Flor de Selva Robusto by Maya Selva Cigars

Flor de Selva is one of three lines of cigars made by Honduran cigar manufacturer Maya Selva Cigars.  The company is named for its owner, Maya Selva.  Maya Selva Cigars has had a footprint in Europe for quite some time and recently has turned its attention to the U.S. market.  As this push has begun to move forward, Maya Selva Cigars has made headlines for a couple of additional reasons.  First up, Flor de Selva was the winner of Cigar Journal’s Best Value cigar from Honduras – a surprise to many U.S. cigar enthusiasts who were not familiar with Maya Selva Cigars. The second reason is that Gabriel Alvarez, best known for being the Operations Manager at Kuuts LLC has now come over to Maya Selva to become Director of Sales. With the brand making a push, today we take a closer look at the Flor de Selva in a robusto size. Overall, I can understand why Maya Selva Cigars has caught on in Europe – this is an excellent cigar.

Maya Selva Cigars is also not a new company and neither is the Flor de Selva line.  It was launched in 1995 in France, so it is a company and line with two decades of history.  In addition to the Flor de Selva line, there is also the value-priced Villa Zamorano line and the Nicaraguan blend Cumpay.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Flor de Selva Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile and Vitolas Available

The Flor de Selva line consists of an Connecticut Shade offerings as well as Maduro offerings. The Flor de Selva Robusto has an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper grown in Talanga, Honduras.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut from Talanga – Honduras
Binder: Habano Jamastrán
Filler: Viso Trojes-Ligero Jamastrán – Azacualpa

In addition to the Flor de Selva Robusto, there are thirteen other frontmarks in the Flor de Selva line that feature an Ecuadorian Connecticut Talanga wrapper. While the fourteen vitolas of the Flor de Selva, each share this wrapper, there are significant differences in the other components of the blend (namely the binder and filler).  Some of the vitolas are not yet available in the American market.  For reference, we include all 14, but the blend components above only apply to the Robusto.  Unless noted, these are available for both the U.S. and European markets.

Robusto: 4 3/4 x 50
Extremo: 11 x 54 (European only)
Doble-Corona: 7 1/2 x 52
Churchill: 7 x 49 (European only)
Tempo: 6 x 60
Fino: 6 x 44
El Galán: 6 x 29 x 49 x 43 (European only)
No. 15: 5 1/2 x 54
Corona: 5 1/2 x 48
Petit Corona: 5 1/2 x 42
Panetela: 4 1/2 x 30 (European only)
Siesta: 4 1/4 x 40
Petit-Cigar: 3 1/2 x 20
Egoista: 3 1/2 x 50 (New Vitola Introduced)

The Flor de Selva Robusto is offered in 20 count cedar boxes as well as in tubes packaged in 16 count boxes.

Appearance

The Talanga wrapper of the Flor de Selva Robusto has a light brown color.  This is more of a weathered brown as opposed to a golden brown wrapper.  The wrapper has a light amount of oil on the surface.  There are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.

There are two bands on the Flor de Selva Robusto. The primary band is white with a bronze front. The image on the front of the band has the likeness to a Roman Statue. To the left is the image is the text “FLOR DE” and to the right is the text “SELVA”. On the left and right side are the band are images of a leaf and medallion surrounded by a circular design.

The second band is on the footer.  It features a red to dark maroon gradient style background. Sitting on the background is the text “Maya Selva Cigars” in white cursive font.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting the Flor de Selva Robuso, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap.  After the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw experience.  The dry draw provided notes of cream, light pepper and sweet notes of marshmallow and citrus.  Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw.  At this point I removed the footer band, lit up the Flor de Selva Robusto and moved on to the smoking phase.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Flor de Selva Robusto provided some notes of black pepper and cream.  There was also a light citrus note in the background.  As the cigar progressed through the first third, the cream notes stayed in the forefront and were soon joined by a toasted marshmallow flavor. The pepper receded to the background joining the citrus flavors.  The retro-hale was quite unique as well providing a combination toasted nut and pepper.

During the second third, the cream notes really took hold. The toasted marshmallow notes dialed back slightly joining the citrus and pepper notes in the background.  As the Flor de Selva Robusto entered the second half, the cream remained but the sweetness continued to dial back.

The last third maintained the creamy profile.  The sweetness was now very distant and there was a toast component that was in the forefront.  The pepper increased but never overpowered the flavor profile.  As the cigar came to the nub there was a little bit of harshness, but this also did not overpower the flavor profile.  The resulting nub was cool in temperature and slightly soft to the touch.

Burn and Draw

The burn line remained relatively straight for the Flor de Selva Robusto. There was a slight jaggedness to it, but overall there wasn’t an abnormal amount of touch-ups needed along the way. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color to it. The ash was not overly firm, but not loose. There was a slight flaking early on, but for this went away after I removed the first chunk. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn of the Flor de Selva Robusto

The draw was not too tight and not too loose.  This was a low maintenance cigar to puff to derive the flavor of this cigar. The cigar itself produced a nice amount of smoke.

Strength and Body

In terms of the attributes of strength and body, I did not find the Flor de Selva Robusto to be a cigar that was going to push the limits of what I come to expect from a Connecticut Shade wrapper cigar. The strength pretty much remained in the mild to medium range from start to finish.  The body of the Flor de Selva had just enough depth to be a medium-bodied cigar in my book.  In terms of strength  versus body, the body maintained an edge from start to finish.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I found the Flor de Selva Robusto to be an excellent Connecticut Shade wrapper offering. In the past few years, there have been a lot of Connecticut Shade cigars that have entered the marketplace. The Flor de Selva Robusto is not one of these newer offerings, yet this cigar offered a different and refreshing profile to many of the Connecticut Shade cigars that have come out.  The uniqueness was showcased by the sweetness this cigar delivered.  This is a cigar for the U.S. market to keep an eye out for as it rolls out.  This is a cigar that is perfect for the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast looking for a milder, yet flavorful cigar.  As for myself, this is a cigar I would definitely reach for – and its definitely worth a box split.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Mild to Medium
Body: Medium
Finish: Good
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
Score: 90

References

News: Gabriel Alvarez Leaves Kuuts LLC, Named U.S. Director of Sales for Maya Selva Cigars
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Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
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