Plasencia's Mindblowing "Debut" Joe Five generations is one helluva long lineage. And that’s exactly what the Plasencia family brings to the table. If you’re not familiar with the name, I’m almost positive you’ve enjoyed some of their cigars. Check out this résumé — Nestor Plasencia currently makes 5 Vegas Gold, Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli, Romeo 505 Nicaragua, and many, many more. So, back in 2017, Nestor decided it was finally time for the Plasencia name to become a household name and released a series of cigars, all starting with the Plasencia Alma Fuerte. It takes some real cojones to enter the market with a $22 blend. But the Plasencias believed in their product, and trusted that once people tried the Alma Fuerte cigar for themselves they’d be on board. Personally, I overlooked the brand for the first few months of its release (I prefer my cigars to land around the $5 mark), but after Alma Fuerte received a 93-rating and earned a spot in the Top 10 Cigars of 2017, I figured it was time to give it a shot. As luck would have it, myself and an equally wise and handsome group of cigar lovers were just down in Nicaragua and visited with the Plasencias. There, after insisting I embarrass myself by attempting to ride a horse for the first time in front of a crowd (it ended poorly), Nestor proudly handed us a box of the Alma Fuerte in the Sixto II Haxagon and Generacion V Salomon size. Initial impression? This cigar’s an A+. Not only does it look beautiful, but it retails for over a Jackson, and I got it for free. And as CI’s resident mooch, that’s most certainly appreciated. After a little wining and dining that evening, I retired to the patio to give this cigar the attention it deserves. Each size is an accomplishment on their own, with only the most skilled rollers capable of handling the unique vitolas. On top, the Alma Fuerte is wrapped in a reddish-hued Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper, overtop Nicaraguan binder and filler.On first light, I was not disappointed. This cigar starts rich from the get go, with notes of leather and soft spice combining in an enjoyably long finish. As the cigar progresses, hints of cocoa and black pepper join the mix, with the profile edging more towards medium to full-bodied, but never going all the way to the top of the scale. If I had to make a knock against the cigar, the burn was slightly wavy, but I’m really nitpicking at this point — I never once needed to relight or touch-up the cigar throughout the hour and a half of burn time. There’s some bells-and-whistles on this cigar in terms of packaging (the lid doubles as an ashtray), but all that stuff is just icing on the cake. Plasencia Alma Fuerte is a fantastic blend that you should shell up the cash for next time you have a special occassion. You won’t regret it.