Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

2/2/16

Manolo Estate Heavyweight Maduro - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
Mickey: Your nose is broken.
Rocky: How does it look?
Mickey: Ah, it's an improvement.

THE CIGAR
Manolo Estate - Heavyweight Maduro
Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper
Cuban Criollo 98 binder
Nicaraguan, PA, & Dominican fillers

"The Heavyweight Maduro is a wonderfully full-bodied cigar that packs a powerful punch unlike any other on the market today. This high-octane powerhouse of a cigar weighs in with a potent blend of Cuban Criollo 98 binder blended with Nicaraguan EstelĂ­, Pennsylvania tobacco, and Dominican Ligero filler, dressed in a deliciously dark Mexican San Andres maduro wrapper. The Heavyweight comes out of its corner swinging with a combination of strong spicy notes of pepper and jabs of leather on the palate making it the undisputed serious cigar for the serious smoker." www.ManoloEstate.com

Sample courtesy of Luis M. Gutierrez, Brand Owner.
PRE-LIGHT
Bling.
I ask Mr. Guitierrez who it was that designed the band. "It's wonderfl." I say. He says he did. I show it off to my wife before stepping out into my carport/HQ. "It's GARISH she says. All it needs is a peacock."

"I AM THE PEACOCK it needs." I say and take my leave. "Smoke Manolo Estate," I say as I close the door quickly behind me. Mishpucha. MISHPUCHA

I cannot promise I will leave alone my Caps Lock key, but I can promise to maybe try. Gold foot ribbon. All-gold band with the same look as the rest of the ME line-up. The band looks like an elaborate prize-fighter world title belt. I almost don't wanna undress it. I do. 

Underneath is a coffee bean/dark cocoa complected stick, and evenly so. Correction -- there is a tick of milk chocolate hue around one somewhat crimping vein. Underneath, there is almost a grey-toned dark brown leather visual vibe. Over-top is a matte finish, as formidable as Sonny Liston's over-sized left arm. Foot tobacco shows a liveliness beneath the stoic surface. Monochromatic auburn with a reddish bright under-tone. A tick or two of dirty blonde. Eyeballs to a good medium+ density. Cap is tripled and firmly constructed. Seams are a bit looser than tight, but even. There's a near severe bugaboo in one which has me gazing fearfully at binder. I'm reminded of Mick cutting Rocky. Veins, as mentioned, one is crimped in the 1/3, other than that, not a good deal more. A half handful of spiders. 

Handful. Hand-feel. Dense. -Full Charmin squeeze test density result. Dry and hard and again: formidable. Fingering it a bit gives off some dry oil smoothness that can almost be seen as a talc. A slight toothiness is there. Schoz testing the thing is a pungent affair. Composted earth highlights chocolate and title strap leather. Foot tobacco adds to the nose a surprise sweetness to the leather and chocolate. Too, a tick of milk to the chocolate.

I clip the cap as I seldom do, but felt like doing -- and Sweet earth and hay with a blast over-top of Hershey's on a medium resistance cold pull. Complex and sweet earth stretches from sun light dry to near mire compost. Always sweet. Some leather backing it all thinly.

LIGHT
9:15am
Slow light. I finish up my wooden match start with a Djeep end. Leather wrapped hardwoods stufft in a paper back and burnt until the earth below heats up. That's what I vividly envision while toasting the foot. First hot pull is BIG SMOKE, no? Yes. BIG SMOKE. Leather wood earth. Long finish. Very. Cocoa beans. Heavily seasoned wood and crisp leather on the retro-hale. This drops to cocoa sweetness on the palate, then drops again to a black pepper zetz of a tingle on my tongue. Together, it all ends in the very long finish and there, flavors circle one-another with great caution in the center of the ring. Third hot one is a super smokey cumulus cloud poof of similar activities. Some black bread addition is vibe'd. 

