No matter how long delivery takes, it’s the two to three days I force myself to let new cigars settle in the humidor that I find the hardest.
These Reserva Especial Robustos from J.L. Salazar y Hermanos are considered a typical handmade, box-pressed cigar made from a variety of Cuban-seed Habano leaf aged for three years. The filler is sun grown Habano leaf, the binder is Habano 2000 leaf (considered a cross between Cuban-seed and Connecticut shade), and the wrapper is Ecuadorian grown, Cuban seed Habano.
Before lighting, this cigar had a wonderfully sweet, musky smell with hints of jam and honey, mixed with floral scents of potpourri. Considered a full-bodied cigar, I was interested to see how much of these sweet scents carried across to the taste.
Once lit it gave off a good deal of smoke very quickly, and the first thing you notice is that this definitely is a full bodied cigar. It was hard to discern the flavours at first, as I quickly realised it had been a little while since I had such a bold smoke (you’ll see my last batch were very floral petit coronas).
As I got into it I found smooth flavours such as cocoa and mild spice, while on the nose there were scents of leather and dried leaves – very much the smells and flavours of autumn.
While other reviews have noted sweet flavours to the taste, I didn’t really pick these up, noticing more earthy flavours. That’s not to say these won’t appear with aging in the humidor.
As for the burn, I was quite impressed. For those new to stoagies, box pressed literally means the cigars are pressed within the cigar box, resulting in a slightly squared off shape. This is done to ensure a longer burn and consistent flavour – which has paid off for these robustos.
Every draw provided impressive plumes of smooth, white smoke that ran right through to the last puff. I’ve had a couple of these now and they don’t seem to go out either.
I went in a different direction with pairing this time, having the cigar with an espresso long black made from freshly ground Vittoria beans. The smoke seemed to take some of the bitterness away from the coffee, and also brought out some of the earthy, nutty flavours within the brew.
I’m predicting this cigar will bring out further wood and earthy flavours in whisky, though I’ll be sure to investigate further and update as I go…