This is another one of those cigars that just seem to come out of nowhere. A couple of weeks ago, I had no idea Rocky Patel was even planning on releasing a double maduro. Most of my attention was focused on the new NUb cigars and the Camacho 10th Anniversary Corojo. (Neither of which I’ve had yet, dang it.) And then one day I was browsing the posts over at CigarLive and stumbled on a thread about this new cigar. One of the guys had scored some in a sampler and loved it.
That clinched it. I’d never heard of it and it sounded great. I had to review it. The problem is, how to get my hands on them. The only place that has them, Cigars International, has them all on back order. But with a little dumb luck, I scored a sampler off of Cigar Bid that included some. Now let’s see if it was worth the hassle.
Size: 6 1/2 x 52
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Looks loose, but the draw tended to be tight
The first thing I noticed when I pulled these cigars out of the shipping box was that they are definitely not as dark as the pictures online show them. Not even close. They looked so much different that I actually went back and verified that I bought the right smokes.
With that initial surprise aside, it was time for a closer look at the cigar. The wrapper was a very mottled combination of dark and lighter browns, which probably accounts for the unexpected lightness of the cigar. Against this colorful background, the dual green and gold bands contrast nicely. Then I noticed the “Fusion MM” on the band. Does that mean “maduro maduro”, I wondered? Or did I just get some other version of the RP Fusion? Back once more to the website to verify I’m not crazy.
Having now doubly checked that I got the right cigar, I proceeded with my discussion. I also noticed how perfectly round the cigars seem. That isn’t to say that there weren’t prominent veins. There definitely were big thick ones covering the cigars. But as a whole, the cigars visually appeared to be flawlessly round. Each cigar was also nicely firm, with one exception. I did find a soft spot right at the end of the first third in one cigar.
The wrapper had a nice chocolaty barnyard aroma, but I noticed something faintly synthetic in the scent. Something a bit unnatural. After clipping the pruning the cap nicely with my cigar scissors I tested the cold taste. I got an interesting savory molasses flavor.
I found the draw in these cigars to a bit on the tight side. A little more than I prefer, but very smokable. And generally speaking the cigars burned evenly, or within a comfortable margin of error.
As it turns out, that soft spot I noted earlier foreshadowed a re-light point in that cigar. And it went out again at the beginning of the final third. I didn’t have that trouble with the other cigars I smoked for this review.
I really did get noticeably different smoking experiences in the different cigars, so I’m going to focus on what they had in common. The first third was a great combination of creamy coffee, earth and chocolate. Interestingly, in the cigar that didn’t abruptly go at the end of the first third, the flavor just seemed to disappear. It almost tasted like the funky tap water. (I have to also note at this point I got beef jerky in one of the cigars too. Yeah, I know.)
At the beginning of the second third things took a turn for the worse when I tasted paint thinner in both cigars. It was only there for a couple of puffs, but it was really unpleasant. The rest of that third was all about creamy leather, chocolate and pockets of cinnamon. The final third finished out with a lot of creamy leather and dark chocolate.
By the end of each cigar, I noticed I was getting a fair amount of ammonia in the flavor and it started to irritate my throat. It was considerably worse in the cigar I photographed for this review. This prompted me to put it out to pasture a bit earlier than I usually do.
I noted above that the cigar goes for around $8, which is the per stick price if you buy them one at a time. The price comes in at closer to $7 if you buy them by the box. While that is a reasonable price for a good cigar, it seems to be a little high in this case.
I get the very distinct impression that this cigar was rushed. A lot. I haven’t encountered that much chemically, ammonia flavor in a cigar in a long time. I suspect that in the hurry to get these to market, some corners were cut in the fermentation process of the tobacco.
I’m probably giving you the distinct impression that I hated the cigar. I didn’t. In fact, when the chemical flavors weren’t present, it was a very tasty cigar. In fact, if those flavors didn’t appear, I’d give it a solid thumbs up. Perhaps with a little age, the remaining cigar will become a good smoke. I really don’t like the idea of having to age a cigar to make it smokable, but I don’t plan to smoke it anytime soon. Here’s hoping the next batch of these smokes will be made of tobacco that’s a bit better fermented.
Liked It: Yes and no
Buy It Again: I’ll wait a while
Recommend It: Not now
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.