Monday, November 29, 2010

Jaime Garcia - Reserva Especial

Jaime Garcia - Reserva Especial

The son of the great Pepin Garcia made his mark on the cigar world with the introduction of the My Father series.  A great full-bodied smoke, the cigar paid homage to the cigar genius that is his father.  That series also put smokers on notice; that notice saying that Jaime Garcia is ready and able to carry on the Garcia name.  I, like a lot of smokers out there, really enjoy Garcia's blends.  Whether I'm smoking a Tatuaje or a San Cristobal, I always remember Pepin Garcia's influence on the product.  So naturally, Jaime's endeavours have my attention.
When I saw the cigar on the shelf I was shocked that it was only $7.  A nice price for what I'm expecting to be a quality cigar.  I opt for the Belicoso, weighing in at 5.5" x 52 ring.  At first the price excites me, then I wonder if the Garcias are trying to snag a piece of the economy market.  Hmmmm.....I wonder.  The cigar is rolled beautifully.  The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper showing few veins, a little lighter than most CBs you see out there.  The binder and filler are made with Nicaraguan tobacco; no surprise.

Initial Thoughts:
I like the price and I can't wait to smoke this thing.  I know this cigar probably had a lot of hype about it, but I wasn't in the know, so it was quite a surprise when I saw it at the shop.  The cigar isn't very aromatic by itself.  It is firm yet slightly spongy and feels full through-out.  Seemingly flawless, signature triple-cap topping it off.
As I mentioned before, the Broadleaf wrapper is a bit lighter than I've come to expect of a CB.  It is a bit darker than milk-chocolate.  Barely a maduro shade.  Not that I care too much, just an observation.  The cold draw doesn't offer a whole lot other than tobacco and a hint of sweetness.

The first half inch is unremarkable, but the cigar soon begins to deliver great taste and body.  The word "balance" comes to mind immediately.  There is tons of flavor, but the cigar is very palettable.  Smooth and sweet with enough kick to keep me interested.  I find myself inhaling the resting smoke through my nose; really sweet and tasty.  I know that my expectations are high and also I want to smoke a good cigar, so I am fully aware that my opinions may be a little bias.  With that in mind, the beginning of this cigar is nothing short of amazing.  Sweetness, mild spice, medium body, rich complexity.

Smoking it and Final Thoughts
The cigar burns without issue.  Very well-made.  I smoke the cigar while playing pool with friends.  Even at my quick smoking pace, the cigar burns for over an hour (which is slow for me).  I take my time and savor the rich smoke with each puff.  I hate to sound over-the-top but the cigar is just that good.  It may not fit everyone's taste, but it is right up my alley. 
The interesting thing is that Jaime has made a cigar that screams of Garcia's style, but it really has an identity all its own.  I find myself tasting bits of cigars that I know and love.  I don't want to comment or try to label the cigar with having a particular flavor profile.  All I can say is that it is good.  Very meaty, chewy flavor with a sweet aroma. 
Usually, when I smoke a good cigar I taste chocolate or some coffee etc......But the Reserva Especial has me tasting chocolate cake and caramel frappucinno.  Well, not exactly, I'm exaggerating a bit to give you a feel for the richness of the tobacco.  Very creamy and complex.
At $7 or so, this cigar is amazing.  I see myself smoking a lot of these.  Go get some.  Tell your friends.  Jaime is here to stay.

Overall - A+

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What do you think? Am I on to something? Am I wrong? Or am I full of shit?