Friday, December 21, 2007

Cusano 18 Paired Maduro

Cusano 18 Paired Maduro robusto
$5.50 (B&M), Size: 5", Ring: 50
Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper, Dominican binder, Brazilian and Dominican fillers

I like Cusano cigars, and I like the Hendrick Kelner blends that I've had so far, and so paying a little extra didn't bother me at the time. The 18 Paired Maduro is a hearty blend of tobaccos that include three wrapper-quality tobaccos: the Connecticut Broadleaf maduro jacketing the cigar, Brazilian Mata Fina maduro and Dominican Oro tobaccos in the filler. The results are sufficiently delicious enough to garner an 89 rating from Cigar Aficianado.

The Paired Maduro's firm wrapper has a light chocolate color with a reddish cast, like pin oak leaves. The surface is moderately veined, with a toothy texture, and burned a bit lopsided, needing correction after a couple inches. That may be due to that fact I was smoking the cigar on my afternoon commute from the studios to the house, au pied, 41&deg and a slight breeze.

After punching the irregular triple cap, the draw gave little resistance, to the point of being too loose. Once smoldering had commenced, the draw opened up even more, then closed a little halfway into the cigar, but was always felt loose. So, I tried to smoke it gingerly, trying not to overdraw and get a harsh burn. As for the ash, it was a flakey, tan/grey color, and dropped off after and inch or so.

Ahh, now we get to the flavors: take a Cusano CC, a Cusano MC, and an Occidental Reserve Double Broadleaf, and smoke them all at once.

The 18 Paired Maduro starts boldly with the sharp, woody taste of the Cusano CC and the rounder body of the Cusano MC. A nice spice starts subtly in the second inch and grows bolder and peppery as you smoke towards the band. All the while, you taste a familiar smooth finish on the palate that I've come to associate with these Kelner-blended cigars.

I enjoyed the taste of the cigar very much, though the smoking of it was a bit of work, and the price was a bit steep. If I can get them cheaper, and the construction issues better, I wouldn't mind smoking the 18 Paired Maduro again.

Other, more thorough reviews are at Keepers of the Flame and Stogie Review.

No comments: