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Fiat Lux by Luciano Insight


There is no shortage of products that promise to elevate your mind, help you find introspective, et cetera. While the Fiat Lux by Luciano doesn’t promise to do so, it does come with an invitation to do those things while smoking it.

The cigar is the creation of Luciano Meirelles, who is the master blender, president and co-owner of ACE Prime. It uses a high-priming Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper over a Nicaraguan-grown binder and filler, the latter of which comes from the Jalapa, Ometepe and Pueblo Nuevo regions.

“Making this cigar was deeply personal,” Meirelles told halfwheel. “When imagining and developing Fiat Lux, the process was intimate, reflecting a desire to create a cigar that would be invitational towards introspection, towards exploring how the flavors of a complex blend can reflect the singularity of the human experience. Like it did for me, I hope this cigar gives everyone the opportunity to just let some light in.”

The cigar gets its name from a Latin expression that means “let there be light,” and while it has biblical roots, it is often referred to for its usage during the intellectual movement of the Enlightenment.

It becomes the third cigar to contain Meirelles’ name, joining The Dreamer and The Traveler, both of which were released as limited editions, although The Dreamer has since become an ongoing production. The Fiat Lux by Luciano is being offered in four sizes.

  • Fiat Lux by Luciano Acumen (6 x 56) — $10.75 (Box of 20, $215)
  • Fiat Lux by Luciano Genius (5 1/2 x 52) — $10 (Box of 20, $200)
  • Fiat Lux by Luciano Intuition (5 x 50) — $9.50 (Box of 20, $190)
  • Fiat Lux by Luciano Insight (5 5/8 x 46) — $8.75 (Box of 20, $175)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Fiat Lux by Luciano Insight
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Pichardo
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Sumatra)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa, Ometepe & Pueblo Nuevo)
  • Length: 5 5/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • MSRP: $8.75 (Box of 20, $175)
  • Release Date: September 2021
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The Fiat Lux Insight is an attractive cigar, as the main band and the ribbon at the foot both complement the color of the wrapper leaf well. That leaf is a well-tanned, very rich color that makes me think of the word bronzed when describing someone with a great tan. There is a bit of sheen to the wrapper and my fingers pick up just a touch of oiliness as well, even though I’d still say the leaf is on the dry side judging by texture. Veins are few but noticeable, and the seams are also noticeable. It’s well rolled though I do find the occasional soft spot. The foot’s aroma is fairly tame, with breads, toast, peanut, occasional toffee but otherwise no sweetness and really no appreciable pepper. The cold draw is a bit firm—nearly equally mild and neutral as the aroma—with flavors of Cheerios and a bit of mixed nuts predominantly, though there are trace amounts of sweet cream.

The first puffs of the Fiat Lux Insight aren’t too far off from what I’d expect given the aroma and cold draw; flavors are bigger and more vibrant, and there’s a bit of creaminess and just a touch of white pepper tingle on the front of the tongue. It’s a medium-minus intensity start, one that seems bigger than it is as the smoke first hits my taste buds, yet mellows out quickly and leaves a mild tingle. Two of the three samples go out after just shy of the half-inch mark, an interesting phenomenon that I can’t recall happening before. Once relit, the cigar picks up a small amount of rich sweetness, almost what I would imagine toffee to smell like as it was being made. The sweetness comes more from the resting aroma of the cigar than when actively smoking it and it doesn’t get long enough to shine. Some gruff, almost gritty earthiness, begins to emerge on the back of the throat. It’s predominant in one sample, of medium effect in another and quite mild in the third, with that mildest change being the one I prefer most. Retrohales at the end of this section feel a bit fuller, yet they’re not what I would describe as overly punchy or sharp. Other than a slightly delicate ash and the combustion stoppage near the onset, construction in the first third has been very good across the board. Flavor is medium, body is medium-plus, and strength is just over mild.

The second third of the Fiat Lux Insight continues with the varying levels of gruffness that closed out the first third, but shows signs of a creamier profile emerging. It is one that pairs well with retrohales, which are still peppery but have settled down a bit as well. For the cigar that has the most amount of irritation, the cigar’s limited length and faster burn rate mean there isn’t enough time to recover from the irritation. There is some smokiness joining the profile, a flavor and aroma close to what I think of from a campfire. It’s one of those flavors that is perfectly fine, and while there are times I like smoky food and drink, my mind is still thinking about the sweetness from the first third so it feels like a detour in the wrong direction. Thankfully, just like the harshness from the first third, the campfire flavor varies from sample to sample, and when tempered to add just a bit of smokiness, the cigar performs all the better. The flavor has ticked up a bit into medium-full territory, body is still medium-plus, and strength is closer to medium, though I’m not feeling any effects from it. Combustion and construction are both very good.

