When I received the samples of Cuba Libre, I admit to having experienced a little "approach-avoidance" at first. See, the "approach" part was that it looked fantastic, with a lovely, deep, medium-brown Cuban-seed Corojo wrapper that’s almost leathery in texture, and adorned with a simple, elegant, embossed band. Yet the "avoidance" part stems from the fact that this is yet another premium blend from Nestor Plasencia. I’ve been burning through tons of Nestor-made cigars recently and frankly, I feared a let-down….a perceived chink in the Nestor armor if you will. So the samples sat in my office for about a week staring at me before I finally pulled the trigger and lit it up.
I smoked 5 of them very cautiously before confidently declaring to myself: "Self: this is the best new cigar I've smoked in months!" Indeed, Cuba Libre starts out with a tremendous depth of flavor, including rich spiciness, plus complex notes of wood, spice and earth….delivered in spades. The thick gray clouds of smoke settle over the palate like a coat of fresh, light snow. From there, a veritable roller coaster ride ensues: initially it burns slow and true, developing a slight sweetness and very subtle vanilla taste, then evolves into a round, mature and mellow smoke, before offering a thick, chewy profile and slow, ultra-smooth, lingering finish that is very appealing. Cuba Libre is medium to full-bodied in strength but extraordinarily well-balanced. In short, this is a blend I could smoke all day long... one of the finest smokes, dollar for dollar, I’ve had in a while.