Toro, 6.5" x 52 ring gauge / $14.99, Maxamar's
A week and a half ago Jaime Garcia was gracious enough to come to an event at Maxamar's even though there were quite a few storms going on in Nicaragua and it was a bit of an ordeal for him to even get to the airport. It was an enjoyable time being able to talk to him (through an interpreter because my Spanish is a little rusty) about the cigars and what is going on in the cigar industry as he sees it. At the event I purchased a box of the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Editions. The cigar is comprised of Nicaraguan fillers, a Pelo de Oro binder from Nicaragua, and a Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper. The cigars come in very nice boxes of 16, with one of the cigars in the box being a Connecticut shade wrapper. The box is very nice and I really like the presentation. The cigars are set in trays of eight and then there are of course two trays. The box itself is very heavy and feels very well put together, almost like a humidor. There were only 3700 boxes of 16 produced so it is a fairly limited cigar. All of these cigars are reported to be made solely by Jaime himself. I also believe that this is the first time a limited edition has appeared with Jaime's name on it. The cigar I smoked for the review was the fourth one I smoked.
Taking the cigar out of the cello you really notice how good looking it is. I know some people might think the bands are too much, but I really like them. The cream and blue of the band contrasts nicely with the dark chocolate brown of the wrapper. The wrapper had a fair amount of tooth an oils to it as well. There were some minor veins that didn't detract from the cigar. Giving the cigar a squeeze I wasn't able to detect any soft spots and it was fairly firm to the touch. When I put my nose to the wrapper I got the aroma of leather and cedar, with barnyard coming from the foot. After clipping the cigar and taking a cold draw on it I was able to get some notes of chocolate with an ok draw.
Lighting up the cigar brought notes of semi-sweet chocolate, leather and red pepper spice. After taking a few more puffs on it a sweet creamy finish started to come through. The spice on the retrohale started building a bit after I got about a quarter of an inch in. So far the draw on this sample is a lot more firm than I prefer. The previous samples I had were firm but still allowed a lot of smoke though, and this one isn't. The burn was pretty even though and the nearly white ash held on for about three quarters of an inch before needing to be tapped off.
The second third didn't see much change in the flavors. I noted the flavors of chocolate and leather again with some earth and cinnamon added in and a slightly sweet finish. The spice was almost non-existent in the second third. The burn got slightly wavy, but didn't need to be corrected. The draw opened up a bit as well, but it still wasn't where I liked it.
As I progressed into the final third the flavors stayed pretty much the same. This doesn't mean it was boring at all. The spice did start to come back especially on the tongue. I did start getting a slight nicotine hit. On the other ones I smoked I remembered getting this nicotine hit in the second third. This might have been because the draw that was a little tight on this cigar. Overall this cigar finished off strong.
I definitely enjoyed this cigar, however because of the draw issue it wasn't as enjoyable as the previous ones I've smoked which is reflected a bit in the score. If you like a nice chocolatey sweet Connecticut broadleaf maduro cigar this one is for you. It has a bit of a kick to it so watch out if you're sensitive to that. The price is a bit high but it is a fine cigar to treat yourself to once in a while.