|Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial New England Edition|
One of the big cigar trends we recapped for 2011 was the surge of Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper cigars into the marketplace. Now four months into 2012, it appears that the Ecuadorian Connecticut wave is continuing as many manufacturers have made or have plans for new cigars containing this wrapper. The Garcia family at My Father Cigars appears to be riding this wave. Last year, a special Connecticut Shade edition version of Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 was packaged with the Connecticut Broadleaf version of the Jaime Garcia Limited Edition 2011 (this special cigar is rumored to be the Jaime Garcia Limited Edition 2012). Earlier this year, My Father Cigars also released a retail exclusive to Federal Cigars in a Connecticut Shade – the My Father Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade. Both of these Connecticut Shade releases, while limited in release were outstanding cigars. Now My Father Cigars has done another limited release Connecticut Shade, this time based on their popular Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial. This cigar is being targeted to a limited number of retailers in the New England States and is appropriately called the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial New England Edition. Once again, the folks at My Father Cigars produce an outstanding release with a Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper.
Without further adieu, let’s break down the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial New England Edition:
The original Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial was released in 2010. This has become a popular cigar in the past two years, and it finished as our #14 Cigar of the Year in 2010. This cigar featured a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. For the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial New England Edition, the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is replaced by an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
The release of the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial New England Edition has been initially made available in four vitolas:
Petit Robusto: 4 1/2 x 50
Belicoso: 5 1/2 x 52:
Toro: 6 x 54
Toro Gordo: 6 x 60
There are three other sizes in the core Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial blend that were not used for the initial release of Jaime Garcia New England edition. These sizes are the: Robusto (5 1/4 x 52), Super Gordo (5 3/4 x 66), and the TAA box-press (6 1/8 x 52).
The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial New England Edition is being sold in boxes of 20 cigars.
|Box of Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial New England Edition (picture taken at My Father Cigar factory)|
For this cigar assessment, I opted to go with the Toro vitola. When inspecting the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial New England Edition, the Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper on this cigar seems a hint darker than most Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade cigars. The wrapper itself has a few darker spots on it. It also has visible veins and visible wrapper seams. The wrapper is not oily, and is also slightly toothy. From the foot of the cigar, there is a sweet farm-like aroma to it.
The actual band is the one common to the whole Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial line. The backgound is pale yellow. It says Jaime Garcia in blue font with Reserva Especial in blue script. On the back of the band (going toward the right from the front) is the name “My Father Cigars”.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial New England Edition, I defaulted to my usual straight cut into the cap. The pre-light draw yielded notes of sweet cream with a touch of cedar. The sweet cream was different from any other Ecuadorian Connecticut I have had. At this point, I was very excited to fire up this cigar and see what the smoking experience would bring to the table.
I never considered the original Connecticut Broadleaf Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial to be a complex cigar from a flavor standpoint. I was pleased as the New England Edition did seem to have more in the way of flavor transitions.
The start of the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial New England Edtion had a combination of spice and cream. The spice was not at the level of the “pepper blast” that is common to so many Garcia family cigars. I categorized this as more of a “mild cedar spice”. At the same time, the cream notes had the same sweetness I detected on the pre-light draw.
Around the five percent point, the sweet cream notes move into the forefront. The cedar spice is more of a secondary note that is present on the after-draw. The sweetness that is present with the cream soon takes on an orange-citrus sweetness. The spice soon begins to ramp up and becomes more present on the full-draw by the ten percent mark.
By the 15 percent point of the smoke, the cream, orange, and cedar spice all converge and form an interesting fusion of the notes. The flavor profile holds for most of the first half. As the smoking experience moves into the second half, the orange sweetness significantly diminishes and is replaced by more of a classic wood note.
As the cigar enters the last third, the cedar spice takes control as the cream and wood notes move to the background. There were a couple of points the orange sweetness did resurface toward the end, but it was the cedar spice that would be dominant at the end. The finish, while spicy did provide a nub that was cool temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial New England Edition does very well in terms of the construction attributes of burn and draw. There were no major issues here. The burn stayed straight from start to finish, requiring a few touch-ups – but nothing major. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal. As for the draw, no issues with this either as it made the Jaime Garcia New England edition a joy to smoke.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial New England Edition is not going to break any new ground. Many Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper releases have been trying to crack the medium strength level and higher. The New England Edition is mild to medium in strength – and won’t overwhelm you with nicotine. As for the body, the flavors have some depth. For the most part this is a medium-bodied smoke. There are some times where I did feel the flavors moved into the medium to full range.
You probably have read this in many places, but a change in wrapper can completely change a cigar’s profile. In the case of the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial, the profile change from Connecticut Broadleaf to the New England Edition’s Connecticut Shade is nothing short of radical. This goes from a full-strength, full-bodied, not overly complex cigar to a mild to medium-strength, medium-bodied, medium complexity cigar. While I loved the original Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial, the New England Edition is even better. The Garcias might not be doing anything revolutionary with Connecticut Shade, but they are putting out winning blends with this wrapper. I’d recommend this to a novice cigar enthusiast as it is not too strong a cigar, but has flavor Experienced cigar enthusiasts who are open to something milder will enjoy this cigar. I look forward to smoking these again.
Strength:Mild to Medium
Body: Medium (At times Medium to Full)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were obtained from Butthead’s Tobacco Emporium in Danbury, Connecticut.