August 20, 2012

Cigar Review: Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva 52 Robusto



Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva 52
"What the fuck are these!?" Those are the words that came out of my mouth when I walked into Havana Phil's some week or so ago and spotted these cigars lying on his new display case. I should say that his humidor is packed with so many great cigars that he is in all really over flooded the humidor. I am working hard to make sure all the cigars fit at all times, but I need your help! Anyways, I spotted several new cigars, but this cigar truly grabbed my attention. I have loved this cigar since I first smoked it nearly one year ago, and with the company keeping kind of a low profile in terms of releases and online media, it was not a surprise that I missed this smoke. I knew Casa Fernandez would be released the Aganorsa Leaf Maduro this year, but I did not pay attention to the new vitolas in this line/single cigar line extension before. What am I talking about? I am talking about the Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva 52.



Last year Casa Fernandez announced that they would be opening a new cigar factory in Miami, Florida, and that their first release from that factory would be the Casa Fernandez Miami. The line would consist of three vitolas, and a fourth vitola would be a limited production cigar that would be composed of different tobacco. That cigar bore the name Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva. The Miami Reserva was limited to a 6" by 54 ring gauge cigar, and focused on the use of Medio Tiempo tobacco. The line was and still is a Nicaraguan puro, and utilizes Authentic Cuban seeds that are "AA" tobacco leaf from Aganorsa. The cigar is composed with Medio Tiempo Maduro, Ligero, and Viso from Aganorsa tobacco farms in Esteli, Condega Valley, and the Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua. Medio Tiempo is the highest part of the tobacco plant, and I believe it really got a lot of attention with the release of the Cohiba Behike. Medio Tiempo, being the highest part of the plant gets the most sun and nutrients than any other leaf. Paul Palmer, the President of Tabacalera Tropical has been quoted in saying that medio tiempo is grown on only 80 plants out of every 15,000 or so, with that being said, you can see why this is a limited smoke. I should clarify that this wrapper is Medio Tiempo Ligero, so it is going to be pretty powerful.
New Bands

This year Casa Fernandez announced that they would be adding two new additional vitolas to the Reserva line, and the packaging would be changed some. The cigars are now packaged in matte black boxes, and have a fancier Reserva band along with a brighter and clearer Casa Fernandez Miami band. With packaging being changed, I am one of those guys who is now going to hold on to the original Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva box, and probably collect a new box as well to age with it. As I said earlier the cigar is a Nicaraguan puro, and it is rolled in the Cuban fashion in Miami, Florida. The cigar is gifted with a gorgeous triple cap, and has a darker wrapper than I remember bearing qualities closer to a Colorado Maduro wrapper. It is smooth to touch with some veins present here and there and is firm while not oily at all. The cigar measures 5.25" with a 52 ring gauge and has strong aromas of dark spices, pepper, leather and wood.   

Upon lighting the cigar I am immediately greeted by tons of powerful spicy notes, and with that some definite wood/barnyard and toast flavors. With the wood notes there are some definite leather notes present, and with that a finish of tobacco. The spice notes are definitely showing some black pepper flavors throughout this third, and it is rocking and rolling. The cigar is easily full body in terms of strength, and I am loving the start to this cigar. It is most definitely not a morning cigar, and I would not recommend this stick to everyone out there. In terms of construction the cigar is burning perfectly, and the ash is this wonderful light gray color, almost white. I am getting tons of smoke with the cigar also, and getting some solid rings with that.  
Medio Tiempo Ligero Wrapper
I am in the second third of the cigar now, and I can safely say that the strength level is not waiving in any way. The cigar has remained full body from the second I lit the cigar, and I am glad this a cigar I am smoking in the evening. Those flavors of dry wood are definitely present in this third, and they are pairing wonderfully with the black pepper and spice notes. I got some toast and nutty flavors in this third, and while nothing really brings the cigar down in terms of strength, they compliment those lovely spice and wood notes. The cigar has been burning wonderfully throughout the whole cigar, and the ash is still that light gray color as well. One great aspect to this cigar is the thick smoke that is produced with each puff, and it just gives this cigar a fuller aspect. 

Smoking my way through the final third of the cigar now I find it to be outstanding on the finish. The samples I have smoked for this cigar have really been full tilt, and the strength level I like from time to time. I don't always smoke powerful cigars, but this is what I look for when I do. The flavors of wood, barnyard, leather, toast and nuts are still very present in this third, but the finish of spices are very powerful and dominant. As I said earlier, the cigar is at a full body level, and with that there is a ton of smoke coming with the cigar. I am getting an amazing razor sharp burn line, and with the perfect burn line there is that nice solid light gray ash. The cigar smokes cool all the way to the end, and even on the finish it is smooth and flavorful.  

This cigar was a killer, and I found it to be noticeably stronger than the original Miami Reserva. I know a difference in ring gauge from 54 to 52 should not make a difference, but this cigar just rocked. Some of my problems might be that the Reservas I am smoking are close to a year old, but even what I remember from before, they were not this strong. The cigar while strong was still very flavorful, and with the great flavors performed wonderfully in terms of construction. I was getting that wonderful light gray ash from beginning to end, and it remained on the cigar firmly. This is really a great robusto and while it is a short cigar, it is not a morning cigar. This is a cigar where you get comfortable in a leather chair with a glass of red wine and relax. I give this smoke a 92, and will be smoking more of these, because of the time difference, over the original Reserva.
Reserva 52
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