecting. The cigar stays right at the medium strength until I nub it. Very good stick. ” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
Overall Impressions – Luciano Maria Lucia
“Very nice draw with a straight cut. Plenty of smoke output and intake with no issues at all.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“The burn was never quite razor sharp on this sample but was certainly acceptable, and only required one touch-up to get it back on track.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“This cigar was very well constructed as evidenced by the draw and burn.” –John A. (Bostoneo)
Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 90
“It’s not too often that I smoke a cigar and reach for some chocolate afterward to settle down the power of nicotine. This is one of those times and I’m not complaining. The flavor profile and notes had good transitions and the cigar was well constructed. All these elements made for a memorable experience and one I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to have again and recommend to someone looking for a bit of intensity in their life.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
“I really liked the flavors through the first two-thirds of this cigar and was happy to smoke it to the nub, even though it started to get a little harsh at the end. I’d gladly smoke another and really feel comfortable recommending it to my friends as a solid cigar.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Overall, this was a fairly decent cigar. The first two-thirds are where this sample shinned. Providing wonderfully complex notes of leather, cream, pepper, and slightly sweet baking spices, it took my tongue on a magical-tasting adventure. When I got to the last third, however, things started to go south and that magic disappeared as strength and bitterness took over in the final third. Give this one a go, it shouldn’t be skipped!” –John A. (Bostoneo)
“Fantastic cigar. The flavors had a lot of depth and the profile has a number of transitions keeping it engaging the entire time. This is not a yard gar and will require more attention to really enjoy the flavors. This could be a great cigar for a special occasion.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“Overall this was a very good cigar. There was plenty to like about this stick in its presentation, to is flavors, and to its performance. This cigar started out with a bang by giving me heavy chocolate soufflé flavors then switching it up to walnuts and eventually giving me must notes all bringing me cream and butter on the retro and black pepper on my palate that would not leave… it just lingered. I would venture to say this is at a minimum worth picking up a fiver, and I am curious to see what I smoked.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 81
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.