La Estrella Cubana Oscuro December 2nd, 2009 Keith 90 Share: La Estrella Cubana's new Oscuro blend is an interesting handmade hailing from Nicaragua. What's extra interesting is that it's a quality handmade maduro costing you 2 bucks a stick (and under). That's a true rarity in these post-SCHIP days. In fact it could easily sell for $4 or $5. La Estrella Cubana - “the star of Cuba” - is eerily reminiscent of Gurkha Doble Maduro, from aesthetics to flavor profile. It's put together - firm, heavy in the hand and seamlessly constructed, draped in a coal-black, slightly mottled Costa Rican maduro wrapper. This triple-fermented leaf is loaded with richness and flavor usually found on much pricier sticks. Inside there's a mellow blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan long-fillers. After a quick glance of this ebony beauty you’d be tempted to think 'full-bodied'. But La Estrella is far from it. Rich and flavorful but mellow to medium-bodied....and extry smooth. Yes, extry. From first spark up on the draw is on point - each puff releases thick clouds of aromatic smoke. The flavor remains fairly static throughout - not overly complex but quite tasty. Smooth and creamy with notes of coffee, cocoa, pepper and a toasty, semi-sweet finish. It’s gentle enough for burning in the morning with a cup o’ joe and rich enough for after dinner. The draw is good, the burn is straight, and the flavor is right....solid on all fronts. It's also prime for aging. If you lay a few down for a 6 month nap, you're in for a real treat. Dollar for dollar, this is a killer. A well-made, mellow maduro for less than 2 bones? Winner winner, chicken dinner.