Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nestor Miranda Danno Dark

Nestor Miranda Danno Dark

Size: 7” X 56
Shape: Danno
Origin: Nicaragua
Body: Medium - Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano 2000 Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

This past Sunday, my contract at Syracuse Stage ended, leaving me with about a month of free time before my next contract at Cortland Repertory Theatre begins (I am a Sound Designer by trade). This is about the biggest break I will have had in years and I have to say I am thrilled to be able to have this much time to catch up on personal projects, like working my way through the queue of fine cigars in my humidor.

To celebrate the beginning of this momentous month, I pulled out the Nestor Miranda 20th Aniversario Danno Oscuro. With a dark, oily, and nearly seamless wrapper, this cigar is a beauty to behold. The pre-light aroma is full of earth and dark chocolate and the pre-light draw leaves cocoa lingering on your palate. Mmm Mmm!

Despite the pre-light experience, upon lighting I first tasted salt and pepper. After this initial surprise, the cigar smoothed out into a flavor profile more akin to what I had expected. Earth, coffee, and spice took the front seat early on and never completely left the flavor profile, but allowed other delectable flavors like dark chocolate, caramel, and compost to take dominance at times.

The first quarter of the cigar delivered lots of earth, coffee, spice, and compost flavors, with the compost mostly experienced through the nose. Some dark chocolate and caramel flavors crept in at times, but never stayed long, only showing up long enough to tease the senses.

As I considered how many cigars I could fit into my camping pack, the second quarter began, with compost flavors taking over both in the mouth and through the nose. The compost flavor, as I experience it, is one of extremely rich earth. Compost is like a clarified version of what most experience as earth in the flavor profile of a cigar. It tastes deep, bright, sweet, tart, and just a little musty and provides a slight tingle on your palate or through your nose that is neither pepper nor spice. If you’ve ever walked through the forest in the early spring kicking up leaves which were left exposed by the recently thawed snow, you’ll know this flavor instantly. It is totally intoxicating and absolutely delicious.

By the time the second quarter ended and the third began, dark chocolate and earth had re-emerged as the dominant flavor, the compost slinking into the background to support them. The smoke became very rich as the chocolate flavor gave way to the return of coffee and light caramel.

When the finish began, the profile had changed slightly to display earth and a definitive tobacco flavor with bitter coffee flavors creeping in every so often. The finish was long and tasty, but the previous three quarters outshone it, in my opinion.

I really enjoyed this smoke and I believe that I would not hesitate to pick up another. The flavor profile was complex, rich, and delicious, offering tons of earth, coffee, compost, and chocolate flavors with some supporting caramel throughout. What a great way to start off a month of freedom: smoking a top notch cigar, and looking forward to smoking my way through the month.


Presentation: 9/10 – The way that this stick is displayed is probably one of the nicest presentations I’ve seen. The design of the band is excellent, displaying Nestor Miranda’s signature in red over a grey background with the “20 Aniversario” displayed below over a black background. These two stripes are bordered at the top and bottom of the band by shiny orange strips. Simple, beautiful, elegant, and artful.

Appearance: 9/10 – This cigar looks great. The wrapper is seamless, oily, toothy, and displays a rich and dark color. It lost a single point because there was a small black blotch on mine.

Construction: 29/35 – Overall, I thought the construction on this cigar was pretty good. The draw was relatively good but bordered on being tight, the burn was very uneven but I never had to touch it up, and the pack felt firm and consistent.

Flavor: 43/45 – The flavor of this cigar was excellent. I found myself entranced by the complex and delectable flavors that shared the flavor profile throughout the experience. The taste of the Danno Dark has me really looking forward to sampling the Danno Rosado.

Overall: 90/100 – This cigar really delivered for me. It did lose a few points on construction, but the issues weren’t detrimental and the sensory experience is what really makes this cigar. From the appearance to the pre-light aroma to the complex flavor profile, the Nestor Miranda 20 Aniversario Danno Oscuro delivers the goods.


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