Around this time 3 years ago I was sitting at a cigar shop in Kendall, a suburb of Miami. It was at this shop that I met a person I had crossed paths with at a cigar lounge in the Bronx. Turns out that he was regular at the now defunct Cigar 1. It was here that I also met a future porn star in Luna Star, as she worked in the shop before the adult business called her although back then she used her real name.
I also met Noel Rojas who was not yet confident in his English and was the owner of a brand called Guayacan. We became friends over the years and he taught me a lot in terms of blending and tobacco. Not to mention we played well as partners on the dominoes table. So in today’s cigar I am visiting with an old friend that I look forward to seeing again.
Cigar: Guayacan Sabor de Esteli
Size: 5 x 50 (Robusto)
Wrapper: San Andreas
Source: House of Emilio (Distributor)
The Look: I remember when these cigars first came out, Noel shared with me the artwork and I was a little worried that it was too feminine. I still feel that way, but the band is a work of art with a nice heavy stocky. As for the cigar, this is a beautiful looking box press with a lighter San Andreas wrapper that has some brindle like markings. There is some creasing of the wrapper near the cap and is virtually vein free although coarse under the fingers. The cigar is well packed though it does feel a little light in the hand.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Sabor de Esteli by Guayacan has a slightly floral component, while the foot of the cigar has a manure like scent. Now before you gasp, this is considered one of the best compliments you can pay a manufacturer, and many Cubans have this aroma. If you Cuban smells like cedar, it just might be a fake.
Once the cigar is lit there is a massive burst of clean white pepper through the nose that instantly fades away. The notes of the cigar transition into nuts and dark chocolate. There is a sugar sweetness present and this cigar would probably pair well with some Pilon coffee made in the Cuban method.
In the second third of the stick which features the same wrapper as the La Flor Dominicana 1994 the cigar become slightly floral just like the prelight draw. As we pass the halfway point the cigar develops some floral notes in the aromas as well, with some continued chocolate notes on the finish.
In the last third of this box press smoke the pepper notes return through the nose and the aroma of the cigar while remaining slightly floral also introduces some mocha to the mix. On the palate there is the addition of oak, though the cigar loses the other notes thus losing the complexity. The finish was a long lingering pepper on the tongue.
The Burn: The wrapper of the Sabor de Esteli is thin, and while it did have a few slight jagged edges on the burn it never got out of control. The ash was pretty ugly with close to 50 Shades of Gray though it did hold for about an inch and a half at a time with a slight bit of flake. The draw was a little loose, but bit was well with in the realm of acceptability. It remained lit from first light to last puff.
The Finish: For those of you who don’t know I created a cigar called KILO when I worked with site sponsor, Miami Cigar & Company. When I left the company they gave me the trademark of that cigar and if the cigar was to ever come back to market I would love to work with Noel Rojas in creating that cigar through his factory. As for today’s smoke, I would take the regular production Guayacan over though it does not make it a bad cigar. A more complex final third could have added a few extra points however.