Legends Series Blue — Matasa

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A while back I reviewed the White Label in this series from Camacho. Since then a few more legends have been added to the line– Orange (Rocky Patel), Purple (Graycliff) and Black (La Aurora). This is one of the original four, the Blue Label from Matasa, maker of Fonseca and Cubita.

Manuel Quesada, along with his brother Alvaro and father Manuel Sr., started the Manufactura de Tabacos S.A. (MATASA) factory in Santiago, D.R. in 1974. It was one of the first cigar factories established in the Dominican Republic– started, as Quesada said in an interview with Cigar Aficionado, with "one hundred dollars, a chair, and a phone."

Starting with the Fonseca and Sosa brands, MATASA grew to "Legendary" status, at least according to Cigars International who sponsors and distributes this series. Which brings me to tonight's smoke.

Like all of the Legends Series cigars, this is a toro size at 5 5/8 x 54. The first thing I recommend you do with this cigar is to carefully take off the label. The Ecuadorian wrapper on this baby is an oily delight, and the label is, well, a little large and garish for my taste. Best to smoke this one naked. The cigar, that is. (Unless you have very free spirited neighbors, in which case I don't want to live in your neighborhood.)

It's a tightly rolled stick with no soft spots, and examining the foot I noticed right in the center a perfectly black leaf that contrasts with the rest of the blend. The draw is firm, but not difficult. It lights easily and burns well, if somewhat unevenly. The first taste is of light wood, with something like coconut. That's sounds crazy, and maybe it is. But that's the information from Olfactory Central. The Camacho Legend tasted slightly of vanilla…now coconut? It's not like smoking a macaroon. I haven't completely lost my marbles. But there's definitely an usual flavor there…

It's a mild to medium smoke without too much complexity. Toward the end it takes on a little graphite, and it starts to burn a bit hot, but the enticing aroma stays to the end. This is one of those cigars that I enjoy more for the aroma than the taste, though there was nothing objectionable about the taste; it's just a little milder than my usual fare.

Now I'm going to have to pick up some Fonsecas, just to compare. The Legends Series Blue has me interested in what MATASA is up to…

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