The Flor de Selva No. 15 Maduro is the first offering that I have smoked form Maya Selva cigars. To be perfectly honest, I was not familiar with Maya Selva before our friend Gabriel Alvarez joined them back in August. Gabriel will be joining us on CigarChat this week, so keep an eye out for that.
According to their website, Maya Selva cigars currently has three core lines:
For the purposes of this review, we're going to talk about the Flor de Selva No. 15 Maduro
Flor de Selva No. 15 Maduro
Size: 5.5 x 54
Wrapper: Jamastrán, Honduras - naturally aged maduro
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Honduran & Brazilian
Samples for review provided by Maya Selva Cigars
Note: I used the CigarFederation Rating System
Pre-Light: This was a good looking cigar. The Jamastrán Maduro wrapper had the perfect reddish-brown hue and as you can see in the picture above, it was flawless. The torpedo cap was perfectly formed and the cold draw was smooth. The wrapper smells of cedar and earth while the cold draw offered up notes of milk chocolate and baking spice.
Beginning: The profile was packed with big and rich flavors from the first puff. It had those chewy flavors I look for in a maduro. The retrohale brought the black pepper and earth notes along with some mild cocoa. At the one-inch mark notes of chocolate and nuts distinguished themselves and took control. The balance of sweet, earth and spice was perfect and the smoke was thick.
As I progressed through the first third, the black pepper grew on the retro and threatened to take over. But it seemed that every time I thought that was going to happen, I was hit with a blast of chocolate sweetness. I was in cigar heaven. The first two inches were almost perfect.
Middle: This got a little spicy in the middle. The black pepper spiked on both the retro and the tongue. For about 10 minutes the spice took over forcing the sweet and nutty notes to take a back seat. This was temporary, but rather enjoyable. I'll equate it to the steep climb of a roller coaster just before the big drop.
End: The pepper smoothed out on the retro. The flavor of black pepper was still there, but the spice was not as prominent. This gave the Flor de Selva a profile that was amazingly rich and smooth. The flavors stayed consistent throughout the final portion and the strength kicked up to a medium-plus.
Final Thoughts: This Flor de Selva No. 15 Maduro is a game changer. It reminded me of the first time I smoked a Liga Privada No. 9. In fact, I might even like the Flor de Selva better. I'm not sure that is a fair comparison since the blends are different, but the experience was similar. The balance and complexity of flavor was nothing short of spectacular ("They're real... and they're spectacular"). This is a big, bold cigar that would be wasted on a beginner. If you are going to smoke the Flor de Selva No. 15 Maduro, take your time. This cigar deserves to be focused on and savored.
Rating 95 AKA "Box Buy"
This may be my Cigar of the Year.