Review: Nestor Miranda 70th Dominican
By now, the Nestor Miranda 70th is long sold-out. Released on February 14, 2013, the cigar was made to honor Miami Cigar & Co.’s owner and founder, Nestor Miranda, who turned 70 on Valentine’s Day this year.
It was a project that involved 12 cigars—packed in a unique vintage car box—six from each of Miami Cigar & Co.’s two main manufacturing partners: La Aurora and My Father Cigars S.A. The cigars are both 7 1/2 x 40 Lanceros, we covered the details back in December:
My Father Cigars is creating a 7 1/2 x 40 ring gauge Lancero that uses a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper on top of Nicaraguan binder and filler. La Aurora’s version will also be 7 1/2 x 40 but will use a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over an Ecuadoran Sumatra binder and a blend of fillers from Brazil, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
Production is being limited to 1,000 boxes, with the first 700 being released on Miranda’s birthday. The plans for the remaining 300 boxes have not been disclosed as of this time. The MSRP for this limited edition cigar is around $14 per cigar and $168 per box.
News of the project first surfaced in early October, when Miami Cigar & Co.’s Barry Stein tweeted that he was working on the project with Jason Wood and Hector Paz, the company’s vice president and sales director, respectively.
The most interesting part of the release is the packaging, which is actually a die-cast car—resembling an A/C Shelby Cobra—that Miami Cigar & Co. placed on a base with storage for the cigars.
And the particulars.
- Cigar Reviewed: Nestor Miranda 70th Dominican
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: E. León Jimenes Tabacalera
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
- Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 7 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 40
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $14.00 (Boxes of 12, $168.00)
- Date Released: February 9, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 6 Cigars (6,000 Total Cigars)*
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3*
*Only 700 of the 1,000 total containers were released in February of 2013, with the remainder to be released at a later date. Each box contains a total of 12 cigars, six of each blend.
There was a bit of concern as I began to look at my Lanceros, they seem noticeably underfilled. The San Andrés wrapper has a great mocha color and lots of texture. It actually looks similar to some medium-grit sandpaper with the exception of the obvious roll lines and large veins. I get a mixture of sugary tobacco, touches of green pepper, sweet vanilla and leather, quite enjoyable.
The first third of the Nestor Miranda 70th Dominican starts off with some unpleasant woodiness, a deep harshness and a mellowing cedar. The one likable flavor is an earthy note. All three attempts I’ve made at the cigar start off this way: unpleasant and soft. At least construction-wise the cigar is in the right direction: draw is great, smoke production average and it’s burning fine. Eventually, the flavor settles to the unpleasant earthiness, harshness and pepper. The cedar note has turned the corner for the better, but even absent the somewhat disgusting notes up front, I’m not sure if the earth and cedar would really do that well. For me, I think their beauty might be a bit accelerated by contrast.
Fortunately, the second third is better. Not only does the smoke production pick up, but the harshness fades a bit. What’s left is creaminess, cedar, a deep saltiness and a touch of citrus. On the finish there’s a distinct nuttiness, but the profile is still incredibly light and somewhat non-sensical. It’s an improvement as far as how the cigar tastes, but the profile also gets a lot lighter compared to the first third and there is still a pretty big harshness. With the increase in smoke production, there’s little to complain about construction-wise, except for the mouth feel, which won’t get better.
I can’t really decide if the final third should be a step forward or a step backward. In one sense, it’s not as good as the second third, but it’s still better than the first third. The harshness takes an increased presence, which isn’t good, and the flavor loses a lot of the intricacies from the middle parts. Still present are the creaminess and cedar, but that’s kind of it. Strength ends right around medium-plus, pretty much where it was the entirety of the Nestor Miranda 70th.
- Editor’s note: This is a review that was written back in April. An additional fourth sample was tasted in June with little change or improvement, I have not smoked one since June.
- While the car container will take all the glory, the rest of the packaging is worth noting. The bands, both main and foot, are great. High-quality, well thought-out and perfect for the feel of the release. Credit to Miami Cigar & Co. and Cigar Rings for getting this right.
- Coincidentally, the two factories that produce the greatest amount of Lanceros as far as SKUs are concerned are probably E. León Jimenes and My Father Cigars S.A. La Flor Dominicana quietly makes a lot of Lanceros as well.
- That being said, the construction of all four of the Nestor Miranda 70th Dominicans was disappointing. The cigars seemed a bit underfilled upon initial inspection and three of the four were severely underfilled towards the top of the cigar. Even as someone who has smoked well over 100 different types of Lanceros, this was new. It was one of the most awkward smoking experiences as the cigar was squishy in my mouth. For those wondering, these were stored in a humidor at 67-68 percent relative humidity for a few weeks ahead of time and didn’t show any signs of being wet, simply underfilled.
- The My Father-rolled versions seemed properly rolled.
- According to Barry Stein, there were only 100 of the yellow and black combination produced and 300 each of the other three color combinations: sliver on black, white on blue and white on red. You can see photos of each color here.
- While the die-cast model looks great, it’s not really functional, at all. The wide base means that storing it in a humidor takes up a lot of unnecessary space. Stacking boxes on top of the car portion takes a bit of work. On top of all that, once you open the box, getting the car back down without damaging the cigars was something that we could not do.
- In addition, one of the cigars actually made a swooping/whistling noise for two thirds of the cigar. This isn’t the first time this has happened, although I cannot remember for the life of me the last time this took place. It’s not terribly shocking given how many cigars I smoke that one of them would produce sound given how cigars are rolled, it was obviously annoying, but that particular example was the best tasting example of the Nestor Miranda 70th Dominican I found, which sums up my experience well, I think.
- Miami Cigar & Co. is discontinuing the Plasencia-made Humo Jaguar, which means the only product it distributes not made by La Aurora or My Father is the El Titan de Bronze-produced Casa Miranda Chapter 1.
- I’d prefer Lanceros to be 7 1/2 x 38, but I understand that some times the extra two ring gauge can make a world of difference for the flavor. It’s also significantly easier to roll.
- Nestor Miranda, his late son Danny—Danno—and daughter Tatiana—Tatiana—all have cigars in their honor. Interestingly, the same holds true for the Garcías. José “Don Pepín” García has the DPG Blue, his son Jaime has the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial and the La Dueña is made for Pepín’s daughter, Janny García.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 35 minutes.
- At this point, our site sponsors appear to all be sold-out.
The Bottom Line: At best, this was a monotonously one-dimensional harsh cigar, at worst, it was disgustingly bad. It’s been a while where a cigar was this bad, a while. It does not make much sense to me given La Aurora’s ability to make some of my favorite Lanceros, and then there’s this, just awful. This is far and away my least favorite cigar La Aurora has made and I’ve tried most of what the company has for sale today. I agree with Brooks Whittington that the Nicaragua version is noticeably better, but I disagree with how good of a cigar it is. Overall, the packaging—both the container for the cigars and the bands themselves—was top-notch, what was inside was anything but. Even absent the first and final thirds—i.e. the majority of the cigar—it’s hard to recommend this cigar with them it’s easy to say stay away.
Final Score: 62