Buena Vista Reserva 2008 by MGM Cigars

About three years ago, a brand of cigars called Buena Vista Cigars began garnering some attention on the internet. This included a line of cigars called the Buena Vista Reserva 2008. The line was produced by a company called MGM cigars. It seemed as quickly as the cigars burst on the scene were as soon as they diminished from the marketplace. Many questions then surfaced on whether or not the company had gone out of business or not.  Back in June, word surfaced that reports of Buena Vista’s demise were greatly exaggerated. MGM Cigars would announce the re-launch of the Buena Vista Reserva 2008. Recently I had an opportunity to smoke the Buena Vista Reserva 2008. Overall I found this to be a solid smoke and one that I could see appearing to many cigar enthusiasts.

The origins of MGM Cigar go back to Cuba. It was back in 2009 where support started to produce a high quality premium cigar without the restrictions imposed by the Cuban government. This eventually led to the formation of MGM Cigar. Following the initial launch of the company’s offerings, circumstances beyond the company’s control hindered the Buena Vista brand’s development and growth  As a result, the entire production of 200,000 cigars of the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 was stored in temperature and humidity-controlled cedar conditioning rooms, until 2013. At that point, José E. Borges Batista, founding partner and current President of MGM Cigar, resurrected the Buena Vista brand.

Without further ado, let’s break down the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 and see what this cigar brings to the table:

Blend Profile

The blend features a Habano 98 Ecuador wrapper, Dominican fillers, and an undisclosed binder.

Wrapper: Habano 98 (Ecuador)
Biner: Not disclosed
Filler: Dominican Republic (Aged two years)

Vitolas Available

The Buena Vista Reserva 2008 is available in ten count boxes in nine vitolas

Prominente: 7 x 49
Sublime: 6.3 x 54
Piramide: 6.3 x 52
Doble Robusto: 5 1/2 x 52
Robusto: 5.3 x 54
Corona Larga: 4.8 x 50
Corona: 5.1 x 46
Petit Pyramid: 4.9 x 52
Short Churchill: 4.3 x 54

Appearance

For this cigar experience, I smoked the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 Piramide. The Habano Ecuador wrapper of the cigar has a strong colorado red tint with a medium brown shade to it. Since the cigars were stored quite a while, I was surprised that there still was a nice amount of oil on the surface. There are some visible veins and there are thin wrapper seams.

The band has an art deco-like design consisting of maroon, rose, black, and chrome coloring.  At the center of the band is a black diamond-like shape.  On the diamond-like shape is the text “BUENA VISTA” in chrome font. Below that text it says “TOBACCO FACTORY” in smaller chrome font – and below that text is the text “BTF” also in small chrome font.  The diamond-like shape has some additional chrome adornments.  There are different shades of rose and maroon adorning the band.  To the left of the diamond is the text “HAND” and to the right is the text “MADE” – both in chrome font.  The lower portion of the band has the text “RESERVA” in chrome font sitting on a rose stripe.

There is a footer band consisting of chrome, black, and rose striping.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting my Buena Vista Reserva 2008 Piramide, I placed a straight cut into the torpedo tip of the cigar.  After the removing the tip, I moved on to the pre-light draw.  The dry draw produced notes of natural tobacco sweetness, a slight grass note, and a touch of a tingly spice on the tongue.  Overall, this was a satisfactory pre-light draw.  At this point, I was ready to light up my Buena Vista Reserva 2008 Piramide and see what the smoking phase would have in store.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 Piramide provided a mix of a natural tobacco flavor with some cherry sweetness.  I also picked up some notes of earth and spice.  The spice seemed to be a cross between white pepper and baker’s spice.  The retro-hale delivered spice as well.  At times the retro-hale had more of a white pepper and at other times it had more of a baker’s spice.

The natural tobacco and sweetness remained through the second third.  During this phase the spice in the background now was more of a baker’s spice.  In addition, the earth notes remained in the background.

Toward the second half, the earth notes moved toward the forefront.  By the start of the last third, the earth notes had moved primary.  The natural tobacco sweetness and baker’s spice were very close behind.  This is the way the flavor profile remained right until the close of the cigar experience.  The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

I found the construction of the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 Piramide to be a cigar of excellent construction – and this was reflected in the burn and draw. The burn remained relatively straight. There was a slight curvature to the burn line, but the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 was never in danger of tunneling or canoeing. The resulting ash had a light silvery color. The ash itself was on the firm side. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn of the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 by MGM Cigars

The draw was excellent as well.  While I usually do not lean toward a figuardo or torpedo when it comes to draw, I found the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 Piramide to be satisfying.  I also found this cigar to produce an ample amount of smoke production.

Strength and Body

From a strength perspective, I found the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 Piramide to fall into the medium range. There was a slight increase in strength in the later part of the cigar and by the last third, it had just enough strength to cross into the medium to full range of the strength spectrum. As for the body, I did find this cigar had a decent amount of weight on the pallet. I didn’t find this to be a very full cigar, but the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 still had enough depth to qualify as a medium to full-bodied smoke. In terms of strength versus body, I found the body of the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 Piramide to have the edge for most of the smoking experience.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I was pleased with the smoking experience of the Buena Vista Reserva 2008.  What really surprised me is that I liked the way this blend smoked in the Piramide frontmark.  I think the tapering toward the tip really enhanced this particular blend’s flavor profile. This cigar will produce a nice amount of sweetness. I find a lot of times that sweetness, like spice can overwhelm the pallet.  In the case of the Buena Vista Reserva 2008, this is not the case.  The sweetness is just the right amount.  As for the spice, this is a cigar that won’t go overboard in that area. This is a cigar I would recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast.  As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again.  It’s one worthy of being a fiver.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium (Medium to Full in last third)
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Good
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
Score: 89

References

News: MGM Cigars Announces Return of Buena Vista Cigar Brand and Buena Vista Reserva 2008
Price: n/a
Source: Purchaed and Samples provided by Manufacturer (*)
Stogie Geeks Podcast: n/a
Stogie Feed: n/a

* The cigars for this assessment were provided to Cigar Coop by Buena Vista Cigars. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but this does not influence this review