It would be an understatement to label Lars Tetens as a ‘man of many talents.’ On top of being a world-renowned purse maker, chocolatier, artist, furniture builder, chef and skateboard designer – he is also largely credited with being one of the creative minds behind the cigar boom of the 1990s.

This was a time when flavored cigars were starting to gain popularity (although Tetens refers to his cigars as “conditioned”). It’s a rigorous process using essential oils, botanicals and tropical spices that are used to create flavor-infused smoke that’s quite delicious and exotic.

Unfortunately for fans of infused stogies — under the brand Lars Tetens — they abruptly stopped production citing different reasons. For over a decade these smokes have been nothing more than a shadow passed in and out without ever fully disappearing.

Let’s fast forward to 2019. Enter Alan Rubin, president of Alec Bradley Cigar Company who shocked the cigar world by announcing he had purchased a majority stake in Lars Tetens Brands and will be working with Tetens himself in order to bring back seven of these vintage lines. Today we are looking at one of the chosen lines for resurrection — Serie D

LARS TETENS SERIE D ROBUSTO

CIGAR SPECS

Country Of Origin: Nicaragua

Strength: Full

Wrapper: Not Disclosed

Binder: Not Disclosed

Filler: Not Disclosed

Smoke Time: 85 minutes

Sizes Available:

Lars Tetens Serie D Robusto (5×50)

HOW IS THE SERIE D ROBUSTO CONSTRUCTED?

Like most Lars Tetens cigars, the blend of Serie D is unknown. Being one of Teten’s strongest (and arguably most important) lines – it consists primarily of utilizing Ligero leaves which are taken from the very top part of tobacco plants; thus producing rich full bodied flavors.

Made at Jesus Fuego’s prestigious factory in Nicaragua; wrapper on this had a rich coffee bean color with some dark Colorado spots visible. There was a slight oily sheen to the wrapper’s surface and some thin veins along with thin visible wrapper seams.

If you’ve never come across a Lars Tetens cigar before then you’re about to find out that his branding is one of a kind. All of his packagings feature bands with four panels and typically four pictures – often times of Lars himself. Serie D falls into the latter, but don’t get it confused as being an egocentric journey.

The first image is in black and white giving it that timeless/nostalgic feel; we see Lars sporting a rebellious punk look with ‘since 1979’ in black font representing when Tetens first began crafting cigars. The main picture of the four shows present-day Lars, brand name in gold lettering over red background.

I was now about to travel back in time to ancient art of cigar making and see what the pre-light draw of Serie D has for me.

NOTES ON COLD DRAW

Cold draw could not be further from any pre-light puff I have ever experienced – after cutting cap off and taking few draws there were unique combination of chocolate licorice with hints floral notes; surprisingly helped balance aniseed character found within licorice itself.

HOW DID IT SMOKE?

I liked that there was a sweetness throughout the smoke. This was done by the chocolate licorice flavor always being there in some way or another. I thought Serie D, being a “Ligero” blend, would be heavy on pepper and spice but these notes were cleverly understated which allowed for strong earthy flavors and smooth nutty taste to shine through.

This is a smoke that would pair perfectly with a can of Dr. Pepper and really bring out everything great about a Lars Tetens cigar; flavorful, bold, enjoyable.

FIRST THIRD

With the cold draw piquing my curiosity it was time to light my stick up. The initial aroma and dry draw aren’t something that you often get again once you start smoking but Serie D was an exception to this rule. While it did have some earthiness and sugary fruit sweetness every now and then, the dominant force behind this smoke was the chocolate licorice flavor.

The first third had very nice smoke production with a sweet wild blueberry coming through on the retrohale.

SECOND THIRD

When I got into the second third things started getting a little nutty. The sweetness took somewhat of a backseat here as it felt like I had just sat down at the movies and put my head in an XL bag of nutty caramel popcorn. There were even some toasted notes in the retrohale accompanied by warm creaminess.

Some bitter coffee crowded out the chocolate licorice now with red pepper flakes being detected in the background which brought this flavor profile up above medium mark for me.

FINAL THIRD

In final third more space is given to coffee notes but bitterness is overtaken by strong hits of leather, earth, apple sweetness among other things such as subtle traces of chocolate licorice hanging around well over minute after smoke has left my palate finish wise if you will… Pepper notes from second third were expected so i thought they would come through here but delicately shied away from overpowering rest of flavors.

Some dry hay is pulled through on retrohale while construction remains flawless.

HOW STRONG IS THE SERIE D ROBUSTO?

The Serie D is labeled as a full-bodied flavor infused cigar but to me it was more like medium-plus for the most part. This is because the spice had been dialed back, although that’s not to say it didn’t tickle hairs on my tastebuds.

Perfect draw with just right amount of resistance is another aspect where superb construction shines through here. Lots of smoke too which can be attributed to how easily I’m able to take in cigar whilst burning.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

The extended hiatus of Lars Tetens cigar brand being over with now certainly made me appreciate this Serie D even more so. If anything about them could be taken from Serie D line alone it’s why Lars is such a cult figure among stogie circles.

It coats your palate with bold yet graceful flavors making veteran aficionados winners or beginners who want some extra spice in their smoking life.

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