Monday, December 26, 2011

Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial

Fatal Halo Rating

Price: $7.00
5.2” x 54 ring gauge
Nicaraguan Long Filler
Nicaraguan Binder
Connecticut  Maduro Broadleaf Wrapper

As far as my cigar smoking experience goes, I haven’t sampled a lot from the Garcia’s “My Father” line, but having read a glowing review of this particular stick in Cigar Snob magazine, I was intrigued to see if it really lived up to the hype.  I’ve smoked several of the La Reloba Selección Sumatra sticks and found them to be very consistent and flavorful, so I was expecting a lot from this signature blend.

Pre-Smoke Analysis

As far as my pre-smoke analysis, I found the cigar to be of excellent construction.  No soft spots, no tears or flaws in the wrapper and, oddly, a toothy yet silky feel.  I was most impressed by the cap that looks as if it was perfectly symmetrical to diameter of the cigar and the aroma was immediately enticing.  Subtle hints of chocolate and coffee were immediately evident.  Using my Montecristo Samurai guillotine cutter, it cut smoothly and cleanly with absolutely no fraying.  I knew right away this cigar was going to be a special experience.  This cigar was clearly constructed for the discerning aficionado.

The First Third

As I torched the foot, the aromas became stronger and more pronounced – now a more sweet and woody aroma permeated the air and actually made my mouth start to water before I even took my first draw on it!

Once I had a nice burn going, I took my first few draws on it and was blown away by how sweet and smooth it was!  From the appearance alone and having smoked several other Nicaraguan cigars, I was expecting something a little over-powering, but it was a pleasant surprise to find that all the flavor was there but none of the harshness.  I took some time to sit back and just enjoy the way the flavors played on my palate.  A little peppery and woody, but still smoothed out by that chocolate/coffee blend.  Definitely a medium to full-bodied smoke depending on your personal taste.

The Second Third

As my smoking experience continued, I was delighted to see how strong the ash was holding!  A marbling of black and white ash held the perfect shape of the cigar I had smoked so far almost perfectly with a completely even burn.  No canoeing, no tunneling.  After about an inch and a half, I tried to flick the cigar to drop the ash and it wouldn’t budge!  I had to break it off on the ashtray and could feel definite resistance as I did.  If the expertise of the construction wasn’t apparent at first, it certainly was now!  No doubt as a result of the accordian-style bunching used on the filler tobacco.

Burning Out

What I found most amazing about this cigar was how the flavor seemed to change and strengthen as the cigar burned.  I was constantly analyzing the differences, and although they were incredibly complex and sometimes hard to detail, I enjoyed it immensely.  I smoked this one right down to the nub - and if I didn’t mind singed lips and burned fingertips, I certainly would have enjoyed it a little longer!

Final Thoughts

My final thoughts on this cigar is that it is truly a masterpiece among others and is a delightful find for someone like me who is constantly exploring new brands and blends. A diamond in the rough.  Being Jaime Garcia’s introduction to the industry in the wake of his father’s legendary status in Cuba (Don Pepin Garcia), it more than lives up the hype and to his family’s reputation.  This has become one of my all-time favorite cigars and one I cannot recommend enough to those who truly appreciate a fine smoke.  Excellent construction, impeccable flavors and aroma, a perfect balance in body and feel and burns without flaw.

For more about Jaime and this line of cigars, check out the June 2010 issue of Cigar Snob Magazine ( where you can read in detail about his approach to quality control and construction.  You’ll never pass up one of his family’s cigars again, I assure you!

1 comment:

  1. I had my 1st one the other day directly after a nap.....this was WAY too powerful of a smoke from just waking up. I didn't dismiss it, but it about killed me lol.