Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

2/1/16

Manolo Estate Serie 32 Habano - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
"Well you came and you gave without taking,
But I sent you away, oh Mandy.
And you kissed me and stopped me from shaking,
And I need you today, oh Mandy."
- Barry Manilow

I have been smoking a lot of these Manolo Estate Cigars 'on air' recently. My Sabbath Smokers. My Radio Herfs. It was kindly brung to my attention I have been pronouncing it way too much like 'Manilow.' It is Ma-NO-lo. On the plus side, gentlepersons, my Yiddish is really improving.

THE CIGAR
Manolo Estate
Serie 32 Habano
5 x 50 Robusto
Ecuadorian Habano Broadleaf wrapper
Dominican Corojo binder
Nicaraguan & PA Ligero fillers

"The Serie 32 Habano uses a rich, properly aged blend of mostly Cuban Criollo 98 seed varietals that imbue this cigar with its full-bodied taste that is reminiscent of vintage old school Cuban cigars starting with its exquisite Ecuadorean Habano broad leaf wrapper. The masterful blend of Cuban-seed Dominican-grown Corojo, Ligero, and Seco, coupled with a strong base of Nicaraguan EstelĂ­ and Pennsylvania Ligero provide the perfect balance of smooth flavor and rich complexity that envelops your palate with a satisfying aftertaste of sweet spices and a nutty essence leaving behind an unmistakable aroma that soothes the senses of the most discerning cigar connoisseur." www.ManoloEstate.com
PRE-LIGHT

Oh, Manolo, ya had me at foot ribbon. Its burgundy matches that of the band on an eggshell background with just the classy amount and then some of gold-tone Chanukah gelt wrapping. The stick, once undressed, is a pretty and somewhat complex vision. Working top to under, a very nice-oiled sheen, dark marbling, cocoa bean complexion and evenly so, with an under-hue of a very vibrant brickish red. Veins, yes, but none egregious visually nor an impediment on the hand-feel. Some interesting spider web veins that put me in mind of the cracking paint on museum artwork. Seams: tight and even. Cap is of the triple variety, I believe, and well affixed. Tobacco peeks outta the foot to a shock of blonde brightness and swirls of auburn locks. Kinda striking there, actually. Medium+ density via eye-balling.

Hand-feel. A nice vibrant slick and smooth top-leaf. Charmin squeeze test is a medium+ density with a sharp spring-back. Evenly packed. Schnozzing the shaft of the thing, I get a somewhat exotic spice-rack and a good dose of nuts, some fruitiness, a sharp cedar. Leather and bright yet well-packed earth are too afoot at the foot. Some tanginess is underneath it all. Lotsa nose, this Manolo. Lotsa nose, that Manilow.

A cold draw is medium resistance and delivers much of the smell notes with a very vivid maltiness. Another cold pull adds a mocha late vibe and a crisp barnyard under-thing.

LIGHT

3:55pm
Lots of crisply seasoned woods on the foot-toasting aroma. Some espresso bean sharpness. A hint of orange rind well underneath. First hot pull is a spice-rack upside my head and toasted orange once that quickly clears. Lots of notes. Caramel-filled dark chocolate, cedar, grapefruit now, more grapefruit through to the finish. Burnt steak cooked over charcoal before the finish. That finish. Very nice, the flavorful tobacco is showcased here is a sweet not overtly manner. Mouth-feel is a kind tingle of spices and citrus; great moisture level. A second hot one is retro-haled to surprising comfort in the face of so many spices. Mainly citrus there but a lot of muscley spice. Very crisp. Clean. A third hot pull sets us off to the races in a uniformed stride. Building on a sturdy foundation. And building quickly.

Good out-pouring of smoke. Tight piling on of 80/20 salt/pepper ash off an even burn featuring a thin line. Smooth medium draw. Even delivery. Packing ahead of the char loosens a tick for a half inch. Let's call the profile a very tightly packed medium. Strength ain't yet. All systems: go.
ACT I

Spices settle, but only minimally subdue. What they do is show restraint, letting a nice assortment of flavors into the game. Not primary, per se, but note-worthy is a very nice honey malt. If you are interested in tasting that -- and you should be -- this Serie 32 is a primo example. This plays very well in the middle with a grapefruit note. Something like a bright composted earth is underneath. Over-top is mocha caramel latte. Malt is amping up and multiplying.

