Bite Size Review: Dapper Cigar Co. La Madrina
It’s been said by some prominent cigar insiders, that many are jumping into making cigars, but few deserve credit for what they produce. Dapper Cigar Co. may be one of those exceptions. Dapper Cigar Co. was launched by Ian Reith in 2013 with the impetus gained through his inaugural Cubo line that was originally intended for sharing among friends. The Fresno, California-based outfit has expanded to 4 lines currently available with other projects and line extensions in the works.
La Madrina translates to “godmother” and when I first learned the name of the cigar, I thought “no way.” Surely, they didn’t name a cigar after the ruthless “Godmother”, Griselda Blanco, of the Colombian Medellín Cartel. What would have been an awkward tribute, thankfully wasn’t. Reith instead is paying tribute to the imagery and meaning of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a personal reminder to live life to the fullest. And an intense, full-bodied, cigar might just connect those dots.
La Madrina’s oily, tawny-colored Habano wrapper glistens, is seamless and confidently firm. Pleasant chocolatey aromas dominate, but I still detect a whiff of gingerbread. Unfortunately, the draw is tight which doesn’t improve throughout the smoke. On the plus side, I’m greeted by initial notes of gingerbread, candied nuts swirling around a leathery core. Throw in hints of chocolate and oak on the retro and a long, baked-bread finish and I’ve forgotten all about the draw problem.
Transitions feature oak and chocolatey profiles that offer an amazing complexity throughout the smoke. While listed as “Full/Extra Full”, La Madrina’s warm, silky texture and satisfying complexity smokes more medium-to-full with regard to strength. This is a delicious cigar. Sadly, combustion issues arose at the start of the last transition that required too much hand-holding. A runner appeared followed by a very irregular burn necessitating 2 touch-ups. This is a boxworthy blend I could smoke every day, but the tight draw combined with the combustion issues sucked the fun out of it. Nonetheless, I would still highly recommend keeping a few around.- In Fumo Pax!
Recommendation: 2. 5-Packer
Did you Know: Most of the tobaccos used in their cigars, including La Madrina, comes from the venerable Oliva Tobacco Co.
- Profile: Full
- Length / Ring Gauge: 5.62″x50
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian La Luchita Habano
- Binder: Mexico San Andrés
- Filler: Nicaragua [Esteli, Jalapa], Dominican Republic [Habano ‘92], U.S. [Pennsylvania Broadleaf]
- Blade: Colibri V
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $9.62
- Humidor Age: 10 mo.
- Box: 20
- Other Vitolas: Corona Gorda [5.62 x 46], Toro [5.25 x 54]
Smoke Time: 1:08
Draw: Tight; persists throughout smoke.
Construction: Tawny-hued wrapper; oily; seamless; some veins; ugly cap; solid feel; uniformly firm; holds strong, 1″ near-white ash.
- Wrapper – Raisins, hint of gingerbread
- Foot – Chocolate cake
- Cold Draw – Chocolate, raisins
- Initial: Medium bodied with caramel and black pepper on draw; gingerbread, candied nuts notes around leather profile; baked bread finish is dry; chocolate and oak intonations on retro; adds notes of oats and coffee late;
- Transition: Oak core; hints of oats and graham cracker with residual notes of black pepper/light spice on palate;
- Transition: Draw becomes more chocolatey; notes of chocolate and wood on retro; spice moves to the nose; reprise of dry, baked bread finish.
Touch ups: 2
Combustion: Superb early; weakens significantly after last transition; runner.
Weaknesses: Tight draw doesn’t improve much; runner develops late and combustion becomes very irregular.
Recommendation: 2. 5-Packer
- Go-to (boxworthy)
- Yard ‘gar
- Smoke a banana instead