Miami Cigar & Company celebrated its 30th Anniversary by bringing back a line that was a fan favorite. The Nestor Miranda Special Selection was the signature line of the company.
The Special Selection was originally introduced in 2006 and was available in two wrappers at the time of its release, Habano Rosado and a dark Habano Oscuro. In 2012, the company added a Connecticut wrapper to the original release.
During their 25th Anniversary in 2014, the company retired the Special Selection and released the Nestor Miranda Collection utilizing a more modern design with different blends.
According to Jason Wood, VP of Miami Cigar Company, “We try as much as possible not just to hear customer feedback but to act on it, and one common request was to bring Special Selection back to retail.” And act on it they did by releasing the cigar during their 30th Anniversary in the spring of 2019 that we would instantly embrace like an old friend returning from afar.
This is the 2019 Cigar of the Year.
Cigar Review: Nestor Miranda Special Selection
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano
Binder: Nicaragua Criollo ’98
Fillers: Nicaragua (Condega, Jalapa, Esteli)
Ring Gauge 54
The Look: When you run into an old friend there are two possible trains of thought. The first being, the years weren’t kind to him. The second thought, which is the case here, “You haven’t changed much.” The boxes look the same as when they left. There is the signature burlap on the right hand side of the box. The razor blade logo on the box top remains as does the signature sizes. The band has changed slightly featuring copper foil versus the gold foil of old. Also, the rice paper that made up the top section of the band is replaced by a glossy off-white background.
As far as the cigar goes, the Nicaraguan Habano wrapper falls somewhere between the Rosado and Oscuro designation of the original. It has a few veins that stand out, but that doesn’t detract from the beauty of this well aged wrapper that has a lot of oils and bit of tooth in the form of magnesium bumps, which for me has always been the sign of good things to come. In the hand the cigar is firm to the touch with a well packed foot.
The Notes: Once the cap is clipped, the cold draw offers up notes of graham with a touch of plum and rhubarb. Even if you can’t tell the nuances a cigar has to offer, it’s easy to feel how rich it tastes. The foot of the cigar has some more graham notes with hints of mocha to the nose. Once toasted and lit, the first couple of puffs serve up some pepper notes along with a well defined mocha.
Moving into the first third of the Toro vitola of the Nestor Miranda Special Selection, notes of pepper slowly pull back revealing a plum sweetness along side a rich espresso taste. The retrohale of the cigar remains spicy with a wasabi encrusted nut taste. As the cigar burns, a smooth almost white ash is revealed that holds strong throughout the first third before I chose to roll it off into the ashtray.
The second third of the stick with the ash removed, sees the wasabi notes make their way to the palate. As the ash grows, the wasabi dissipates but remains on the retrohale where it is joined by dark chocolate. Around the halfway point, notes of espresso become the focal point with a hint of cocoa and a growing cedar component.
As we smoke our way into the final third and remove the band, the cigar takes on notes of cashew, which become dominant. There are some more wasabi notes that increase in intensity with the ash once again removed from the cigar. The espresso notes remain but serve as more of an afterthought along with nuances of cedar. The retrohale adds more cedar which lingers on the finish which is moderately long but very clean.
The Finish: From the second this cigar came out it entered my rotation on the regular. If you follow me (Barry) on social media you will see I smoke it at work, on my deck with some rum, with friends and every chance I get in between. It’s even better than the original release and it is a worthy recipient of Cigar of the Year. For those wondering how the Cigar of the Year is figured out, on The Cigar Authority we released a Contenders Pack in conjunction with 2GuysCigars.com / Two Guys Smoke Shop. Everyone who purchased got a vote. Those votes were then pooled together with employees of Two Guys who get one vote each. The most important vote, however, is what cigar moved the needle in sales. Many people who voted followed up their vote with a purchase, be it a single, 5 pack, or box. We also look at purchases throughout the year. When you take all the information, the Nestor Miranda Special Selection ticked all the boxes.
Price: $7.69 / $134.99