Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

1/21/16

Kafie 1901 Don Fernando Maduro - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
I like grits. I'm as surprised as you are. Assuming you are moderately surprised. I'm actually a big porridge fan. It sets well with my weak gut. I think I'll next try them 'Charleston Style' -- made with milk. Although I have trouble cooking my oatmeal in milk, as it always seems to burn. Now Malt-o-Meal in milk: Batamt! Ask yer bubbe to make you some.

Where was I? Oh...
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THE CIGAR
Kafie 1901
Don Fernando Maduro
5 x 50 Robusto
Nicaraguan Cuban Seed Habano
Honduran binder / Nicaraguan & Dominican fillers

"This blend was created using a 5-6 year aged Cuban Seed Habano wrapper grown in Nicaragua and aged in our factory in Honduras. Binder and filler are aged 3-4 years. Don't let the darkness of the wrapper give you the impression that this is a full body cigar. The blend itself is proprietary and we can not go into too much detail. The tobacco used in our cigars are 100% naturally grown, and naturally aged. The flavor profile is robust and complex, yet its interpretation comes across very balanced. This cigar can be enjoyed by all cigar smokers. Like the foundation of any great structure, consider this blend the foundation of the Kafie 1901 Cigars line up." - from www.KafieCigars.com
PRE-LIGHT
It was a dark and stormy...cigar? Black label, same Kafie design. violent red embellishment. Gold tone. And a red foot-ribbon. Have I mentioned I'm a big fan of foot-ribbons? 'Cause I is. Stick itself is a a layered dark abysmal of a complexion. Some light marbling over-top. Nice oil-slick sheen over that. There is a dark red or purplish vibe to the thing. There are two substantial veins which run nearly together to span almost the entire offering. Goodly amount of spider web veins. Bumpy wrapper as if stuffings are yearning to breathe free. Seams are clearly visible, perhaps a tick toward loose, and even throughout. Cap is nicely affixed and begging to be bit off. At the other end, tobacco peeks out rather darkly. No high-lights. Dark auburn to brunette. Medium+ density there.

Hand-feel offers the nice balance of a true Robusto. Good oils. A whisper of tooth. The aforementioned veins don't interrupt the hand. I'd not say "Ruffian," but this Kafie seems a tick rakish. Density off a Charmin squeeze shows itself a -firm. Schoz-time! Sweet perhaps fruity barnyard at the shaft. Some stiff leather. At the foot, I get an added oat bran or nutty loaf of whole wheat bread. Some distant spices.

Dry leathers, syrupy dark fruits, and a nice dark roasted coffee come through on the cold pull. Medium+ as far as resistance. Finishes a bit dry on the palate, in an evaporated red wine manner. Very coffee.

LIGHT
5:10pm
A coffee aroma I can almost taste comes off the foot-toasting. Toasted dark bread. First hot pull is that foot-toasting -- plus a backing of rich sweet compost and a touch of very dark fruit vibe. Second hot one goes out the schnoz and is spice-ful, not spicy. Lots of stuff there. Leather comes in a bit more fully. Mouth-feel moistens a good tick and the finish is quite long. Coffee, sweet compost, roasting nuts, dark bread. On the draw and throughout to the finish, there is a sweetness I attribute more to a fruity vibe than compost inherent-ness. Third pull is sweeter yet, but braced hard by solid coffee notes and leather. Very much a coffee primary, and a good one. A lot is happening in the background, though.

Ash is a bright salt with an occasional pepper flake. Very slow burner. Line is a ribbon, but it seems to slowly correct over my outdoor match light. Line is too a razor thin thing. I'll give this Kafie Maduro a medium+ profile right out of the starting gate. Lots of smoke, but not overly heavy, that smoke. Fruity compost room-note. Draw seems to wanna tighten a notch. Packing doesn't budge. 
ACT I
A vibe of citrus turns to a slight note on the finish and now gains a spot on the draw. Burn has evened. Ash is nicely complected but a tad flaky. There's almost a Coca-Cola vibe present in the mouth-feel. Texture-wise, mouth is well-oiled. Citrus update: it's taken over the darker fruits and they are currently in hiding. A saltiness is added into the oils.

Primary notes are well-roasted black coffee and orange zest. Secondary notes are an oiled yet thickly rigid leather, nuts, and bread -- in that order. A retro-hale offers up a spice-rack of goodness, but it's purpose is a supporting role for now, as no one spice seeks the limelight. There is also a hint of raw sugar about. The dark bread is quite nice and oddly complex for that particular note -- it toasts, un-toasts, sometimes has an inherent nuttiness, sometimes is more buttered than others, sometimes is doughy, sometimes crisp. But all of that is too, always there. Citrus cleanses the palate nicely. Leather is becoming a softer easy chair thing. 

Very balanced and robust opening act, one which makes me excited for the next. Overall, there is a sense of well-practiced refrain as to its power. This restraint allows for nuances, something not often seen at these heights. Profile remains a medium+. I shall hold off on dialling in the strength, because I see that changing soon. Density of the pack has yet to budge. Construction and all nods toward it, hold fast. Slow is the dead-even burn. Smoke out-put does not grow, but fleshes out. Room-note is now a sweet leather and balanced with hearty coffee.

