The Maria Mancini is an economical cigar from Nestor Plasencia, maker of Mayorga, American Stogies, and a number of other brands including his own Plasencia and Plasencia Organica cigars. Nestor is the main reason I’m not in bankruptcy at the moment — he makes great cigars at a really reasonable price. The Maria Mancini is available for well under 3 dollars, and it’s a fine smoke.
This was the last survivor from a box I bought in the spring of 2005. When I first got the box I thought these Robustos smoked pretty well, but not great. They were a little rough and one dimensional. I let them sit for a few months and they improved tremendously.
The Robusto Larga measures six inches by a 50 ring gauge, and is made in Honduras. The information available online about this stick is conflicting — one site says they’re made in Cofradia, another says Danli. One site says the wrapper is Costa Rican, another says Mexican. Everyone agrees the binder is Honduran, but one site says the filler is Nicaraguan, another Honduran. In this case, I don’t think the specifics matter all that much. The real question: are they worth the 45 USD for a box of 20?
I reckon so, if you can sit on em for a couple months and let them settle down a little. After a few months they smooth out a little, and after a year they’re close to creamy. The primary flavor is wood, accented by the sweetness from the maduro. After a year and half this stick has really mellowed so there is no harshness at all; there’s not much complexity either, but for an econo stick it has plenty of flavor.
The main complaint I have is an uneven burn, which they all seem to suffer from, and a tight roll, which some (but not all) exhibit. The square press of this stick might have something to do with that. A year and a half in the humidor let this particular sample stretch its legs and get comfy, and it most definitely is a better cigar for it.
Aging a box of two dollar cigars might seem a bit extravagant, or ludicrous, but I think it’s the thing to do with Maria Mancinis. At the very least, let them sit for a couple months. And then sit back, open a cold Milwaukee’s Best, fire up a Mancini and laugh at those happy shiny people in Cigar Aficionado.