Miami Cigar – Añoranza
This week has been a blur. The week before? A blur. The week before that? You guessed it, a blur. I just can’t seem to get ahead of the game. But one thing I haven’t slacked it on it getting my reviews done. This week, one of Miami Cigar’s newest installments, the Añoranza.
The Good Stuff: As I stated, the Añoranza debuted at this year’s IPCPR show in Orlando. The word “Añoranza” means “longing” or “yearning” in Spanish. Miami Cigars clarifies this on their site:
“Often when we smoke, we reflect on times gone by and look back to a period of our lives we miss and wish we could go back to. This is Añoranza.”
There you have it. The Añoranza starts with a Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro wrapper, bound by Nicaraguan grown binder and filled with Nicaraguan grown leaf. The Añoranza will come in four boxed pressed sizes (Robusto, Toro, Belicoso, and Gran Toro) and will come in boxes of 20 running $6.50 – $8.50 a stick. Barry from Miami Cigar sent me a few of these and I tore right through them. Luckily I was able to find a few more.
Size: Toro 6 x 50
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro
Pairing: Unibroue Terrible (10.5% ABV)
Prelight: I just love all these box pressed cigars that have been coming out as of late. Miami Cigar’s Añoranza is just another cigar to add to that list. The Añoranza starts out with a beautiful wide box-press wrapped in a very rich, oily, consistently dark brown wrapper. This wrapper is a beauty sporting only a few small veins throughout the body leading up to the round, triple cap. The wrapper on this cigar feels tough as nails and the cigar has very little give as I squeeze the cigar between my fingers. Perfect construction, no soft spots, and an all around pleasure to look at. The Añoranza is polished off with an elegant white, gold, and green band containing the “Añoranza” crest as well as the new, standard, Miami Cigar logo on the back with some neat little “old wallpaper” feeling design. I can dig it.
The wrapper gives off a wonderfully strong, cedar and spice aroma while the foot of the cigar has hints of spice, tobacco, chocolate, and pepper. The cap was very easy to cut using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw produced by the Añoranza is very oaty, grainy and natural with lots of cedar tones to it. It’s definitely interesting and I hope some of these natural flavors make their way into the smoking experience.
First Smoke: Right off the bat I was greeted with a nice blast of unexpected black pepper. I did pick up a bit of black pepper during the pre-light, but most of the aromas and flavors were more subtle so I wasn’t expecting so much from the start. It was a nice surprise. After the pepper quickly faded the Añoranza left me with some really strong cedar, strong black cherry, subtle chocolate, and leather with some neat little spice notes. I really wasn’t expecting as much flavor from this cigar as I am getting in this first third. This cigar kicks out a whole ton of thick smoke with every single, little puff. It’s intense. I’m not sure exactly what causes this (outside of great rolling) but this is another trend that I’ve notice in a lot of the cigars I have been smoking lately. The burnline is dead even leaving behind a brilliant trail of thick, compacted, white and dark grey ash. The ash held on for about an inch and a half before falling to it’s death in my ashtray.
Halfway There: The flavors have began to drop out of this Añoranza. It’s not getting dull or anything, but that flavor bomb of a start was the introduction to the smoother, creamier, softer second third. The main flavor is still a strong cedar with some backing cherry along with the chocolate and tobacco with some very subtle spice. The retrohale is much of the same, but VERY sharp, leading off with the cedar and some strong chocolate notes. The burnline is still perfectly even and razor sharp while I haven’t felt a lick of nicotine as I finish the second third.
Finish: I’m starting to get this very potent brown sugar flavor from this cigar now. It’s strange that it showed up into the final third cause it’s more of an organic flavor, meaning I can actually taste it on my lips and tongue, not just through the smoke in the cigar. It’s interesting. On top of that the already strong cedar has started to ramp up a bit along with the strength in the cigar. The cherry has really settled down and more of the tobacco, sweetness has started to take over. All in all this cigar took about 1.75 hours to smoke down to the nub with absolutely no harshness or heat. I did feel a slight nicotine kick towards the end but I am sure that the stronger beer I was finishing up had something to do with that.
Overview: I spent some time with Barry in Miami a while back and he talked very highly about this cigar. One thing I always admired about him was his honestly so I would be lying if I were to say I hadn’t been excited to finally try this cigar for myself. Did the Añoranza disappoint? Not in the slightest. This was a flavor bomb in the best way possible. Lots of complex flavors, tons of changeups, and an overall smooth and creamy experience with a pleasurable finish. This is one of the best cigars to come out of Miami Cigar for quite some time and given the price point I think this is an ideal box purchase for novice smokers looking for that extra “oomph” and any seasoned cigar smoker. On a side note, it’s been mentioned in the comments section that some of you aren’t a fan of these overly cedar flavored cigars. I totally understand that, it’s all subjective and if that’s the case, this cigar packs a ton. But I for one, am a sucker for a deep, balanced, cedar-lead cigar and this cigar fits that profile to a tee. It’s not overbearing and I hope you don’t get that from this review. Try it yourself, let me know what your thoughts are!
Pairing: Everyone who reads this blog should be familiar with the Canadian brewery Unibroue by now. Daniel and I drink brews by Unibroue quite often, but this may be the first time this beer in particular has showed up in one of my reviews. My wife recently bombed the hell out of me with some awesome beers on my birthday. She knows I liked Belgian so she scooped up plenty of those. And she knew I liked high ABV. Beers, this is where the Terrible came into play. Brewed at the Unibroue brewery in Quebec, this “Dark Ale on Lees” packs a punch coming in at 10.5% ABV. This Belgian style strong ale is particularly interesting with the choice of spices included in the brewing process. Because of this, you are left with a very strong, cherry, grape, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, banana, malty flavored beer. It’s a flavor bomb, and not for the faint of heart. Smoking the Añoranza before I knew what the cigar packed in the flavor department and wanted to find a beer that could produce the same. Needless to say the Terrible was a great match for the Añoranza. The fruity, spicy flavors were a match made in heaven. It was really interesting to see the cigar actually help me pick up some subtle flavors (like banana and vanilla) in the beer, usually it’s the other way around. This cigar would go great with any dark ale, stout, porter or port wine.