Again diving into that 90+ rated cigar collection from Thompson Cigars, and when I was selecting this smoke, I was growing weary of the lighter cigars and picked out the darkest one in the bunch. I wanted a proper cigar for my Sunday smoke. The stick that earned that honor was the Casa Fernandez Miami Reserve and earned it with class and distinction.
When I picked out this cigar, I should have really thought about how many lighter cigars I’d been smoking as of late. But this one smells amazing– There’s a few cigar shops in Ybor that have the most delightful older men lounging in them in the afternoon, that were willing to help a young me pick out cigars for my bother-in-law and eventually for myself. They would serve me an espresso or a Cuban coffee and talk to me about where each part of the cigar came form and why it was an art. This cigar smells just like those cigar shops– notes of coffee, notes of leather from the chairs and couches, and a very dark and oily tobacco smell.
Once lit, the flavors just got stronger. This cigar looks like a mid weight, but it’s a heavy hitter. The dark tobacco and the roasted coffee aromas just kept getting deeper and darker. The draw was smooth but not easy, while I was able to make a good foot on this stick, it did need some pretty frequent relighting.
I’ll be blunt– this cigar knocked me off my ass. It’s very dark, very rich, very good, but very strong– I had to smoke it slower than I had been smoking other things and it went straight to my head. Their site advises having this cigar after a full meal and I am in no place to disagree with that statement. And had eaten that evening– a delicious burger, bacon and sweet potato tots, plenty a full meal! I might have been a shade dehydrated though, so I did stick with the sparkling water as my beverage. I would try this cigar again when I can really spend a few hours to smoke it, and possibly with a red wine, and definitely after a full meal.
Living in the subtropics means having a rainy season. While we haven’t had a named storm hit the area so far (knock on wood, tiki bars, anything!), the precipitation has been steady and relentless this year. Many areas are just a few scant inches away from flooding, and there’s not a day in the next week and a half that doesn’t have “Afternoon Thunderstorm” or “Thunderstorms likely” in the forecast. After a few weeks of pruny fingers and squishy yards, one gets a desire to give the rain the middle finger. That being said, my friends were sweet enough to let me build a fire in their fire pit. I was successful at keeping the fire going during a light rainfall, and by evening it was perfect. The rain had actually brought in a bit of cooler weather, and we had a lovely evening of eating fancy sausages and marshmallows cooked by fire, and then cigars and libations.
My choice of smoke for this amazing evening was a Cain by Olvia, which was a part of a 90+ rated sampler that was sent to me by my Brother-in-Law. This is another cigar with an understated cigar ring, but remarkable flavors. Unlit, the cigar smells earthy, with notes of cinnamon and pepper. I opted to smoke this with a variety of spiked sparkling water flavors– started with Lime, then Black Cherry, then Raspberry. Personally, I felt the Raspberry was the best with this cigar as it was the brightest of the flavors that wasn’t competing with the dark beauty of this stick.
After lighting, a pleasant cedar aroma is added to the earthiness. At the midpoint of this cigar, I still hadn’t ashed yet. This cigar draws quite easily and this would probably have been a bigger foot if I had more confidence in not dropping it all over myself.
This is a full bodied cigar that smokes evenly and cleanly. While the earthiness is the predominant taste, the cedar and pepperiness come in at the end of the cigar. Due to the calm after the rains, the smoke from this stick had an even better opportunity to linger before dissipating. Within the smoke, I could even get a few notes of vanilla and leather. This cigar had a variety of nuances to it and was a delight to smoke, and even though the draw was easy it did not smoke quickly at all. The Cain was a great way to end a day of rain.
My First cigar review is going to start with a gem that was recommended to me by the fine folks at Davidoff of Geneva in my adopted home town of Tampa, Florida. The La Flor Dominica La Nox Petite is darker than my usual smoke, and uses a smoky and oily Brazilian wrapper instead of my favored Nicaraguan. The humidor representative at Davidoff said that while it was indeed considered to be a full bodied dark cigar, that the oils in the wrapper would temper it to my peppery tastes and he was completely on target. I started with the small La Nox, and love the design on the ring. While I live in the Sunshine State, I have a strong appreciation for The Night, as the heat and humidity during the day in this area can be overbearing.
The La Nox smoked very smoothly and evenly, and while I could definitely feel the weighty dark wrapper, the Dominican fillers made this a really delightful heavyweight that felt more like a dancer than a fighter. The draw was smooth, and the first part of the stick was bitter but pleasantly so. The smoke had a faint floral note to it towards the middle of the cigar, and it finished very peppery. This became an instant favorite.
While I did love the petite, for some reason the larger sized toro had a very difficult time staying lit. Maybe it’s because I have tiny lady lungs, but this did not seem to want to keep its light at all. The flavor was just as nuanced and enjoyable as the petite, but I could not get to the end of the cigar, as the midpoint was just stubbornly going out. I will still try the toro again, as maybe this was just a bad go on a super humid day.
I smoked this at Davidoff Tampa, and I did enjoy my usual favorite adult beverage, double Tito’s on the rocks with a lime. The acid in the lime and vodka complemented the darkness of the La Nox. It had been a stormy weekend, and we were sitting outside under the generous canopies of Davidoff’s location near the International Plaza Mall. My only complaint about this location is something wholly out of their control– the parking in that plaza is a bit tough sometimes. However, any frustrations with trying to put one’s vehicle in a spot is instantly vanished when you get inside the Lounge area. It’s certainly one of the prettiest cigar lounges I’ve ever seen, and the staff are attentive, informative, and nearly always on point with their recommendations. The lounge and bar area are generously appointed with comfy chairs and couches, with an eye for small tables to hold plentiful ash trays. To my eye, there’s been every effort to make the Davidoff of Geneva and extremely desirable spot to enjoy a cigar.