Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve

In the chaotic weeks that lead up to this review, I’ve been smoking Nestor Miranda’s Grand Reserve with intention of putting up a review. Unfortunately, life and schedules haven’t been cooperating lately, and this already limited release has become even more limited in availability. Fortunately the 10,000 sticks that were produced haven’t vanished from the shelves just yet, allowing me to narrowly avoid reviewing a cigar our readers can’t find.

Billed as Nestor Miranda’s entry into “ultra-premium” cigars, the Grand Reserve is another in a line of manufacturing teamwork between Miami Cigar Company and My Father Cigars, a pairing which has already brought us such smokes as the Special Selection and a personal favorite, the Art Deco. As is to be expected from anything Pepin and company have a hand in making, there’s a good deal of Nicaraguan tobacco in it. In this case, it makes up the binder and all the filler. A Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper completes the package.

When it comes to buying them, there aren’t a lot of decisions to be made. The Grand Reserve comes in a single size, a 6 1/4 x 52 box-pressed torpedo. Which leaves you the choice of grabbing singles, or springing for slick looking a box of 10. That covers the basics, let’s get into the review.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 1/4 x 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Some purchased by reviewer, some samples
Price: MSRP $12.00

The Pre-Smoke
Before you even lay eyes on the cigar, you know a box-pressed torpedo is going to be good looking smoke. The Grand Reserve doesn’t disappoint. It’s smooth, uniform dark brown wrapper is broken by few larger veins, and decorated with an elaborate emerald and gold band. I didn’t see a single cosmetic flaw in the half dozen or so I smoked leading up to this review.

To the touch, the cigars felt as well made as they look. Firm and consistent, free of obvious internal irregularities. The wrappers of each had a very pungent compost aroma, and the cold draw seemed normal, offering up dark fruit and cedar notes.

The Burn
The combustion performance of the Grand Reserve was a little hit and miss. About half the time, the cigars burned flawlessly. The rest of the time, minor irritations such as uneven burn, splitting wrappers at the head and relights got in the way of complete enjoyment. With the exception a little extra air in worst of the split heads, the all-important draw was never an issue.

The Flavor
The Grand Reserve began it’s palate performance beautifully with rich cedar, earth and a touch of creamy coffee. It isn’t long before cedar and spice took over with earth and occasional sweet notes offering their support. Throughout the initial and well into the second third, the profile had a lasting, syrupy mouth feel.

Around the beginning of the middle third things started to get interesting. Sour cream and pepper joined the cedar-centric profile. In the background there were occasional hints of sweetness and coffee. At the halfway point, the sour cream had faded and was replaced by chocolate.

The pepper and spice ramped up in the final third, and the cedar flavor grew more intense. Chocolate as well as coffee were still present, though not quite as easy to pick out heavy cedar profile. When the cap construction allowed for it, it wasn’t hard to burn down to the nub.

The Price
I’ll be honest, twelve bucks is at the top end of my comfort zone, even though that zone has stretched upward a little over the years. While that hasn’t prevented me from buying Grand Reserves, it has limited the number I do buy, and the frequency of my purchases.

The Verdict
Burn irregularities and price aside, the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve is very good smoke with a lot of rich flavor to offer. It’s easily my favorite of Miami Cigar’s 2011 releases. I may not spring for a box, but considering there’s only ten in them, I may well burn through one before they’re gone. I’m half way there already. If you can’t find them in your local shop (I haven’t had a problem so far), I know that one of our sponsors, Smoke Inn still has them in stock.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Very Likely
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.