In seven years, Mariana and Nestor Miranda have turned the Miami Cigar Company into a highly respected cigar production and distribution player in the tobacco industry. High school sweethearts from the town of Holguín, Cuba, the Mirandas fled their homeland in the years following Fidel Castro's rise to power. Nestor left for the United States in 1962, when he enlisted in the Army and was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Talk about a serious change of scenery! Mariana left Cuba the following year and settled with relatives in Madrid, Spain. For a while the Mirandas' relationship was tested by the distance, but when Mariana emigrated to California in 1964, Nestor traveled across the country to find her and they later formed a business relationship as well that's proven highly successful.
That the Mirandas' cigar business is a success is not unusual, especially in the wake of the recent cigar boom. What is unusual is that the couple, who are both 53, began the business when the industry wasn't yet exploding. In 1989, premium cigar sales were flat. While other companies in the cigar industry were filing for bankruptcy or downsizing, the Mirandas launched their firm. The Florida-based business nationally distributes cigars made in Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Spain. A modern-day success story, Miami Cigar began as a small, two-person firm in 1989, distributing just 40,000 cigars that year. That number rose to 3.1 million for 1995, thanks largely to the success of its flagship Honduran and Dominican Don Lino brands.
The Havana Reserve by Don Lino is a unique blend of Dominican long fillers that have been aged 5 years in a temperature controlled humidor. Reviewed as having full and rich complex flavors, the line is offered in both a U.S.A. Connecticut Shade wrapper as well as a U.S.A. Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper. We preferred the claro wrapper slightly to the maduro so you'll have the opportunity to try two cigars with CT shade claro wrappers and one within the maduro line. The brand is known for its mild-to-medium-bodied creamy taste and consistently smooth flavors. Each Don Lino cigar is aged in a cedar room for 3 months to mellow, harmonize and mature the cigar.
Miami Cigar has only just recently released the maduro line in August 1998. Having been reviewed favorably from its inception, this little smoke is tough to come by at this point in time so you'll want to savor it. Our panel was extremely excited about these smokes, giving the Perfecto # 2 featured this month as high a rating as any cigar we've featured to date. They found the line to be solid through and though and think you're really going to be happy with them as well. Enjoy!
For more information about the Don Lino Havana Reserve line, call the Miami Cigar Co. at 800-643-7209.