Bite Size Review: Matilde Quadrata
What many cigar lovers do not realize is that out of the sheer number of different brands indigenous to big cigar-producing nations like the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras, only a handful will make it to the US. And we’re not counting region-specific releases headed to countries other than the good ol’ US of A. There’s a variety of reasons for this, not the least of which is friendly distribution channels, marketing infrastructure and/or mediocre blends. One of the newer Dominican boutique brands to overcome these challenges is Matilde.
La Matilde, as it was originally known, was christened in 1876 and is recognized as one of the oldest Dominican cigar brands. After a brief retirement from a 25+ year career as master blender and general manager for iconic Dominican production house, Tabacalera de Garcia, Jose Seijas jumped back into the game and in 2014, revived the dormant company under the truncated name, Matilde.
As we’ve seen many times, tobacco industry luminaries “leave the table” to go play, succumbing to the whims of their passion, drive and métier. These virtues also propel Jose Seijas, but it’s his love of country and his roots that transmogrifies each Matilde cigar. Today the Matilde brand boasts 4 lines: Serena, Renacer, Oscura and Quadrata. The Quadrata is the company’s first go at a box pressed cigar and the only marca to be offered in the Torpedo vitola.
Our Quadrata is nice and oily giving a slick feel to the coffee-colored Habano wrapper. The near seamless appearance is also complemented by minimal veins. While the length of the cigar feels spongy, the band logo is a nice presentation of overlapping tobacco leaves in the shape of an “S”, presumably representing ‘Seijas’, enveloping a female figure. The Toro Bravo vitola is 0.5” longer than the standard Toro, thereby enhancing the floral and orange zest aromas. The draw could be a tad more open, but close enough. A tangy layer of ripe plum eases over the palate on the cold draw.
The opening burn leads to a smooth medley of baked almonds and candied nuts preceding a long, rich, nutty finish. There’s a floral essence on the oaky draw and lets see if you can spot the hints of allspice on the retro. It glides through transitions upping the spice within smoky profiles of caramel and cedar which nicely complement the baked finishes. This cigar had me licking my lips for some bourbon! Combustion could be better as the char remains wavy throughout the smoke, but it never gets out of hand. The Quadarata is a tantalizing smoke that never gets old and is a great way to spend an hour and a half. Oh yeah, might wanna keep some bourbon handy. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: From 1984 – 2011, Jose Seijas served as master blender for and General Manager of Tabacalera de Garcia, producers of Montecristo, Romeo Y Julieta and H. Upmann.
- Profile: Med-Full
- Vitola: Toro Bravo [BP]
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6.5″ x 54
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Dominican
- Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $9.75
- Humidor Age: 8 mo.
- Box: 20
- Other Vitolas: Robusto [5.25″x50], Torpedo [6″x52]
Smoke Time: 1:30
Construction: Box press; overall spongy feel; raised seams; oily; rich, coffee hue; minimal veins; slick texture; holds compact, 1″ ash.
- Wrapper – Floral
- Foot – Orange zest, milk chocolate
- Cold Draw – Over-ripe plum
- Initial: Smooth medley of baked almonds and candied nuts on retro; floral essence with oaky draw; rich, nutty finish; lingering semi-sweetness on tongue; hints of allspice; light, toasty texture; hints of red pepper on palate; light spice in nose; cedar added.
- Transition: Rich caramel core (retro); smoky character; nutty finish adds more earth notes; spice in nose remains; cedar tang among thick woody notes; fuller bodied; finish features more black coffee; nutty return.
- Transition: Smoky, woody core featuring notes of pinewood; spice on palate with a zesty baked finish with notes of hay and coffee bean; underlying tinge of baking spice on retro; body becomes more chocolatey.
Touch ups: N/A
Combustion: Very good
Weaknesses: Wavy burn early and improves minimally
- Boxworthy / Go-to
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]