The first time I smoked these cigars were at the launch event over at Cigar Inn. Sadly the cigar that was released that night is different then the current version and I have this on good authority. It seems following the success of the My Father cigar that Jaime put together as a tribute to his father he was “allowed” to create the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial. The story goes that at the Cigar Inn event Pepin smoked the cigar for the first time and wasn’t very excited about it. So when back at the farm the cigar went under a reblend of sorts and this is the cigar we have today.The cigar features 2 different kinds of Nicaraguan tobacco with one grown by Jaime and the other Pepin. Also the cigar features tobacco grown at the Oliva farm giving us a different more complex cigar then previously smoked.
Appearance and Construction: The cigar’s filler is made from Nicaraguan tobaccos, while the binder is Ecuadorian and the wrapper is Connecticut Broadleaf. In the hand the cigar is beautiful to look at and offers a distinguished look despite some veins of medium size. The cigar feels great in the hand with a nice weight and no soft spots.
Flavor & Notes: Once the cigar is clipped and I go through the pre-light ritual the notes are spice, cedar and toast on the foot. the cold draw serves up some notes of earth and chocolate. Once lit The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial isn’t much different then most Pepin smokes with the signature blast of pepper which is especially strong through the nose. first third offers up notes some notes of pepper that are especially potent through the nose. As the pepper slowly subsides the first third has notes of earth and a slight chocolate. As we breach the 2nd third of the cigar the pepper remains as a subtle reminder in the background and the primary notes are cinnamon with chocolate and a touch of earth. the final third of the cigar the chocolate begins to stand alone with a slight spice on the finish. To sum it up, This smoke tastes of earth, spice, with a sense of sweetness and a note of chocolate thrown in for good measure.
Smoking Characteristics: The cigar which features a great draw burns a bit uneven and slightly wavy but for me I’ve come to expect this from a broadleaf wrapper. the medium grey ash hold on well despite having some flake to it. the smoke which is ample has nice classic aroma to it.
Conclusion: I personally would of been happy with the original version of the cigar. However, the retail version fits more of the My Father cigars and the perfect construction and chocolate sweetness combine to make the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial a go to cigar without a doubt.
Price: $6.80 MSRP