*Note: this is not a blind review, this is just to give a quick take on a cigar that was provided to us by the manufacturer.
This is a cigar that was sent to me by Maya Selva Cigars. Maya Selva is a brand that was launched in France in 1995. Just last year they began distribution in the United States. The wrapper is Honduran, the filler is Mata Fina and the filler is Viso Jamastrán – Ligero Trojes.
The El Gordo vitola is 5″ x5 6 and is available in bundles of 25. They retail at a per cigar price of $3.50.
The wrapper is medium brown with a couple of medium sized veins. The seams are fairly tight, but visible. From the foot, the cigar appears densely packed. I get a light barnyard aroma from the wrapper. From the foot, I smell sweet tobacco.
The pre-light draw brings some faint sweet tobacco. After light up, the flavor is primarily cedar. There is a nice pepper tingle on my lips. The pepper has also made its way into the flavor and has a long finish which stays on my tongue. The retrohale has a bit of strength to it. An inch in and the pepper has faded away a bit and some creaminess has come in. The pepper is now just at the tip of my tongue. The strength on the retrohale has also lessened. A little bit of sweetness has come in along with some light wood. The ash is almost white and very uniform. It has held on for the entire third. I would put the strength at medium-full and the body at medium.
In the second third, the cedar picks up again. There is still some sweetness in the background and the pepper is coming back in as well. The ash finally dropped at the halfway point of the cigar. An oak flavor has become the prominent flavor and is a little drying on my palate. In this third, both the strength and body were medium.
In the final third the oak flavor continues, with almost a menthol aroma on the retrohale. As the third moved along, a little spiciness made its way in with some cream on the retrohale. The cigar is producing loads of smoke. The light spiciness continued through the remainder of the cigar and it never got hot towards the end. This third stayed at medium strength and body.
The draw was excellent with just the right amount of resistance. The burn was razor sharp the entire time. The ash held on for the first half and then didn’t drop again for another inch and a half. The cigar was firm the entire length with no soft spots. Construction was terrific as the draw and burn were pretty much perfect.
I have to say that for a $3.50 cigar this could easily be a daily smoke if you find the flavors in your wheelhouse. Lots of interesting transitions through each of the thirds. Performance was fantastic and really just capped off an excellent smoking experience. I would highly recommend that you pick some up and see if they are a fit for your humidor.
This lasted 2 hours and 30 minutes for me.
I give the Maya Selva Villa Zamorano El Gordo a personal score of 91.