Very cool slow and even burn. Meditative and reassuring. Calming. Flavorful bursts but delivered in a very easy sort of way. Leaving, too, a very clean palate. Packaging density re-firms. Smoke floats freely from the foot and its room-note is a mingling of all on-board on a richly toasted tobacco core. If I might say, this is the most cigar-y cigar I've smoked in a good bit. A classic representation. I find myself yearning for a game of dominoes.

At the end of the opening act, a crisping leather. Coffee malts. A new rye malt is noted. For as much happenings, happening -- it all seems unrushed and un-assaulting.

ACT II

More meat. Even more malts. Grapefruit cleans and crisps. Chocolate and caramel separate and mature in sweet depths. A new creaminess toasts on my cheeks. Herbs and anise are added. Ash is rolled off in full and is dense, cool, and lightly oiled. More herbs. Earth dries out of compost in a sunlit and rich manner. Nuts are roasted in the caramel and a bit of sea salt. Hot dang, Manolo, sir. Toasted salt -- one of my faves. It's on my lips. Who wants a kiss?

Construction chugs along as if engineered by ze Germans. Smoke is sweet and rich and toasted; just a fabulous aroma. Rye malt sinks to the new earthiness and backs all. By backing, in this sense, I mean all the flavors fall on it like rain. A sun shower. Grapefruit is sweetened by cream. I'm smoking the heck out of this and should probably consider slowing down, but the construction is up to my greedy task-mastering. Profile is medium+ and strength is bordering into a very pleasant medium. Very meaty savory retro-hale. A pink meat. Not cluck, not moo -- bah, mayhaps. Char note is lovely.

This Series 32 even offers a great chew. Fits wonderfully in my smoke-hole and causes no eye irritations. More salt now and malt is there, as well. Toasted wheat bread. Herbal notes subdue a tick. Nuts are walnuts and pecans. A hickory sensation comes in. Great little transition, that. It settles into --

ACT III

More deepening and toasting roasting, but too avoiding of darkness. Clean and cool. Grapefruit? More like GREATfruit! Am I right, gentlepersons? 'Course I is. Anise and now licorice, especially on the finish. It's a long legged one, but it just shaved dem gams -- so smooth and clean.

A cool thing doth occureth. In a snake eating its tail fashion, the first third repeats. A rush of spice-rack. Exotic? Perhaps. It's as if far away man is cooking in my kitchen. All my spices -- his foreign recipes. More cream comes in for balance. A beautiful tobacco core speaks the final lines under a spotlight to a hushed audience. It says whatever the heck you wanna hear. And you believe it. Because it believes it. And it warms you. Herbs reappear on the back of a now salty sweet citrus. A lemon oil too. Spices offer a new bit of finely ground and sauteed white pepper which lingers well on the palate.

Construction holds straight through to deliver cool and even and malty draws to and into the band and as I grab for a toothpick, beyond. This thing is a classic. Smoke out-put amps up and still remains kindly...BIG FINISH. Curtsy bow.
NOTES
The Kaplowitz Mishpucha doth grow. So impressed was I with Manolo Estate, that when they slowed their train for me, I jumped on-board. I am humbled by this opportunity to help one another reach new heights. Will this/has this influenced my reviews? No. My reviews influenced this and all my other Mishpucha additions -- I am an enthusiast who aligns with the best whom will have me.

PAIRINGS
A dry sherry. This will tease well, the occasional white wine vibe on the finish. Dominoes, ivory ones.

FINAL GRADE
****A****

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK

Smooth/Coarse? Smooth
Sweet/Spicy? Sure thing, boss
Mouth-feel? Toasted salted cream
Strength? Medium
Draw? Even and cool
Burn? Perfect
Construction? Muah!
Primary Note(s)? Citrus. Malts

EPILOGUE
5:10pm
fin