I’ve been working through some more new cigars from the IPCPR show, and I ran across some Marrero cigars that it took me a moment to remember. We ran across the booth late on the last day we were there and got to talking to Joel Vazquez Marrero about his cigars. My memory is hazy on this, but I think these are rolled at the same factory as Vegas de Santiago, MBombay and Atabey, Byron and Bandolero. If this is the case it’s one more bit of proof that this particular factory is producing some excellent cigars. The Marrero Tico Pigtail is 6½ x 56, has an Ecuador Habano wrapper, Indonesian binder and what they call Costa Rican/Proprietary Blend as the filler, as well as a long pigtail, as the name would imply. The cigar was solid, firmly packed with a similarly firm draw, although it wasn’t annoyingly so. I found it to be on the milder side of medium, with a nice flavor and burn. It was a nice cigar for my evening walk. I look forward to trying the Tesoro Mio blend in the near future.
On Thursday I had a brief moment of wishful thinking that it was Friday, but reality soon slapped me in the face. So Friday deserved what I hoped would be a special smoke. Another booth we stopped at late in the show was Flor de Gonzalez. We had a brief visit with Yadi, and she shared their 20th Anniversario cigars, which come in either a Ecuador Connecticut or a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. My natural inclination is to go with the Broadleaf, which I did and was very pleased. This was a rich, chocolaty smoke with a great burn and draw. It’s a rubusto, but is 5½” x 50, a little more of a good thing than your traditional 5″ robusto. I can’t wait to try the other one. I’ve always enjoyed the Flor de Gonzalez line, it seems to fly under the radar in a lot of places, at least around here.
We had some friends over last night, so we spent the better part of the day getting ready, and in the hour or so before people arrived, I sat down with a Macanudo Estate Reserve Jamaica 2015. This is a very special Macanudo, here is what the folks at General Cigar have to say about it:
To experience Macanudo Estate Reserve is to savor a tradition that spans nearly half a century, for this exceptional cigar hearkens back to the very roots of the brand.
For the 2015 release of Macanudo Estate Reserve, the artisans of Macanudo blended a 10 year old Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper from the sun-drenched, highest priming, with proprietary Jamaican tobacco cultivated on small, independent farms and aged exclusively for this year’s small batch offering. The dark, well-oiled wrapper adds a new dimension of complexity to the flavor that ignited the passion for one of the world’s most beloved cigars.
Jhonys Diaz, master blender and vice president of operations said, “We selected a broadleaf wrapper for this year’s release to deepen the flavor profile of the cigar. The wrapper delivers bold notes of leather and earth, while complementing the unique attributes of the Jamaican filler. This is a rich and complex smoke, one that will appeal to the true cigar lover.”
The Jamaican tobacco tells a story all its own. The varietal used in Macanudo Estate Reserve is called Silver Tongue, a native seed favored by locals. It is an extremely low-yield tobacco and is the most expensive long-filler leaf in the world.
Due to the scarcity of Silver Tongue, this exquisite cigar will only be available until the limited release of 1,800 boxes per size is depleted.
Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 will be available in three frontmarks, each protected in 10-count boxes and shipping in October. They are:
No. 7 — 7 x 50; SRP per cigar is $17.00
No. 8 — 6 x 57; SRP per cigar is $18.00
No. 9 — 5 x 50; SRP per cigar is $16.00
The presentation is beautiful and goes back to the Jamaican roots of the brand, which at one time was made in Jamaica. I remember having a box of Macanudo Prince Philip back in the 90s that was still made in Jamaica (won it on the CigarWorld.com website somehow, and that was a very long time ago when there weren’t a lot of cigar websites). Anyway, this Estate Reserve was really very tasty and had about the most perfect construction imaginable. The cigar was perfect in every way, and had a nice flavor of espresso and cocoa. I found it to be medium bodied, and I smoked to a very tiny nub. It’s not a cheap date, but it is one of the most flavorful Macanudos out there.
One of our guests, my old friend Bruce, presented me with a very rare cigar, a Padron Millennium, claiming that he came across the humidor (these came out in 2000 in a humidor of 100, of which there were only 1000 made) in his basement. I believe he gifted me one of these nearly 15 years ago, but I smoked it long before I started documenting my daily smokes so religiously. This was a special blend of the 1964 series and had five year old tobacco at the time they were rolled in 1999. He was concerned that they had been neglected, but upon smoking the cigar all was well. If it was blended to be bolder than the 1964 series, the last 15 years might have tempered the original intent, but it was still a spectacular cigar that had a perfect burn, draw and the chocolate bar creamy sweetness that one would expect. Quite a treat, and I can’t thank Bruce enough for sharing that special cigar.
One of our other guests, Victor, brought some Tortuga Cigars, so I smoked one of my favorites from the line, the Cedro No. 5 as my last cigar of the night. Talk about a trifecta of exceptional cigars to go along with a night of great friends, food and stories. It’s a treat when you can get three couples together, many of whom haven’t met, and go late into the evening talking about a myriad of topics. Anyway, the Tortuga line is obviously high on my list, and the No. 5, at 5½” x 48, is just about the perfect size and is a great representation of the blend. After the pair of chocolaty maduros, this spicy Nicaraguan puro it the spot, and never fails to satisfy. We don’t entertain much, but with our big screened in porch it is something we need to do more. Thanks again to Victor and Rebecca and Bruce and Shirley for spending the evening with us.
That’s it for now, lots of food to eat from last night yet, some errands to run and some cigars to smoke. Until the next time,