ACT II
Ash clumps off as the curtain rises. There is nothing in this lil world that gives me more satisfaction than when I place my schmatta perfectly on my lap. I dissect the ash thereon. Very thick and dense. Not a lot of oil, but enough. Salty note ramps up, as do the others on the next pull after. Sweetness is milder now, but still in balance. Compost backing is rising to lift all the notes higher. It morphs to a more complex barnyard. The coffee and citrus work quite well together. As do they separately, as well. I'm thinking the coffee is more an espresso now. 

A retro-hale shows peppercorn influences. I believe we've hit a transition now, a breath shy of the halfway point. Nicely orchestrated timing, that. Dark bread amps up. There is a licorice poking through. Smoke is very creamy suddenly and a tingle is on my tongue. Here comes the strength, it announces itself with a gently authoritative voice. Notes rise yet again, and cluster closer together. 

A bit of wrapper runs ahead of the rest, but not egregiously. Burn-line, a medium. Mouth-feel is not sharp, but crisp. It's the new lemon aspect. Very clean. Very full and long finish of coffee and citruses. Raw sugar amps up and warms throughout. Smoky smoky SMOKY, epus! Nearly engulfing and meditatively so. Retro-hale is citrus, peppercorn, and raw sugar. Salt laces the draw. Oils and salt are on my lips and cheeks. Leather mutes a tick. Licorice is on the end of the finish, only -- but adds a fantastic and lip-smacking dimension there. 

Calm yet exciting, this Kafie Maduro. A scintillating dream. An active meditation. Tantric sex. I am smoking Tantric sex. Amazing. And my fourth grade teacher said I wouldn't amount to anything. And now look at her: dead.

Burn is slowly evening out on its own accord. Dark berries enter. Brown sugar melts to a molasses note. Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me? Wait. I am outside. Peppercorn grinds into a fine powder and is sauteed in oils from the leather, as the leather is drenched in its own sweat. Bread toasts darker yet. It's a pumpernickel now. Espresso soars. Barnyard sweetens as the molasses drips. 

As the final act approaches, my mind is in my groin and my hands might be too, gentlepersons, if they were not so chilled. This is not a cigar offering to smoke with your bubbe present. Burn smolders slowly. Construction is magnifique. A hardwood note rises (this is not a euphemism). An inch+ of ash is rolled off in my 99 cent Walmart try... uh... baby. It's Even thicker and much more oily than before.

ACT III
I wish my kids were asleep and my froy was away.

Very barnyard and espresso now. Lemon outshines orange and is felt on the mouth-feel in a cleansing manner. Black pepper is roasted well. Leather is a word that here must be spoken in the voice of Ricardo Montalban. (Rich Corinthian leather.) Strength stops and stays at heady and not woozy, a great height. Smoke is thick and white with a sweet room-note -- like I like my women. 

Ash is 70/30 salt/pepper and while a tad loose, does not flake. Finish is exceptional, cleansed by lemony mouth-feel, displaying espresso, sweet barnyard, and now toasted nut tray so vividly -- well, I'll use my old analogy of looking at fine art whilst on hallucinogenics. Tantric.

Primary notes are all of them on a barely less than they pumpernickel. A nice shuffling. This Kafie is not a beginner's offering. I wonder how many gentlepersons find their way to the ER after sex injuries? Construction holds and holds and holds. When the burn does stray, it too corrects itself (all but twice). Its line ever a razor.

As the band approaches, more moisture sets in and a rich tobacco rises to be a primary alongside a damp barnyard-come-compost. Red spices come out to put on a show alongside black pepper. Pumpernickel cools and subdues. Licorice spikes and tires. Dark berries stay and plum is added. Citrus falls back, it's work done. Espresso gets spilt on leather,

as true passion always requires cleaning up after.
NOTES
Not a lot of different flavor notes -- but they all do a great many things. Twisting and contorting in their own juices... oy vey. Maduro done well is a very sexy thing. Ripe for the picking, one might say.

PAIRINGS
Screams for Manischewitz Blackberry wine.

FINAL GRADE
****A-****

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Smooth/Coarse? Too clean to be coarse
Sweet/Spicy? In harmonic balance
Mouth-feel? Salted oils
Strength? 7/10
Draw? Beaut
Burn? 2 retouches
Construction? Very nice
Primary Note(?)? Coffee/espresso. Citrus dalliances

EPILOGUE
6:40pm
Gentlepersons, I truly am apologetic for this naughty review. Please do not show it to my Rabbi. My lone defense is that one never knows where a good cigar might take them.

POSTSCRIPT/FULL DISCLOSURE
Kafie 1901 Cigars is now a sponsor of my Radio Herf. This does NOT in any way prohibit or inhibit my calling a spade a spade. I would not be involved with any product that did not meet my own fairly haughty litmus testings.

Thanks for reading, gentlepersons!