Last month, I got my introduction to Savinelli Cigars and when I sampled the Savinelli Nicaragua Reserve, I really enjoyed it.   Therefore, I was pretty excited to sample more from the Savinelli line.  This time I was fortunate enough to try the Savinelli Special Selection 2005.  After enjoying this blend, I raised the question – where have these cigars been hiding?

A little background on Savinelli:   Savinelli built their reputation in the pipe business.  They have been making pipes since 1876 and today they are still considered some of the best pipes on the marketplace.   In 1994, Savinelli entered the cigar arena. Being that Savinelli’s business is the pipe industry, they teamed up with  La Aurora, Tabacalera Oliva, Tabacalera Fuente, and Tabacalera Placencia to make their cigars.

Blend Profile

This cigar fits a classic Nicaraguan blend.   Ecuadorian wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and filler.
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua Cuban Seed
Filler: Nicaragua Cuban Seed

Vitolas Available

The Special Selection 2005 is available in five vitolas:

Figuardo: 6 1/2 x 60
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
Triple Magnum: 6 x 60
Torpedo: 6 1/2 x 54

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

This cigar experience would feature the Savinelli Special Selection 2005 Toro vitola.  I opted to go with a straight cut through the cap.  I then performed a prelight draw and detected notes of chocolate with a hint of salt in the background.  From this prelight draw, I could tell good things were ahead.  It was on to toast the foot and move forward with the smoking experience.

Flavor Profile

Lately I have been investing more time with a prelight draw, and it does seem to give me a hint of what is ahead – especially when this is my first smoke of the blend.   After lighting the cigar and taking my initial draws, I was treated to some strong notes of cream with secondary notes of chocolate and hints of cherry.  As far as spice with this cigar, I’ve heard some folks pick up notes of pepper early on, but it wasn’t until the smoke progressed that I tasted the pepper notes.

This cigar isn’t going to do a lot of flavor transitions, but what it is going to do is deliver some great flavors.   The flavors were robust right from the beginning and they were terrific right at the firm, cool nub I got at the end.   No harshness – this was terrific.

Burn and Draw

At the start of my cigar, the draw was a little tighter than I normally prefer.  As the smoke progressed, the draw opened up to a level that I prefer.   This had no impact on the burn as it burned without any significant touch-ups.   The burn rate and temperature also seemed ideal as I got a very nice nub.

Strength and Body

From a strength standpoint, I had this cigar as a solid medium.  I didn’t find the nicotine too overwhelming, so it is one of those cigars that could be smoked any time throughout the day.  From a body standpoint, the flavor notes are robust – I place this cigar just into the full body range.

Final Thoughts

While I have my issues with Cigar Aficionado rankings, they did rate the Torpedo vitola of this blend as their #24 Cigar for 2008.  This shows that they recognized that this cigar brought something special to the table.  The Savenelli Special Selection 2005  proves you don’t need to have an overly complex cigar to enjoy a wonderful cigar experience.  I asked above where have these cigar been hiding because I definitely want to reach for another to have. I’d definitely recommend this to either novice or experienced cigar enthusiasts.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Good
Complexity: Low
Strength: Medium
Body: Full
Assessment: Memorable

Disclaimer:  This cigar was provided to myself from Savinelli.  The request was initiated by Savinelli to myself (Cigar Coop) to provide an assessment.