|Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011|
The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 is something I’ve had on my radar for most of 2011. Given how good the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial was, then given how good Jaime did with the My Father Limited Edition series – I was pretty excited for Jaime’s limited edition bearing his name. Once I got my first up-close look at these cigars at the 2011 IPCPR, these looked as good as any cigar art I have seen from the Pepin family. Finally, after smoking a couple of these cigars, there was no question – the cigar was as good as it looked. In fact, this is the best product that has been released under the (already solid) My Father line to date.
Overall, this a more pricey cigar. A single Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited 2011 will be priced around the $16.00 price range, so we are talking an ultra-premium cigar. Given that there are only 3700 boxes of this cigar planned for production, I would not expect a lot of discounting. I normally do not factor price into an assessment and will not do that in this case. However the end result is that if you do decide to purchase, you are going to get you money’s worth.
The cigars will be sold in boxes of 16. Each box will be numbered. 15 of those cigars will be the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011. The other cigar will be a bonus cigar featuring a Connecticut Shade wrapper. That cigar is a glimpse into what the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2012 will be like. I have not tried that bonus cigar yet, so that will be assessed separately.
|Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited 2011 (L), Bonus Connecticut Shade Cigar (R)|
Let’s break down the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited 2011 and see what this is all about.
Blend Profile (2011)
I think a big visual difference between the JG Limited Edition 2011 and the core JG Reserva Especial is in the wrapper. The Connecticut Broadleaf Viso wrapper on the JG Limited Edition 2011 looks richer and stronger than the core JG Reserva Especial. This is not a knock on the core one, but more of a testament to the quality of the wrapper on this cigar. As for the rest of the blend, this is very different the core JG Reserva Especial:
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Viso
Binder: Nicaraguan Cuban-seed (including Pelo de Oro)
Filler: Nicaraguan Cuban-seed (including Pelo de Oro)
As mentioned the bonus cigar features a Connecticut shade wrapper.
There will be a single vitola made – it will be a 6 1/2 x 52 Toro. This is consistent to what the My Father Limited Edition cigar sizes have been.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I opted for a straight cut on to my Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011. When I started the pre-light draw, the notes I detected were cocoa, leather, and a hint of pepper. It was a satisfying start as far as the dry draw went. At this point, I was pretty anxious to fire up this JG Limited Edition 2011 and see what the cigar experience would bring to the table.
Even before the pre-light draw, from looking a that rich Broadleaf Viso wrapper, I had no doubt there would be cocoa and chocolate flavors in this cigar. The cigar started off with a sweet chocolate with some notes of spice in the background to start. While the spice was initially in the background, it actually kicked up within the first 10 percent of the cigar experience. The spice seemed to be a combination of cedar and baker’s spice.
Around the 20 percent point of the JG Limited Edition 2011, the spice mellowed and went back into the background. It is around this point where some additional sweet notes emerged – namely a combination of raisin and licorice. I don’t want to give the impression that this cigar was a “sweet bomb”. When these additional sweet notes emerged, the chocolate sweetness diminished somewhat – providing a perfect balance with the spice in the background.
Around the midway point, the chocolate notes morphed into more of a deep espresso syrup. It were these notes that emerged at the forefront of the flavor profile with the baker/cedar spice and licorice in the background. The final third of the cigar was interesting. The spice notes moved center stage and took on more of a classic cedar spice profile. There also were some notes of orange citrus in that last third. Overall the finish had those spicy and citrus notes and was not harsh. The nub was cool and firm – exactly what one would expect from an ultra-premium cigar.
Burn and Draw
My only knock on this cigar is both times I’ve had it – the burn have been better. While the burn rate and burn temperature were no problems, this cigar needed plenty of touch-ups along the way. From the two times I have had this cigar, I chalk this up to the JG Limited Edition 2011 needing a little more age. However, there were no issues with the draw – this cigar was outstanding when it came to that attribute.
Strength and Body
This cigar was advertised as a full-strength, full-bodied smoke. I had already felt the core JG Reserva Especial was like this, so I was curious to see whether the JG Limited Edition 2011 would also fit that bill. The answer is that this cigar is what is advertised. In fact, I believe the JG Limited Edition 2011 has more nicotine than the core JG Reserva Especial. You will definitely feel the strength of the the JG Limited Edition 2011 by the midway point. As for the body – deep flavors throughout and I definitely say this meets the criteria for full-bodied.
The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 gets some high marks from an overall cigar experience. I definitely found the experience with the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial to be much different than the core JG. While I was disappointed with some of the uneven burning, overall this was still by all means a “memorable” smoke – and as I said, the best cigar under the My Father line to date. I do believe, there are enough good qualities with this cigar to have it on a lot of Top Ten lists by year’s end. I would definitely recommend this cigar for experienced enthusiasts as I think this might be too much cigar for the novice cigar enthusiast. Even if there wasn’t a bonus Connecticut Shade included, I would want to get a box.
Source: The cigar for this assessment were purchased from Havana Connections in Richmond, Virginia. I had also smoked a pre-release sample of this cigar.