Cigar Review: Reinado Cigars Grand Empire Reserve

Cigar Review: Reinado Cigars Grand Empire Reserve

Reinado Cigars Grand Empire Reserve

Size:   Box Pressed (5″ x 55)

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro

Binder:  Nicaragua

Filler:  Nicaragua

Strength: Full

Price:  $9.95 MSRP

Grade: 9.1

One of my more memorable moments at IPCPR2012 led to the discovery of what I found to be one of my favorites of the show.  While walking through tradeshow floor I found myself bumbling, and stumbling with my bag over my shoulder, I Pad in one hand, and directory in another.  As I began to pause to reload everything into my bag I was kindly offered a seat by one of the exhibitors I had previously passed over and that s how I got to meet Antonio Lam of Reinado Cigars.

After I had organized myself we exchanged introductions and talked about how the show had been going.  Antonio then introduced me to his line up.  I had never smoked a Reinado offering, as I had never seen them locally, and they simply weren’t on my radar.  Antonio offered me a Grand Empire Reserve, which was unveiled at the show.  It’s a great looking box pressed stick, with a dark Maduro wrapper.  I smoked the first third while chatting with him and really was very impressed.

My good friend William Cooper at www.cigarcoop.com had this to say about Reinado Cigars in his pre-review:

The distinguishing factor of Reinado Cigars is their unique fermentation process to their Nicaraguan puros.  This process is also applied to the core Reinado Cigar  blend.  With the case of the Reinado Empire Grand Reserve, this particular blend utilizes their unique fermentation process, but is fermented for a longer a period of time.  There is also an additional Nicaraguan filler that is included in the blend.

Fortunately, I was able to get a second GER at the Charmed Leaf sponsored Boutique brands IPCPR party and I saved it until now to offer it up for review.

But enough about that, let’s toast the foot!

Pre-Light:  (1.8)   The Grand Empire Reserve has a wonderful deep brown Maduro wrapper with a bit of tooth, tight seams, and minimal veins.  The box press is a bit soft, but not loose, the GER is well packed.  The Grand Empire reserve has a primary band with the brands crest and the words “Reinado” and “Nicaragua” above and below it and the initials of the brands owners “AL” & “ML” on one side and “Hecho a Mano” on the other side.  There is a secondary gold band denoting the blend , “Grand Empire Reserve”.  The double bands look fitting on the unique Vitola.

The scent off the foot is full of rich, sweet, tobacco.  The pre light draw offers up the same sweet tobacco, along with notes of cedar and cocoa.

Burn:  (1.7)  The Reinado Grand Empire Reserve had a fantastic draw that offered up a full robust smoke.  The wrapper seems to be a hair thicker than a lot of the other Maduro wrappers and provided for a nice slow burn.   Occasionally the burn got uneven but always returned to a nice, straight burn without touch–ups.   The GER burned cool to the end.  The white ash was a bit flaky and the ash came off without effort.

Flavor:  (2.8)  The first few puffs of peppery spice with touches of coffee and bakers cocoa.  The pepper steps down just a notch and the rich cocoa, coffee, and tobacco flavors take over.  The smoke is rich and flavorful.  The flavor is right up front with the spice moving ever so slightly to the back of the profile. The peppery spice is pleasant through the retro hale.  Strength is a solid medium.

As I progress into the second third there is a strong earthy element that joins into the profile.  Along with the earthiness, the coffee flavor seems to be picking up some steam.  The smoke is incredibly smooth with a clean, slightly spicy finish.  Strength has picked up through the second third.

The final act is a wonderfully balanced harmony of the core flavors of sweet tobacco, coffee, cocoa, spice, and a hint of cedar through the home stretch.  Strength through the final two thirds is full, but by no means overwhelming.  The Reinado Grand Empire Reserve while not the most complex or nuanced smoke, is an absolutely fantastic flavor bomb.

Overall:  (2.8)  The Reinado Grand Empire Reserve was one of my favorite smokes at IPCPR2012 and I was definitely glad to be able to get another one to share with a review.  The smoke is full of rich flavors and is absolutely characteristic of what I look for in a top notch Nicaraguan Maduro. Construction and draw were equally excellent.   I just wish I could find these near me, I’d spoil myself smoking them!

On a total side note, Antonio Lam, the brands owner, was a class act.  I appreciated that he took the time to approach me and spend some good time during the busy show with me even though I wasn’t a retailer.  I saw Antonio a few more times through the show weekend and look forward to meeting him again.

Total: 9.1

@WillyStyl

The sample smoked for this review was part of a sample bag given away at a post show party.  The sponsors of the party, nor the manufacturer had any previous knowledge or influence on this review.