I recently reviewed the Nova Platinum Series torpedo, from a new cigar company; Nova Cigars. I got the opportunity to meet company CEO, Leonor “Leo” Abzaradel, who many of you know as @cigarblondie on Instagram, at this years TPE 2020 trade show in Las Vegas. A pleasant woman that is on a mission to produce some of the finest cigars on the market.
She presented me with her signature blend, the Nova Cigars Personal Reserve Leo X. Having enjoyed the Platinum series, I was looking forward to this one. Leo explained the blend to me:
- Wrapper -Habano 2000
- Binder– Dominican HVA
- Filler – Dominican
She describes her signature cigar as…
“A perfectly-proportioned and aged Dominican tobacco, rolled with Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrappers, that progresses in to a silky smoke. It opens with crisp spice and woody notes as succeeding flavor nuances enter for a perfectly-balanced smoke. “
The Personal Reserve Leo X is expressed in a single 5 3/4 x 50 robusto vitola and carries an MSRP of $21.70.
The Nova Cigars Personal Reserve Leo X is a stunningly beautiful, oily medium brown cigar that has a slight reddish tinge to it. It has minimal veins and is silky smooth to the touch. The cigar is solidly packed with no skimping on the filler and is finished with a well applied triple cap.
The are two bands that adorn the cigar. The primary is the standard NOVA Cigar band in aqua blue. The second is just below and boldly declares this as the “LEO X”. Like the Platinum Series, the band color works well with the wrapper hue.
The pre-light aromas enticed me a bit more to want to light this one up with its lightly pungent fermented leaf along the barrel and a pleasantly fragrant and floral foot.
Moving to the cold draw, I sliced the cap straight as always and gave it some cold puffs that treated my palate to a hint of earth, along with a gentle pepper on the lips. The draw was spot on with restriction.
I used a double flame torch lighter to warm the foot as the air quickly filled with floral aromas as drew in the first puffs of spice and woody notes. Keep reading as I turn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial light presents spice and woody notes
- Hint of floral joins the mix quickly after a few puffs
- Smoke is thick and creamy
- A light grey ash evolves on a slightly jagged burn line
- Floral notes increase joined with a cocoa nuance
- The smoke is ultra smooth with no bitter or bite to it
- As the ash fell, a flat but centered burn cone was revealed
- Citrus notes enter midway
- Aroma shifts to a toasted oak note
- Ash starts to get a tad flaky
- Spice notes find their way in the mix
- Cream and fruit enter deep in second third
- Spice remains on the mild side with a added backdrop of natural tobacco sweetness
- Almond notes finish the journey with a spice finish
- Mild to Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was a pleasant 1 hour and 45 minutes to the nub
The Nova Cigars Personal Reserve Leo X was an elegant smoke that delivered balanced and enticing flavors and aromas. I could almost describe this like a fine Chardonnay wine, with its oak, nut, and fruit notes that played through the burn. I especially enjoyed the finish of almond and spice at the end. It did have a a bit of a jagged burn and developed a flakiness to the ash in the second half, but nothing that required a touch-up or flame to be set to it. If you are looking for a smooth, flavorful, and elegant cigar that is mild to medium in strength and burns slowly, then I suggest picking up a five pack of these and find or make special moments to enjoy them. I even think this might pair well with a glass of Chardonnay. I rate this a 91.
Point Deductions: (-1) Flaky Ash; (-1) Wavy Burn; (-1) Flat Burn Cone