Davidoff Maduro Series Steve R So you may have noticed an increased number of staff reviews lately. You guys love’em, we enjoy talking shop, and our marketing guru Scott tells us that content is good for the site. It’s a win-win-win! Scott, the marketing whiz I just mentioned 5 seconds ago, stresses SEO. That’s marketing speak for marketing stuff. Apparently our reviews help you find our site when searching The Google, help you find the cigars you need, and gets you the prices you want - everybody benefits. I have no idea how (Johnny Manziel) my reviews could increase our visibility on the interwebs, but I won’t hesitate to help everybody (March Madness) out, so I am game. Hence, I bring you another (Dancing with the Stars) review. This time, I’ll address a (Kim Kardashian) request from Keoki in Alaska. So here I am with a Davidoff Maduro, courtesy of Keoki. Well not really courtesy of, this thing cost me nearly 20 bones. His request was simple. What are my thoughts, and is there anything out there like it? First off, it’s hard to compete with Davidoff when it comes to quality and aesthetics. The Criollo Maduro wrapper is dark, even in color, and glistening with oils. It’s obvious....there were a lot of sorting processes to ensure the quality and appearance of this leaf, along with every other Davidoff Maduro in the box next to it. The cigar is solid from head to toe, and there’s a semi-sweet aroma with a touch of cedar and barnyard. And with that, my uber-expensive cigar is lit. Initial thoughts? Pretty toasty, with a deep richness and a hint of being stronger than I know it is. There’s a woodsy taste and aroma that dominates upfront. These flavors quickly fade, however, giving way to Tabadom’s (Davidoff factory) token floral note. I am not overly fond of floral, unless it’s coming from an especially hoppy beer, but I paid too much for this cigar to stop now. Plus, there’s some other intricacies at play, albeit tiny intricacies. That’s redundant, but whatever. Throughout the cigar, I pick up the slightest hint of dark cocoa. I also notice a slight nutty element. They’re very slight, but they are appreciated, considering the bouquet itself isn’t overly complex. In fact, I’d call this cigar quite straightforward. After about an inch, you know how the rest of the burn will go. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t change. Davidoff fans appreciate this, no doubt. And, to be honest, that’s pretty much it. Davidoff Maduro. According to my palate, an extremely well-made, medium-bodied maduro, comprised of gorgeous wrappers and well-aged Dominican tobaccos. The quality is top-notch, and the flavor is straightforward but soothing and pleasing. Nothing special, outside of the name on the band. No bells, no whistles. Just a well-made, high quality cigar for those willing to ‘tro the coin on the table. Or in this case, the Jackson. Now, for comparable cigars. If you’re a fan of big name brands, you could always go with Ashton Maduro. I love this cigar. Rich, sweet, mellow, and satisfying yet still mellow to medium in body. Plus, its quality is right there. Or, if you favor Davidoff but don’t like dishing out the money all too frequently, you could go with AVO Maduro. It’s a little bolder and richer, but you still get that woodsy, floral note that so many people are fond of when it comes to Tabadom. You know, same factory and all. If you want a step up in complexity and power, but a step down in price (always appreciated), I might recommend E.P. Carrillo Core Line Maduro. Ernesto Perez-Carrillo is well-known for making some of the tastiest, traditional Dominican handmades that truly personify the best in Dominican tobaccos....and his Core Line is no exception. Or, if you want to stay on par with Davidoff Maduro in quality with a slight step down in price, few Dominican handmades can match Aurora Preferidos Maduro (or the Ruby tubos). These cigars are fast burners, but they’re delicious. Now, the rating. The cigar delivers. No doubt. But it also hurts the wallet. Sorry, I am an everyday guy and that’s important to me. No way will I be buying these regularly, even if a thousand Keokis email me and demand it. Sorry fella, I am done for now. Additionally, I prefer complexity....even over power. I want an eventful cigar that changes throughout the burn. Something to keep my palate guessing and interested. While Davidoff Maduro is a well-blended, well-balanced handmade, it doesn’t suit my palate when looking for that go-to cigar. Unfortunately, these two factors are vital when I review a banded cigar, and they will hit my rating hard. That said, 88.