|La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva|
Prior to the 2012 IPCPR, Ashton Cigars announced a new addition to the La Aroma de Cuba line, the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva. For those not familiar, La Aroma de Cuba, along with San Cristobal are the brands under Ashton that are made in Nicaragua and (primarily) leverage Nicaraguan tobacco. To some extent La Aroma de Cuba is a more-value priced brand under Ashton Cigars. The La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva is a variation of the critically acclaimed La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor cigar. I recently had a chance to sample the Mi Amor Reserva. I found this particular blend to rank as one of the best blends to come out of Ashton. In my opinion, this cigar is nothing short of a home run.
Both the La Aroma de Cuba and San Cristobal brands are made by the Garcia family at the My Father Cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. It was in 2010, the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor was released. The differentiating factor with the Mi Amor compared to the core La Aroma de Cuba line was the use of a Mexican wrapper. While lately I’ve been critical of Mexican (particularly Mexican maduro) wrappers, the Mexican wrapper worked magic on that blend. This resulted in the Mi Amor being our #11 Cigar of the Year for 2010. The Mi Amor Reserva makes a blend variation, and utilizes a Mexican wrapper from a higher priming than the core Mi Amor Reserva. In my opinion, the magic works even better with these changes.
Let’s break down the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva and see what this cigar brings to the table.
As mentioned the Mexican Cuban Seed wrapper comes from a higher priming than the core Mi Amor cigar. The binder and filler utilize Nicaraguan tobaccos.
Wrapper: Mexican Cuban Seed
Like most of the vitolas in the core Mi Amor line, the Mi Amor Reserva comes in a box-press shape in each of its four frontmarks.
Beso: 5 5.8 x 48
Maximo: 5 1/2 x 54
Divino: 6 1/4 x 52
Romantico: 6 7/8 x 50
For this cigar assessment, I sampled the Besto (Corona Gorda size) of the Mi Amor Reserva. This cigar has a coffee bean colored wrapper with some colorado red blended in it. There are some visible wrapper seams as well as some visible veins. As for the complexion of the wrapper, I did not find the Mi Amor to be an oily wrapper.
The Mi Amor Reserva features two bands. The primary band features the La Aroma de Cuba logo and design with a female portrait. The color scheme is yellow, white, blue, gold, and red. There is actually more red on this band than the Mi Amor band – and is actually more reminiscent of the core La Aroma de Cuba band. The secondary band is gold, red, and blue. The text “Mi Amor” is in scripted gold font on a red background. Under that text is “RESERVA” in a small printed gold font. The rest of the secondary band contains gold and blue adornments.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the Mi Amor Reserva Beso, I went with a straight cut into the cap of the cigar. Once the cap was removed, it was time to commence with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes of the Mi Amor Reserva provided a mix of chocolate and leather notes with some light pepper. Overall, I found the Mi Amor Reserva to have a very nice pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to toast the foot of the Mi Amor Reserva and see what the cigar would bring to the table.
The start to the Mi Amor Reserva yielded notes of cherry, chocolate, and bold pepper. Given this is a Garcia family cigar, the start of bold pepper did not surprise me. While I did classify this as a Garcia family pepper blast, this spice held on for quite a bit. The pepper was dominant for the first five percent. It was around that point where the chocolate notes joined the pepper as a primary flavor. The cherry notes were more in a background role.
Around the ten percent mark, the mix of chocolate and pepper still remained in the forefront. I now detected some leather notes in the background along with an interesting sweetness that I could not initially come up with an analogy on. Meanwhile the cherry notes were now tertiary. This sweetness that was a secondary note increased in presence and eventually made its way to the forefront.
By the end of the first third the sweetness was now the primary flavor. The chocolate and pepper notes were now secondary. The leather notes that were in the background morphed into more of a classic nut flavor. At this point, the tertiary cherry flavors had now dissipated.
By the midway point, the chocolate notes also dissipated. The sweetness that was the primary note now had a sweet syrup characteristic. The pepper and nut flavors were still secondary. I also detected some earth notes in the background.
The last third of the cigar saw the flavor profile converge to one of earth and pepper as the sweet syrup significantly diminished. This is the way the cigar experience would finish. The finish had some spice, but was not harsh. The resulting nub was soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva has outstanding construction and this is reflected in the burn and draw. The burn line remained sharp from start to finish and required minimal touchups. The resulting ash was firm. It had a very grayish color, but was not blackish. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal. As for the draw on the Mi Amor Reserva, it was outstanding – making the cigar a true joy to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a nicotine perspective, the Mi Amor Reserva seemed to have a little more pop than the core Mi Amor Reserva. At the time of this assessment, I had only smoked the Beso vitola, so I am wondering if this is strictly something found in this size cigar. The strength of the Mi Amor Reserva can best be classified as medium to full strength. The flavors to the Mi Amor Reserva had some nice depth to them. I assessed the Mi Amor Reserva to be a full-bodied cigar. When looking at the strength and body attributes, I give the body a slight edge over the strength.
Two years ago, when Ashton released the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor, I felt this cigar took the La Aroma de Cuba brand to another level. Now with the release of the Mi Amor Reserva, this without a doubt is the finest cigar in this brand. The Mi Amor Reserva has a complex flavor profile with excellent construction. This is the type of cigar I can recommend to anyone. Experienced cigar enthusiasts will appreciate what this cigar brings to the table. I also think this is a good cigar for the novice cigar enthusiast looking to try something a little stronger to cut their teeth on. This certainly is a cigar that I will smoke again. It is a cigar I would consider a box purchase on. It will be a factor in the 2012 Cigar of the Year countdown.
Strength: Medium to Full
Source: The cigar for this assessment was provided by an authorized representative of Ashton Cigars. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this review.