The final third hangs onto some of the smokiness from the second third, and in some ways, the cigar is hitting the same complexity mark that it hit in the first third, just with different components. The smokiness takes the place of the sweetness, the pepper is now heavier and a bit more aggressive on the back of the throat, while some earth adds a bit more character to the profile. It’s a profile that for my palate is a bit tough to enjoy on its own, but with the right beverage balancing things out, I could see it being quite enjoyable. One sample picks up a sharp funkiness, not quite mineral or what I would call sour, but it definitely takes the profile off course for a bit. Retrohales don’t suffer the same change, so I find myself passing the smoke through my nose more than I might otherwise. The flavor gets back on track with about two inches to go, returning to mixed nuts, earth, a new flavor of black coffee, a bit of wood and some black pepper. There is still some bite at the front of the tongue, while a toast flavor joins in and pepper fades away. There is still just enough irritation on the back of the throat to be noticeable, which when the cigar is truly dialed in is my only complaint. The Fiat Lux Insight finishes at a robust medium-plus to medium-full, body is medium-plus, and strength is just a tick over medium. Construction remains generally good, with no further combustion issues, good smoke production and a not-quite-perfectly even burn line.

Final Notes

  • There are some moments in the first third of the Fiat Lux by Luciano Insight that are simply incredible. Every so often in a review, we will mention finding these special puffs that really make the entire cigar, and that is what the first third offers here.
  • I’m still quite intrigued as to what would have caused the combustion issues in the very early going, and I will be the first to point to user error. In my defense, I can say with certainty that I didn’t smoke this cigar any differently than any other cigar I’ve ever smoked in terms of lighting it or puffing rate.
  • I have not yet smoked all the vitolas in the Fiat Lux by Luciano line, but I believe I’ve smoked either the Genius or the Intuition, as there were samples of it handout at the 2021 PCA Convention & Trade Show. While I’m hesitant to even comment on show samples, I will say that I was impressed with it at that point, but I definitely enjoyed the Insight vitola more.
  • The Fiat Lux by Luciano was released at the 2021 PCA Convention & Trade Show.
  • While it was supposed to ship immediately after the show, it was delayed until September and shipped alongside the CHC Serie E from Crowned Heads. ACE Prime is distributed by Crowned Heads, an agreement that was announced in April 2020.
  • The Sergeant, the other release from ACE Prime at the trade show, is still yet to debut having suffered some delays. There’s hope it will be out by the end of October or early November.
  • None of the bands came off easily or intact. It seems that the paper lacks whatever coating prevents the adhesive from seeping into it, so if you’re someone who likes to save your bands, you’ll want to get this one as warm as possible and be patient and delicate when removing it.
  • Only one sample of the three gave me any appreciable nicotine strength, and even then it was fairly tame. I wouldn’t worry about it if you’re someone who is sensitive or averse to nicotine.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 40 minutes on average.
  • Site sponsors Cigar Hustler, Famous Smoke Shop and STOGIES World Class Cigars carries the Fiat Lux by Luciano Insight. Atlantic Cigar Co. and Corona Cigar Co. carry other vitolas in the line, but do not list the Insight.

89
Overall Score

As I mentioned in the final notes, there are points in the first third when the Fiat Lux by Luciano Insight is really dialed in, and when it is the results are spectacular. It’s so good that I could recommend this cigar based on that section alone and feel confident that you’d feel like you’d gotten your money’s worth. There are some issues after that first third, with each cigar getting a bit more robust and gruff than I would like, and one taking a real turn that didn’t sit well on my palate. The final third does an admirable job bringing things back to the high marks as it gets the cigar to its conclusion, and I can only say that the one sample with the issues was the only one I wasn’t completely satisfied by. The profile checks the complexity and balance boxes, while never lacking in flavor or palate stimulation, and that’s before taking into account the consistently solid retrohales. Construction was also very good—early relights notwithstanding—and presented no issues that I thought were significant detractors. Consider me very impressed by this cigar, as at the moment it easily ranks at the top of the ACE Prime portfolio and earning a wholehearted recommendation to try as soon as you can.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I’m a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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