Cu*Avana Maduro December 22nd, 2005 Steve R 89 Share: Although I will burn a gentler cigar every now and then, it’s very rare that I’ll choose a mellow smoke from my humidors full of medium to full-bodied cigars, let alone find one. The other day I was fishing through one of my desktops in search of something different. Way down at the bottom I found a Cu*Avana Maduro Churchill. About a year ago I put this stick to rest, knowing I’d probably give it to my girlfriend’s father. He lights up a Macanudo or Ashton every now and then and always looks forward to trying something different. Unfortunately for him I completely forgot about this cigar, hence it becoming buried at the bottom of my humidor. I decided to fire it up over the weekend. I couldn’t help myself. The year long nap caused the natural oils to soak through the wrapper covering it with toothy crystals. The pre-light aroma told me that the tobaccos picked up some influence from my humidor’s cedar. Sold. Although I didn’t know what to expect, my expectations rose each time I took a whiff before sparking up. Considering Cu*Avana is a gentler cigar. The first few minutes were surprising - off the bat, it produced a flavorful burst that quickly filled my entire palate. My confusion was soon put to rest as the aged blend of Dominican long-fillers came through with a smooth, deliberate flavor backed by mellow hints of cedar. Although these flavors were enjoyable, the wrapper easily takes the cake. It’s thick, juicy and adds a rich sweetness to the mix that proved to be extremely pleasant. An hour’s worth of enjoyment is the best way to explain this cigar. The Cu*Avana Maduro surprised me for two reasons: It’s smooth, and I liked it. Whenever I see a dark, oily wrapper I always keep a lighter on hand to touchup any uneven burns. But not only did this thing burn evenly, it burned sloooow and super cool. I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything less from Manuel Quesada. After all, the man did make the original Dominican Romeo y Julieta and is the mastermind behind Fonseca. He took a thick Connecticut Broadleaf maduro, densely packed it with as much Dominican tobacco as humanly possible, aged it just right and came out with a pleasant smooth - bodied cigar that rivals Macanudo and Ashton, at $2-$3 a stick no less.