My Father – La Reloba Seleccion Mexico
I couldn’t let Cinco De Drinko weekend go off without a traditional pairing would you? Cinco De Mayo is one of the craziest drinking days here in this border town. I had my share of booze but ended up getting too full on all the amazing food to let it get to me. Anyways, lets get on with this review. My Father Cigar’s La Reloba Seleccion Mexico.
The Good Stuff: By now, most of you are familiar with My Father’s La Reloba line. The La Reloba line is the Pepin’s line of more reasonable priced cigars. Most of the cigars from the line run between $5.00 and $7.00 while not skimping on the product. From what I know, there have been a total of 4 blends released in the series. Three Nicaraguan Puros: The Sumatra (which Daniel reviewed here), the Habano, the Oscuro, and the non-Nica-Puro Mexico. While the binder and fillers remain true to form with the Nicaraguan-based La Reloba line, Don Pepin through a wrench in wrapper this cigar with a Mexican San Andreas wrapper. Like the other cigars in the La Reloba line, the cigar is released in four different sizes: Corona: 5 x 46 Robusto: 5 x 50 Toro: 6 1/4 x 52 and the Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52.
Wrapper: San Andreas Mexican – Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan – Body: Medium
Prelight: The first thing I personally noticed about My Father’s La Reloba Seleccion Mexico is the crazy amount of patches on the wrapper. They didn’t try to hide them either. You can see a few in the picture above, but I counted a total of 4, just on this cigar alone. And I’m not the only one who has noticed them. Although they are ugly, they don’t bother me at all if they don’t effect the experience. We’ll have to wait and see how that pans out. The wrapper itself is absolutely stunning. Extremely dark, consistent, chocolaty brown and incredibly toothy. Seriously, this cigar feels like sandpaper. There seems too be a bit of oil on the wrapper, but it’s much more pronounced as I get towards the cap of this Seleccion Mexico. There are really only a handful of very shallow, very small veins running through the body of the cigar leading up to the round double cap. The band is identical to all the other cigars in the La Reloba Line. Black band, with gold embossed ink and the “La Reloba” crest. The only difference is the green, white, and red “Seleccion MEXICO” logo underneath it. The green and red portions also carry into the Le Reloba Crest. The cigar is very thick, very heavy, and hard as a rock. I really hope it isn’t packed too tightly
The wrapper smells just as it looks, straight up chocolate with a bit of mixed in tobacco. The foot of the cigar gives off a really mild pepper and graham aroma. The cap was a pain in the ass to cut on this cigar. Not due to the wrapper, but there was so much tobacco packed so tightly into this thing that it took a lot more effort to clip. The cold draw was crazy tight, but produced a lot of chocolate and oak flavors.
First Smoke: Just as I expected given how tight this My Father La Reloba Seleccion Mexico was packed, the draw was very tight. I’s manageable, but it really takes some effort to get the right amount of smoke in my mouth. The flavors in this cigar were exactly what I was expecting, tons and tons of dark chocolate, a bit of espresso, some nice cashew with a bit of spice over a bit of tobacco. The burnline on this cigar started out really crazy, but started to correct itself as I neared the end of the first third leaving behind a brilliant trail of white, tightly compacted ash which held on for about an inch and a half before giving way.
Halfway There: The chocolate in this Seleccion Mexico has ramped up to a whole new level. The beer is probably helping bring that out. The spice has really started to settle down as the chocolate and espresso ramp up for an overall smooth and creamy experience in the second third. More good news is that the draw has began to open up a bit. It’s still quite tight, but I can live with it. The retrohale is delightful kicking out tons of chocolate and woodsy flavors. The burnline has became slightly wavy again, but I haven’t had to relight or touch up the cigar yet so I am totally ok with that. There was a bit of wrapper cracking, but it really didn’t effect the experience at all. I am feeling absolutely no nicotine at this point.
Finish: The chocolate and coffee have really taken turns jabbing at each other, but into the final third of this La Reloba Seleccion Mexico, I found the coffee to be much more dominant while the chocolate simmered down and mixed in with the woodsy, spicy, tobacco flavors. The cigar finished just, absolutely, pleasantly smooth. I was expecting a much bolder, spicier cigar coming from the Pepin family. Even the final inch was just as smooth as the start of the cigar. The nicotine levels may have been low, but the flavor category was off the charts.
Overview: If it wasn’t for the type draw and the patches, I would be giving My Father’s La Reloba Seleccion Mexico a paramount review. The flavors are amazing, the burn was spot on, and the price is right where it should be. This is a very good stick, and I really recommend picking a few up. Despite it’s flaws, I really thing this cigar held it’s own and would make a perfect addition to anyone’s regular rotation. Since there wasn’t a whole lot of strength this cigar is perfect for not only seasoned cigar smokers, but for those new to the game who really want to try a premium cigar without breaking the bank.
Pairing: I hit the nail on the head with this pairing. Not only did it complete the Cinco De Mayo theme, but New Belgium’s Cocoa Mole was the ideal pairing for the strong chocolate, coffee, and spice flavors of the Seleccion Mexico. Brewed at the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, this installment of the Lips of Faith Series took beer to a whole new level. Experimenting with Mexican ingredients, New Belgium produced a dark brown, 9% ABV ale with a creamy, chocolaty, spicy “Mole” type character. For those of you who have never had Mole (pronounce Mole-eh) it’s basically a spicy, chocolate type sauce used on various Mexican dishes such as chicken or enchiladas. Sounds weird, but it’s really good. Needless to say this ale was the epitome of a perfect pairing when it matched up almost identically to flavor profile in the La Reloba Seleccion Mexico.