This particular regional edition, for the Caribbean market, is technically a 2014 release but that doesn't necessarily mean anything other than that's when Habanos sorta kinda meant to get around to shipping them. We don't remember when these actually came into our possession but we think mid-2015. Though the production run was limited to 4000 numbered boxes, there's still plenty still for sale, which is often the telltale sign of a lackluster cigar. We've seen boxes from trustworthy vendors listed for as little as $370 US.
Because of all that, we approached these with some trepidation. We gave them time to rest and mature, though not the full three years we generally consider to be the minimum for enjoying a Cuban cigar. The reason is simple: we wanted to know if they were stinkers or merely overlooked before the supply ran out, or people rediscovered them and started stocking up.
The answer is, this is a very nice cigar with good aging potential but it's not a knockout. (More on that later.) Even at its cheapest, it's about $15 though we couldn't find any information on what the MSRP might be, assuming one is established. Size is the same size as a Montecristo Edmundo -- roughly 5.3 inches by 52. So it's verging on pricey since you can by three Edmundos for the price of two Paraisos.
The pre-light aroma is refined but hardly complex or explosively tantalizing—mostly light earth and hay. Right upfront you know this is going to be a lighter cigar best suited for midday and definitely indoors, where its subtle characteristics can be best appreciated. It's good looking in a vanilla way; the wrapper is on the lighter side of Colorado and with a little less richness of color and character it would look right at home on something like a Macanudo Vintage.
If there's a problem, it's this: the Paraiso doesn't command your attention. It's so laid back you tend to just kick back and smoke it without a great deal of contemplation. We had to keep snapping ourselves back into critical mode while smoking these because the experience is so pleasant and undemanding. It's kind of like getting used to the passenger seat of a big Lexus—so quiet and comfy you forget there's $80,000 worth of complex engineering insulating you from the bumpy, noisy road outside.
Let's face it, you can easily pay $15 to $20 for something similar yet less interesting, and certainly less exclusive, these days. An Ashton Cabinet or Padron Damaso will ding your wallet equally as well as this will and we don't like those nearly as much. In the end, this limited LGC turns out to be an overlooked and under appreciated gem that we started off thinking of as a B+ but in the end, scored an A-.
$15 (no MSRP stated)
Close consideration reveals a cigar exhibiting so many hallmarks of what make Cuban cigars special. Refined, easygoing, medium-bodied and accessible.