This week’s cigar is one I’ve really been looking forward to smoking for some time. I was lucky enough to pick one of these high MSRP smokes at last years RTDA, but I’ve been putting off smoking it until I could pick up another and give it a proper review. Finally, after looking around for a deal for nearly a year, I’ve finally been able to acquire a few more without completely demolishing my wallet.
As the story goes, Daniel Nunez stashed around 100 bales of tobacco leaf about 15 years ago without a clear plan in mind for the tobacco. Sometime between 1992 and 2007 he determined to that this geriatric tobacco was destined to wrap a new cigar called Stradivarius de los Maestros. Around 100,000 of these cigars will be produced each year, with a new 15 year old leaf being used in each following year.
Well that just about covers it. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get down to business.
Size: 5 1/2 x 50
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Price: MSRP $32 ($323 per box of 10)
No expense was spared in terms of the visual presentation of these smokes. Each cigar comes in it’s own cedar, slip-apart coffin complete with a wax seal and a ribbon. Sliding the coffin apart, I was a little disappointed to find the cigar sheathed in cellophane. If ever there was a cigar that should be protected in some sort of ornamental paper, this was the cigar. From a visual perspective, I’d have to say I less impressed with this cigar than, say, the similarly entombed Camacho Liberty. It just seems like it’s trying too hard.
With the many layers of decoration removed, the cigar is visually nice to look at. The elderly wrapper is very light in color (Colorado Claro as it’s often referred to) and free of large veins, patches and smooth. The cigars were hard to the touch, however one did have a noticeably softer to the touch. The wrapper scent was a very mild, slightly sweet compost. The cold taste was a little hard to read, it seemed to be a little creamy with a slight sweet berry flavor.
The burn was the first place that I realized the ornate appearance of the unlit cigar wasn’t necessarily going to translate to a superior smoking experience. Right off the bat, both cigars had an pretty uneven burn. In one case, the ash split and flaked a bit. Hoping that it was just a lighting mistake, I continued to monitor the burn. The burn line did improve some, but continued to be uneven for the remainder of both smokes.
Aside from the initial instability of one cigar, the draw was good and the ash was generally solid, though not stable enough to hold more than about a 3/4 inch ash. Both cigars went out in the second third, and the second cigar refused to remain lit in the final third.
Here again is another cigar that’s creamy from start to finish. (I seem to be finding a lot of these cigars recently.) The first couple of puffs presented me with a nice combination of creaminess, nuts, a little bit of aromatic cedar an just a bit of cinnamon. The creamy, nutty flavors continued throughout the first third. But in one cigar, the creaminess had a dustiness to it, in the other, it took on a more savory, buttery flavor. At the end of the first third, I noticed a light coffee sweetness to the the flavor.
The second third saw an appearance of a flavor I could do without: ash. Unfortunately, this ashy flavor wasn’t a momentary visitor, it was there to stay. The unusual flavor had me looking at the cigar several times to make sure I had not accidentally set the head of the cigar down a stray pile of ash. Aside from the unpleasant ash flavor, I also noticed some earthiness and cinnamon an a little bit of wood.
I wasn’t able to get much of a read of the final third for one cigar, as it wouldn’t remain lit, however in one cigar I did get another bit of sweet raisiny sweetness in addition the the creamy, ashy flavor. Just before the end, I did get a little bit of spice also.
Lunacy! I can appreciate the expense of maintaining tobacco in ideal conditions for 15 years, but it was only the wrapper that was maintained for such a long duration of time. Compare the price of this to the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990, which boasts of a comparatively youthful 12 year old wrapper. The difference in prices between these cigars is more than $20! Admittedly, the Vintage 1990 doesn’t travel in the same cedar-boxed style as the Stradivarius, but does that first class ticket equate to a paper portrait of Andrew Jackson? In my opinion no.
I’ve seen a few reviews around the net while I’ve been awaiting my turn to weigh in on the cigar. The verdict seems to be mixed. I’ve seen some good and some bad thoughts on the cigar. But the general consensus seems to be that it’s way over priced. I withheld judgment until I had a chance to check out the cigar. Hey, you never know, it could have been such an outstanding smoke that it overwhelmed my generally frugal nature and had me thinking about buying a box. (I cant really claim to be all that frugal when it comes to cigars, but you know what I mean.) It’s safe to say I wasn’t in any way overwhelmed.
