Late last year, Flor de Gonzales announced plans to release a 6 x 60 size in two of the company’s 90 Miles lines. While the 90 Miles 1980 Gordo is in stock at a few places, I have not seen the 90 Miles Reserva Gordo in stock anywhere and internet searches do not show any for purchase.
Flor de Gonzales was established by Arnaldo Gonzales, a Cuban native who immigrated to the U.S. in 1980. Gonzales created the company in 1993 with operations originally in the U.S. Today, most of the cigars are made at the company’s factory in Condega, Nicaragua—one of the few factories in the country not in Estelí.
In 2010, 90 Miles was introduced, named after the distance between the U.S. and Cuba. The company would add the Reserva Selecta and then the 1980. All three cigar use Ecuadorian wrappers, although each is slightly different.
The Gordo will become the fourth vitola of the Reserva Selecta line. It joins a pigtailed No.4 (5 3/8 x 48), Eminente (5 1/2 x 44) and Sublime (6 x 54). Pricing is set at $8.30 per cigar.
In addition, the company is introducing the extensions in the form of 2,500 samplers containing a 6 x 60 from each of the three 90 Miles lines.
- Cigar Reviewed: 90 Miles Reserva Selecta Gordo
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Flor de Gonzales
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
- Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 60
- Vitola: Gordo
- MSRP: $8.50 (Boxes of 20, $170.00)
- Date Released: January 6, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 2,500 Samplers of 1 Cigar
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
It’s not the prettiest of cigars with big veins and a somewhat rough roll, but that’s not my concern. Out of the cellophane there is tons of unfinished and ammonia notes from the 90 Miles. I’m able to find a bit of charred tomato underneath, but it’s not the defining character. I get a bit of a chlorine note at the very tip of the foot, another concerning sign alongside the harshness from the wrapper. Fortunately, the cold draw is better with a peanut note and a bit of Reese’s pieces, although there’s still a bit of wrapper aroma that creeps into the profile.
The first third starts with sweet barnyard, hearty nuts and some soft spice. It’s a much better start than I imagined given the wrapper’s concerns, but the draw is tight, very tight. As the 90 Miles Reserva Selecta continues, I’m forced to recut each of the three samples beyond where I normally would have gone to get a draw that is easy enough to enjoy. Flavor-wise, it’s sweet caramel and wood with toastiness through the nose and floral on the finish. It’s not the most complex of profiles and there is zero pepper to speak of.
For me, the 90 Miles Reserva Selecta Gordo remains a mystery in the second third. I never get comfortable across the three samples with a consistent smoke rate, and the cigar definitely can get hot. Flavor-wise, there’s a bit of development: the caramel is replaced by a burnt graham cracker note. While the smoke production is present, it’s below average, particularly for the vitola. Elsewhere, the draw isn’t much better.
Strength increases to medium-full in the final third. It had been medium for the first hour or so, but that does not help my largest issue, the draw is still below average. I can get enough flavor out of the cigar, relatively consistent with the second third, but the entire experience is a shocking contrast to the other two vitolas of the line.
- The draw was tight. Not plugged, but tight. It’s a rarity in today’s cigar market and obviously not something that the larger ring gauges are known for. That being said, in the last six months I have definitely seen more examples of overfilled 60-ring gauge cigars than I recall a year ago.
- The flavor was medium, solid, but nothing special. It’s hard for me to believe that this is the same cigar given how much I enjoy the No.4.
- You cannot complain about the pricing of Flor de Gonzales.
- The mouth feel of a box-pressed 6 x 60 is much different than round 6 x 60. I much prefer the former.
- I did not taste any of the unfinished notes, which was odd, but all three samples smelled like it.
- The only other company I know that produces cigars in Nicaragua outside of Estelí and the Managua Airport is Mombacho.
- Cigars for this review were provided by Flor de Gonzales.
- Final smoking time was two hours and five minutes.
- We are giving away four 90 Miles sampler packs. Leave a comment to enter. Rules are here, contest ends March 2, 2014.
This was not what I was expecting in a lot of ways. I oftentimes find, despite my lack of love for the format, that 60-ring gauge cigars can provide richer flavors than their smaller ring gauge companions. The 90 Miles Reserva Selecta was not that. I’d much rather smoke the Eminente and No.4, as they both offer easier and richer flavors. In this case, the small ring gauges win, without question.