Villa Zamorano No. 15 by Maya Selva Cigars | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Honduran
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Nicaraguan (Jamastran Viso, Trojes Ligero)
Size: 5.5 x 54 “Belicoso”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $3.50 AT CUENCA CIGARS

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This above photo is from the Maya Selva Face Book page.

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Today we take a look at the Villa Zamorano No. 15 by Maya Selva Cigars.

NOTE: I WAS JUST NOTIFIED BY ANA CUENCA THAT THEIR PRICE STRUCTURE IS INCORRECT ON THEIR WEB SITE. IT IS TOO LOW BY ALMOST HALF. THE CIGAR FEDERATION PRICING OF AROUND $6 PER STICK IS CORRECT. ANA PROMISED SHE WOULD HONOR THAT PRICING FROM ANYONE CLICKING ON THE CUENCA CIGARS LINK UNTIL THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO CORRECT THE PRICING.

NOTE 7-20-2015: CUENCA CIGARS HAS SHUT DOWN ALL ACCESS TO ANY VILLA ZAMORANO CIGARS.

But I was quicker than most and bought a 5 pack before I finished the review. I want to thank Ana Cuenca for throwing in a few extra sticks as a thank you. Your only other option now is Cigar Federation for $6 a stick.

BACKGROUND:
From the Maya Selva web site:
“This hand-made long leaf cigar offers a full, expressive taste with notes of roasted coffee. A brand created in 2002 by Maya Selva. Hand-made cigar with very good tobacco, at a convenient price. Each cigar smoker can enjoy the luxury of a real smoke.”

There isn’t a lot of info on this company or the blends. Especially this one.
I do know that this brand originally had a European market only but has reached out to America not that long ago.
This cigar was released in the summer of 2014.
Factory: San Judas Taddeo in Honduras.

DESCRIPTION:
This is a nice looking stick. The wrapper is an oily milk chocolate brown with tight seams, few veins, and an impeccable belicoso cap. The cigar is solidly packed. Right amount of give.
I’ve only smoked one Maya Selva blend: Flor de Selva and found it outstanding. I snooped around other reviews and to my surprise…all of the reviewers fawned over this inexpensive cigar. So I feel good.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Churchill 7 x 46 $3.52
Corona 5 x 42 $3.52
Gordo 5 x 56 $3.52
Robusto 5 x 50 $3.52
Expreso 3.5 x 52
These are prices from Cuenca Cigars.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
The shaft provides aromas of spice, floral notes, citrus, coffee, and cocoa.
The clipped cap and foot provide aromas of cocoa, spice, earthy tobacco, barnyard, and coffee.
The cold draw tastes of black licorice, spice, sweetness coffee, cocoa, and a rich earthy tobacco.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is excellent.
The flavors come flooding in instantly: Nuts, spice, coffee, sweetness, lemon zest, cocoa, oak, and earthiness. I can’t believe this is a $3.50 cigar. But we have 5-1/2” to go.

I get a run, minutes later that needs attention.
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You can see from my photos are gorgeous a wrapper this is. Shiny from oils and a beautiful hue of glossy caramel brown.
The spice is a combination of both black and red peppers.
There is a chocolate milk shake quality to the blend. Very nice.

I saw bundles (25 sticks) of these going for less than $80. Cuenca Cigars has all the sizes and the price for each bundle is the same: $78.75. I think I know what I’m going to sneak purchase beginning of August.

I found it at Cigar Federation for considerably more: $6.00 per stick. That is very unusual for CF to beaten in the price point challenge. Could they not be the same cigars? Will have to research this and get back to you. Or you could just contact Cuenca and ask them.

Flavors keep twisting in the wind. Cocoa was prominent for a couple minutes, but then coffee replaced it.
Here they are an inch in: Spice, herbal notes, nuts, sweetness, chocolate, coffee, leather, toasty, and lemon zest.
I believe the Brazilian Mata Fina binder is making a big impact on the flavor profile.
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The char line is doing fine now. Just one little glitch at the start.
A big transition occurs not far from the end of the first third. Complexity. Balance. Long finish. I wasn’t expecting much flavor or complexity from a $3.50 cigar. But I got it.

The well packed cigar provides an extra bonus: A slow smoke. And this ain’t no yard ‘gar. I don’t get it. Maya Selva could have charged much more for this cigar.
Think of it being another present from France to the U.S. The Statue of Liberty and the Villa Zamorano No. 15.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time has been almost 30 minutes.
Flavors have settled in now. No changes at all. The flavor profile is more subdued now. Subtle and nuanced. I love those words. I use them way too much but they fit the description with a broad coverage.
5third

Coffee has moved up the ranks. It moved in front of spice, spice, herbal notes, and chocolate.
I had an ice coffee the other day and it was delicious. This is an iced coffee cigar.