But as you’ve probably guessed, I wasn’t wowed by the flavor or the burn of this cigar. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t find it very enjoyable either. I really could have done without that ashy flavor that seemed to dominate both cigars. And I gotta say, that this did not have the burn of a $30 cigar. It may be a little nit-picky, but a super premium cigar should have a super premium burn. I’ve seen better on a cigar a sixth of the price. So as a result, I can say I don’t plan on buying any more, and I can’t recommend it.
Liked It: Not very much
Buy It Again: No
Recommend It: No
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.
19 thoughts on “Stradivarius De Los Maestros Robusto Major”
Another overrated, and overpriced cigar bites the dust. I can say that the Padron 80th was definitely $35.00 well spent! Now that’s a real cigar compared to this over hyped Macanudo Vintage 2000, I mean Stradivarius! (Connecticut Shade wrapper, Mexican San Andres and Cuban seed Dominican Piloto filler.) Hmmmm?
Funny….my B&M has a buy one get one free going right now because no one is buying them.
I saw these at the B&M, was tempted, but glad I passed.
THANK YOU BRIAN!
You don’t know how many times I’ve been in a shop, see these and think how nice those individual wooden boxes are and I start to hear that “buy me, buy me” voice.
Now, when I hear that voice, I can say “voice, STFU!”
I’m with Jerry and donkey on this one. I always think “am I missing something by not trying that cigar?” Based on your review and the reviews of others, I don’t think I am. BTW, my B&M sells them for $40 but you do get another cigar for free. I don’t know which free cigar you get because I was too busy crapping my pants at the $40 price tag and didn’t hear the name of the other cigar. Anyway, thanks Brian for doing the dirty (expensive) work for us.
Great review Brian… I had the chance to smoke one of these in the Luxary Ratings I did For Cigar Mag and I like you wasn’t impressed at all…
If I’m paying $30 for a cigar I want to be wowed… I wasn’t. I don’t even know how they are going to market this cigar to make anyone buy these.
I’m so happy that I got to bennefit from your misfortune, as bad as that sounds. My cigar monkey can now get off my back once again due to the friendly people at stogie review setting me straight.
I was given one of these awhile ago. While it was “OK” I have to agree with this review. Garbage…
After reading all these comments, I feel like I should have written “This has been a public service announcement, compliments of the Stogie Review.” LOL
I’m still working on the Padron 80th angle. Never had one yet, but the word I keep hearing is that it’s an excellent cigar, but too expensive to enjoy very often. I probably will through the cash down for it eventually- God knows I rather spend $35 on a Padron than another Stradivarius.
Jon and Mike-
I keep hearing stuff like this. They just don’t move. People are onto ’em now, and nobody’s willing to pony up the big cash for a lack luster smoke, unless it something else is thrown in.
When that voice pipes up again, make sure you’re standing in front of the Padron 80ths with a box in your hand and a shipping label with my address. LOL
Anyway guys, glad I could keep you from making a costly mistake! For those of you who haven’t already, that is. For those of you who have, I share your pain!
I’m extremely dubious of the “aged tobacco” story. It’s a marketing ploy that obviously still has some play in it, and I expect we’ll be hearing it again. But the truth is in the smoking, and here it is. Thanks for taking the plunge!
What’s you’re address and I’ll send a Padron 80th your way! It’s a great smoke!
I had one of these in the lonsdale size given me as a gift. I liked it better than you liked the robusto (didn’t have the burn problems and I enjoyed the creamy-vanilla-spice flavor). Having said that, I agree that there are better choices if you’re going to spend $30 on one stick. I thought the flavor reminded me of the Punch Gran Cru, which I can get 3 or 4 of for that price.
Seems like a stick which should have been sold during the boom years.
I can buy a bundle of quality sticks for that insane price, I smell blowout down the road……..
These bad boys are expensive…
Very helpful, Thanks!
Damn! I just received one of these this last Christmas. I wanted to check out some reviews before I lit it up…At least I won’t get my hopes up now.
havent smoked the strat yet but have had the padron 1926 80, if you can find em the 1964 family reserve no.45 is a far superior flavor smoke than the 80-n the 80 is just a bit toooo strong the 45 or 40 for that matter hit the flavor on the nose-as for the strat ill let it sit for 20 years or so and maybee then it will be a gem that no one cared for now but will then-wishful thinkking-
I’ve smoked too many excellent $5.00 cigars to be taken in by this status-pandering marketing ploy. Thanks, Brian. You just saved a bunch of us guys some serious bucks.
It is way over price at 30+ a pop but now it is down to about 90-100 a box. It is actually not a bad buy.