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One of the most highly-anticipated new releases from this years trade show is the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva, the follow-up to last years smash-hit Mi Amor, which received an astounding 95 rating from Cigar Aficionado. The Reserva is an entirely new blend, incorporating a Cuban-seed Mexican Oscuro wrapper and a precise mix of aged Nicaraguan binder and filler leaves. The cigars are crafted in Nicaraguaby Don Pepin and Jaime Garcia, and in addition to being the “sequel cigar” to one of the hottest sticks of 2011, they are also the last project that Ashton vp Manny Ferrero was involved in before his passing in March of this year. It was with this in mind that I set out today to sample the Maximo size (5 ½ x 54).
The Reserva had a nice, “soft box-pressed” shape to it, and elegant presentation with double bands firmly in place atop a thick and toothy deep brown wrapper. Pre-light tastes gave off a unique bouquet of cocoa, cedar, and citrus. After a thorough toasting of the foot the stogie lit up easily and evenly.
The cigar opened up with a clean and refined taste of semi-sweet cocoa and earth. With each puff the sweetness of the wrapper seemed more pronounced, and eventually some black pepper crept up into the finish. Though the draw was fairly firm, each puff produced plenty of airy and aromatic smoke, and the burn line was mostly even with just a slight lean.
In the second 3rd the smoke was earthy and smooth, with more salty than sweet character coming through. Subtle and relaxed notes of cocoa and coffee mingled with a rich tobacco flavor, and a fat black and grey-striped ash had grown to about two inches before dropping off. The stogie continued to burn clean and consistent for the duration of this portion.
In the last stretch a cool note of cream arrived, along with more cocoa sweetness and a subtle citrus note. This 3rd came across very well-balanced in terms of both body and flavor, and a bit of the black pepper from the 1rst third popped back into the profile as I approached the nub.
Truth be told, I’ve never been especially crazy about Oscuro wrappers, however, I have to say this was one of the best ones I’ve experienced. It seemed to lend just the correct amount of sweetness to the profile at just the right times, rather than overpowering the interior blend as I’ve experienced on other Oscuro-wrapped sticks. The La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva was consistent in both taste and burn from start to finish, and I found myself enjoying the little flavor nuances that it presented throughout the smoke. I think experienced smokers will especially appreciate this one, as it really challenges the palate if you choose to pay attention to the slight flavor subtleties therein. My thumb’s up once again to the unstoppable Garcia team of father and son, and I award the Mi Amor Reserva Maximo an A grade. Be on the lookout for these to land on our shelves sometime in the next few weeks.
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