Jaime Garcia – Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011
Today we are taking a look at one of the more talked about cigars this year, Jaime Garcia’s Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011.
The Limited Edition 2011 is similar to the Reserva Especial which was released last year (we actually chose this as one of our best cigars of 2010) but with a few tweaks which in my opinion, really made a huge impact on the final blend.
The Good Stuff: The Limited Edition starts off with the same, beautiful Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper as the standard Reserva Especial, only with a higher priming. After the wrapper Jaime decided to showcase some of his choice Pelo De Oro leaf as well as two different types of Cuban Seed. These cigars were showcased at this year’s IPCPR convention, and started to hit shops in August. This box came straight to us from Bonita Smoke Shop. Although this run is limited to 3700, Bonita still has them in stock and if you’re lucky enough you can pick them up here before they are sold out.
These cigars come in elegant boxes of 15 and each box contains a special 16th cigar. The only difference with this cigar is it carries a Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper. This isn’t something we see from My Father cigars often. It’ll be interesting to see the difference in taste when smoking the exact same blend with totally different wrappers.
The box is incredible. It even has piano hinges, much like a humidor and could probably even be re-used as one if taken care of properly. The top of the box is clean and elegant sporting Jaime Garcia’s name as well as the blend. The entire box it coated in this crazy manilla/white/pearl paint which actually gives off a crazy deep purple hue when held in the right light. The front of the box has the logo again with a format stamp as well as “3700/2011” stating the limited run numbers as well as the year. There is also a My Father Limited Edition Quality seal on one side of the box.
As soon as you open the box you get this huge whiff of a new lumber, or paint. At first, I was slightly upset thinking that the paint on the inside of the box hadn’t dried properly (we all remember what happened with a certain extremely exclusive cigar a few years back) after a further inspection I realized it was simply the etching and burning technique used in the inlay wood that holds the cigars. Whew. Furthermore, I’ll reveal a spoiler here and let you know right away that it had no effect on the cigars at all.
Size: 6.5 x 52 - Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf - Binder: Nicaraguan Pele de Oro - Filler: 2 Cuban Seed Nicaraguan - Price: ~$16
Prelight: Anyways, back to the review. The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition starts off with a very dark, very consistency, toothy, and oily wrapper that looks identical to the wrapper chosen for last year’s “Reserva Especial” release. There is only one rather large vein that I can see running the length of the body of the cigar. Following the almost sand-paper-like wrapper, you come to two, wonderfully designed, and attention grabbing bands. That’s one thing about My Father cigars, they really overdo the band designs. They’re remarkable. The Reserva Especial Limited Edition is no exception to that rule. The main band follows the same manila, brown, blue and gold band design as the Reserva Especial. Underneath the main band is a similar designed band with blue and gold being the prominent colors with a gold embossed crest with the words “JG, Limited Edition” and Jaime’s signature. The Reserva Especial Limited Edition is then finished off with a large, round triple cap.
The wrapper of this Limited Edition is really tough and hard. You could probably use this cigar to break into a car. While the wrapper of the cigar gives off a very smooth cedar and spice aroma the foot carries this extremely powerful oaky, and earthy aroma. It actually burned my nasal passage a bit as I took my first big whiff. The cigar was extremely easy to clip using my double bladed Palio cutter. The cold draw is really interesting on this Reserva Especial Limited Edition. It starts off with just a ton of really strong, dark, bitter chocolate before transcending into a nutty, cedar flavor.
First Smoke: The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition lit up with ease, even under my simple single flame butane torch. The first initial flavors was this subtle pepper, some really sweet spice, tons of chocolate and espresso with just a touch of tobacco. The cigar really starts off like a nice, bold, strong cup of coffee. The draw on this cigar is soooo easy and effortless, but not loose. Each little puff gives me the same amount of smoke as 3 puffs of any other cigar would normal pump out. The Limited Edition doesn’t give off too much stationary smoke, but its actually really pleasantly scented with a nice cedar and chocolate. The burnline on this cigar is razor sharp and crazy even leaving behind a really thick, tightly compacted light grey and white ash which held on for almost an inch and a half before falling to it’s doom in my lap and all over my feet.
Halfway There: The pepper has completely diminished at this point and I am now left with a really smooth mash up of coffee, chocolate, cashew, cedar, and a little berry. You can tell right off the bat that this is a stronger cigar, but at this point the balance between flavor and strength has been so well played that you really don’t pay any mind to the fact that it is such a strong cigar. The retrohale is VERY sharp and the pepper really shows through so I really don’t find myself doing it too often. It almost burns as it exits my nasal passage. Another plus was the secondary band removal. I always have such a hard time with excess of glue on my bands, and you would figure bands as large as these would give me a headache. Luckily, the band popped right off without leaving any trace of glue. Let’s hope the larger, main band has a similar experience.
Finish: Wow. Into the final third of this Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial the cedar has REALLY taken off as well as the body of the cigar. The cedar is really sweet, and powerful with some nice chocolate and espresso still mixed in as well as a nice cashew aftertaste. I am still so impressed how smooth this cigar is considering the strength. It’s full for sure. The burnline and ash on this cigar has been exceptional the entire experience requiring no touch ups at all. And another big plus, the large band popper right off as well. Whoohoo! All in all this cigar took about an hour and a half to take down and astonishingly had no harshness building up into the final inch.
Overview: Needless to say this is an incredible cigar and I wouldn’t be surprise if this blend makes out top cigars of 2011 as well. The full body and mass amounts of smooth flavors really made this cigar a perfect blend for me. I love a full body cigar that doesn’t kick your ass, but has enough complexity and balance that you really don’t pay attention to the strength of the cigar. The Limited Edition does just that. This is Boxworthy by far, even with the elevated price tag this is something that I would love to keep in my regular rotation. I may not recommend this to the novice smokers though, the body may just been too much for them.
Pairing: I kept my pairing relatively simple with this selection combining the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition with some simple Sam Adams Rustic Saison. A lot of things go into pairing selections, type of cigar blend, body, time of day, and even time of year. With 100+ weather outside I went with something really simple, crisp, and refreshing that I knew wouldn’t overpower the cigar. Sam Adams Rustic Saison is a farmhouse style summer seasonal ale. It’s orange, cinnamon, and caramel composure made a nice treat and extended balance to the Limited Edition. It had just enough flavors not found in the cigar to extend the cigar’s character. This cigar would go GREAT at night, with a nice stout, or even on a mid-morning brunch with some nice, black coffee.