All right my smoky friends, let’s get something straight here. When we talk about the maduro cigars that we love, what we’re referring to is the color of the outer leaf and that’s it! The deal is, maduro isn’t a certain type of leaf from a country or region, and it isn’t stronger in character. In fact, the longer that leaf used for maduro wrapper is fermented and aged, the mellower it actually gets in character. That’s right, you heard it right here.
When a maduro cigar is stronger, say like those dark sticks from Steve Saka’s Dunbarton line-up, it’s the inner tobacco blend that’s generally stronger, and not the outer leaf. Ok, yeah, some maduro leaf can be stronger than others, especially if it comes from the top of the plant while sucking up all of that gorgeous sunlight (in fact, all maduro leaf comes from the top 2/3’s of the plant), but like I said, it’s the inner blend of the cigar that’s giving it it’s strength. So, when you smoke any maduro cigar, check out what tobaccos were used for the inner blend because some can be nice and mellow, and some can be really strong.
In Spanish, maduro means “ripe” or “mature”. Now what gets the leaf dark is that it’s fermented at higher temperatures than filler or binder and for longer periods of time. Longer fermenting time makes the sugars come out to play, causing it to be sweeter in taste. And the color can range from a dark brown (Colorado Maduro), to a very darker brown (Maduro), all the way to an almost black (Oscuro). Some excellent leaf used to make maduro is Nicaraguan, Mexican, Brazilian, and Connecticut Broadleaf. These leaves are thicker in nature and definitely more pliable for rolling and handling, but also so it will hold up to the higher heat required during the fermentation process.
Generally, maduro wrapped cigars burn a bit slower than natural wrappers. The leaf is thicker and oilier, and I’ve found that an hour and a half long smoke can go for up to two hours in a maduro.
Some of my favorite maduros? Well, unfortunately for my bank account, there’s a whole lot of them: Padron 1926, Drew Estate Undercrown, Oliva Serie V, Rocky Patel Sun Grown, Camacho Triple Maduro, Partagas Black, Alec Bradley Black Market, Jamie Garcia Reserva Especial, Foundation Charter Oak, Mi Querida, Perdom 20th Anniversary. You know what, I could go on for another three pages, so, you get my drift. While I often love darker, full flavored cigars, the sweetness of maduro just floats my tobacco-laden boat.
How about sharing your favorite maduros in the comments section below…
This month cigar maker and renowned chef, Lars Tetens is in da house with a 3-tierd prize pack that’s worth $110 in value!
3 GRAND PRIZE WINNERS will be chosen – each prize pack includes an awesome t-shirt, baseball cap, and a 3 of Lars’s tasty Spice Sticks! It’s running ‘til the end of the month and all you’ve got to do is put your email address in the form and you are officially in the running!