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Cigar Review – Nestor Miranda Art Deco Robusto Grande

Nestor Miranda Art Deco is one of the lines that Miami Cigar & Co. debuted at the 2011 IPCPR. A Don “Pepin” Garcia blend, the Art Deco line is made with Dominican and Nicaraguan leaves, including a double binder (one from each country) and a Nicaraguan Corojo ’06 wrapper. I received a couple of samples from Rene Casteneda, the company’s sales director, a few weeks ago, and I was putting off smoking them until we got the line in. Our first few boxes came in Friday afternoon, and as such, I had the pleasure of smoking the Nestor Miranda Art Deco Robusto Grande.

This stout robusto was a great-looking, well-rolled specimen of a cigar. The wrapper was a nice leathery-brown with a few fine veins, and the seams were inconspicuous if not invisible. The triple cap made cutting it a cinch, and a snip with a double-bladed cutter revealed evenly placed leaves with no chunky, disappointing stems. Pre-light flavors were stronger than I expected; I picked up rich tobacco, hay, coffee, and a good amount of warm, tingling pepper. With a better idea of what to expect, it was time to light up.

As with most of the Pepin blends I’ve had, this thing lit up in a flash and immediately began bellowing powerful smoke. Initial flavors were coffee, tobacco, leather, and a ton of pepper. About a half inch in, it mellowed out a little bit, giving way to flavors of dark cocoa with a very, very subtle sweetness. Without a lot of warning, the spice kicked up after another inch or so.

At the halfway point, there was a bit more recognizable sweetness, sort of along the lines of caramelized dark brown sugar. The retrohale was a little sweeter and mellower than I expected, and revealed a deeper leather flavor along with some more sweetness. Not an inch later, there was a third Pepin spice blast, which combined with the sweetness and coffee flavors to remind me of what espresso would be like if you sprinkled some crushed red pepper into the coffee grounds.

As I smoked down to the final third, I would say that the strength transitioned from a somewhat ballsy medium to a blazing full. I got a ton of chocolaty tobacco with intermittent cracks of pepper and leather, and the burn was still as stunning as it had been throughout the entire smoke.

What surprised me the most about this cigar is that in the final inch or so, the flavors toned down like crazy. The pepper all but disappeared and I actually started tasting cream on the draw. This creaminess, along with some coffee and a really nice aged tobacco flavor, lasted right up until I set down the (still firm) nub.

The Nestor Miranda Art Deco Robusto Grande was one of my favorite releases from Miami Cigar & Co. so far. Yes, the spice got very intense at points, but I found that it gave me a lot of “breaks.” I’ve never had a cigar that shifted from full, to medium, and back to full, and finally back to mild so dramatically. My advice is to smoke this one extremely slowly or those pepper blasts will sneak up on you. Otherwise, don’t be afraid of the retrohale, and don’t be afraid to smoke this thing down to a finger-burning nub. Thanks to Rene for bringing the samples—I hope I get to smoke another soon!