Buena Vista Reserva 2008 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano ‘98
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: 6.5 x 54 “Sublime-Toro”
Body: Medium
Price: $13.99 MSRP ($6.07 at CI)
Number of Cigars Smoked Prior to Review: 0
Accompanying Libation: Water



Today we take a look at the Buena Vista Reserva 2008.

I scoured the internet and the cigar news sources to find information on the background of this cigar and brand. I have never been so confused by the sheer volumes of information available. I did my best, dear readers, but I probably fucked something up.

First, the Dominican filler was aged two years prior to rolling in 2010. All tobacco plants are Cuban Seed.
This must be primarily a B & M cigar brand. I found a single online store that carries five of the nine sizes. And that’s Cigars International.

From the MGM Cigar web site press release (Thanks to Cigar Coop):
“The MGM Cigar project and first brand Buena Vista cigar was nothing more than a dream in 2009. It quickly caught flight, only to be put to bed for a short while. I am thankful to have relocated to the United States where I am free to forge ahead with our project. We look forward to re-introducing the Buena Vista Cigar brand which pays homage to all who, through music and from one generation to another, have kept the Cuban traditions, values and joie de vivre alive.”

MGM Cigar has its root in Cuba. In 2009, they moved operations out of Cuba and into the Dominican Republic.
This is an odd story. Buena Vista produced 200,000 cigars called the Reserva 2008. They moved their base of operations from Mexico to the DR.

This is the WTF? part. The company made its move in 2009 but the cigar is called 2008. Read on.

And then the cigar died. In June of 2013, MGM Cigar resurrected the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 that had been stored away in the same warehouse that holds the Indiana Jones “Ark of the Covenant.”

So now, the leaves have almost 6-7 years of age on them. In other words, the leaves were rolled into cigars in 2008 but held back in storage until 2010. And then released in 2013 or 2014.

In 2009, Buena Vista moved. Taking their 200,000 cigars with them. And there they sat warehoused until 2013 when MGM Cigar took Buena Vista over.

José E. Borges Batista, the president of MGM Cigar, was the man responsible for bringing the Buena Vista brand back to life.

The cigars were then re-released in 2013. Or 2014. I don’t fucking know. I should just delete this whole background thing and write the bloody review.

To commemorate this wild goose chase, I am adding an anecdote to the end which I wrote many years ago when I reviewed for Famous Smoke. They created a character for me because I’m a funny guy. They wanted Katmancross to be the most interesting man in the cigar business. You know…like the Dos Equis beer commercial where they use a Brooklyn Jewish guy to pretend he is Fernando Lamas…”Stay thirsty, my friends.”(Really. I looked it up. His name is Jonathan Goldsmith).

So I had magical and mystical powers. In other words, the readers couldn’t figure out that I was sticking cigar reviews inside the most absurd stories imaginable; and therefore; they hated my reviews. Famous had 6 chefs and one cook: Me. No one in charge of me talked to each other and each had their own ideas of how I should write. Drove me fucking crazy. And with each review, I was hated more and more.

So just read the damn thing and laugh at me. (I picked a bad year to stop sniffing glue.)

The cigar is very light in the hand. The packing is so so. Several soft spots. (I got up early on a rainy Sunday morning for this?)
Seams are visible. Lots and lots of veins. The triple cap looks like it is about to pop off. You watch. Somewhere in this journey, I will accidentally pull the cap off with my lips.

The wrapper is a semi-oily light brown with hints of toffee color.
It has double bands. The main band is a big showy aluminum siding billboard. The foot band is sort of ugly and if you stare at it long enough, you become hypnotized.

And now to more cluster fuck information….
I got this information from Cigar Coop and Buena Vista Cigars. There was a slight variation. So I figured out what was what and just went with it. Cigar Coop is a solid news source so I am going to take his word. But some of his cigar dimensions were a little strange. I have no idea where he got his data. Halfwheel? MGM? Buena Vista?