New flavor: Smoky meat. And Worcestershire sauce. I can taste the vinegar, molasses, onions, salt, garlic, tamarind, cloves, and chili pepper extract. What a bloody coincidence. In my review of the Ezra Zion All My Ex’s, I tasted A-1 steak sauce. Totally different from Worcestershire sauce. And Kyle Hoover confirmed my taste of the steak sauce in the mix.
This is the giant sweet spot. Oh, my kingdom for $80! LOL. This is, by far, the best under $5.00 cigar I’ve smoked.

The Villa Zamorano No. 15 is a magnificent smoke.
Strength started out at classic medium body. It is now medium/full.
Not only is the char line behaving but the ash is hanging on for dear life.
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The onion and garlic are extremely potent now. I don’t believe I’ve ever processed those flavors in any cigar.
The Villa Zamorano No. 15 is so good and savory, I want to eat it. No kidding.
Creaminess appears for the first time.

HALFWAY POINT:
Smoke time has been almost 45 minutes. Things should smoke faster now as I approach the tapered shape of the belicoso.
I’m not going to list the flavors again. They are so outrageous that it would look silly.
But every flavor has its pedal to the metal.
7half

The coffee makes another surge and leads the pack once again. The black pepper is about half way in the list. The Worcestershire sauce is right behind the coffee.
The creaminess steers the flavor profile in a new direction. That element affects each and every flavor.
The stick is very smooth now.
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If I had blind taste tested this cigar and had to guess the $$, I would say it is a $9 cigar.
Watch. I will screw things up with this review and Cuenca will be out by the time I am ready to sneak one past Charlotte at the start of August.

LAST THIRD:
You just have to try this cigar. You can’t beat the price. And it is a monster in the flavor profile arena. I like the strength giving the blend a real oomph.

I have a collection of cigar holders. Aluminum made and meerschaum ones. They come in real handy with a belicoso or torpedo.
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holder

Strength hits full body. With it comes the dreaded nicotine. Oy.
The Villa Zamorano No. 15 is a pure treat for the senses.
10third

The cigar finishes nicely with all flavors perfectly intact. The nicotine levels out and isn’t so bad.
In fact, I believe the Villa Zamorano No. 15 is even more flavorful in the last inch.
I highly recommend this blend. It is a master stroke of blending skills. I tip my hat to Maya Selva for not only bringing this blend to market but also at the most friendly wallet price.

PRICE POINT:
You don’t have to be brilliant to realize that this is the steal of the decade. I hope my review doesn’t cause a buying frenzy leaving nothing for your Uncle Katman to buy in a couple weeks.

SUMMATION:
I went in thinking that this would be an ordinary cigar. Man, was I wrong.
An incredible list of flavors. Strong complexity. Perfect balance. And a mile long finish.
I dig the fact that the Villa Zamorano No. 15 comes in at least 5 sizes. That’s what Cuenca sells. Cigar Federation sells the robusto and belicoso.

I like that both Cuenca and CF sell an individual cigar at box price. Same goes for 5 packs.
Go to the big box online cigar stores and they tag an individual cigar or 5 packs for a buck or more per cigar than the box price goes for. Shame.

The experienced palate will love this cigar. The strength might keep newbies away.
This will be a regular rotation cigar for me as long as I can talk the Mrs. into allowing me to buy them. With my health care costs, it will be a battle.
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I had planned to keep my health issues a secret. But I’ve changed my mind now. Why? Because I don’t know how long I will be able to review cigars.
I have early onset of dementia. You are all shaking your heads up and down saying; “This explains everything.” LOL
But there are lots of new meds to hold off the inevitable so I’m hoping I can still manage to write reviews for a couple more years. But dementia is somewhat of a mystery to the doctors and no promises are given. If all of a sudden, I am unable to figure out how to manage my web site, I will have my daughter fill in for me and help me write a final good bye.
I still have more tests to complete to determine how far along I am with this dreaded issue. So cross your fingers for me.

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4 replies

  1. Best wishes for progress in treatment. I am involved with elderly health issues in my profession and am aware of great strides being made in Alzheimer therapy and care. Much research has been and is being done in the reduction and elimination of cerebral plaque build up, so be optomistic sir.

    • Thank you Charlie,
      I’m going to hold you to that comment. I’m sort of scared shitless. So I love hearing the words you took the time to convey.
      You are the King Mensch!
      But you know what? I am terribly disappointed at the reaction. I think I can count on one hand the readers that have sent their best wishes.
      I knew I was disliked by a lot of people. But I didn’t expect being hated.
      Like the saying goes, “No one loves you when you’re down and out.” Not even your enemies.
      Thankfully, I write for myself.
      Phil

  2. Very best wishes for a successful treatment! I have come late to your website but enjoy it more then all of the other review sites! Hope you are doing this for many more years to come

    • Hi Kevin,
      Your kind words are music to my ears. Thank you so much on two fronts: My web site and concern about my health.
      You are a real mensch, Kevin.
      Phil