As with most cigar smokers, the challenge of finding a great cigar that flies “under the radar” is always an exciting find. So when @masfy (@MasPlease on Twitter) offered a few Buena Vista Reserva robusto sticks for trade a few months back, I just couldn’t say no. He didn’t need to say anything about the brand or the cigars themselves; the fact that the name sounded new to me was enough to pique my interest and get myself on the Buena Vista bandwagon regardless of how small (or big) that bandwagon was. To me, it was another chance to see if it’s another great under-the-radar, low-flying cigar.
- Cigar size: 5 3/8 x 54
- Origin: Cancun, Mexico
- Wrapper: Ecuador
- Binder: Ecuador
- Filler: Dominican and Ecuadorian blend
- Price: $7.50 online
When I received the sticks that @Masfy sent me, I couldn’t help but admire how they were made. If looks could kill, then these cigars could definitely have given me some hard knocks for sure. All of the things that I usually look for in a cigar are there: Toothy and oily wrapper that’s perfectly applied without any blemishes at all, minimal veining, a body that feels solid and heavy, a triple cap and a double bad to add a little more icing to an already impressive cake.
The aromas were also quite interesting to say the least. A pleasingly sweet tobacco scent was present from the foot, the body and the cold draw, with an additional woodsy scent coming through as well. Surprisingly, the draw was tighter than what I was expecting, considering that Buena Vista takes pride in the fact that all their cigar rollers are from and were trained in the art of cigar rolling in Cuba.
Basic flavors of leather, wood and pepper notes seem to make up the cigar’s initial flavor profile. A tobacco-like sweetness also joins in around the first third as well as a nutty aftertaste in a very lackluster package all tied together by a medium finish.
There’s also a licorice-like sweetness that gets introduced during the second third of the cigar. It’s not exactly licorice; it’s more a cross between that and brown sugar which offers up a little bit of excitement from time to time.
Aside from the slight changes in the sweet elements of the cigar’s flavor, not much else changes. Everything else is basically the same, including the intensity of the flavor’s spicy component. I’d peg the cigar’s body and strength to be below medium.
While the burn line was relatively even throughout most of the cigar’s length, the cigar’s smoke was a source of constant consternation. It was unfortunately light and lacking in thickness due to the cigar’s very tight draw which greatly diminished my overall enjoyment. The ash was fairly OK and carried a very porous and grainy appearance. While it did look very flaky, it surprisingly held on all the way until the end of the second third.
If I could judge a cigar based on aesthetics alone, the Buena Vista Reserva robusto would probably earn top shelf honors. Alas, a cigar’s beauty isn’t judged on looks alone, unfortunately. The cigar didn’t offer anything exciting as far as its flavors were concerned, and even less so with its burn profile. The price isn’t exactly bad, but keep in mind that it’s probably higher if you can find it locally. In a nutshell, the Buena Vista Reserva robusto is a third-drawer cigar at best.