The Jose L Piedra brand cigar is a popular brand distributed and consumed domestically in Cuba and now also sold in global markets. The line is produced by machine and by hand in the regional Jose L Piedra cigar company in Santa Clara. This is one of the most inexpensive of all Cuban cigars and has a mild to medium flavor.
The Jose L Piedra brand is a current pre Cuban Revolution cigar brand that was established in the 1880s. The brand was temporarily discontinued during the early 1990s and was once again instated in 1996. Currently the Jose L Piedra is classified by Habanos SA as a globally distributed brand and holds a major share of the market. Before to about 2007, the cigars were classified as a multi-local distributed brand.
The tobacco used to make the cigars comes from the the lesser Vuelta Arriba region. There has never been a special release of this brand.
History of the Jose L Piedra
Jose L Piedra is considered a particularly noteworthy Habano cigar because it is made using the tobacco leaves grown exclusively in the Vuelta Arriba region in Cuba. The Piedra family moved to Cuba sometime during the 1880s from the Spanish province of Asturias. The family settled near the town of Santa Clara, which is located at the heart of the tobacco growing region of Vuelta Arriba. Tobacco plantations have been flourishing in this area since the sixteenth century.
The Piedras started making and selling cigars almost immediately after moving to the region. The second generation of Piedras, led by Jose Lamadrid Piedra founded and developed the brand into what it is today. The flavor of the cigars are ranked by some consumers as medium to full, but generally classified as mild to medium.
The Jose L Piedra Cigar Lines
These are the commercially sold vitolas produced under the Jose L Piedra brand. The size of the cigar and the ring gauge is included in both Imperial and metric measurements.
- Brevas – The Breva measures 5 ¼ inches (133 mm) long with a ring gauge of 42. The cigar is said to have plenty of the typical earthy flavor of Cuba. It is not too spicy, but quite distinctive and not one bit bland. The draw is smooth and easy, but too loose. The cigar produces nice billows of aromatic smoke and the taste is comparable to the Punch and Fonseca. It is officially named the Brevas JLP, and commonly referred to as a corona.The cigars were machine made until about 2002, now they are hand made. They use standard bands and are packaged in cardboard packs of five and in cellophane bundles in a cardboard box of 25 cigars.
- Cazadores – The Cazadores measures 6 inches (152 mm) long with a ring gauge of 42. It is sold in cardboard packs of five and twenty-five. It is officially named the Cazadores JLP, and commonly referred to as a Long Corona.
- Conservas – The Conservas measures 5.5 inches (140 mm) long with a ring gauge of 44. This cigar is a great option for people who like a straight forward earthy Cuban taste combined with a hint of spice. The Conservas cigar does not offer any type of flavor evolution, but it is not considered an offensive cigar, either. One main feature of the cigar is the change in strength throughout the duration of time spent smoking one, which takes about an hour and a half. The strength starts off quite mild to medium and finishes more medium to full.The Conservas doesn’t have the same construction issues as some of the more expensive cigar brands. The cigars are packed in cardboard packs of five and twenty-five, and are officially named the Conservas JLP and commonly referred to as a Long Corona.
- Cremas – The Cremas measures 5.4 inches (136 mm) long with a ring gauge of 39. The cigar offers a creamy mellow tobacco flavor and is a little tight on the draw. Many smokers consider this the best of the Jose L Piedra line up. They are packed in cardboard packs of five and twenty-five. It is officially named the Cremas JLP and commonly called the Corona.
- Nacionales – The Nacionales measures 5.3 inches (134 mm) ling with a ring gauge of 42. This cigar is a nicely priced Cuban. It has a delightful cocoa and spice flavor with a robust aroma. It does not burn very well, but it is an excellent choice for the average cigar smoker. It is officially named the Nacionales JLP and commonly referred to as a Corona.
- Panetelitas de Hebra – The Panetelitas de Hebra measures 4.4 inches (111 mm) long with a ring gauge of 30. This cigar was discontinued in the 1970s. The official name is unknown, but is commonly known as the small panetela. It was packaged in a semi plain box of twenty-five, without cellophane.
- Petit Cazadores – The Petit Cazadores measures 4.1 inches (105 mm) long with a ring gauge of 43. The cigar offers a nice mild to medium strength. The taste is milder than that of Romeo y Julieta and Hoyo de Monterrey. This cigar was first released in 2007 and is packed in cardboard boxes in five and twenty-five cigars per pack. The official name is the Petit Cazadores and is commonly called the petit corona.
- Petit Cetros – The Petit Cetros measures 5 inches (127 mm) long with a ring gauge of 38. This cigar is a lighter bodied panetela size with a nice smooth draw. The flavor is earthy, raw and rustic. Officially named the Petit Cetros JLP, it is commonly referred to as a short panetela.
- Royal Palms – The Royal Palms measures 5.5 inches (140 mm) long with a ring gauge of 30. This cigar was discontinued during the 1970s. The official name is unknown, but it is commonly referred to as the slim panetela.
- Superiores – The Superiores measures 5.7 inches (146 mm) long with a ring gauge of 40. This cigar was discontinued during the 1990s. Officially the cigar was named Superiores, and commonly called the long corona.
Those are all of the cigars in the Jose L Piedra line up.
Cigars for a Smaller Budget
The Jose L Piedra brand cigars are one of the least expensive of all Habanos cigars and not as famous as some of their cousins. However, for a nice tasting cigar, they may be the answer for people on a budget. Cigar aficionados call the Jose L Piedra line more of an every day brand, whereas the most expensive brands are more like special occasion cigars.
The flavors of the various Jose L Piedra brand cigars have been compared to top brands such as Hoyo de Monterrey and Romeo y Julieta, which cost more per cigar than an entire box of twenty-five Piedras.
Smoking might be enjoyable, but most people consider smoking Cuban cigars as a type of status symbol. However, this doesn’t mean the Cuban cigars a person smokes have to cost a small fortune. Cigar aficionados can get the same amount of pleasure from lower priced Cubans as they can from the more expensive counterparts.
Not all Cuban cigars are created equal, but as long the cigar is made in Cuba, it is still a Cuban cigar. All of the tobacco used to produce Jose L Piedra brand cigars is grown in Cuba, which is what sets a Cuban cigar apart from all other cigars in the world.