Reserva Miraflor Habano Oscuro Robusto

I’m happy to say that I survived and have returned from the cigar event to end all cigar events. Of course, I’m talking about none other than the annual IPCPR (formerly RTDA) show in Las Vegas, Nevada. And what better way to get back into the swing of things but with a review of a brand new cigar?

This cigar is a particular treat to review. Not only is it absolutely new (which makes it especially attractive to me), but I happen to know that very, very few people have ever smoked it. There were very few samples available at the show, and I was lucky enough to get one only because I met the man behind the cigar, Andres “Andy” Madera on the CigarLive forum earlier this year.

There isn’t yet a whole lot of information yet available online about the cigar, so here’s what I know. The cigar is produced in Esteli, Nicaragua by GDW Cigars. Andres Madera, the owner, has set up his U.S. base of operations in the rainy city of Portland, Oregon. Andy has big plans, but is starting out with a single line of Reserva Miraflor cigars. It’s available in the standard vitolas (robusto, churchill, toro, belicoso) as well as the increasingly popular lancero size.

And that pretty much covers what I know. Let’s light it up!

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: ~$4.00

The Pre-Smoke
As you would expect from a cigar with “oscuro” in the name, this cigar comes wrapped in a nice, dark brown, oily leaf. But not quite as dark as some other oscuros out there on the market, more of a slightly reddish maduro. In my inspection of the cigar, I found it to be free of any obvious flaws and nicely firm.

The cigar had a faint compost scent on the wrapper that was a little bit more pungent at the foot. I clipped this cigar with my trusty Xikar scissors and found the cold taste to be a slightly sweet cocoa.

The Burn
The burn of this cigar was very respectable. The ash was solid, light and hung tough on the cigar for around an inch before dropping. The draw was also prefect. The only flaws I noted while smoking the cigar was a little bit of unevenness in the burn in the first and last thirds. And I did have to relight the cigar once right around the halfway point.

The Flavor
The cigar started off with a rich, creamy, nutty cedar flavor and quickly developed some caramel and coffee flavors early on in the first third. Creamy and occasionally spicy coffee dominated this portion of the cigar, and was rejoined by cedar just before second third began.

By the second third, the coffee flavor faded and was replaced by cocoa and dark chocolate that combined nicely with the cedar. As the second third burned, the cedar flavor became more and more prominent. Just before the final third, the cigar was all aromatic, almost floral, cedar.

The final third saw the return of the cocoa and chocolate, but cedar remained dominant.

The Price
I have no complains about this price. I’m not sure what the final MSRP will be once these cigars become more widely available in retail shops, but I know it will be pretty close to the price quoted by Andy to interested buyers on the CigarLive forum. (You can see the details here.) Since it falls in the $3 to $5 range, I think most cigar smokers will find it affordable.

The Verdict
My verdict for this cigar is simple. It’s a great tasting cigar that burns well and won’t break the bank. I really enjoyed the combination of cocoa and chocolate flavors with cedar and can see myself smoking this more often in the future. And I’m really glad that I enjoyed this cigar. I didn’t know what to expect from this cigar, and I wanted to be able to help support the new guy to the market! Andy made that easy by producing a fine cigar! If you have the opportunity to smoke one, I say go for it.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

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

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9 Comments

  1. Lisa B. said,

    July 20, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Nice cigar. Did you happen to see any Dona Flor booths while at the IPCPR? Just curious.

  2. Brian said,

    July 20, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Hi Lisa,
    It’s funny you mention Dona Flor. With all the controversy and legal notices flying around, you might think that they would be at IPCPR. The funny reality is that there were two Dona Flor booths! I didn’t realize that until somebody told me. I spoke to one that claimed to have the distribution rights of the cigar in the U.S. and presumably the other had the rights to the name in Brazil. (I only spoke to one, I didn’t get around to speaking with the other.) Or maybe they both were claiming U.S. rights. Hard to say. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out. The good news is that one way or the other, it looks like we’ll be able to get Dona Flor cigars in the future.

  3. Andres Madera said,

    July 21, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Wow Brian, Thank you for the great review! Very professional sound and look. I just love the photos specially the tower of burn, its really unique. We are one of the newest companies out there but the way you presented it with the pictures and all it looks like a real classic!!! I look forwarded to reading more of your reviews of my cigars in the near future. INCOMMING!!!!

    Thanks agian,
    Andres Madera (Andrew Wood)
    GDW Cigars (Owner-Manufacturer)

  4. Brian said,

    July 22, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you, Andres Madera for the cigars! Glad you enjoyed the cigar review, and do keep checking back both here and on Stogie Review, there will be a lot more reviews in the future!

    • Gondara said,

      August 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm

      Where can i get these in Portland, OR.

  5. Bill said,

    August 5, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks for the great review! I just saw this for some reason and linked you on my blog… it had been on hiatus for a while, but I am trying to get it up and going again…

    Sounds like a cigar worth trying at a good price point.
    ~berris

  6. SMW said,

    January 6, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Nice review Brian…I couldn’t agree more. Andres, a question for you: how do I get my hands on some more? I had two at a local cigar bar here in the Metro area, and I really enjoyed them. Unfortunately. I haven’t been able to find them elsewhere. If anyone knows, your help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  7. dentonparrots said,

    February 11, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    I’ve heard great things about these cigars and I’m desperate to try one, I wish they were readily available in my local tobacconists. Thanks for the review..now to try and source some in the UK!

  8. Rich W. said,

    November 27, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Great review! I’m in the Navy and I just received these (2) in a care package from the States. I was curious about the cigars and now I’m really excited to try them out. I’m sure that someone donated them to the charity organization that sent them out here to the Middle East. Thanks to whoever donated them, and here’s to a great smoke! We appreciate the support!


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