90 Miles 1980 by Flor de Gonzalez | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut Seed Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan (Ligero), Dominican (Ligero)
Size: 5 x 52 “Gordito”
Body: Full
Price: $6.001

Today we take a look at the 90 Miles1980 by Flor de Gonzalez.
Kindly gifted to me by buddy Rene C.

Flor de Gonzalez is a Nicaraguan manufacturer. The 1980 is the third blend in the line. The cigar got its name because the Gonzalez family escaped Cuba in famous Mariel Boat lift. Of course, as we cigar smokers know, it is 90 miles from the tip of Florida to Cuba.

The cigar comes if five sizes: 5 x 52 Gordito($6.00), 5 x 56 Corona Gorda ($6.50) 6.5 x 54 Torpedo($6.40), 7 x 50 Churchill ($6.20), and the Gordo 6 x 60 ($7.00).

The wrapper strikes me as a light colored Mexican San Andrés. More of a coffee bean color that is very oily and very toothy. The double cap is extremely sloppy. Seams are tight. Lots of small veins. And a nice double cigar band to top things off.

I clip the cap and find aromas of earthiness, spice, cocoa, butterscotch/caramel, nuttiness, fruity sweetness, wood, and leather.

It is going to rain at any moment. It is 8am in Milwaukee and as I look out the dining room window, it looks like midnight. I will try the flash on my camera so you get some idea of what the cigar looks like.
My eye is good. The camera is not.
Time to light up.

The first puffs are delicious. Lots of cocoa and creaminess. The draw is explosive. There are some very nice wood notes with a dash of cinnamon and clove. The earthiness of the blend shines through.

The spice, although, is merely evident and does not provide a real kick in the pants like I wish all cigars did. You can’t beat the Garcia Blast of Pepper to start a cigar.

The char line is doing very well, thank you.

There is a hint of malt in the chocolate. I used to love Whoppers. Those chocolate covered malted milk ball candies.

The char line begins to get a little wavy but I feel no compunction to touch it up at this moment.
Caramel begins its journey.

The strength is classic medium bodied.

Knowing my VIP Sponsor, Rene Cartel, he sent me some well-aged sticks so I will know what the blender’s intent was by the end of the cigar.

The sloppy double cap is becoming a problem. My chomping is destroying it.

Here are the flavors: Creaminess, cocoa, malt, caramel, nuts, cinnamon, earthiness, sweetness, citrus, coffee, cedar, and leather. Not bad for only 1-1/4” smoked.

While the kitchen sink begins to pour in, the stick has not reached any sort of complexity yet. The flavors are not bold, but rather; nuanced and subtle.

The ash is white/gray and solid as a rock.

The sweetness element begins to increase. Something fruity, besides me, lurks underneath but seems not ready to divulge itself quite yet. A nice floral note appears. The spiciness is a bit of a disappointment. I expected a real kick in the pants but maybe Rene allowed it to mature out of the blend. It happens.

I think that for most cigars, marinating them for a year is too long. I’ve found the optimum humidor time is around 3-5 months. After that, the cigar begins to mellow too much for my tastes. I received a nice care package of cigars that had about a year on them and I was shocked at how much of the true blender’s intent had been sucked dry.

The second third begins.

At this point, we have flavor bomb status. The caramel and nuttiness completely take over the front of the line.

Man oh man, what a wonderful cigar this is. I remember doing a review of the 90 Miles Reserva Selecta back in December of 2013. I take a look at it and there are some similarities like no real spiciness and there are similarities in the flavor profile. But all in all, a different blend entirely. It used an Ecuadorian Habano 2000 Rosado wrapper.

The 90 Miles1980 by Flor de Gonzalez uses the sweeter Mexican San Andrés.

I am at the halfway mark and Rene must have had this cigar for quite some time. It is described as a full bodied cigar but yet it hasn’t passed the medium body phase. It has been resting too long.

That was another thing I noticed about the gifts of year old cigars. There were sticks in there I have smoked many times and they were kick ass cigars. But after a year of humidor time, the Huzzah had been drained from them. And they were blander than I remembered.

There is such a thing as too mellow from aging.

In some of the premiums I was gifted straight from the store have shown that 4-5 weeks is all they needed to be at full blossom. I got a 5 pack of Viaje Cache and the cigar is now so strong, I can barely finish. Plus the flavor profile is out of this world.

Of course, there are cigars like the 5 Vegas line that need a year before they even taste like anything. But good premium cigars don’t need a year. A couple months at the most.

Otherwise, you risk losing the oomph designed into the cigar.

Flavors are wonderful: Caramel, nuts, creaminess, chocolate, cinnamon, earthiness, sweetness, floral notes, citrus (lemon zest), cedar, leather, coffee, and raisins.

