The Rise of the Boutiques! It can certainly be a slogan for this past IPCPR. Everywhere one turned one could see a different boutique at the show trying to carve their niche out in the market. In our continuation to review the new guys and give them a chance to get their name out we turn to a bit of an oddity in the boutique world, a premium seller that is aiming at the higher end of the cigar market. Today we look at Buena Vista Cigars, and find out if they are as they tout “The World’s Finest Cuban Seed Cigar.”
First thing to know about Buena Vista is that they are proud of their Cuban seed tobacco and their top leveled Cuban rollers. This trope if fairly familiar in the industry as many like to claim it; but it does dovetail nicely into their “world’s finest cuban seed cigar.” I have tried both cigars and today’s review will focus more on their cheaper Reserva line (by cheaper I mean eleven-twelve dollars suggested MSRP). Buena Vista’s Limited Edition line is an even heftier seventeen dollars suggested MSRP. I will say this about it, its definitely unique, especially considering its Ecuadorian puro status. Its profile is one-dimensional, but a rather unique dimension that made it quite an enjoyable smoke. The Reserva too is enjoyable, and is comprised of Ecuadorian and Dominican fillers.
The wrapper is toothy with some minimal veins present and a tight pack throughout. An inspection of the foot reveals a barnyard aroma and a clipping of the cap reveals a slightly stiff draw. On an initial light the cigar reveals some initial spice and good amounts of smoke. As I begin to work my way into the cigar it opens up a little in the draw and reveals notes of floral, citrus, and cedar. At the midpoint the floral note develops and becomes dominant. The cigar overall has burned well up to this juncture and has only had a minor canoeing problem that self-corrected quickly. At the back end of the cigar a prominent leather note becomes present and the finish is with leather and a little heat.
Overall both the Reserva and Limited Edition are enjoyable cigars. I prefer the limited edition for its unique profile, but reviewed the Reserva on the premise that it will be the most likely of the two to see shelf time. While I recommend both cigars to fans of light and medium body construction I have a hard time with the price point. The price point of the cigar throws itself into the range of Padron Anniversary’s, Fuente Opus, and Perdomo EDS. This is a tough market segment to compete in, especially for a relative unknown. Buena Vista is coming up with some nice cigars, but if they want to see more shelf time they are going to have to lower their price point. They came down a little at the show, but for them to be contenders their more realistic range should be in the eight to ten dollar segment. Expecting a consumer to purchase an eight to ten dollar cigar is more reasonable than expecting them to spend the same money on an unknown at the same purchase point as a pardon anniversary or Davidoff White Label. Like I said, I really do enjoy Buena Vista and want to see them in shops, but they are going to have to come down in price otherwise their audience will be small and their chance at real success slim.
Editor’s Note: As of this afternoon I was contacted by Buena Vista Cigars stating that all cigars have been reduced in price. The new suggested MSRP’s are more in line with what I was talking about in the article and should be a bargain cigar you definitely look for, if and when, they come to a retailer near you!