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Stogie Reviews: Cuba Aliados Miami Habano Toro Viejo

21 Jul 2009

Rolando Reyes Sr. embodies the very essence of perseverance. Born in Cuba in 1924, he made his dream of becoming a “tabacalero” true when, at age 21, he established his own cigar factory—only to have his “Los Aliados” trademark and properties seized by the communist government. Then, when he refused to work at the nationalized El Rey del Mundo factory, he was forced to labor in rice fields.

Cuba Aliados Miami Habano Toro ViejoA lesser man might have given up. But Don Rolando moved to America to get his feet back on the ground, working in textiles by day and rolling cigars by night. By 1989, after overcoming a trademark setback, he had his own cigar operation again, this time with an office in Miami and a factory in Danlí, Honduras.

Today, Reyes Family Cigars turns out 75,000 sticks daily, including the popular Puros Indios and Cuba Aliados brand names. The latter was expanded this year with the three-vitola Miami Edition line. (A Sumatra-wrapped Miami version, which, according to Marketing Director Frank Santos, “is not commercially ready,” may be available soon.)

In what seems to be a growing trend among successful cigar operations, Cuba Aliados Miami brings former Cuban rollers to Miami to craft a premium, limited edition blend in small batches. Only 300 are made per day.

The Toro Viejo size (6 x 53) features a smooth and seamless Cuban-seed Nicaraguan Habano wrapper with a subtle red hue. The cap is perfect, the stick is firm from head to toe, and the pre-light notes of earth and sweet wood are delightful.

I was really looking forward to firing up my two samples, especially since this blend has been overwhelmingly embraced by the online cigar community over the past few months. Finally touching fire to the foot, the Dominican binder and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos combine to produce flavors of cedar, pepper, and leather. Cherry and cream round off the medium-bodied profile.

I don’t think the taste is particularly unique. What makes this blend stand out, however, is the way in which its classic flavors come together to yield simplicity yet subtlety. And newbies and brothers of the leaf alike will appreciate the balance. The only downside is an occasional bitterness that drifts in and out of the final third.

With good combustion qualities—including a moderate draw, a sturdy ash, and a maintenance-free burn—I’m glad Rolando Reyes Sr. didn’t let his life’s obstacles stand in the way of his dream. The Cuba Aliados Miami Habano Toro Viejo is a good buy in the $6-8 range and, keeping with the trend, it earns four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

8 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Cuba Aliados Miami Habano Toro Viejo”

  1. Big Frank Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 6:46 am #

    According to the Reyes website, there's a retailer near me here in Helena. I'm gonna head over there this afternoon to see if they have these in stock. Sounds like a good investment.

  2. furious Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    Sounds like a tasty stick to me. I would assume that the bitterness that is present now would resolve somewhat with some age. Nice ruddy shade to the wrapper also.

  3. MountChuck Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    Very nice review. I agree about the subtly of the flavors making it such a great cigar. I have smoked the robusto size, and didn’t get the bitterness in the last third. I smoked a sample that had just been rolled 5 days before, and it was tremendous.

  4. Mike Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    I agree that Aliados Miami are 4/5. But Cienfuegos and the regular Aliados are fantastic! I had never heard of any of these cigars until I got a sampler pack from Not a fan of Puros Indios, but they have some serious stogies in the Cienfuegos and Aliados lines.

  5. John Werner Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    This is a great addition to the Aliados line. I'm impressed even before I start with the classy Aliados red, white, and gold band…And the secondary "Made In Miami Florida" band signals that, yes, this is a very different Aliados stick. Add to that the sweet cedar sleeve with embossed lettering and this cigar is truly a super premium presentation. Of course if the smoke is a dog then I would be seriously let down. Even the Habano wrapper looks rich in color, roll density, and slight tooth. Immediately upon lighting I'm not disappointed in the least. This is the best yet from Reyes IMHO. Good review though I may be inclined to go 4.5 on the rating.

  6. Mike Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    John, have you tried the Cienfuegos? The wrapper is identical to the Aliados Miami and I go back and forth as to which cigar is better. Either way, these two stogies are gems from Reyes Family Cigars. My top-shelf for sure.

  7. John Werner Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    Mike, thanks for the "heads-up" on the Cienfuegos!

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