I’m showing the sizes based on faith and that I am a fucking moron.

The prices I could find is CI pricing and not the MSRP which is quite a bit more. For example, the Prominente MSRP is $10.00. Yet CI sells them for $6. Why the drop in price for a cigar that has all that age on it? Shouldn’t they be more expensive?

I really hope this is a good cigar. I’m too old for this shit.
I’m going to hang myself when the review is finished.

Prominente: 7 x 49 $6.07
Sublime: 6.5 x 54 $6.07
Piramide: 6.5 x 52 $6.07
Doble Robusto: 5 1/2 x 52
Robusto: 5.625 x 54 $5.99
Corona Larga: 4.875 x 50
Corona: 5.125 x 46 $5.13
Petit Pyramid: 4.875 x 52
Short Churchill: 4.5 x 54

It smells good. Let’s keep moving.

The draw is too airy. I knew it wasn’t packed correctly. This stick should pass quickly by.
But it is very smoky as the room fills with it. Light or not.
First flavors are hay, sweetness, cream, spice, citrus, nuts, and wood.

I want to thank buddy Johnny Piette of Prime Cigar for the stick. Or I may just want to bitch slap him. Johnny likes both; so we both get to dress up in our best leather gear.

The spiciness moves to the head of the class. The sweet citrus is nice. It seems to be a cross between lemon, orange, and grapefruit. I’m sure once it settles down; it will pick just one fruit.

Coffee comes on board. And a touch of dark baking cocoa. I use that stuff in my smoothies. Yummy, yummy, yummy. I got love in my tummy. Or is that a string of pearls? I think I’m getting off track.

Nothing is bold or adventurous at this point. But it’s early. So far, it’s just a nice cigar. Nothing special.
PSA: I stopped retrohaling when I smoke. My nasal passages are too crispy. Too many cigars. It hurts. I will miss it dearly but I’m going to eventually set my face on fire from the inside out.

A fruity element shows up. It is strong and juicy. Like me. But I’m not sure what it is. A touch of berries, a touch of exotic fruit, and a bit of….I got it. It is mandarin oranges. Yup. That’s it. Very sweet with just the slightest hint of tartness.

More than an inch in and the char line has really behaved its fucking self.
The ash hangs tough and disembarks the mother ship at around 1-1/4”.

The Buena Vista Reserva 2008 has a nice, nuanced flavor profile yet it doesn’t excite me. If I had to pay $14.00 for this cigar when it came out the first time, I would have cried into a wet towel for days. But at $6.00, it is hard to complain. You get what you pay for…most of the time. Although, there is the standby: “The Katman’s List of 135 Great Cigars in the $5.00-$6.50 Range.” I picked some real winners in that list.

I’m getting used to the airiness of the draw. All this PR for the cigar and it has too many soft spots. No wonder they shelved it because no one was buying. Especially at those ridiculous prices.

Here they are: Spice, creaminess, wood, espresso, fruit, citrus, cocoa, cedar, and earthiness.
The Buena Vista Reserva 2008 needs its first burn line touch up. I caught it in the nick of time as it was about to canoe on me.

The strength is medium body. I doubt it will go much higher than that.
Right here. This moment. Flavors take off. The sweet spot. Very close to the second half.

Everything on that last list pops. This is what it should have tasted like from the start.
Nuts enter stage left. It quickly turns into marzipan. Damn. I love marzipan.

Flavors shift a bit: Coffee, creaminess, sweetness, citrus, wood, marzipan, cocoa, cedar, and a so so earthiness.

Like turning on a light switch, the earthiness surges. It has twice the impact as the other flavors. The thing is I’m not impressed with the natural tobacco flavor. It is more on the mundane side.

Complexity begins to have an influence as the flavor profile morphs.

I really expected more. I have seen several people on FB showing photos of them smoking this cigar and it peeked my interest. I had planned on buying a 5 pack next week. Man, it seems a long time between Social Security checks. Anyway, I am so glad that Johnny sent me a stick. I would have been really pissed off at myself.

