La Reloba Seleccion Mexico

Last year, Don Pepin Garcia’s My Father Cigars introduced the La Reloba line.   This was intended to be My Father Cigars foray into the value-priced cigar arena – namely cigars in the $5.00 – $7.00 suggested retail price range.   As a part of the La Reloba line, two Nicaraguan puros were introduced – the La Reloba Habano and the La Reloba Sumatra.   Back in September, 2010, I reviewed the La Reloba Sumatra, and it was a decent cigar – especially for the price.   Therefore, when I heard a third cigar was being added to the line, I was intrigued.  Once I saw the title, I was even more intrigued – the La Reloba La Reloba Seleccion Mexico.   My conclusion here is that Pepin and his team might have found the sweet spot in terms of blend for the La Reloba line.

As you can tell from the title, the name Mexico is in it.   Yes folks, this cigar contains a San Andreas Mexican Wrapper.   It’s time to face facts – Mexican tobacco is no longer taboo.   Earlier this year I sampled a great cigar in the Azteca, that contained Mexican tobacco.   My #20 Cigar of the Year for 2010, the A. Turrent Triple Play uses a San Andreas wrapper.   Yes, even my #1 Cigar of the Year, the Avo LE10 contained a Mexican binder.  Finally, Don Pepin himself has been intrigued by Mexican tobacco – he utilized a Mexican Cuban Seed Wrapper on my #11 Cigar of the Year, the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor.  Therefore, I think its safe to say Mexico has entered the age of being able to be a part of premium cigars.

The La Reloba Seleccion Mexico has a similar blend to its siblings in the La Reloba line, but this utilizes the Mexican San Andreas wrapper, so its the only non-Nicaraguan puro in the line.

Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

Like its La Reloba siblings, it also is available in 4 vitolas:
Corona: 5  x 46
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 1/4 x 52
Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52

For this cigar experience, I opted for the Robusto size.  I punched a hole into the cap, and then did a pre-light draw.  Not a terribly exciting pre-light draw, just some black pepper notes.  I then toasted the foot and prepared for the smoke.

The Seleccion Mexico greeted me with more of a classic Pepin pepper blast than its Sumatra sibling did.  In fact, on the very first notes the tones were salt-like, but quickly transitioned to pepper.  Once I felt the pepper, no doubt this was a Pepin.   Pretty soon, the pepper subsided and I got a sweetness with hints of black cherry in it.  While its Sumatra sibling, didn’t excite me at the start, the Seleccion Mexico most certainly did.  A smoothness started with this cigar that would stay for the remainder of the smoke.  Yet, this smoothness had some bite and complexity to it.

Around the 1/3 point, I saw a return of some spice notes, but these notes had less of a pepper feel and more of a cedar like spiciness. It complemented the cherry notes very nicely.   As the cigar approached the midway point, the black cherry sweetness transitioned to wood.  The cedar spice soon faded shortly afterwords and the wood becomes the dominant note.   The wood notes were almost like a lull in the flavor profile of this smoke.  The good news is that didn’t last long.   Some of the sweetness returns around 60% into the smoke, but this felt more like cedar sweetness as opposed to black cherry sweetness that was present in the first half.  Toward the end the pepper re-emerges giving the smoke a nice kick at the end.   My nub was a bit warmer than I would have like, but it was more on the firm-side.

The big difference with this and the Sumatra is I felt the Seleccion Mexico had more body and complexity.  It was a still a cigar of medium strength, but felt it had enough body to squeak into the medium to full body range.  The burn was good – requiring a few touch-ups.  I expect that with newly released cigars.  The draw was classic Pepin – always solid.

I do feel the La Reloba Seleccion Mexico is the best of the La Reloba line and I do believe it will jumpstart La Reloba as a brand.  In other words, I think cigar retailers are going to do very well with this cigar.  Kudos for My Father cigars for not shying away from the name “Mexico” and putting it right on the name and band.   At this price point, you really cannot go wrong for a quality smoke with the Seleccion Mexico.

Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: Nice to Have

Disclaimer:  This cigar was provided to myself from authorized representative of My Father Cigars  The request was initiated by the representative to myself (Cigar Coop) to provide an assessment.