Mederos Fifty 3

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Mederos Fifty 3

Mederos Fifty 3 - 1

Mederos Fifty 3 - 2Brand: Mederos
Blender: Carlos Mederos
Vitola: Fifty 3 (Torpedo)
Ring Gauge: 52
Length: 6.125
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo (Jalapa)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Origin: Nicaragua
MSRP: Unknown
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.


Mederos Fifty 3 - 3

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.

First Third:

Mederos Fifty 3 - 4

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.

Second Third:

Mederos Fifty 3 - 5

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.

Final Third:

Mederos Fifty 3 - 6

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.

Final Thoughts:

Mederos Fifty 3 - 7

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.

enjoying cigars since 2005

20 thoughts on “Mederos Fifty 3

  1. Thanks for the review. I was looking forward to trying one of these but now that you said it i’ll gladly pass…….one of my bigger pet peeves with cigars is that “pain” in the throat that you speak of! great review brotha.

  2. I’m very sorry to hear of your experiences with Mederos Cigars, Walt.

    I know Dave Levy and he was kind enough to pass me a bunch of samples before they “premiered” at IPCPR in August and the cigars treated me pretty well. I personally tested a few torpedos–the size I always test with a new brand simply because it’s the hardest to roll–and I was able to smoke them to the nub with no problems. While by no means would I say it’s the best new cigar out there, it was definitely enjoyable for me and with no after effects like a sore throat.

    I don’t know if you’ve had any interaction with Dave, but he’s a great guy and he’s very much willing to listen to what others have to say, so maybe it’s worth you contacting him and having a chat.

  3. Walt – Nice review. Its always great to get another opinion.

    I’ll have to admit that my experience was mixed but after the 8 I’ve smoked, I’m more towards Lindsay’s opinion. The first pair I had were really great! Then the 3 that followed were along your experience and then they rebounded for the final 3. So like I said, a mixed experience that could go either way.

  4. Nice review. I always hate getting a cigar that just doesn’t taste right to me. It will be interesting to read what everyone else thinks about the cigar, if they have had it.

    I have never had these, yet. Still waiting on my Twitter winnings, so I may have a chance to try them sometime.


    Way to take one for the team 🙂

  5. This cigar sounds horrible. I allways hate the last inch or so of a cigar that gets hot, but sometimes grind it out because the flavor is so good, this one has that feeling through the entire cigar! I give you credit man for sticking it out for the reviews.

  6. It’s weird how some cigars can do that to your throat huh? And it’s not like your sick or getting sick with a cold or something, it’s just that the stick just tends to interact with you that way. I mean we’ve all had cigars that may have irritated us from too much spice, but that has the potential to be a good thing as we smoke down the stick. When it’s just a dry and unpleasant taste then whats the point of smoking it? Thanks for the review Walt!

  7. Sucks how now I’m back to being torn about this cigar LOL! Walt’s review was good but scared me from this stogie and then Lindsays n Cruz’s was the opposite……….hmmm…….I’ll have to find myself one and check for myself.

    Walt- I’m not sure if you noticed but today the Viaje exclusivo jar gave me a sore throat and I’ve had it all day. I’ve been smoking for many many years and I’ve never gotten it from a cigar. Of course the first cigar that I smoke after reading your review I end up getting it..go figure!

  8. I had a similar smoking experience with a Padron 3000, and talking with my friends one chimed in that it’s unfermented tannins in the tobacco that lead to that dry/harsh taste. Maybe you got a batch with tobacco that wasn’t properly aged? Any thoughts on the tannins thing?

  9. Ive had the Mederos 53 and have to disagree with Walt. I found this cigar to be extreamly enjoyable and with each draw the flavor intensified. Hints of pepper,woody and spice all came to mind. The draw was perfect and the finish was one of the best Ive ever had.This very well could be in my top 5 on my cigar list.
    As the saying goes”you cant please everybody”.

  10. Walt,
    Everyone has an opinion, so here’s mine.
    I’ve smoked for 17 years and like them strong, have just experienced a Mederos 50.
    It smoked clean and smooth to me. The draw was fine and my throat made it through without concern.
    “I’ll have another”
    I’m reminded by a two year old review by Cigar Aficionado Publisher Marvin Shanken,
    he claimed a Hoyo De Monterrey (rating it 93, was the BEST CIGAR he ever smoked) on his next issue
    in the top cigars of 2008, it was not even listed.
    Give Mederos one more round.


  11. Hey Walt, I had a chance to try the Mederos brand at a recent event in Tampa FL at Gaspars Cigar lounge and I have to say the cigar was pretty good! Trust me; I don’t say that about many cigars! The taste was smooth and the construction and the finish were superb. When I find that I am disappointed when I am at the end of a stick, then that’s when I know the cigar was good for me and it wins my vote!

  12. Very thorough review! I wish I had the knack to disect a cigar so well! However, I have to agree with Leslie: The Mederos 53 is a good cigar! I’ve been smoking cigars since 1972, both in Cuba and in the States, and I had my share of good and not so good experiences, but not so with this one. My first Mederos 53 was in November of ’09 and I was so enthused I didn’t hesitate to share samples with some of my friends at the Tampa Cigar Club. They all agreed it was a worthy smoke. I’m sorry to hear your experience was nowhere near ours, but I recommend your readers to try the Mederos 53 and pass their own judgements. As Benji Menendez once told me, “The best cigar is the one you like the best” and everyone have a different taste. Give it a chance and find out whether Walt was on target or it was just a bad batch.

  13. Arter pairing a Mederos Fifty 5 with my favorite single malt(Springbank 21 yr.old.)Ifound the cigar to compliment the scotch perfectly.smooth,flavorful and exceptional.
    i have been smoking cigars for over 35 yrs. and have smoked the all the good,the bad and the horrible.
    This cigar fits in the good range

    Walt,give yhis cigar another try with a good single malt.

  14. Walt,

    I’ve smoked the Mederos fifty 3 and each time found it to be a very good cigar with a medium body flavor. I smoked at diffrent times during the day to assure that the taste was consistent on each occasion. The woody flavor complemented my morning coffee and afternoon glass of red wine. Step back and give it another try and let me know what you think.


  15. Hey Walt, nice review. Thanks for taking one for the team. I have a question for you, of all the comments posted for this review, how many are from the same Url? lol

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