September 7, 2012

Review: Reinado Grand Empire Reserve

Reinado is a brand which seems to be popping up in quite a few conversations I've had recently. I would guess this has a lot to do with the strong social media presence owner Antonio Lam has taken. Follow him on twitter @ReinadoCigars. Today's review is for Reinado's new release, the Grand Empire Reserve.

Some quotes from the official Press Release: The Grand Empire Reserve is a box pressed Robusto that incorporates a select habano maduro wrapper and an additional aged Nicaraguan filler which leverages REINADO's signature fermentation process to provide even greater depth, richer undertones, and enhanced overall complexity for both the casual and the distinguished cigar smoker.

I was lucky enough to get a sample of this stick at the IPCPR trade show, so let's see how it turned out.

Vitola: Robusto
Length: 5
Ring Gauge: 55
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $?
Smoking Location: My back deck
Beverage: water


The box press on my Reinado Grand Empire Reserve (GER from now on) was not a very hard press, which I liked because I'm not a fan of very squared off cigars. The wrapper was a medium brown with a lot of reddish hues and minimal veins. Putting the cigar to my nose, I picked up a lot of earthy scents, as well as some tingly pepper. The cap clipped with no issues and the cold draw had a lot of honey and black currant notes. Black currants are something I eat a lot during the holiday season, so I know the taste well, however, it's not a taste I pick up in cigars too often. 

First Third
Right from the first few puffs, my Reinado GER produced some interesting flavors. The profile's front consisted of some hazelnut mixed in with a muted floral taste -- very light and unique. It is not a blend that I am accustomed to, but the tastes seemed to play well together. The finish was a whole different ball game and was right in my wheel house. Each exhale was filled with a spicy cinnamon flavor that seemed to build the more you waited between draws. If you've read any of my past reviews, you know I much I love this taste in cigars. The construction was great (very strong ash) and the nicotine level was in the medium range.  

Second Third
The second third of my Reinado GER had the floral flavor on the front end really explode. It doesn't sound good when I put it this way, but it was almost a potpourri kind of taste, but with a lot of sweetness; very light on the palate and very tasty. The finish backed off a bit on the spice or heat of the cinnamon, but the flavor was still there -- a lot like hard candy. I still didn't have any problems with the construction and the nicotine level maintained a consistent medium.

Final Third and Final Thoughts 
The final third of my Reinado GER was almost a clone of the second third -- a lot of floral sweetness on the front, mixing with candy-like cinnamon on the finish. The one thing that did change was the nicotine strength ramped up into a lower-full strength range. This might have been due to the buildup in my system, but it was noticeable. I took the cigar all the way to the nub and didn't have any touch ups or construction issues.

Final thoughts on the Reinado Grand Empire Reserve? This cigar really has two distinct flavor profiles; one that I am all over all the time and one that was pretty new to me. Surprisingly, even with how different they were, both seemed to compliment one other and keep the experience interesting and enjoyable. This was my only sample of this cigar and I was intrigued by it, so I will definitely be getting more. A good showing from team Reinado.

Would I buy it again? Yes.

Would I buy a box? I'd like to try a few more singles before going for a full box, but it's not out of the question.