The char line is all focakte. Another major tune up is required. This does the flavor profile no favors.
Still. The flavor profile is nice. That’s the most I’m willing to say about this cigar. It’s nice.

Sweetness and cream play a big part of the flavor profile now. The spice lingers at the end of the list. Coffee and wood are present and accounted for. So is the wood and cedar. The earthiness has been put on the D.O.A. list.

I must correct myself. Now we have the real sweet spot. The earlier one was just a tease. The spiciness soars. As well as the rest of the flavors. Again, something that should have occurred at the first puffs. After all, this filler has 6-7 years of age on it. That should count for something.

Smoke time has been 40 minutes. For a big honker of 6.5 x 54, it should be smoking much slower. Poor construction.

If the rest of the cigars are like this one, I think MGM Cigar made a big mistake. Word of mouth probably killed it back in 2010. Why would that change now? I read a couple reviews and they were very kind.
Not me. I’m an asshole. Ask anyone.

The last third is very flavorful. But based on construction, burn line, and late to the party flavor profile, I can’t see adding this to my Katman’s List of Great Cigars in the $5.00-$6.50 Range. It didn’t make the cut. Too bad. Bums me out when I have to report to you that the cigar is not worthy of your time or money.

The last couple inches are very soft. I even heard a crackling noise as I gently pushed on it. Two inches of the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 seems to have the same weight as a tooth pick.

The Buena Vista Reserva 2008 begins to heat up. Along with the start of harshness. But no bitterness to report.
The Buena Vista Reserva 2008 maintained an even keel of medium body throughout the smoke.
I’m not sure I can bring it on home because of the heat and harshness.

At $14.00, it is a joke. At $6.07, it just isn’t worth it. The Buena Vista Reserva 2008 reminds me of a bundle (20 count) cigar in the $45 range.

This was a complete waste of time in some respects. But if not for Johnny Piette, I would never have known this. I never want the generous and kind donors of cigars to the Katman to think I’m ungrateful. Whether a cigar is great or just mundane doesn’t matter. It’s all about the information and reporting of the experience that counts.
The poor seam construction is beginning to take its toll. Wrinkles and cracks are now beginning to show.
With 1-3/8” to go, bitterness sets in. The cigar is just about too hot to smoke.
So, I think I’m done.

And now for something completely different:
2069-The Last Days of the Rolling Stones

I was bored. I needed an adventure to liven things up a bit. I sat in my bamboo chair overlooking the Mediterranean, sipping fine cognac, and smoking a Gurkha Shit Republic CXXII. I dressed accordingly and then stood on the veranda and closed my eyes. I found myself in Boca Raton, Florida. Well, this was certainly a good start. I noticed a newspaper machine and the paper said it was Dec.18, 2069.

Standing in front of me was an old man with a bent cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and leaning against a steel post that supported the awning. This guy looked very familiar. I looked above where he was standing and it said, “Shalom Center for the Elderly.”
I introduced myself to the man. He replied that he was Keith Richards.
“Of the Rolling Stones?” I asked.

I did the math and stated that “You are 126 years old. How could that be?”
“Me and the lads did some dabbling in some occult things in our youth…that’s all I will say.”

He may have dabbled but he didn’t look a day older than 130. Keith motioned for me to sit at an outdoor table as the cigarette ash fell on his shirt. He still wore his traditional bandana around his head, but he was bald.

At exactly the same time, we reached into our own pockets and brought out cigars to offer the other. He nodded and said, “Cheers.”
“Are the other boys alive?”
“Yup. They’re all here.”
“But why here?” I asked.
“Because they make the best brisket and matzoh ball soup I’ve ever tasted.”

Rolling Stones Mick, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood joined us. Cigars were passed around. They were smoking Rocky Patel Next Generation CXXXVI.

Chit chat was minimal as they all had trouble speaking without their dentures falling out.
I made a bold proposal. “How about reuniting and do one last tour?” Mick and Charlie had fallen asleep.
Keith’s eyes lit up.

