Back in July, we heard murmurs that Ashton was preparing a new La Aroma de Cuba as a follow-up to the Mi Amor. The La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva was announced shortly before the IPCPR trade show when Ashton informed a handful of top accounts via a letter.
Here’s a copy of that letter:
The four box-pressed sizes are:
- La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva Beso (5 5/8 x 48) — $8.50 (Boxes of 24, $204.00)
- La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva Divino (6 1/4 x 52) — $9.75 (Boxes of 24, $234.00)
- La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva Maximo (5 1/2 x 54) — $9.25 (Boxes of 24, $222.00)
- La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva Romantico (6 7/8 x 50) — $9.95 (Boxes of 24, $238.00)
As is mentioned in the flyer above, the cigars are made at My Father Cigars S.A., the same factory responsible for the La Aroma de Cuba, La Aroma de Cuba Edición Especial and La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor, as well as the Ashton-owned San Cristobal line.
Here’s a picture of the boxes from IPCPR 2012:
And the particulars.
Cigar Reviewed: La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva Romantico
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Wrapper: Mexican Cuban-Seed Oscuro
Size: 6 7/8 Inches
Ring Gauge: 50
MSRP: $9.95 (Boxes of 24, $238.00)
Release Date: September 2012
Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
It’s dark. The Mexican wrapper has a deep earth hue with a few prominent veins that is contrasted greatly by the bands. While it’s quite rectangular, it’s not the extreme box-press that many of the candy bar-looking cigar. Aroma is sweet cocoa over barnyard, medium-full and somewhat sensible. From the foot there’s much more cocoa, some red pepper and a bit of earth, significantly stronger than the rest of the Mi Amor Reserva. Cold draw is cocoa, earth, sweet peppermint that reminds of a candy cane and some acidic earth. Draw is slightly tight, but none of the three samples I smoked gave me any reason to concern.
The first third starts somewhat bittersweet with earth, herbs and a touch of cedar. Much to my delight, the candy cane note makes an appearance, but I wish the smoke production was a bit better. The Romantico starts with medium flavors that are quite lengthy. Eventually the traditional Mexican notes emerge with a defined sweet cocoa, earth, a bit of maple syrup and some peppermint. Smoke production is medium, strength is medium.
Into the second third and the Mi Amor Reserva is dominated by earth. It continues as midway through the sweet earth is now firmly in control of the profile with a lessened cocoa, sweet leather, some acidic earth and an occasional fruitiness. Much to my delight, the smoke production picks up. Strength makes a pretty noticeable jump to medium-full. A few touch-ups are required, but at times there is two inches of ash.
As the final third nears, the cocoa note returns. It’s a welcome change, as the fruit also takes a noticeable step up in position. There’s a touch of spice that seemed in the background for the first two thirds that is now firmly into its own. Smoke production actually increases in the final third, which was a bit shocking, but nice. With an inch left, I decide to call it a day, as smoking down to the nub on the first sample led to an intense harshness.
- There are a lot of sizes in the La Aroma de Cuba lines, from what I can tell all four of these shapes are new for the La Aroma de Cuba lines.
- I was really intrigued to see where the strength of this would be, it’s medium-full, although probably more on the medium side than full. Still, one of Ashton’s strongest cigars.
- With the addition of the Duque and the four sizes of Reserva, the Mi Amor family has 13 sizes.
- I like the La Aroma de Cuba bands, as they say classic Cuba. In my opinion they’ve never looked as good as they do than contrasting the dark Mexican wrapper.
- There are few companies that have built a micro-brand as well as Ashton has with La Aroma de Cuba.
- I would love to see the Mi Amor Reserva at one of the tasting events championed by the late Manny Ferrero.
- There are quite a few Oscuro wrappers that have come out of My Father Cigars S.A. and its other factories, this might be the one that looks the closest to a traditional Oscuro.
- The samples for this review were given to halfwheel by Ashton at IPCPR 2012.
- On average, final smoking time was two hours and five minutes.
The Bottom Line: None of Ashton’s Nicaraguan offerings have come close to dethroning the legendary Ashton VSG on my personal totem pole, but the Mi Amor Reserva might be the closest. It’s not a completely different taken on Mi Amor, it’s a bit more muddled than the regular Mi Amor, but there is a feeling of a lot more flavors. The shining difference is the fruit, maple syrup and candy cane notes—all details rarely found in most cigars, but prevalent in all three samples. Price is steep, even amongst the Ashton portfolio, and that might end up being the biggest problem.
Final Score: 87