When I saved Rolando Reyes the elder's life during a prison riot back in 1965, he said he would never forget what I did for him, and vowed to one day return the favor. That is why, many years later, he now makes the Puros Indios "Special-Aged" blend for CI, and only for CI.
Okay, okay, that's not true. However it is still a mystery to me why Rolando, a legend in the business, agreed to give me sole and exclusive supply of this great blend. You see, overall Puros Indios has something of a mixed reputation. For a while it was white hot, but the last few years demand for the brand has dipped. My feeling is that PI's decidedly do not get the credit they deserve. They don't advertise much. Or maybe it's cosmetic: the bands are plain-jane, the wrappers are thick and splotchy and the packaging ain't too slick. Yet I'm partial to them, and their Special-Aged blend I am especially fond of.
Removing the burlap from each mazo of 6 is like removing a tarp to unveil a new race car. This Piramide is downright authoritative in size, standing 6.75" x 64. That's a full inch in diameter! Very few can make better figurado-shaped cigars than Rolando (check out his PI Victoria shape for example). A glance at these wrappers and your first thought is how rough-hewn and chewy looking they are. Each stick is moist and meaty, densely-packed, with a couple soft and spongy spots. (Hint: they tend to ship this brand moist and these wrappers are so thick that it's ideal to let them nap for 2 weeks in your humidor, then leave 'em in a dry box - or lower humidity environment - for a couple days before lighting. If you're patient they'll be that much better.) Torch the foot - which takes a full 60 seconds - and you're instantly greeted with a slightly sweet, light flavor. It's got an almost dirty grittiness to it that, despite the way that sounds, is not unappealing - it's a very distinct earthy character. Aromatic and medium-bodied, the Special-Aged is mellower than the regular PI line, and builds in complexity as it burns.
I'd give an unqualified "hoooah" to this cigar if it weren't for the occasional inconsistencies - seems like for every four or five I smoke, one is not so hot. But I'm a fan.