Sunday, August 10, 2008

SIZE: 6.5 X 52 (Toro)
WRAPPER: Dominican (maduro)
TOBACCO: Dominican & Nicaraguan
Price: $8 to $11

This cigar was one of the bigger disappointments I've had in a while. It tasted like leather, a little spongy (despite being stored in low RH) with a tight draw. It was strong, but not spicy and not very flavorful. Its appearance wasaverage, with a somewhat splotchy-looking wrapper.

Here's the PR spin on this cigar (which just goes to tell you not to believe everything you read):

MATASA stands for Manufactura de Tabacos, S.A., which is a factory begun in 1974 by Manuel Quesada in Santiago, DR. The Quesada family worked in Cuba for several generations, not as cigar-makers, but as tobacco leaf brokers. They settled in the DR after being forced out of Cuba at gunpoint by the Communists. The MATASA factory is today best-known for producing the many varieties of Fonseca cigars (they also make the bulk of JR alternatives).

The MATASA 30th Anniversary cigar by Fonseca was created to celebrate the founding of the company. Introduced in 2005, about 30,000 cigars were produced and promptly received the Robb Report honor "Best of the Best 2006". The wrappers are choice maduro leaf ("high priming Olor Dominicano" from the Cibao Valley), and the filler tobacco is aged over 10 years. Quesada described it as "the finest of old, noble leaf so that we would have the depth of some of the choicest aged Cuban-seed tobaccos, but without the hardened strength."

Padilla Hybrid Robusto
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuador (hybrid of a cuban-seed and a Connecticut seed)
Filler: Nicaragua, DR, Peru
Price: $3.50

At first, I wasn't sure I'd like this cigar. It had a light-brown wrapper with a faint,tart pre-light flavor. I couldn't tell if the tartness was just a property of this unique wrapper, or an indication of a young cigar with too much ammonia.But it burned very well for the better part of an hour, and held a terrific ash. Mild to medium, but gains in complexity as it burns. Paired with a lager, but I think it would go better with a single malt. I think with some aging this could be an excellent everyday cigar that would also hold up well on special occasions.

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