I saved the second of my Thomas Hinds specialty cigars for when I got home from my book tour; this one was the Nicaraguan Maduro. I was delighted by the delicious rich chocolate brown look of it, but a little concerned about how it would light and burn because it was a little dried and battered after my journey. Nevertheless I undertook to smoke it. The torpedo-shaped cigar presented a strong double-cap, which encouraged me, and I found that it clipped easily and smoothly with my trusty double guillotine cutter.
The wrapper was leafy but not veiny, and the construction was solid. The wrapper note promised cocoa, nutmeg, and pine nut. Toasting the foot revealed the distinct odor of delicious roasted coffee beans. The wrapper began to come undone after the cigar was lit but I persisted.
I fired it up at one minute to nine o’clock in the morning. The first draw was exactly what I want out of a maduro cigar; it was chocolatey, meaty, and buttery all at once, with a a hint of barbecue. It also revealed a secret weapon; a delightful minty aftertaste. I was immediately reminded of lamb chops with mint jelly. Excellent! The room note blended into cocoa and coffee beans; I would not say it was mocha, but “mocha” implies a certain sweetness which this stick did not possess. It was dark and bitter, more like a morning cup of joe, or cocoa before you add the sugar.
After about fifteen minutes, the cigar went out despite my best efforts. Well, that didn’t impress me much. I clipped it and re-lit it after about half an hour.
It took me a full five minutes to finally succeed in keeping the cigar lit, and even so it had a slanted light that had to be corrected. Hmm, losing points rapidly I think. But on the other hand, the flavour was amazing! This is definitely one of the meatiest cigars I’ve ever smoked. It reminded me of the MX2 in that respect, tasting of barbecued meat more than anything, with that strong cocoa element continuing throughout. It was making me hungry smoking it! The first third finished about ten minutes after that point.
The smoke improved as I persisted through the second third, however, which took about another fifteen minutes. The way it kept going out convinced me to try smoking it hot, and that seemed to solve the problem. My guess is that the exceptionally hard pack and firm construction might be the reason, which of course limits your draw for the same reason a campfire can’t have too much wood on it; it needs to breathe. If it were cut further down the tip to the place it widens out to the same gauge as the rest of the cigar, I imagine that would open up more ventilation and possibly solve the problem.
On the other hand, I could not get enough of the unique blend of outstanding beef-and-chocolate maduro flavours! By the final third, I was strongly reminded of pepper steak and dark chocolate.
I finished the cigar about an hour and a half after I started smoking it, so the total smoke time was about an hour; but do keep in mind that I was smoking it hot and had to perform some serious amputation work to make it workable after it went out. It finished quite well, regaining a lot of the butter it had when I first began.
I loved it, but I wish it hadn’t had such a hard pack and draw. Still, if you’re ever in Winnipeg, I suggest you stop by Thomas Hinds and pick one up for yourself; or indeed, that you pick up any of their fine blends, since it is clear to me through the two they so kindly gave me to sample that their specialty brands are excellent smokes.
In this lady’s perspective, the Thomas Hinds Nicaraguan Maduro has earned a hearty: