Please note this is of the pre-release and the cigar in stores now is very different.
It’s hard to believe that I never reviewed this cigar when I picked up a box at the Miami Cigar Extravaganza back in December. With my sticks almost gone I figured I should act now as this cigar might be out of my price range when it is released in the summer of 2010. I heard, but cannot confirm that these cigars will retail near the $20.00 range.
The cigars are blended by Jaime Garcia who is the son of Jose Pepin Garcia. As far as I know this is the second cigar blended by him to go into production with the original My Father line being the first.
Cigar: Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial
Size: 6 x 56 (Toro Gordo)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Strength: Medium / Full
Appearance and Construction (17/20): These un-banded beauties are a site to behold. The slightly coarse wrapper is virtually vein free and rolled to perfection right down to the triple cap. The Connecticut Broadleaf is a dark dye free wrapper has a fair amount of oils showing. This cigar is above all expectations I had for a pre-release limited to a single shop. If I had one complaint it would be that it lacks any weight and feels like a piece of Styrofoam in the hand.
Flavor & Notes (27/30): The foot of the cigar offers intense mocha notes while the draw offers notes of mocha and cinnamon. A part of me doesn’t even want to light this cigar up because of how content I am at this point. Once the cigar is ignited some faint pepper along with a bitter dark chocolate begin to emerge. It isn’t long before they are joined by some leather notes as well. As we enter the second third of the cigar the pepper is gone, and what remains is leather, dark chocolate (less bitter now), and some coffee. Occasionally I got teased with some cinnamon as well. The final third of the cigar the coffee and leather remains while the pepper has returned especially through the nose which sent me into a sneezing frenzy. The cigar has a slightly bitter leather finish.
Smoking Characteristics (22/25): Once the cigar was lit it was easy for me to see why it felt so light. There were five pin holes visible in the burning tobacco. This did not effect the overall burn of the cigar, but you could see where there was room for more tobacco. The cigar had a bit of an easy draw, perhaps to easy which ties into the porous roll. The cigar smoked a little fast but burned nice and even. The dark gray ash held for long periods of time and the amount of smoke produced was enough to make me happy.
Overall (22/25): As I wrote this review I began to wonder why they didn’t make this a 54 ring cigar with a tighter roll. The cigar is a little bitter cigar in terms of flavor, so if that doesn’t fit your profile keep it in mind. I will however visit these again in fairness once it comes out to the masses. It is definitely a good cigar, but the rumour of $20.00 a stick has me worried since I would appraise it to be a $12 to $14 stick.