In 2011, Miami Cigar & Co. released the first edition of the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve at the IPCPR show in Las Vegas, Nev. While it is the exact same vitola and size, the 2012 version of the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve is said to be Miami Cigar’s strongest release to date, mostly due to the ligero that has been added to the blend.

We gave all the details in a news post in May:

The Grand Reserve was part of a plethora of releases Miami Cigar & Co. had at last year’s trade show and this year’s is expected to arrive in August, the same month as the 2012 IPCPR. The cigar will return at 6 1/8 x 52 and at its $12.00 price point, but for the past month word around Miami Cigar & Co. has been that this will be the strongest cigar they’ve ever distributed, which likely dethrones the inaugural Grand Reserve or La Sirena for that moniker.

This is one of two Grand Reserve related projects Miami Cigar & Co. has announced for 2012. Barry Stein has previously made it known that Miami Cigar & Co. will have the original Grand Reserve alongside additional vitolas as part of a new line, a concept E.P. Carrillo did last year with its Elencos. Stein told CA that they will be using a Cuban name, although he wouldn’t elaborate further.

Assistant Director of Marketing Barry Stein told Cigar Aficionado:

We wanted to follow up on the success of 2011 with something new to our portfolio. The cigar is the strongest cigar to date that we have released. There is a lot of power and kick to the cigar, but a tremendous amount of flavor.

Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 Box 1

Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 Box 2

Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 Box 3

There are now two separate blends in the Grand Reserve line.

  • Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2011 (6 1/8 x 52) — July 2011 — 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 (6 1/8 x 52) — August 2012 — 1,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (15,000 Total Cigars)

Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 1/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Torpedo
  • MSRP: $12 (Boxes of 10, $120)
  • Release Date: August 2012
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (15,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 is an impressive looking cigar with a slight, but obvious, box-press and a nicely applied cap. The wrapper is a dark chocolate brown with no obvious veins. While it has some tooth to it, the Nestor Miranda is firm when squeezed with no soft spots. Aroma coming off of the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is a combination of strong leather, coffee beans, oak and earth.

The Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 starts out the first third with an extremely strong black pepper note, sharp and biting on the retrohale and palate, easily overwhelming every other note that I could possibly taste for a good 15 puffs. Eventually, I start to notice other flavors, mainly leather, coffee, earth and straight tobacco. Smoke production is well above average and the smoke is dense and white, smelling of spicy wood. Both burn and draw are excellent through the first third with absolutely no problems at all. Strength is medium at the end of the first third.

Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 2

Coming into the second third of the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 and the black pepper is still very much evident, it has calmed down quite a bit allowing other flavors to shine through. The profile has turned noticeably creamier with notes of a dominant strong leather, earth, espresso and cedar. There is a very slight sweetness underneath all of the other flavors that reminds me of cherries, but it is not strong enough at this point in the cigar to impact the other notes. The draw remains perfect—and while the burn wavers a bit—it is still excellent overall. The overall strength continues to increase, and by the end of the second third, it is knocking on the door labeled “full.”

Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 3

The final third of the cigar features somewhat less black pepper than the first two thirds, but the overall strength continues to increases until it is well into the full category. Finally, the flavors hidden by the pepper start to shine through to allow for better balance. The cherry sweetness from the second third is slightly stronger and more noticeable, as are the other flavors of earth, coffee, wood and leather. Construction is still wonderful and the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 is easy to nub.

Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 4.jpg

Final Notes

  • I have to say, I love the color schemes that have been used on both the 2011 and 2012 versions. The green on the 2011 and the blue on the 2012 are both vibrant and contrasty without going overboard.
  • As mentioned above, the original Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2011 is now part of the Añoraznas line. Personally, this is what I would have rather seen the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 be, the 2011 blend in different vitolas.
  • The profile was quite harsh in the beginning, but got increasingly better as the cigar smoked down and the final third was definitely the best in terms of balance and flavor.
  • Even knowing this is a García product, the sharp, biting black pepper in the first third was surprising and even a bit disconcerting. I expected pepper, I did not expect to be smoking a pepper mill and that was what it tasted like at the very beginning of the cigar.
  • Whenever I run across a cigar with this much pepper and strength, I wonder about the long-term aging prospects. I think this will be a very interesting cigar to do a redux review on.
  • Smoke production was well above average for the entire smoke, dense and billowy.
  • This is a very full strength and full-bodied cigar by the end of the smoke. It does not exactly sneak up on you, but I was a bit surprised at the end at how strong it was.
  • The construction was excellent overall, although the burn wavered a bit, it was a very minor annoyance and the draw was perfect on each sample that I smoked.
  • The bands came off very easily, with no damage to the wrapper on any of the samples, always nice to see.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by Miami Cigars.
  • The final smoking time averaged about one hour and 35 minutes.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012, site sponsor Atlantic Cigar has them in stock. Don’t forget to tell them halfwheel sent you.
85 Overall Score

Miami Cigar & Co. says this is the strongest cigar they make—and while I have not smoked every release they have put out—I would not be surprised if that is the case. I find it interesting that they decided to increase the strength on a cigar that received some very good reviews last year, but I do wonder if that was the best choice. I liked the 2011 version quite a bit more, mostly because I found it more balanced and without the harsh pepper up front. The Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 is a decent cigar with a nice profile and excellent construction, but it falls short of some of the better cigars that MCC makes, including the La Sirena and the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2011. I am interested to see how this ages, and if the overt black pepper in the profile calms down and melds with the other notes to balance out the profile.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.