JAIME GARCIA RESERVA ESPECIAL 2011


 

BASICS

VITOLA: Toro
SIZE: 6 1/2 x 52

ORIGIN: Nicaragua
FACTORY: My Father Cigars S.A.

WRAPPER: Connecticut Broadleaf (Viso)
BINDER: Nicaragua
FILLER: Nicaragua

STRENGTH: Medium-Full

PRODUCTION: Limited Release 3,700 Boxes of 16
Originally released in Aug 2011

ENVIRONMENT

WHERE: My backyard Patio – Northern CA

DRINK(S): Maestro Dobel Anejo Tequila. I recently transitioned to sipping Anejos from Bourbon and I have to say this one is fantastic. If you’re taking the plunge this makes for a good transition

WEATHER: Beautiful sunny day in Northern Ca. Currently in the high 80s

WHAT'S ON: Listening to audible, current book; American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

 

 

BACKGROUND

  • These were't even on my radar until I happened to have read an article that Jaime Garcia would be bringing it back for a 2017 LE release. I recalled people asking from time to time about them and always a flow of subsequent people praising it. u/bigjohnaustin of r/cigars saw I was looking and provided me two. 
  • This Limited Edition originally came in a 16 count box with 1 "unique" 16th cigar. That special 16th cigar is the same blend but with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.This review will focus on the standard Connecticut Broadleaf version.
  • A little back story on the man behind it and his family history. Jaime received his formal training in Cuba with his father (Jose “Don” Pepin Garcia). Don Peppin had worked with several large Cuban brands helping blend cigars as a Master blender. During the 90s he was accounted Cuba's most productive master roller. Before leaving Cuba he was in charge of Quality Assurance for Cohiba.
  • After leaving Cuba in 2001 Pepin quickly setup The El Rey de los Habanos factory in Little Havana Miami. In 2009 the “Garcia Family Industrial Park” (My Father Cigars) in Estelí, Nicaragua had its grand opening. One thing that Jamie has to call upon that Pepin does not was his formal agronomy training and expertise.
  • When asked about the cigar itself; This is the “1st Limited Edition release from the master blender Jaime Garcia under the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial name. It is very different from the regular Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial. It has several types of Cuban seed tobacco including the Pelo de Oro.
 
Pelo de Oro While this is a Spanish term meaning “golden hair” it is usually a reference to a potent Cuban cigar varietal which was popular in the early and middle 20th Century. This tobacco could be used for wrapper and filler as well, but is disease prone and can infest entire crops and regions so it is rarely grown today. Pelo de Oro can be considered a ‘campesino’ or ‘guajiro’ tobacco since many agricultural workers grow and smoke it to this day - especially in the central part of Cuba. It is known for being quite strong and flavorful as well as sweet
— Tobacconist University
 

PRE-LIGHT

CONSTRUCTION: Beautiful dark brown maduro wrapper. Solid construction, uniformly sleek all around a few visible veins running throughout. Normally larger than what I’ve been smoking but still within my comfort zone. Firm to the touch.

AROMA: I’m getting hints of spice right off the bat with some additional notes of cedar and earth.

BAND DESIGN: I really like how this cigar looks with the addition of the LE double band. Here you can see the classic Jamie Garcia band followed with the 2nd LE band. It really catches my eye with the larger blue portions coupled with the gold really stands out as high end and elegant. If I were to see this cigar on a shelf I wouldn’t definitely think its high end.

LIGHT AND DRAW: Do yourself a favor and just take a minute to gaze at this yellow cellophane below. Took a clean cut off the immaculate triple cap with my Xikar XO. A dry pull gives me no indications of a draw issue. I’m lighting it with my double soft flame Colibri Julius. I recently made a swap from torch to soft flame, not sure if its makes any difference but it sure is more fun using a flint lighter lol. It lights up beautifully. 

 
20170520_173028.jpg


SMOKING EXPERIENCE

FIRST THIRD

Excellent burn, perfect draw and just the right smoke output. I’m getting pepper in the back of my throat and tongue initially. Each exhale seems to quench the pepper with a creamy blue smoke cloud. About an inch in the pepper is dying down and I’m getting leather which moves to steak and salt on the tongue.

SECOND THIRD

20170520_180044.jpg

I remove the 2nd band as I move into the next 3rd. Now this may be on purpose with the blend or due to the extreme aging but the pepper is all but gone. I’m now getting a sweet taste like brown sugar and molasses. As it continues to progress I’m catching Dark chocolate and hints of orange zest. The burn line is a little sloppier but still goes strong with no issues, draw still on point. The creamy smoke continues

FINAL THIRD

I remove the final band and continue puffing away. As I pull into the final 3rd the spice is picking up again. This time more in the style of Cheyenne pepper. Meat and leather are prominent flavors. The cigar has transitioned a little more towards the full category. Needless to say, smoke continues to exude notes of heavy cream.



RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS

COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES

👍  Flawless construction, excellent draw and smoke output
👍  Amazing flavors and transitions throughout the entire experience

👎  Extremely minor burn evenness around end of 2nd 3rd

RATING BREAKDOWN

Construction & Appearance  ....... 0.80  /  0.80
Pre-Light Characteristics  ............. 0.50  /  0.50
Lighting Process  ............................. 0.50  /  0.50
Smoking Experience  ..................... 7.57  /  7.70
Personal Enjoyment ....................... 0.50  /  0.50

9.87 / 10 -  MY Bunker cigar!

As my title alluded to, I would categorize this as my “Bunker Cigar,” meaning if it was the end of the world and I was stuck in a bunker with only 1 cigar to have with me, this would be what I would stock up on. This is hands down one of the best cigars I have had the pleasure to smoke.

These originally had a $16 price tag and it's one hell of a deal if you can find them today. Sadly, these are very hard to come by being from 2011. I honestly didn’t even expect to get 1 much less 3.  I’m hoping the new release will be equally as good though I am sure 6+ years of aging helped.