Up for review this week is a cigar that’s anything but new, and conspicuously petite in the face of the ongoing large ring gauge craze, the Leon Jimenes Corona No. 4 Maduro. You might wonder why, with all the new releases hitting the shelves this time of year I’d decide to burn something that’s been around for as long as the Leon Jimenes has been. It boils down to an impulse buy, and Jerry beating me to the review of the new CAO OSA.
Since the Leon Jimenes Maduro has been on the market since 2001, we’ll keep the introduction short and sweet. This stick is the Brazilian maduro-wrapped version of the cigar that La Aurora has making for decades. (Since 1987 to be exact.) Once upon a time, a pretty popular smoke, but now one that’s not mentioned all that often. When you find them in a cigar shop, and it is a little harder to do these days, they’ll be in boxes of 25 in any number of the following sizes: No. 2 (7 1/2 x 50), No. 4 (5 5/8 x 42), Robusto (5 1/2 x 50), Belicoso (6 1/4 x 52) or Toro (6 3/8 x 48).
Ten years is a good run for any cigar line, many don’t last half as long. Let’s see if we can determine the secret to its longevity.
Size: 5 5/8 x 42
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 1 1/4 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $5.60
If I didn’t already know that these cigars were maduros, I might not have guessed it to look at them. Despite the pictures and flattering descriptions you see some places online, the Leon Jimenes Maduro seems to be only slightly darker than its Connecticut-wrapped brother. Color aside, the wrapper leaf was a little on the rustic side, with twisted veins that at times protruded from the leaf, and intermittent water spots, and in some cases, sporadic tooth. With the exception of the spots, there were no other visual flaws.
I did notice, however, a little inconsistency in the feel of the cigars. For the most part they were very firm to the touch, but often felt noticeably softer just below the cap. The wrapper had a sweet compost aroma, and the cold draw produced a grassy, raisin-like sweetness.
Whatever issues the cigars may have had in the pre-light inspection, they burned flawlessly. Long, solid ashes, even burn lines, and a perfect draw. The only time I had to relight one was when I was distracted and let the cigar go out.
The Leon Jimenes No. 4 Maduro was pretty straight forward in the flavor department, but there was some complexity to it as well. It began with earthy chocolate, grass and peppery cedar notes, and ended on a similar, but more chocolaty profile. During the second third there was some light creamy caramel for a while, and toward the end, the cigar burned a little hot. Otherwise, the profile was much the same throughout.
The price is very reasonable.
I think I’ve determined the secret to the Leon Jimenes Maduro’s long life: it’s a solid stick with no pretenses and good combination of Brazilian maduro and Dominican flavors. It’s not the fullest when it comes to body, and it’s not going to appeal to people who prefer their filler to be a fifty-fifty mix of gun powder and ligero, but it’s worth trying if you enjoy Brazilian tobacco. All the indications seem to be that this line is in its twilight years, so if you’re interested in trying them, you better do so soon.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Probably
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.