Gary reviews 10 “Top Shelf” Maduro cigars: If you love the natural sweetness and savory aroma of Maduro wrapper, these dark discoveries are sure to please cigar smokers at every level of experience.
Cigar Review: Blanco “Liga Exclusivo de Familia” Double Corona (Nat.)
Blanco “Liga Exclusivo de Familia” Double Corona (Nat.)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 7 x 54
Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut-seed (Honduran Talanga Valley Shade grown)
Filler & Binder: Nicaraguan (various regions)
Presentation: Presented in boxes of 20 and Singles
Location smoked: Office
Paired with: Spring water
Construction and Overall Appearance: Pristine. A lovely, Honduran-grown Connecticut wrapper with an attractive Colorado hue, and a very silky feel. The cigar was well-packed, and comes in a cedar sleeve appointed with a green silk ribbon.
Pre-light flavor: Sweet and toasty.
Toasting & Light: Excellent. Triple cap clipped-off easily and in a near perfect disc. The foot took completely in about 5 seconds. The first puff was very creamy, woody, and nutty in flavor. Lots of thick, creamy smoke, too.
Base flavors: Roasted nuts and sweet cedar.
Retrohale: Picked up a sweet woodiness and a nip of light pepper.
Aroma: Excellent. Very rich and savory.
Burn / Ash Quality: Ultra-clean with a soft, grey & black stippled ash. First ash dropped-off at about 1/2 an inch, leaving a perfect cherry. As for the remainder of the cigar, I haven’t had a cigar that burned this well in a while. Just about every ash revealed a nice cone when tapped.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.
Consistency: Very good.
General Observations: I was really impressed with this cigar. Looks like the Blancos went all-out here. The smoke was sweet, nutty, and creamy smooth. I liked the silkiness of the wrapper leaf, too. Some wrappers are described as “silky,” but this one really feels like silk. The cigar was more mild than I expected at first, but by the end it was a solid medium-bodied smoke. This cigar put out a lot of smoke, too. One interesting observation was that, in the middle of smoking this cigar, I had to do a phone interview with someone, and I left the cigar in the ashtray saddle. The interview took about 20 minutes. When I came back to my desk, the cigar was still lit! During the last act, the flavors settled into a primarily woody character, while the retrohale turned somewhat sweeter with hardly any palate feedback.
Summary: This Double Corona smoked smoothly and maintained a consistent body and character pretty much through the cigar’s entire length. In the last two inches it got a little hot and bitter, but some extra rest in the saddle took off the edge. Then, at 7″ x 54, this is a lot of cigar, so you would expect it to get juicy. What made this cigar complex for me was the combination of the flavors in the smoke and aroma. Very well done. After discovering how much I liked the Connecticut Shade, I’m looking forward to smoking the Lancaster, Pa. Broadleaf Maduro version.
Note: Blanco Liga Exclusivo de Familia cigars are sold primarily in retail tobacco stores.
? = Fair to Middling
?? = Good
??? = Very impressive
???? = Excellent
????? = Spectacular!