I have to wonder if a maduro variation is really necessary for every successful cigar blend. Obviously this is the conventional thing to do, and manufacturers feel no need for discipline when it comes to creating new extensions for reputable brand names, but I still wonder if it doesn’t water down the label a little.
On the other hand, when your forte is making powerful, bold tasting cigars, maybe you do what you can to extend the softer side of your range. Which is what Pete Johnson has done with Cabaiguan Maduro. Cabaiguan is Johnson’s milder alternative to his bold and powerful Tatuaje line. The original Cabaiguan was rolled in Miami with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and made its debut in 2005. It was followed a couple years later by the Guapo, a slightly larger vitola with a sun grown Ecuadorian wrapper, which was slated to be a limited edition rolled in what was then Pepin Garcia’s new factory in Nicaragua. Both are excellent cigars — the Corona Extra is in my opinion one of the very best Connecticut Shade cigars available anywhere.
And now we have a maduro edition to tantalize our tastebuds as well. It should be noted that this wrapper is maduro in color only — it is in fact a natural sun-grown Connecticut broadleaf. The rest of the blend is the same as the standard Cabaiguan, which is of course Nicaraguan.
Like the Guapo series, the Maduro Cabaiguan is available in only a few sizes. Two, to be precise:
- Rx (Robusto Extra) – 5 1/4 x 50
- 46 (Corona Extra) – 5 5/8 x 46
Both the Rx and the 46 are well made cigars with a dark, toothy wrapper. The wrapper is typical of sun grown leaf — it’s rough and weathered with a few chips here and there. Both varieties are rolled perfectly — these are products of Pepin Garcia’s factory, and perfection (or something close to it) is what we’ve come to expect from “My Father“.
Both sizes burn very well, though the robusto was not plumb-line even; it corrected itself over time and needed no assistance from me. The 46 was spot-on all the way. The ash is a solid light gray with a yellowish cast.
Overall excellent construction.
These are both smooth smoking cigars, but the 46 is slightly more assertive. In the first third I found the Rx easy going, with bittersweet chocolate, cedar, and a touch of anise. The 46 featured more tannin and pepper, with cocoa rather than chocolate.
The robusto picks up a little more tannin in the middle section, while the corona’s peppery edge softens. Both sizes seem to level out at this point, and agree on cocoa with an interesting malty note.
The Rx finishes up with a touch of woody bitterness on the palate that balances well with the sweet chocolate on the nose. The 46 goes in an interesting direction at this point, increasing the spice and throwing some floral notes into the mix, something almost like lilac. I was reminded a little bit of La Riqueza at this point — it’s a little unusual to find this flavor in one of Pepin’s blends, but I think it’s there in La Riqueza as well.
The Cabaiguan Maduro is a worthy addition to the line. The sun grown broadleaf brings a lot of balance and a little more complexity to a medium-bodied blend that is exceptional to begin with. The wrapper adds some sweet notes of chocolate and cocoa that work well with the tannins on the palate. Over time the tannins might weaken a bit, resulting in a slightly sweeter cigar, but the blend is still very good right now, as long as you don’t mind a little of that fresh green woody taste on the tongue.
I thought the 46 was a little more expressive than the Rx, but both are excellent cigars. The MSRP is a bit steep, around 8 or 9 USD per stick, but that’s not too surprising given the overall quality on display here.