Blender: Carlos Mederos
Vitola: Fifty 3 (Torpedo)
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo (Jalapa)
Purchased From: Samples from Mederos Cigars & Jerry Cruz
The Mederos Fifty line is one that features six sizes, all residing in the fifty ring gauge range. Up until Jerry was kind enough to send me five cigars, I had never heard of the brand. Shortly after receiving my samples from Jerry, I received two more from Mederos directly.
Unlike the average manufacturer, Mederos Cigars offers a website with a wealth of brand information dating all the way back to 1907 when Jose Raul Mederos, grandfather of Carlos Mederos, was born in Cuba. As we progress down the time-line, we learn that present day Mederos Cigars is operated by Carlos Mederos and business partner, David Levy.
Cigars are available in six sizes, including a Fifty 1 (50 x 5.00), Fifty 2 (50 x 6.00), Fifty 3 (52 x 6.125), Fifty 4 (50 x 6.75), Fifty 5 (58 x 5.00), and a Limited Edition Salomon (57 x 7.25). All sizes, with the exception of the Limited Edition Salomon, are packaged in boxes of twenty-five. The Salomon is packaged in boxes of seven.
After removing my Mederos Cigars Torpedo from its cellophane sleeve, I gave it a once-over for obvious defects. Not seeing anything that would be cause for concern, I removed the foot-band and took a closer look.
What I found was a consistent color and slightly oily sheen from head to foot. The color resembled that of a cup of coffee which had a small amount of creamer added. There were several veins apparent, however, all were small and difficult to detect by feel alone.
When pinched, I was able to find a single hollow spot towards the tapered head. Aside from this flaw at the head, the cigar felt evenly packed with tobacco and presented a firm feel. When handled, the cigar produced a mildly gritty texture, sort of like extra fine sandpaper.
With most of the pre-light inspection complete and no glaring flaws to concern myself with, I moved to cutting my cigar. Once cut, the cold draw produced a mild cedar flavor and a slight resistance. With nothing else to look in to, I began the lighting process.
After a painless toasting and lighting session, I had my Mederos Torpedo evenly lit and producing an ample amount of smoke. The very first puff presented itself with two key flavors, one was that of dry wood and the other immediately made me think of freshly ground black peppercorn.
As I progressed into the first third of my cigar, the flavor seemed to make itself comfortable and settled in for the long haul. Throughout the entire first third, the smoke produced a dry wood flavor with a spiciness through the sinus. This flavor combination was hard on the palate, giving me a weary sort of feeling. The body was medium while the finish was rather dry.
The ash grew to around three-quarters of an inch before dropping unexpectedly. The broken ash has a very sandy kind of texture and completely explodes on the hard table surface which it crashed down on, leaving no solid pieces to clean up. The draw is excellent, providing slight resistance with plenty of thick smoke.
After roughly forty-minutes of smoking, I worked my way into the second-third of my Mederos Fifty 3. The rough flavor profile I experienced in the first-third seemed to amplify considerably and resulted in a scratchy and sore throat. Each puff of smoke passed though the sinuses lead to a slight burning and irritation. All the while, I was beginning to develop an irritated patch on my tongue, much like an overly warm cigar does as it reaches the final inch.
The body picked up, ever so slightly, but remained firmly planted in the medium range. The finish was not as dry as it was at the start of the cigar, but it was most definitely more dry than I prefer in a smoke. The flavors were beginning to get lost in the irritation I was experiencing in my throat. The best I could manage was detecting a dry wood flavor.
The burn line is thin and even while producing a tightly compacted, light colored, ash. Just as in the first-third, the ash remains fairly weak and falls due to a slight bump after growing to roughly three-quarters of an inch in length. The draw remains fantastic while producing plenty of dense smoke.
As I approached the eighty-minute mark, I found myself partially through the final third of my Mederos Fifty 3 Torpedo. The body and finish remained consistent with that of the previous third. The overly aggressive smoke had me feeling as though I was on the ropes. My throat began to feel raw and each puff passed through my sinus created an irritated and burning sensation that lingered.
I struggled to pick out flavors but the irritation in my throat and sinus was simply too great to concentrate. The only flavor I was able to pick out was a very dry wood flavor. While this flavor can be appealing when paired with other flavor elements in a cigar, I believe this taste was simply amplifying my distaste for the cigar. Each puff made me want to take a gulp of water to try and hydrate my palate and wash away the irritation developing on my tongue.
The burn line was thin and even while producing loads of dense smoke. As the cigar grew shorter, it remained cool on both the palate and fingers. The ash which developed on the foot was light in color with a tightly compacted shape. This ash held on firm until reaching about three-quarters of an inch before easily dropping.
After having smoked several samples of the Mederos Fifty 3 and a single Mederos Fifty 1, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I have a strong distaste for this cigar. Each and every sample produced an aggressive smoke that tore up both my throat and sinuses as I smoked. In the event that the cigar was smoked to the nub (as pictured), my sore through continued on to the following day and eliminated my interest in having my nightly cigar.
By the time I reached my third sample, I began dreading smoking more to produce both this written review and a video. I did my best to soldier through the final sample to complete the video but lost all interest and had to give up before hitting the half way mark.
In the cigars credit, it burned beautifully and produced plenty of dense smoke. In terms of burning characteristics and construction, this cigar was an absolute winner. Unfortunately, even with perfect burning conditions, a cigar is not enjoyable unless it tastes good as well. While these cigars may be someone’s favorite, they are not my cup of tea.