La Aroma De Cuba Mi Amor Valentino
There’s a lot of cigars out there today, really good cigars. A veritable ocean of choices that include so many variations it’ll make your head spin. And it continues to grow despite being under constant threat of tightening regulations and taxation on a global scale. On one hand, it’s easy to understand how we might identify with a particular brand or cigar, but what continues to puzzle me is the driving force, real or perceived, for something new. The latest and greatest. We certainly don’t have the answer to this particular riddle, so I would simply proffer that we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss all these wonderful options we currently have. Afterall, if you haven’t tried something, even if it’s been around for 10 years, technically it’s still “new”, right?
One of the many Cuban brands to make it off the island is La Aroma de Cuba (LAdC). Beginning life in the late 1800s, and serving as one of Sir Winston Churchill’s early favorites, LAdC was reborn in Nicaragua in the early 2000s under the watchful eye of Cuban Master, Pepin Garcia. Owners of the LAdC brand, Ashton Cigars, shrewdly chose to keep the colorful, old world branding to help differentiate the marque and honor it’s Cuban roots. All LAdC cigar lines are blended by the Garcia family, Pepin and his son Jaime, and produced at the My Father Cigars factory in Estelí.
Among the brand’s 5 lines, one of the jewels in the LAdC crown is the Mi Amor. Released around ten years ago, the line quickly gathered community and critical acclaim with ratings from Cigar Aficionado that floated consistently between 90 and 95. Mi Amor was rated Cigar Aficionado’s #2 Cigar of 2012 and most recently in 2019, made the good life mag’s Top 25 Cigars list with a rating of 93. The Mi Amor is shod in a lush Mexican San Andrés wrapper cradling Nicaraguan binder and longfiller leaves from the fields of My Father Cigars.
Technically, this is our second formal review of an LAdC cigar. In 2018, we commenced a review of the Mi Amor Reserva, a newer extension of the Mi Amor line, but due to construction issues it didn’t go well, and we terminated the review. Once again, we’re mesmerized by the brilliant colors and old-world charm of the banding. Our Mi Amor gordo also passes the ogle test with a dark russet shade, a nice heft in the hand and a crisp cap. The overwhelming aromas emanating from this portly cigar scream chocolate. The chocolate theme carries over to the cold draw, which is effortless with just a punch and in fact it might lean more to being a little too open.
Mi Amor leverages her charms immediately providing a rich, bread crust draw followed by delectable intonations of vanilla, toasted almonds, cake batter and cocoa. Our gordo finishes with long notes of wood and oats as the lush, toasty foundation matures. The creamy texture complements more confectionary intonations of funnel cake but is balanced by a light spice and wood elements. Transitions are distinct and equally satisfying, combining woody and chocolatey cores with intonations of nuts, espresso, oak and charred wood that culminate in a full-bodied, savory, smoky ending. Qué bella!
Throughout the smoke, combustion is near flawless and the char remains very even. This big gal is a slow burner, so don’t rush her. She’s not the best smoke producer, but the draw is almost perfect and she’ll hold a strong 1”+ ash. This blend offers almost limitless complexity and a richly textured and varied flavor palette. The fact that you can get this for under $8 is borderline obscene and sends the value into orbit. Remember, the next time you visit your local B&M or shop online, you’re surrounded by some outstanding cigars, some with high pedigrees. Want a go to? You don’t have to look far. – In Fumo Pax!
Recommendation: Go To
Did you Know: In addition to owning the La Aroma de Cuba Brand, Ashton Cigars also owns San Cristobal, another non-Cuban cigar based on the Cuban brand still in production.
- Profile: Med-Full
- Vitola:Valentino [Gordo]
- Length / Ring: 6.0″ X 60
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Production: My Father Cigars
- Blade: Xikar Punch
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price:$7.81 [Box $195.30]
- Humidor Age: 33 mo.
- Box: 25
- Other Vitolas: Robusto [5″x50], Duque [5.25″x56], Belicoso [5.5″x54], Magnifico (Toro) [6″x52], Churchill [7″x50]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 2:02
Construction: Light oil; visible seams; hefty; attractive old world dress; nice cap; body has some give, but uniform; lumpy; toothy; dark russet hue; holds strong 1″+ ash.
- Wrapper – Rich milk chocolate
- Foot – Deep, dark chocolate
- Cold Draw – Raisins…and chocolate
- Initial: Rich, bread crust draw; intonations of vanilla and toasted almonds with hints of cake batter and cocoa; lush, toasty nucleus; long satisfying finish of wood and oats; hint of baking spice on draw; mild hints of wood and funnel cake on retro; light spice on palate and in nose; creamy texture; smooth, well-balanced; sophisticated.
- Transition: Cedar core; draw is more nutty in nature; dominant intonations of oak and espresso; bolder finish of spicy cocoa and wood; overall spice level maintains; becomes smoky and savory with some herbal essence.
- Transition: Dark chocolate foundation with hints of waffle cone on draw; dominant earthy notes accompanied by some sweetness on the retro; charred wood and black pepper on palate; full bodied with an uptick in spice; smooth finish of cashews.
Touch ups: N/A
Recommendation: Go To
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]