February 3, 2010

Review: Isla de Cuba Aged Maduro

Tonight's cigar was sent to me in a trade I had with another stogiereview fan forum member.  I love doing cigar trades because you almost always end up with exactly what you were looking for and a few extra surprises.  This Isla de Cuba Aged Maduro was one of those surprises.  To be honest, when I got this cigar, I had never heard of it, so off to Google I went for some information.  Isla De Cuba is another Florida-based manufacturer that set up shop in 2008. President Darryl Lieser says that the brand is based on the legendary 1956 Montecristo No. 3 (quote taken from The Stogie Guys).  I've never smoked the "legendary 1956 Montecristo No. 3" or this cigar, so I was in for something new.

Specifics (taken from Stogie Review)
Vitola: Belicoso
Length: 6.125
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan
Binder: Honduras
MSRP: Approx. $6.70
Smoking Location: House of Cigar, Columbus, Ohio
Beverage: Pepsi


The first thing that stands out when going over my pre-lit at my Isla de Cuba Aged Maduro is the really dry, dark wrapper.  This cigar has one of the darkest, smoothest maduro wrappers I've seen in awhile and shows almost no oil or shine. Pinching the cigar from head to foot, I was a bit concerned because it had almost no give. This thing was solid as a rock and there was absolutely no aroma coming off the cigar which made me think that this stick might have dried out at one time in it's life.  After clipping the head, I was pleasantly surprised that the draw was quite free. The cigar still had no taste on the cold draw, but at least I knew once it was lit I would be able to puff on it.

First Third

I put my triple flame torch to the foot and, right from the start, the burn was very even and produced a lot of smoke. All my fears were put to rest, as the draw on the cigar was close to perfect. The initial flavors coming from the smoke were of a nice sweet tobacco mixed with espresso and a hint of  mild spice.  The finish had a slight bitter bite to it, but did not last long and played nicely on my taste buds. I would say the body of the cigar was a mild to mild-medium at this point.

Second Third

At the end of the first third and the start of the second third is where the Isla de Cuba Aged Maduro showed it's true colors.  The flavors had switched up from the espresso and spice into a mild cocoa and an extremely rich cream.  Although the cocoa flavors was certainly there, they were well over-powered by the cream flavor that coated my mouth before drying off with that small bitter bite. The body on the cigar was still a mild medium but with the added cream it became much more relaxing.

Final Third and Final Thoughts

Like I said in the above portion of the review, the true colors of the Isla de Cuba Aged Maduro really showed then and continued into the final third the same way.  The flavors were exactly the same with mild cocoa and rich cream right until the nubbing point.  The burn was still as perfect as when first light and the volume of smoke never changed. The only part of the cigar that did change in the final third was the body ramped up a bit more into the medium to a slight medium-full.  Still very relaxing and not to the point of a nicotine buzz or anything like that.

All in all, I was pretty happy with this experience. Going into smoking a cigar without knowing anything about it  is not always a treat. I've taken some risks in the past with cigars I have no knowledge of and it has bit me hard.  I'm happy to say this was not the case with the Isla de Cuba Aged Maduro.

Would I buy it again? I would buy this cigar again if I found a 5-pack discount or single sticks on sale. It's a nice mild-to-medium body cigar with construction that doesn't require much attention. At $6.70 a stick, I think it's a bit overpriced. If I got more in a trade sometime I'd be happy.

Would I buy a box? Only if heavily discounted



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