I met Luis Cuevas Jr. 4 years ago on a visit to the Dominican Republic. I went down there with two friends of mine, one who owned a shop here in Melbourne, FL and the other was working with the Cuevas family factory to produce cigars for his relatively new brand. As for me, I tagged along for the experience. I mention this, because until the last couple of years, the Cuevas family was best known for producing cigars for other brands. Now they have branched into producing their own line Casa Cuevas- and why not – Luis Jr. and his father Luis Sr. know a lot about cigars and the family has been the cigar business for generations.
This year, at the Premium Cigar Association trade show, the Casa Cuevas had their own booth and if you have not seen it already, checkout the interview I did with Luis Jr. at the show here. The company was showcasing a number of lines at the show, one of which was the Cuevas Reserva, a line that is near and dear to Luis Cuevas Sr.
As explained by Luis Jr.:
“The Cuevas Reserva for my father was supposed to be the Cuevas signature brand back well over a decade ago. ”
He smiles and goes on to say:
“As with all things in life, plans always change. I am proud to have worked closely with my father and my son Alec Cuevas, who is now part of the family business recreating this blend. I am ecstatic that this brand has come full circle, as we can now present it as a family project to the consumer.“
Well, things have changed, and I would say for the better, as today I present you a review of the Casa Cuevas – Cuevas Reserva Maduro.
The Cuevas Reserva Maduro is one of two blends in the Reserva line. The other is the Cuevas Reserva Natural. With today’s focus on the Maduro, the blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Mexican San Andres
- Binder – Dominican, Pilloto Cubano
- Filler – Dominican and Nicaraguan (ometepe)
The Cuevas Reserva Maduro are beautifully packaged in vintage Cuban style 20 count boxes and have been initially released in three vitolas. I am told there will be additional vitolas added in the future:
- Robusto (5 x 52) MSRP: $10.50
- Toro (6 x 50) MSRP: $10.90
- Torpedo (6.25 X 52) MSRP: $11.40
For this review I sampled two Cuevas Reserva Maduro toros.
The Cuevas Reserva Maduro is a dark brown cigar that has light San Andres tooth to it. There are some noticeable veins in the wrapper especially along one side. The cigar is packed solid as I would expect and has a good weight in the hand with no soft spots along the barrel. A simple cap finishes the presentation.
A single band adorns the cigar using a blue, white, and silver motif. The name ‘Cuevas Reserva‘ is boldly embossed in silver foil in the center of the band. The phrase ‘Familia Tabacalera Desde 1890‘ is printed in white between the those words, representing the long history of the Cuevas family in the cigar industry. There are also 4 silver emblems to the right and left of the center, each one representing the countries which the Cuevas family has called home. Lastly the words ‘Dominican Selection‘ is printed on the bottom
Running the Cuevas Reserva Maduro along the nose I picked up a slightly pungent, fermented leaf along the barrel and a rather nutty aroma off the foot.
I sliced the cap with a double blade cutter to give it an even straight cut and proceeded to give it a few cold puffs that were nicely restricted and offered notes of growing red pepper spice and back notes of earth along with that nut I got on the pre-light aroma.
With the pre-light stage out of the way and feeling ready to light this up, as the first cigar of the day, I took my double flame torch lighter and warmed the foot to an even orange glow. I also cued up some Latin music on the stereo, which put me in perfect mood to smoke this cigar.
Cigar Review Notes
- The first puffs delivered an initial peppery spice burn on the palate and nose
- Smoke smooths quickly into notes of butter and wood with a sweet fragrant aroma
- Solid white ash develops resting on a medium char line
- An excellent volume of smoke is being produced through a perfect draw
- The butter note grows as wood reveals itself as cedar
- Starting out, this is quite an elegant smoke
- Aroma is adding a pleasant floral note after first inch plus of burn
- Natural tobacco sweetness joins the profile to add more pleasure
- Grassy herbal notes enter starting the second third
- Ash fell in a huge chunk with a slightly off centered and pointed burn cone
- Mild coffee notes enter
- Strength is medium at this point
- A dryness enters with a touch of bitter citrus
- Light spice on the retro-hale
- Slight off burn appears deep in the second third
- Light licorice nuance teased the palate
- Spice increases in final
- Stayed at Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
Overall, the Cuevas Reserva Maduro was an elegant smoke that lives up to its name and representing the Cuevas Family. The flavors and aroma transitioned well throughout the burn with just a touch of bitterness near the midway point. As for the burn, the draw was excellent throughout and the smoke volume was consistent. There was however a slight off-burn deep in the journey that eventually corrected itself and there was a rather sharply pointed and off centered burn cone once the solid ash fell. This is certainly worth buying a fiver. I rate this a 93.
Point Deductions: (-1) Off Burn; (-1) Sharp Pointed Burn Cone; (-1) Off Centered Burn Cone; (-1) Bitter Note
Bonus Points: (+1) Long Ash