Back in May of this year, in the midst of a variety of regional editions coming from My Father Cigars Inc. and Pete Johnson’s Havana Cellars, whose cigars are made by My Father, a regional edition for accounts in Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas was announced, the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Sur Oeste, which translates into southwest.
According to this post, Sur Oeste, which translates into southwest, will head to the region covered by P.J. Poehler, which includes Texas, Oklahoma and others in the centrally located southern portion of the U.S. Habana Port describes the story behind the cigar and a brief description:
During a recent trip to Nicaragua, Jaime Garcia finally conceded to me and 15 retailers what we already knew: My Father Cigars needs to introduce a blend to attract new and milder smokers to the MFC line of products. While this would greatly expand the MFC customer base, Jaime was only willing to make such a blend in limited quantities.The Sur Oeste, AND our special, exclusive arrangement with Jaime, is the result.The Jaime Garcia Sur Oeste (Spanish for Southwest) is a very special blend developed and produced exclusively for the south-central region of the United States (ie: no retailers outside the Poehler territory will have access to it). A Nicaraguan puros made in Esteli, Nicaragua, the Sur Oeste offers a medium-mild strength, a medium body and plenty of spicy Nicaraguan flavor. Though milder, Jaime maintained a continuity between the Sur Oeste and other MFC brands by providing complexity and flavor robust enough to satisfy all but your most die-hard, full-body/strength smokers.
Jaime Garcia Sur Oeste is offered in three sizes:
- Corona (Gorda) — 5 5/8 x 46 — $6.00 (Boxes of 18, $108.00)
- Robusto — 5 x 50 — $6.40 (Boxes of 18, $115.20)
- Toro — 6 x 52 — $6.70 (Boxes of 18, $120.60)
So far, 400 boxes of each size have been commissioned and are scheduled for a July release.
While the release was originally expected for July, by the time IPCPR rolled around in August, José Ortega, vice-president of sales for My Father, admitted to us the cigars were still nearing shipping. Almost two months later, in late September, the Louisiana-based Habana Port, the same retailer who broke news about the cigar, announced the Sur Oeste has finally arrived.
Once again, the three sizes are:
- Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Sur Oeste Robusto (5 x 50) — $6.40 (Boxes of 18, $115.20)
- Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Sur Oeste Corona (5 5/8 x 46) — $6.00 (Boxes of 18, $108.00)
- Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Sur Oeste Toro (6 x 52) — $6.70 (Boxes of 18, $120.60)
And the particulars.
Cigar Reviewed: Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Sur Oeste Corona
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Size: 5 5/8 Inches
Ring Gauge: 46
Vitola: Corona Gorda
MSRP: $6.00 (Boxes of 18, $108.00)
Release Date: 2012
Number of Cigars Released: 400 Boxes of 18 Cigars (7,200 Total Cigars)
Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
The Nicaraguan wrapper shows noticeable veins and some oil on what is a fairly dull brown. As soon as the Sur Oeste is out of cellophane, the dullness is gone replaced by tons of sweet brownie notes. As for the foot, the cocoa returns with paprika, red pepper and a touch of bark. The cold draw of the Sur Oeste gives dry bittersweet cocoa, wet earth, grassiness and hints of pepper with the perfect amount of resistance.
The first third begins unlike any other Jaime Garcia-banded cigar I’ve smoked, rather Cuban. There’s a great pepper on the tongue quickly followed by some nuts and cedar followed by movement of the pepper to the back of the throat. Overall, it’s still not entirely there in regard to being a carbon copy of a Havana, but the nuts and cedar are in Cuban form and definitely far from the standard Jaime Garcia line. Unfortunately, the uniqueness dies down a bit and the flavor becomes a more familiar mixture with the nuts and cedar still dominating over some dry cocoa, creaminess and the pepper on the throat. The smoke production has increased enough from the beginning to be slightly above average, while the draw remains close to the center, a touch on the looser side.
Into the second third and the core of the Sur Oeste seems to be becoming more difficult to discern. The nuttiness is lost quite a bit behind the cedar nots while the cocoa turns a bit sweeter as i mold with the creaminess. Additions to the flavor profile are a distinct grassiness and toastiness, but the profile is best described as a series of somewhat minor changes as opposed to a dramatic progression. Strength is on the lesser side of medium and enough to quality it as the lightest My Father I’ve smoked, it’s also completely unchanged from the first third. Construction is fine, but there are touch-ups needed a few times, particularly around the middle portion.
I wasn’t really anticipating it, but the final third of the Sur Oeste is completely different. The cedar notes have gained a maturity and depth that was entirely not there in the first two thirds. While the creaminess doesn’t change much, the nuttiness is effectively completely gone although the added earth and floral notes are nice additions. Pepper remains, although the sharpness is noticeably lesser.
- This is a Corona Gorda. Why it’s called a Corona is beyond me.
- Since we are on the discussion of names, Sur Oueste is perfectly acceptable for Texas, but Oklahoma and Louisiana seem out of the southwestern region and Nebraska is not even worth trying to explain. That being said, I have no clue what you would call it unless it was going to be the “Poehler Especial.”
- While the name might be a bit odd, I think the regional concept done by My Father and Tatuaje this year has been one of the smartest things in the business, particularly in regards to the latter’s decision to release prerelease versions of the Fausto FT114 and La Casita Criolla HCR as regional editions.
- For those wondering, the wrapper color on the Coronas was just not the same as the other two sizes, things like this happen.
- It’s interesting to see My Father marketing its products as milder, this was the way Flor de Las Antillas was described to me at first and to some extent La Dueña.
- Nicaraguan Puros have been relatively limited in 2012, one of the industry’s more interesting trends.
- By my count, the Sur Oeste brings the total amount of limited edition Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial releases for 2012 up to 10: two Jaime Garcia Limited Edition 2012s, four Connecticuts, the TAA 2012 and three Sur Oestes.
- Strength never crosses the mildest form of medium, but it’s not completely undetectable.
- While I’m not the largest fan of foot bands, it helps to discern which release this is compared to the other Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial releases.
- At $6.00 per cigar, this Corona joins the My Father Corona amongst the lowest-priced cigars ever to be released from My Father.
- Cigars for this review were sent by Habana Port/CigarEarth.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 30 minutes.
The Bottom Line: While it has the same band as the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial, the Sur Oeste is an entirely different cigar. Strength is toned down, flavors are of a completely different nature and the entire approach is just a lot different, but not in a bad way. Up until the final third, I was ready to simply write this off as another example of starts great, gets progressively less interesting. That’s not the case, as the final third provided some surprises, but for me it’s not enough to truly put it throughly over the top of a laundry list of cigars with the same band that were truly something special. This is a good cigar, one that I enjoyed, but one that might get lost in the shuffle of some of the better cigars coming out of the My Father factory. The saving grace? Price.
Final Score: 86