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Staff Reviews

Plasencia Reserva Original Staff Review

Zack D. D's picture

Zack D.

Today I’m smoking a Plasencia Reserva Original in a 4.75-by-52 Robusto. The Plasencia family is one of the largest growers of premium tobacco throughout Nicaragua and Honduras. They’ve been making cigars for dozens of other brands, including Rocky Patel, Alec Bradley, and Romeo y Julieta. Since 2016, Nestor Plasencia Sr. and his sons, Nestor Jr., Gustavo, and José Luis have been building their own Plasencia Cigars brand, and its popularity continues to grow.

Earlier, I reviewed Plasencia 1865 Alma Fuerte Generación V, a large and impressive Figurado that I fully enjoyed. Plasencia Reserva Original is a very unique cigar in the family’s portfolio. It’s a personal project of Nestor Plasencia Jr., who began experimenting by blending cigars with organically grown tobaccos in the early 2000s. In order for tobacco crops to be labeled organic in Nicaragua, they must be certified by the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA). Every leaf of binder, filler, and wrapper tobaccos blended in Plasencia Reserva Original cigars is grown free of all pesticides and insecticides on select Plasencia family farms.

I can’t say I’ve smoked an “organic” cigar before, but I do know most premium cigar-makers blend their cigars from one-hundred percent additive-free tobaccos, and the time spent on the labor-intensive fermentation process removes ammonia and other impurities from the leaves as they’re assembled, disassembled, and reassembled in large pilones or “piles” over the course of several months or years. Undoubtedly, the Plasencias dedicate tremendous time and resources to tobacco fermentation, considering the size and scale of their operation – four cigar factories and eight plantations where 6,000 workers are employed producing some 40 million handmade cigars per year.

Let’s find out if the organic angle makes a difference in Plasencia Reserva Original. When I crack a fresh box of Robustos open, an oily Nicaraguan wrapper shimmers under a trio of elegant white cigar bands with gold lettering – two at the top and one at the foot. Under the wrapper leaf is a well-aged blend of Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos. The cigar’s dark-brown, rustic wrapper leaf displays several thick veins. Its slightly rugged appearance reflects the sweet and intense aroma of tobacco and spice I pick up when I run the cigar under my nose.

After clipping the cap, the cold draw tastes of cedar, nuts, and lentils with a leathery foundation and hints of cola syrup. Plasencia Reserva Original offers a unique mix of sweet and vegetal notes before I light up.

As I toast the foot, the Robusto develops with notes of pepper, cedar, and grain. The texture is smooth and creamy, while a touch of bitter black coffee layers my taste buds on the back end of the initial draws. Reserva Original produces a good amount of smoke and appears very well made with a consistently firm density from head to foot. As the cigar progresses, it becomes increasingly spicy throughout the first twenty minutes while woody aromas fill my nostrils on the retrohale. I also uncover a hint of dark fruit and citrus.  

The ash is substantial, likely due to the cigar’s firm construction, and it burns very slowly as a result. And it also burns with razor-sharp precision. It’s clear Nestor Jr. enlists his most skilled cigar rollers to craft Plasencia Reserva Original cigars.

Over the course of more than an hour, the Robusto puts out impressive flavor and aroma, but the finish is linear, and the cigar doesn’t change much even as I consume the nub. It’s very good, but the previous Plasencia cigars I’ve smoked, Alma del Fuego, Alma del Campo, and 1865 Alma Fuerte impressed me that much more. I suggest starting with one of those when you’re getting acquainted with the Plasencia brand and saving the Reserva Original for down the road. And I can’t say the taste of organic tobaccos was noticeably different from any other Plasencia cigars I’ve smoked.


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