At a recent El Primer Mundo cigar event held at Castro’s Back Room, I had the opportunity to converse with Sean Williams, owner of the forementioned boutique brand. In doing so, I learned some valuable insight as to how the brand operates and what his thought process is behind some of the cigar lines created over the past few years. I asked him some questions in regards to the wrapper used on the Clase Reserva:
I’ve wanted to use the San Andres for a while. Had a chance to get access to some and decided to do something limited for the retailers that have supported me over the last few years. I had never done a truly limited run product before. I hope to do similar projects going forward… I think it has with the stuff that Drew Estates is doing as well as My Father Cigars. Padron has used it for years but it seems that is has gained in popularity over the last couple of years. I love the wrapper.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Size: 6 x 52
Cigars Smoked: 2
Smoke Time: 1hr 30min
Time In Humidor: 1 Week
Location: Castro’s Back Room
First thing that I noticed was the rich chocolate colored wrapper. It has an oily sheen feel with a rugged look and texture as the veins looked “stitched”. To me, the cigar looks very appealing and I would feel to be a major selling point. It has a firm feel except for a spot or two where the cigar was soft but not spongy. One of the cigars did have a minor water spot but that adds character, at least from my view. Moving on to the band, one thing you’ll notice is that his cigars have a map of the world on them. Looking past that, the silver and white colors of the band contrast vividly against the backdrop of the cigar. The Clase Reserva comes alive with the color scheme. “Little Havana” is mentioned as well referring to where these cigars are rolled (Miami). The cap is done well and the weight seems to be average. Overall, I impressed with the cigar up to this point.
On both cigars, I decided to go with a punch and I definitely feel it was the right choice. The punch penetrated deep and was thorough with the extraction. The cold draw felt full with a decent amount of resistance though this tends to improve once the cigar is lit. The burn was even and it never required a correction or relight. As expected, the draw remained full while opening up when the tobacco warmed. I noticed copious amounts of smoke coming from the Clase Reserva and it was consistent and steady. One thing that El Primer Mundo knows how to do is make a nice tight ash. All of the cigars that I have smoked have had a gray mixed with white smooth ash lasting almost 2 inches. I didn’t even have to be delicate with the cigar for this to occur and found that to be impressive.
The aroma from the wrapper reminded me of floral notes, cedar and dark chocolate. It’s bright and sweet while the foot has more than an adequate smell of rich chocolate, cedar and white pepper. The first few draws gave me semi sweet chocolate, hay, black pepper and a touch of saltiness. The first third is filled with coffee, cinnamon, earth, oak and mild pepper. The coffee seems to be on the front and not quite so quite. The earth and oaky flavors are most prominent in the middle while the cinnamon and black pepper linger on the finish. The body is a medium and the strength is as well making the cigar enjoyable.
The next section brings coffee beans, oak, orange peel, caramel and black pepper. The coffee beans are rich and dark, the orange peel is citrus like and bright and the caramel is brief and subtle but has the trademark sweetness surrounding the flavors. This cigar has a solid amount of complexity right around a medium plus and the strength matches it pound for pound. The last third has more of the same flavors reintroducing coffee, cedar and the black pepper is more of a mild spice. I also taste some molasses in this section which contrasts the flavors quite nicely. The finish is somewhat dry and lingers and body ends as a medium plus along with the strength.
- Absolutely impeccable construction on this cigar. In fact, 90% of the cigars that I have smoked from El Primer Mundo have had this amazing quality. Wonderful burn line, a near perfect draw whether I made a cut or a punch and an ash I typically only see on aged cigars. The torcedors surely know how to roll a cigar at the factory.
- There is quite a good amount of complexity in the Clase Reserva. The cigar hits the palate with a combination of coffee, oak, cinnamon, citrus, caramel and molasses over the duration of the review. Each note helps to counteract the dominant qualities of each other. Broken up into 3 sections, each one played a bit differently from the previous which made this cigar much more interesting.
- Given that this cigar had less than a week to rest, I can safely say the Clase Reserva will be improve over the next 6 months. I don’t know if that will translate into a higher immediate score, but the cigar will certainly feel more refined. The Clase Reserva has solid potential for long time aging as well.
- As I go through the entire lineup from El Primer Mundo, I’ll be able to accurately assess which line is my favorite but without a doubt, this cigar might possibly be the cream of the crop from the boutique brand.
- At $12.00 a cigar and lasting between 1.5-1.75 hours long, I do believe it’s worth the price of admission. The cigars that I’ve smoked from them didn’t remind me of typical cigar and that is something to which I look forward.
- If you’re interested in purchasing any of El Primer Mundo’s line, Castro’s Back Room has them available and will ship. Please tell them Traveling Stogie sent you!