Sotolongo Cigars Hechicera Prensada Corona
I’m sure most of you have seen pictures, posts, or ads of Grace Sotolongo. I know I saw her face and name numerous times before I knew who she was or whom she worked for. Recently, Grace visited one of my local shops for a CLE event, primarily featuring her own cigar. Having smoked several of them, I felt like it was time to finally review one, especially because I told her I would! But first, a little background information is in order.
During the summer of 2013, Grace Sotolongo left My Father Cigars to join forces with Christian Eiroa of CLE Cigars. This move allowed her to start her own cigar brand, Sotolongo Cigars. The first release from the company is the Hechicera , which debuted late last summer. Hechicera (silent H) is Spanish for “female sorceress that captivates and enchants others with her beauty and charm”. Whether this name is more a reference to Grace, her cigar, or both, I’d say it suits both very well!
Currently, the Hechicera comes in four vitolas, 5.5 x 44, 4.5 x 50, 6 x 52, and 6 x 60. Grace did mention that it would also be available in a maduro wrapper, hopefully after IPCPR. Stay tuned for that!
Finally, the cigar smoked for this review was not a sample. It was purchased with my own, hard-earned (sometimes) money. With all the samples I’ve been reviewing lately, I felt compelled to mention that.
The Hechicera features a natural brown wrapper with a few veins and visible seams. The cap looks slightly bumpy. It does have a soft box press as well. Overall the cigar looks well packed.
The band is quite interesting. It is red with green, brown, and blue artwork with gold trim and print. The artwork was done by Grace’s friend Ninoska Perez Castellon and is meant to capture the essence of Grace and her vision. Though it doesn’t “look” like her, it does certainly remind me of her, so I’d say it hit the mark. The only downside to it is that it is glued on, so I have to peel it off.
The Hechicera has a silky, powdery smooth feel to it. When I squeeze it, I don’t detect any soft spots. It is well packed indeed.
The foot has aromas of earth, hay, and a hint of molasses. The barrel is pretty much just cocoa.
Here is where I make a big mistake. As I am taking the cigar and several other items outside, I drop the Hechicera on the floor. At first I think that all is well. However, upon further inspection, I notice several small cracks in the wrapper. This is totally my fault and will not count against the cigar in anyway.
The drop put a split in the cap, but I am still able to clip it cleanly. I get the same flavors as the aromas on the foot; earth, hay, and molasses. The airflow is great.
The Hechicera, for all of its charm, was a little stubborn when lighting it up. Once it did, it started out even, but the burn was wavy for most of the smoke. Despite that and the cracks in the wrapper from dropping it, I do not have to touch it up and there is no splitting. It’s a resilient little cigar to say the least!
The draw is perfect and I am able to get lots of smoke on each draw. When smoking a cigar with a smaller ring gauge, while the draw needs to be open, it can’t be too open or it will burn way too fast. Not the case with this one.
The ash was white with gray and some black specks. It was a bit flaky and tended to lean a bit. I tapped it off around the ¾” mark to avoid any mess.
The Sotolongo Hechicera Prensada Corona has been a solid cigar so far, even with the damage it sustained due to my negligence. In fact, I was prepared to switch it out for another one, but went ahead just to see how it would perform. Since it did well up to this point, I decided to commit to the full review with it. Let’s see if this Hechicera can enchant and captivate me with its flavors. (sorry, that was pretty bad)
The first third starts off with a nice mix of white and black pepper. I would say the white pepper is definitely more dominant, but both are present. There are also some earth and floral notes as well. I start to pick up on a slight caramel flavor as it progresses. Later on, there is a definite wood, maybe cedar, which appears. As I move into the next section, it seems to be getting spicier.
The second third continues with the spicy white pepper. The black pepper is pretty much gone now. I get some really nice floral notes on the retrohale. The wood, earth, and caramel all settle in nicely as well. Near the end of this section a notice it getting a little tangy. This pairs very well with the spicy notes.
In the final third, the main notes are white pepper, wood, caramel, and tanginess. The end of the cigar is pretty woody and a tad warm. It never gets bitter, but just a little too warm for my liking.
The Sotolongo Hechicera was medium in strength, medium full in flavor. I really enjoyed the flavors, specifically the spicy white pepper and floral notes. Total smoke time was right at 1 hour.
Would I Buy It Again?
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
Would I Buy a Box?
Yes! In fact, they come in 10 ct boxes, which is perfect for my budget.
The Sotolongo Hechicera Prensada Corona is a great little cigar that has plenty of flavor but won’t knock you over. Even with all the spice it had, I never felt like it was too much. I smoked this in the afternoon with a cup of coffee and it was a great pairing. I could see smoking this one anytime of day really. Next time, I will try slowing down near the end as I do not like when a cigar gets too warm, but otherwise, I enjoyed every minute of it. This is another one that I highly recommend trying. I can’t wait for the maduro!