Profile is full if not narrow -- the focused eyes of a game face. Strength is a medium out of the gate. A firm handshake. Ash is very dense and light to medium grey. Predominantly light. Line is a very thin ribbon. Coarse, but in a way which indicates a lot of fine grounds, not a few steel cuts. Very full. Sweetness comes up to its balancing task in a very darkly deep manner. "I am Batman." It whispers authoritatively. I need to stick to the pugilistic analogies from here on out for this Heavyweight.
ACT I
So much smoke. Dark tobacco and dark toasted dark bread notes fill the air around me darkly. Dark. Chocolate, wood, and leather all crisp and amp. Smooth now. I am forced to retouch a bit of the burn to help one notch catch up. Pepper drops a good three ticks. Crisp notes soften as an tobacco core earthiness asserts itself. Burn is kosher and slowly getting perfect now and ash is tight tight tight. Bread joins into the core and is highlighted. A pumpernickel. A new cedar comes in now. Very cedar, cedar. Not seasoned, or creamy. Cedar. What don't yo get about this? It's cedar. It hits the room-note, as well. Cedar.

Ash dumps and I don't even have my schmatta out. The other two offerings acted very differently and could have held the entire way, had I let them. I retouch again. Hmmm. Leave it to me to review the lesser of three. What a schlemiel. Draw is dead even at medium and fills my smoke-hole identically full each pull. Medium+ strength now. Full profile. No loosening of pack. Chocolate grows yummier.

At the close of the opening act, a tobacco core involving leather woods and pumpernickel dominates. In-between, a chocolate grows richer and more complex next to a nice cedar. Black pepper remains and roasts. Earth is laced throughout. A distinct note of heavier leather separates from itself and tobacco to carry it all along even further below. 

ACT II
Burn is finally now, perfect. Its line, a razor. Espresso beans bite in. I cover my ears remembering Holyfield. I let it sit and stalk me for two minutes+ in my $0.99 plastic Walmart tray as I duck inside to discuss oppression and anarchy as its sole solution with my feminist wife.

Please! Put me back in the ring, gentlepersons.

Smoke pours readily still and very nice construction, there. Flavors chug along like a freight train. Ash drops. So unlike the other two offerings. I retouch. So unlike the other two offerings. Bite threat never transgresses and subdues. Hello, espresso, stirred with a leather spoon is a tick of raw sugar. It plays a decent role in the secondary notes and adds even more to a full and long finish. The finish ultimately ends cleanly, quite a lot of road-work from its start. 

Ash hardens and pales. Burn is again kosher. Draw resistance ups a tick to medium+. Smoke pours. Cedar adds a touch of cream. A tinny note comes and goes, and I believe that was the bitey bit affecting the espresso. A bit of salt now as the closing act nears. Flavors all roast deepen and huddle in a Peek-a-boo style.

ACT III
Burn slows. Out-put doth not. Smoke is cool. Espresso is back to a roasted bean. Strength hits with a fierce right from behind its Peek-a-boo. I'm looking up at the lights. Suddenly I'm Apollo Creed and everyone around me is speaking Russian. The Soviet Anthem plays over a staticy PA system and I'm lifted up on a buttery cloud of spices to meet my maker.

At the band, this Manolo Estate offering really kicks it up in muscular flexes. This happened at the beginning of the 3/3 in my two other samplings. Creams and oils and peppers and spice and everything nice -- plus a wickedly heavy handed wallop. Not for an amateur, but a highly trained fisticuffs practitioner.
NOTES
A necessary part of the Manolo Estate profile, this bombastic offering. For all its hay-makers, there are subtle slip and feint nuances. A shoulder-roll of notes. I have used up, now, all my boxing talk.

A note as to the ash: in three of three offerings, it piled on so tightly that Mr. Balboa could have saved a trip to the meat locker and simply punched at the spent end of my stick. I suppose I had one more analogy left in me.

A note as to my final grade: as I've done with other offerings, I am including my across-the-board experiences of all other samplings in my final grade.

PAIRINGS
Cuban coffee and headgear, as to avoid drain bamage, gentlepersons.

FINAL GRADE
****B+****

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Smooth/Coarse? Smooth, vastly
Sweet/Spicy? Spicier more so
Mouth-feel? Clean with perfect moisture
Strength? KO, Mid-rounds
Draw? Smooth and even smoke to smoke-hole
Burn? Issues here, but not in prior two offerings
Construction? Very fine, yes
Primary Note(s)? Leather, chocolate, spices

EPILOGUE
10:35am
"Attack is only one half of the art of boxing." - Georges Carpentier. 
Ol' George would appreciate this Manalo Estate Heavyweight offering. 

There are moments too strategic in this offering, to be considered lulls. I mentioned stalking, I mentioned Peek-a-boo. Yes? Yes.

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