“We haven’t toured in 58 years, mate. That might be a hoot!” Mick opened his eyes long enough to nod his head in agreement and then it dropped and loud snoring began.

“I will produce and manage the tour.” Keith kicked the rest of them and they nodded their heads in agreement.
But we need a new bassist, mate.” I knew just the man. Rick the Wise. He played a 15 string bass guitar and was a monster.
A week later, I brought in some of the best cigar makers in the world to meet with us. I had the community room cleared and long fold-up tables brought in.

The cigar designers had already brought in several cigars that they had hoped would get the stamp of approval as the official cigar of the Stones. We sat there all morning trying different blends. And then it happened, Jose-Jose Dominguez Flores Cha-Cha-Cha presented a cigar that woke up Mick and Charlie.

We all lit up and instantly the taste of sweet tobacco and coffee bean swathed the palate. It was earthy. The body was full.

We hired Rick the Wise and since he was only 91, his job at this function was to keep the boys awake, so he circled that table giving small slaps to the back of the head of the napping boys.

Mick’s cigar kept falling in his lap. Each time it did, his head became erect and he smiled with those huge lips. Rick quickly put the cigar back in his mouth.

A cigar was picked. It was called, El Rouge de Martinez de Flora de Q-Tip.” And blended by Jose Martinez Martinez Diablo Horowitz.

It was opening night and we had hired several roadies whose sole job was to aid their assigned Stone. The crowd went wild when the Stones were wheeled on to the stage.

All had special wheelchairs configured so they could hold their guitars. Charlie had a special walker that allowed him to hit the only drum on stage; a snare drum. They had tried adding a bass drum but every time Charlie hit the foot pedal, he fell backwards.

Behind the stage was a huge banner with the famous lips but with an El Rouge de Martinez de Flora de Q-Tip cigar protruding from them.

They surged into “Satisfaction” but Rick the Wise couldn’t get his bass to make any sound. A roadie ran out and helped him turn the volume knob on his bass. Rick the Wise thanked him and then went on to play “Money” by Pink Floyd. It was a 3 hour concert but only 4 songs were played. Keeping them awake was a bitch. Rick the Wise kept asking the audience if they remember he was in the group “The Attitude?” No one paid attention.

The crowd especially loved it when Mick did his strut and dropped his pants showing off his Depends with the lips on the back. Keith did the same thing but had forgotten to put his diaper on. Yet still had a big pair of lips on his bottom.
With the dropping of his trousers, his 126 year old balls actually hit the ground. Scotty came running and did his best to pull Keith’s pants up while scooping up ancient testicles that had a mind of their own.

I grabbed a couple boxes of El Rouge de Martinez de Flora de Q-Tip and left the arena by the back door. My work was done.
I learned later that the Stones did one final concert in 2143.

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2 replies

  1. I enjoy your reviews and your humor. You need to find a way to write without the “F-bombs”. In my mind, it lowers the quality of your writing. The increasingly common use of the word is just one sign of the deterioration of our society………nothing is off-limits any more………except for smoking which is banned just about everywhere!

  2. I appreciate your comments and readership.
    But the F bomb is the way I talk and it leaks into my writing.
    I am not going to cater to sensitive readers. I do understand that if my crude language offends people, I will probably lose them.
    But I get an average of 3500 hits per day on my blog. That’s a lot of readers.
    And I’m read in over 130 countries.
    I’m the George Carlin and Hunter Thompson of cigar reviews.
    For every comment or message I get that tells me they don’t like my use of the English language, I get 100 that approve.
    Smokers either love me or hate me. I’ve found a successful niche that sets me apart from every other reviewer, which my stats agree on, so I think I will just keep on chooglin’.
    As far as the deterioration of society as the result of crude language, I don’t think so. I think we have a lot bigger problems to deal with in society than worrying about using the word “Fuck.”
    Thanks for your opinion.

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