After reviewing the Sun Grown version of the Perdomo Habano Bourbon Barrel Aged line, I was eager to grab some of the Maduro, the darker wrapped sticks having been by far my favorite of the old blend. So after giving them a nice little rest in my humidor, here is my take on the Perdomo Habano Bourbon Barrel Aged Maduro. Like the Sun Grown, the Maduro comes wrapped around a core of aged Nicaraguan filler and shares the same sizes – Robusto 5 x 54, Epicure 6 x 54, Torpedo 6 ½ x 54, Churchill 7 x 54, and Gordo 6 x 60 – which run in the same $7 – $8.50 price range. Once again, these were picked up from Cuenca Cigars.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro, aged 14 months in bourbon barrels
Filler: Nicaraguan Condega seco aged 4 years, Jalapa viso aged 5 years, Esteli ligero aged 6 years
Smoking time: One hour, fifty minutes
Pairing: American Brewing Co. Caboose Oatmeal Stout (ABV 6.2%)
The Perdomo Habano Bourbon Barrel Aged Maduro is cloaked in a very dark wrapper that goes from reddish-brown to nearly black with minimal veins and some noticeable tooth to it. The seams are very tight and the pack is more than firm; it’s nearly rock-hard. The flashy new banding sports a beige background with dark yellow, burnt sienna, and black, offset by bright chrome silver filigree and borders, with the foot band indicating the Maduro wrapper. The wrapper gives off a rich, musty tobacco aroma, with earth and a bit of tang. The foot shows off an even richer profile of the same, with a sort of meatiness thrown in for good measure. After easily sliding off the foot band, an effortless clip of the cap reveals a snug draw that shows natural tobacco, sweet grassiness, and a bit of woodiness.
The first few puffs are surprisingly mild, with the natural tobacco and sweet cedar at the forefront and black pepper flavor (but not the heat) and some coffee bringing up the rear. The retrohale shows earthiness and there is a leathery dryness to the mouthfeel. The tight roll of the stick is making it a little difficult to get a good mouthful of smoke without requiring a double-puff, but it’s getting better as it goes. The burn line is a bit thick and pretty even, and the light gray ash is compact. The ash refuses to tap off at over an inch in length, which probably means that it will decide to fall into my lap soon. The sweetness is climbing as the Perdomo Habano BBA Maduro slowly moves into the low end of the medium-bodied range, with all of those well-aged tobaccos making for what has so far been a very smooth smoking experience.
After the ash finally fell at a good 1½”, and thankfully into my ashtray, the Perdomo Habano Bourbon Barrel Aged Maduro has moved into the central third with an easier draw and shift in flavors. The sweetness has stepped back and a savory, almost meaty, umami tone has moved forward, and the smoke is no longer as dry as it was in the initial third. The wood is now more oak than cedar, and a bready note has emerged as well. Just past the halfway point, the sweetness has again moved up, along with the pepper, which is just beginning to assert itself on the retrohale, while the cigar tips just over the medium-bodied threshold.
As the Perdomo Habano Bourbon Barrel Aged Maduro enters the home stretch, the sweetness has once again moved to the background, as the rich natural tobacco, earth, bread, oak, and savory notes vie for attention. Coffee has also re-emerged. The cigar has been burning like a champ throughout, never needing a correction or re-light while staying almost dead-even, but I would caution that it has been pumping out stationary smoke like an emerging Icelandic volcano. This slow smoking stick goes down to the wire cool to the touch and draw, firm, and with absolutely no harshness.
My take on the Perdomo Habano BBA Maduro as compared to the original, is that although some of the elements are alike, they are totally different smokes. While my memory of the old Habano Maduro dredges up thoughts of a fairly strong and full bodied cigar, the new version is a much more refined and smoother experience. As with the old Habano Maduro, construction is top of the line, and the burn, while a bit testy to start out, came around and behaved admirably. Neither cigar is the most complex smoke around, but that is fine with me, as the flavors that came with this one were certainly enjoyable and the back and forth movement of the flavors kept me on my toes and held my interest. This is a cigar I would want to smoke on a consistent basis.
When matching up maduro wrapped cigars with beer, stouts are, of course, a natural go-to, and the Caboose Oatmeal Stout from American Brewing Co. in Edmonds, WA is one that epitomizes the standard for American stouts. With a smooth and almost creamy texture to go with coffee/chocolate, caramel, and a whole lot of semi-sweet maltiness offset by just enough hoppy bitterness to keep it from cloying, the Caboose does its part in providing a great compliment to the flavors of the Perdomo Maduro. Of course, a nice strong coffee, whether sweetened or not would be another way to go, as would a rich, sweet rum or port.
Credits:Tony Casas, source