As requested by quite a few of our loyal readers, this week’s review is of Jaime Garcia’s Reserva Especial.
This is a cigar I have grown to really enjoy lately. I have meant to review this cigar for sometime now, but every time I light one of these bad boys up I keep resisting the urge to write a review along with it. Finally this day has come.
The Good Stuff: The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial is the second cigar blended by the legendary Don Pepin Garcia’s son, Jaime Garcia (My Father being the first). The Reserva Especial is a blend consisting of two different Nicaraguan tobaccos. One grown by the Pepin family, the other grown by the well known Oliva Tobacco Company wrapped in my personal favorite wrapper, the Connecticut broadleaf.
The size I am doing a review of is the toro. You can easily order these from the great team over at Bonita Smokeshop, along with just about any other Pepin product.
Size: 6 x 54 – Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf – Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan – Body: Medium/Full
Prelight: The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial is a toothy little beast. The cigar is wrapped with a beautifully, very dark chocalatey brown. The wrapper gleams from the massive amount of oils from the foot, all the way to the rounded off, triple wrapped cap. The Reserva Especial is firm to the touch near the head of the cigar, but quite softer then most cigars movie down to the foot. There aren’t any real soft spots, but the softness of this cigar almost worries me. It does have a good weight to it though. There is only one, very small vein on the underside of the cigar. The band stays true to form with most of the my father cigars we see coming out of that factory. Its an off-white with a full brown, gold, and blue crest stating “Jaime Garcia” and “Reserva Especial”. The underside of the band simply states “My Father Cigars”. The wrapper gives off a very sweet, chocolate and mocha type aroma where as the foot of this cigar has a more pronounced oat and tobacco scent with cocoa undertones. The cigar was clipped with ease by my Cuban Crafters Perfecto double blade cutter. The cold draw was very firm with rich tobacco, cocoa, and lots spice.
First Smoke: As I have come to expect from most cigars produced in the My Father factory the Reserva Especial starts off with a boom of spice and pepper. This initial hit pairs seamlessly with the sharp spice of the New Belgium Biere De Mars that I have decided to pair this cigar with. Once the pepper begins to wear off, subtle notes of cocoa and coffee become present over stronger notes of sweet tobacco, leather, and wood. The burnline is razor sharp but has developed a bit of a wave pattern early into the cigar. The draw is very loose, and produces a very thick, cedar scented cloud of smoke. The Reserva Especial gives off little to no stationary smoke, and what little bit of smoke that does is escape is pleasantly scented with a strong cedar aroma as well. The ash is a very light grey and very tightly packed in most places. The ash held tight for about an inch and a half before falling.
Halfway There: The pepper introduction to this cigar was just that, and is not longer present. The dominating flavor is by far the woodsy, grassy flavor that began as just an afterthought in the first third backed by the sweet tobacco, and a strong, almost espresso coffee. There retrohale on this cigar is to die for. Almost pure cedar, and in credibly smooth. I’m impressed thus far with how just perfectly smooth this cigar is. The burnline did a heck of a job fixing itself, and has burned perfectly and still razor sharp all the way through the second third. Up until this point I still have yet to feel any signs of nicotine.
Finish: What a smooth finish, and I can’t stress that enough. This cigar is definitely @KightRid acceptable with no signs what so ever of nicotine. The Reserva Especial finished off very clean and smooth with the dominant flavor still being wood and grass, backed up by cocoa and lots of strong coffee notes. The burn went a little wavy into the final third, but cleaned itself up and there was no need for any types of relights or touch ups. The pepper did make a slight come back deep within the last inch or so, but it was more of just a reminder of how this cigar started out. All in all it took only about an hour and a half to take down this Toro sized cigar.
Overview: Overall I was VERY impressed with this cigar. I am a Pepin love through and through and this cigar didn’t fail in any way shape or form. The woodsy, sweet, soft cocoa and coffee flavors preformed brilliantly with one another. Near perfect burn, medium body, and great aftertaste. And with the affordable price point? You really couldn’t ask for me. Perfect for a beginner cigar smoker, and everyday cigar for the aficionado, This cigar will be in my regular rotation from this point forward. Box worth by far.
Pairing: The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial was paired with one of my favorites, New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Series Biere De Mars. New Belgium has a knack for coming up with some of the best traditional brews, and as of late some of the better non traditional. They save these brews for the Lips of Faith collection. Very sought after, and VERY hard to come by these brews are more expensive to produce, and require a more skillful team making them so rare. The Biere de Mars I drank was picked up on my latest trip to Denver Colorado. I ventured north to the New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins and picked up a few beers to take back with me.
Biere De Mars is a Celestial collision of orange – hued ale, citrusy lemon verbena, and unidentified flying brettanomyces.
I don’t know exactly what that means, but its good stuff. 6.2% citrus, bready, spicy beer. It was just an absolute perfect match for this cigar. I would recommend something of the sort for pairing, or even a hefty stout, iced tea or apple juice. Something citrusy, and sweet.