The cigar is nicely packed with tobacco and smokes slowly. I have invested almost an hour by the halfway point.
The 90 Miles1980 by Flor de Gonzalez is an excellent cigar and I highly recommend it. But don’t give it more than 3 months. I am closing in on the last third and the cigar has refused to become stronger than medium body. By now, it should be a full body smoke.

Another point for allowing your cigars to marinate too long…while the stick has a nice flavor profile, it is more of a junior flavor bomb status. The flavors should be explosive. Instead, they are just nice. A lot of the goodies have been sucked dry by time.

I would love to smoke a 90 Miles1980 by Flor de Gonzalez that has just a couple months on it and if the day comes when I can once again afford to buy cigars, I will pick up a 5 pack on Cigar Monster.

I just placed a bid on a 5 pack. Hopefully, I win and will report back in a couple of months.

The last third begins. Flavors begin to blossom. I have found the sweet spot.

There is no change in the order of flavors but now they are more alive and robust.

The construction of this cigar has been very good despite a sloppy cap. The char line has not required a single touch up and no wrapper issues.

The 90 Miles1980 by Flor de Gonzalez is an excellent example of a good cigar not needing to be expensive. On auction, the cigars can be had for as little as $3-4 each instead of the retail price of $6 that CI is asking.

Thankfully, this is a regular production cigar so there should be no shortage of cigars or places to buy them.
Tomorrow, I plan to review the new JOYA Red (Joya de Nicaragua). It is getting rave reviews and the price is right ranging from $4.50-$6.50 depending on size. It’s not on the auction sites yet probably due to how new it is. Generally speaking, the auction sites specialize in selling old stuff, house brands, and drek.

The cigar finishes without heat, harshness or bitterness. It also finishes without much flavor or strength.

And now for something completely different:
(My apologies to long time readers for this old goodie. But after several hundred rock n roll stories, my puny brain has run out of anything new.)

I was at George Martin’s recording studio, AIR Studios in London, mixing the previously recorded “Curved Air Live” album. For those of you who know, and for those that don’t….half the fun of recording an album is just hanging in the control booth watching and listening to the exciting mix of the music. It beats staying home and watching TV.

I am proud to say that while the others in the band had to come in to overdub their mistakes, I had one single dub. One note. Just one note had to be fixed on a live recording. The others gave me the stink eye because I sat back and watched them struggle with placing new notes in an already recorded song.

I was the new member. And I played some very complicated bass lines. So my near perfection caused some jealousy.

Besides having a good time in the studio, acting only as an observer, we also got fed. Since we were near the Jamaican district, we got fabulous ethnic food brought in every day and night. On the house.

The recording studio had two studios in the same location. While we were using Studio B, Pete Townshend was using Studio A to mix the movie soundtrack to the movie, “Tommy.”

One night, Sonja and I were sitting on the floor with our backs against one of the plush sofas. We had just smoked a doob and were conversing about life. The sofa was in the farthest location from the door and the studio was dimly lit. Mood.

I noticed the door opening and looked up.

In walked a man who I can’t quite make out. As he looked our way, he headed straight towards us. The closer he came, the more my jaw dropped. It was Pete Townshend coming over for a visit with Sonja. Curved Air was a legendary band in Europe from the late 60’s to the late 70’s. And Sonja was a big deal. Making the top of the list year after year as the best front woman in a rock band.

Pete was thin. Very thin. I later found out that this was the period in his life where he did a lot of heroin.

He sat down next to Sonja making it a Sonja sandwich. They hugged and exchanged kisses. I was close to shitting myself.

Now if you want to be taken seriously in any business, you must act natural at meeting anyone of note, or your presence is ignored, so I did my best to be cool.

A minute or two in, Sonja nodded in my direction and introduced me to Pete. We shook hands. I was literally shaking. I muttered something unintelligible.

We sat there for a couple of hours, rolling and lighting one joint after another. Before long, all three of us were laughing like idiots and Pete told Sonja that he thought I was an all right chap. Pete got to listen to my playing on the play back in the studio and when he felt it was time to leave, he stood above me, shook my hand, and asked if I wanted to jam tomorrow night?

Of course I said yes and told him I would make sure our drummer, Stewart Copeland, was there.

I barely slept or ate in the next 24 hours in excited anticipation. The night came and we played for countless hours. Time had no meaning except when we stopped to light one up.

At one point, he teased us with the offer to produce our next album, which never happened.

My only regret was that while we recorded everything we played, I didn’t ask for a copy.

I was in the mode of “I will always be in the music biz and this was only the start.” The strange musings of a 24 year old.

Our respective management teams went back and forth trying to tie Pete down to producing our next album but it eventually fell through. I’m sure his heroin habit had a lot to do with it.

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2 replies

  1. Sweet!! Katman, that cigar was with me really three weeks maybe four, really that’s all that 1980 is going to give, I thought myself it was going to be a full strength but never reach that range, still it is good.
    Pete Townshend…Life is been good to you indeed !!!

  2. I was hesitant as well. But I thoroughly enjoyed this cigar.