In 2014, Miami Cigar & Co. celebrated its 25th anniversary and began a new chapter by making numerous changes to the company..
First, Jason Holly, owner of the Viva Republica brand and El Humidor cigar shop, joined the company to focus on brand development. As part of the agreement, Miami Cigar & Co. began distributing Holly’s Viva Republic line.
Second, Nestor Miranda began to step aside to allow Jason Wood, the company’s vice-president, to move into even more of a leadership role.
Third, the company reshaped its portfolio, and the flagship line, the Nestor Miranda Special Selection, was rebranded as the Nestor Miranda Collection and reintroduced with three lines—Connecticut, Habano and Maduro— at the 2014 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
“My vision for this brand was to develop a product that would not only commemorate (Nestor’s) hard work, but make him proud,” said Wood in a press release. “With the help of the entire MCC family, I was able to make this happen.”
“To be honest, I was not aware that Jason was working on this project until he presented it at this year’s sales meeting,” said Miranda. “I was not only impressed with The Collection itself, but by the excitement that came from our team.”
Last year, the Nestor Miranda Collection grew again with the addition of the Nestor Miranda Collection Corojo, a Nicaraguan puro with a corojo leaf as the wrapper that comes banded in a yellow-trimmed band to help differentiate it from the other cigars in the line that share a similar design aesthetic. The band also features the word corojo for further assistance in differentiating this from the others in the collection.
The corojo version is offered in the same four sizes as the other three wrapper variations: Robusto (4 1/2 x 50, $7.50), Corona Gorda (6 x 46, $8.25), Toro (5 1/2 x 54, $8.50) and Gran Toro (6 x 60, $9.50). Each are packed in 20-count boxes and are regular production releases.
“Nestor has been adamant about introducing his beloved Corojo wrapper to the Collection,” said Jason Wood, vice president of Miami Cigar & Co., via a press release. “We would have loved to introduce it sooner but we decided to wait until the blend was perfect. The reaction from the retailers at this year’s IPCPR solidified our thoughts on the blend.”
- Cigar Reviewed: Nestor Miranda Collection Corojo Robusto
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 4 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $7.50 (Boxes of 20, $150)
- Release Date: August 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The Nestor Miranda Collection Corojo Robusto is a handsome and well-presented cigar; the wrapper is a rich brown that is oily and supple on the fingertips, and the silver and yellow accents of the band stand out nicely against it. The wrapper has some veins but nothing distracting, and if I wanted to nitpick, two of the caps weren’t the greatest I’ve ever seen, but certainly within the realm of acceptable. The rest of the roll looks solid, offering a firm center and just a bit more give at the foot than above it. The foot offers me an interestingly tangy spin on peanut butter, almost IPA-hoppy but without any bright pine or citrus notes, and one sample offering some chocolate candy as well. The cold draw also shows the peanut butter note along with a bit of Thai peanut sauce, though spice is fairly well constrained, while air flow ranges from a touch loose to a bit tight.
The peppery and slightly spicy start of the Nestor Miranda Corojo doesn’t come as much of a surprise, though the fairly distinct red chili pepper is always a bit of an attention grabber. In the early goings, the cigar is far from a smoke machine; while it produces a decent amount with each puff, it quickly dies down without as much as a tiny wisp while at rest. Fortunately, the strength of the pepper isn’t tied into the quantity of smoke, as a bold red chili pepper note gets to work on the nose in the first inch. I also get traces of the peanut butter and peanut sauce that I picked up prior to the cigar being lit. There’s some increased tingling on the lips thanks to a combination of rocky minerals and white pepper, while a bit of nondescript gum crosses the palate, complete with the dusted sugar taste. In one of the samples, this comes together in more of a candy cane note; not quite as vibrant in terms of peppermint but establishing itself in the same flavor area. Pepper gets back in the mix before too long; it’s light and woody but packs some serious punch for the palate and even into the chest. All of the technical aspects of this cigar have performed quite well in the first third, with nice clumps of white or light gray ash easily building through this section.
While the front-of-tongue pepper carries over a bit from the first third, the second third truly begins with a fairly quick disrobing of the chili and pepper notes, replaced by chalk and a hint of sourness on the palate, a change that is even more striking given that the cigar had fallen into a slight lull just prior. It quickly moves back towards its former profile, though the red chili pepper has evolved into bright white pepper in the nose, with a pizza dough note that hits both tongue and nostrils. Just past the midpoint, a bit of sweetness begins to emerge, initially making me think of strawberry jam, though that bit of sourness is still hanging on and affecting the flavor. The burn remains fantastic with solid smoke production and an even burn line.
Fortunately, the sourness has pretty much completely departed the cigar, only to be replaced by the red chili pepper flakes that I found earlier but now in a much more vibrant form. It’s a cleaner flavor, but one that I can see not sitting well on every palate; unless you sprinkle them on your pizza without thinking it might simply be too much. There is a very enjoyable sweet campfire aroma that wafts up every so often as the cigar rests, though it varies a bit and the way the pepper commands the palate with its lingering and tingling finish can distract from being receptive to this aroma. In a few puffs I get a hot toddy sensation, though often taking on more of a rye note than whiskey. Combustion issues and a fairly uneventful finish flavor-wise close out the Nestor Miranda Collection Corojo, as the cigar largely stays an enjoyable and balanced course but never really dives into the deeper end of complexity.
- I am a big fan of the Nestor Miranda Collection’s bands, as they convey all the right things about the line in a modern manner. The die-cut around the logo is great, the color coding helps in differentiation, as does the fact that the specific variation is mentioned on the side of the band so you don’t have to guess which one you have in case you’d forgotten.
- I also appreciate that the wrapper varietal is indicated on the band in addition to the color coding.
- The cigars for this review were provided by Miami Cigar & Co., which advertises on halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 45 minutes on average.
There were several spots in each of the three samples of the Nestor Miranda Collection Corojo Robusto where I felt that the blend was all set to take off and dive into the sort of complexity that would push the score into more rarefied air. Yet for as good as the cigar is, including near flawless construction, it never took that next step and instead got hampered a bit by a second third that struggled to stay consistently pleasing on the palate. It certainly deserves a try and I can say I'd have no reservations about smoking a few more of these, though I'd just love to get a bit more from this blend.