Cigar-making genius and proprietor of one of the world's largest cigars factories, Nestor Plasencia's road to success was riddled with turbulence. Like most Cuban exiles of the 1960s era, he holds sharp, bitter memories of the island’s post-Revolution period. And who could blame him. The Plasencia family owned two large areas dedicated to growing wrapper leaf when, on October 3, 1962, at 6 am, they were confiscated by the Castro government. In a moment, their livelihood was gone. Knowing the cigar trade but no longer being able to engage in it or gain profit from it, he and his family sought to leave their island home. It took nearly three years to get permission to leave the country, and when they finally did, they were allowed to take only a few dollars and two changes of clothes. When the family arrived in Nicaragua, they had nothing to rely on except the reputation of Nestor’s father, Sixto Plasencia. After rebuilding the business over a decade, cruel history repeated itself as the Sandinistas expropriated their properties in 1979, of which included 1,000 acres of prime agricultural land.
Bruised but not broken, Nestor rebuilt his business once more, this time based in Honduras. Now after many decades of toil and takeover, Plasencia owns cigar operations that span two countries, with more than 4,500 employees producing 33 million premium hand-rolled cigars per year, all rolled from Cuban-seed tobacco. His Nestor Reserve line offers a rich and robust taste with a wonderful aroma and exquisite construction. Note the beautifully square-pressed shape of this ultra dark brown cigar, rolled with Nicaraguan and Honduran long leaf filler, Cameroon binder and Honduran maduro wrapper. Expect a medium-to-full-bodied cigar that is deeply woody with tons of cedar and even a touch of what seems to be pine. Rated an astounding ’93’ by Cigar Insider. We’re going to give you a list of three suggestions which were all enjoyed by our panel members along with this versatile smoke: 1) a moderately peppery 100% Blue Agave Tequila, 2) a bold imperial stout (such as Victory’s Storm King) or 3) a phenomenal cigar with a phenomenal beer—Anchor Brewing Company’s Our Special Ale, 2004 Vintage—truly magnificent.