Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Siglo Reserve Maduro

Hello friends of Rocky’s! My name is David Huber and I’m going to be blogging here regularly with cigar and tobacco reviews as well as keeping you up to date with the latest at Rocky’s Newsstand. I’ve been a pipes and cigars enthusiast for several years now and I love smoking, learning, and talking about tobacco.

That being said, let’s get to it!

As you may have heard, a few weeks ago there was a Siglo event at Rocky’s celebrating the new Siglo Maduro Limited Reserve line. I’d heard good things about this new blend and was anxious to give it a try. The week of the event, I wound up going out of town, but I was not to be deterred! When I got back, I headed over to Rocky’s and picked up two Siglo Maduro Limited Reserve VIs. The stats of the cigar are as follows:

Cigar: Siglo Limited Reserve VI
Size: 6 x 54
Shape: Robusto
Origin: Nicaraguan
Body: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Cubano
Binder: Broadleaf (Nicaragua)
Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaraguan
Rocky’s Price: $7

When I got them home, I immediately pulled one out to have a look. The wrapper was dark and oily, with a beautiful sheen to it and rough to the touch. The wrapper didn’t appear toothy, but it certainly felt that way. The construction felt solid but open. I put it to my nose to get a sense of what the cigar may be like and I smelled rich earth and chocolatey notes with what seemed like some light fruit. Almost raisiny. This guy had some promise.

I snipped the end and gave it the prelight draw test and, let me tell you that once I drew on it, any doubts I may have had (and those were already few, if any) were crushed. I was certain this cigar was going to be a phenomenal smoke, and, as you’ll see, I was right.

Prelight, I got the sense that there was a lot of natural sugar in the blend and the raisiny taste I sensed when I smelled the wrapper and the foot was dominant. The taste reminded me initially of Verdadero Organic. I could not wait to light this guy!

I pulled out my Xikar torch, toasted the foot, and got to lighting. First light experience was heaven, with the gentle taste of sweet earth taking dominance.

In the first quarter of the cigar, I tasted a lot of fruit and earth with some background flower notes that I really enjoyed. When exhaled through the nose I got a brief glimpse of, what seemed to me to be, brandy, but it was gone almost as soon as it was experienced. As the cigar burned on, I noticed that I predominantly tasted the sweet earth I had experienced on first light, and I really liked it. Occasionally, the earth or raisin taste would take a dominant role but would fall back again to mingle with the other. By the time I got to the third quarter of the stick, I started to get some leather notes as the cigar began to build in intensity. I’d say that it was about this time that the fruity raisin taste began to abate and I started tasting predominant earthy leathery tobacco excellence. The cigar also tunneled a little bit. I let it go out, cleared the ash and relit with relative ease. The cigar righted itself, and I was back in business! I was surprised to taste the raisin again, but this time it was mostly raisin and leather I was experiencing, with the earth as a supporting flavor. I also began to experience some very light spice at about this time.

Once I had the cigar burning well again, the earth returned and began to take over. The last quarter of this cigar was awesome! It became very earthy and lightly spicy. When I exhaled through the nose at this point, I was almost overwhelmed by the spicyness of the smoke, but the spice was mostly a background experience when only experienced through the mouth. I swear, once or twice when I exhaled through my nose, I tasted dirt. But good dirt. More like smelling rich soil than falling face first into a puddle of mud. I mean this in the most positive way.

This finish was long and excellent and I honestly did not want to put this stick down. When it got down to where I couldn’t hold it any more, less risk a trip to the emergency room for burns, I grabbed one of my big bowled pipes and tried to stick the nub in. Unfortunately, this experiment failed as the bowl of the pipe wasn’t big enough to accommodate the nub of the cigar and I had to lay it to rest. Thank goodness there are more of these!

I smoked my second one the next day while I was at Rocky’s. I was more willing to put it down when it got to the end, but I was still very satisfied by the experience.

On both cigars, the burn was pretty even. I had a run and a tunnel on the first one, but the run fixed itself and the tunnel was easily fixed and neither compromised the experience. The second stick seemed to burn more evenly with few, if any issues from first light to the end. The tobacco burned down to a grey ash with some black spots in places, so the aesthetic experience was mildly compromised, but, honestly, who cares when the cigar tastes this good?

The only thing I was surprised by was, based on the prelight aroma, that I didn’t notice a lot of chocolate or cocoa when smoking. Has anyone else tried this cigar and had a different sensory experience? Please share!

On the whole, I have to recommend this cigar. If you like a complex, sweet, gently spicy, earthy, leathery cigar, then the Siglo Maduro Limited Edition is one stick you have GOT to try. Fortunately for me, Rocky’s has got them in stock.

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