The guys on Instagram were smoking and posting photos of Cubao sticks last Friday and it tempted me to actually try my Cubao Maduro No. 5 to kick off my weekend. As many of you probably know, the Cubao brand is the brainchild of Erik Espinosa and Eddie Ortega who, together with master blender Don Pepin Garcia, are also the guys behind other well-regarded cigar brands such as the 601 and the Murcielago. Here’s our review of this illustrious cigar.
- Cigar size: 6 1/8 x 50
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Broadleaf Maduro
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Price: $5.85 online
With an intoxicating combination of caramel, cocoa and spicy scents from the foot, the Cubao Maduro No. 5 certainly hints of a very delightful smoking experience. Its aesthetics further prove and strengthen this assumption with its very heavy and solid body, and while the wrapper does have a few big veins and and gives the cigar a very rustic impression, its overall quality is just shy of impressive with the absence of wrapper holes and tears.
A smooth combination of grass, coffee and earth greet me during the first few minutes of the smoking experience. In addition, a peppery sensation is also present during each puff’s long finish. Faint hints of chocolate and cherry sweetness also begin to appear, creating a very nuanced and complex flavor profile. Quite impressive, being that I’m only less than fifteen minutes into the cigar.
The second third of the cigar seems to be dominated by an amalgam of grass, cherry and spicy notes, and a woody aftertaste also appears to be present during the finish.
As the burn reaches the last third of the cigar, sweet, creamy nuts and coffee flavors join in and add more complexity to the flavor profile. The spicy component is also present, and there seems to be a spattering of other nuanced flavors that disappear as fast as they appear.
Unfortunately, the Cubao Maduro No. 5 exhibited an erratic burn line as it progressed through the first third. The smoke wasn’t exactly impressive either, but it was decent enough. At least the ash fared better, letting go approximately an inch and a half from the foot of the cigar.
Thankfully, everything became better right after the middle part of the cigar. The burn line became razor-sharp and the smoke profile was considerably thicker.
I can see why a lot of people love the Cubao Maduro. There’s a right amount of flavor intensity from third to third, and the amazing flavor changes keep the excitement at an even level. It’s certainly another feather in Don Pepin Garcia’s cap as far as the blend is concerned, but the burn problems during the first half of the cigar is an issue I can’t easily ignore. For now, the Cubao Maduro No. 5 earns a fourth-drawer rating from me.