May 1, 2010

REVIEW: NHC Seleccion Limitada Reserva

Up for review today is the other cigar in the spotlight since its release earlier this week (see posts below.) The NHC Seleccion Limitada is a project that Dan Welsh (@nhcdan on twitter), owner of New Havana Cigars, and Pete Johnson (@tatuajecigars on twitter), owner of Tatuaje Cigars, worked together on to create a house stick for New Havana Cigars. I won't go into any of the details on the collaboration on this stick, as you can read all of them here on my NHC Seleccion Limitada Natural review.

Vitola: Cervante Larga
Length: 6.75
Ring Gauge: 42
Wrapper: Nicaragua Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $7.20 in full boxes
Smoking Location: My back deck
Beverage: water

The NHC Seleccion Limitada Reserva is an interesting looking cigar. The wrapper has a mix of two different tones of brown and, when very closely inspected, looks to have almost a peach fuzz on it. When pinching my cigar from head to foot, the roll seemed to be very tight and had almost no give. There are, unlike in the Natural version of the NHC, just two major veins running across the stick. The pre-lit aroma was pretty faint and smelled of earthy tobacco. Once the head was clipped, any fear of this stick being too tight was forgotten as the cold draw was almost perfect. The only flavor I got from the cold draw was some slight woody notes and a nice sweetness on my lips. The only other major difference in appearance from the Natural version of this stick is the classic Tatuaje "Reserva" band that is located below the standard NHC band.

First Third
I lit my NHC Seleccion Limitada Reserva with a soft flame lighter which seemed to be troublesome because it was very windy. Once evenly lit, the cigar produced an average amount of smoke that was very clean on the finish. It didn't leave any sort of film or heavy smoky feeling on my palate. The initial flavors were of a muted black pepper with some strong cedar notes, mixed with sweet tobacco. The burn on the stick was razor sharp and the body settled in at medium. The ash was tight, but with all of the wind held on for just over an inch.

Second Third
Right from the start of the second third, the flavors started to change. The cedar notes I had experienced in the first third had completely dissipated and I was now tasting a strong bitter, dark chocolate with some cinnamon. The cinnamon gave the cigar a bit of spice that was different from the black pepper and played nicely on my taste buds. I as was picking up another flavor that was confusing me and I couldn't distinguish until I took a drink of cold water. After drinking the water it was really familiar and obvious to me -- the puzzling taste was of graham cracker.I didn't get any of this flavor in the NHC Natural and, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that something normally associated with broadleaf wrappers? To me though, it was an unmistakable flavor. Just like the first third, the burn was perfect and the body a relaxing medium.

Final Third and Final Thoughts
The final third of my NHC Seleccion Limitada Reserva continued on and finished up just as the second third did. The smoke was very clean and fresh feeling on my palate. The flavors were of strong bitter dark chocolate mixed in with hints of cinnamon spice and sweet graham cracker. If you think that flavor profile sounds more like a dessert than a cigar, I would agree with you. I would also say this stick would do nicely as an after dinner treat. You can't say enough about the construction of this stick. It burned flawlessly, even in windy conditions. The body was consistently medium from start to finish.

My final impression of the NHC Seleccion Limitada Reserva? If the NHC Seleccion Limitada Natural is a home run than the Reserva is more like a triple. This cigar has a lot of rich, strong, enjoyable flavors that make it stand up to any of the Tatuaje cigars. Once you get into the second third, it stays pretty much on the same course until the nub. I was hoping for a bit more change in the flavor profile like I experienced with the NHC Natural, but it just is not there yet. I will say that out of the two cigars I think that this one has a stronger potential to get better with age. I know of a very popular Tatuaje cigar that, in 6 months to a year from now, this cigar has a chance of being compared against, but I will keep that opinion to myself and let my fellow smokers form there own thoughts.

Would I buy it again? Just like the Natural, I would buy lots of this cigar. I'd put some away to age and then I feel like it will be a true gem.

Would I buy a box?  See above comments

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more Dan. I really enjoyed both but the natural is my pick for immediate consumption. Aging the reserva holds promise of something special. It could become a monster. ;^)