Wrapper: Dominican Maduro (Aged 3 Years)
Binder: Dominican Criollo ‘98
Filler: Dominican Criollo ’98, PA Broadleaf
Size: 6 x 50 “Toro”
Price: $6.00 +/- Only Available at B & M’s (See list of retailers on Exactus web site)
Today we take a look at the El Artista Exactus Maduro. The cigar can be bought on a few online stores but is primarily a B & M purchase.
The cigar comes in six sizes: Robusto 5 x 54, Coloso 6 x 60, Toro 6 x 50, Torpedo 6.5 x 52, and Churchill 7 x 50.
From the Exactus web site:
“Tamboril, Dominican Republic (1955). A cigar craftsman named Ramon A. Rodriguez (aka Don Pulita) decided to create a new business in the tobacco industry with his friend Don Jose J. Dominguez.
“The Tabacalera was born in 1956 with the name of Puros Cibao and producing the brand with the same name. The business began in a warehouse with a small staff of 9 craftsmen and a monthly production of 10 thousand to 12 thousand cigars that were sold in the local market.
“In the early 70’s, the distribution began to be through the country with a monthly production of 500 thousand cigars. Because of the acceptance of our good quality brand, other cigar factories followed our steps; this was seen as a business opportunity to become a raw material supplier.
“By 1995 the company made huge changes on its products and techniques. Also the name changed to Tabacalera el Artista S.A. a name chosen because we consider that our members are artist in the production of premium cigars.
“Today Tabacalera El Artista S.R.L. is a combination of tradition and decades of experience, with an adequate infrastructure of 60,000 sq. ft. for the production and packing of any kind of tobacco product. It specializes in the manufacturing of premium cigars and supplying raw material to many large and highly known companies all over the world.”
The cigar is coal black. Yet I detect a very mottled wrapper with a bit of oiliness and somewhat toothy. It is rustic as the sticks are a bit lumpy and bumpy. Seams are tight. Lots of veins. I assume it is a triple cap but it has one of the most flawless applications, consistently, that I have ever seen.
The cigar band is nice looking and has a yellow foot ribbon.
I clip the cap and find aromas of deep earth, rich cocoa (Especially at the foot), splendid coffee, potent spice, floral notes, sweet cedar and leather. Good start.
Time to light up.
It hits early flavor bomb status in the first two minutes. Very impressive.
I’ve allowed these cigars to marinate for almost two months.
The strength is medium/full from the start. Uh-oh.
The draw is spot on and the char line is dead nuts.
I want to thank Jonás Santana of the Exactus (El Artista) folks for sending me samples of both the Exactus Maduro and the Puro Ambar for review. I will review the Puro Ambar sometime in the coming week.
I want to talk about the price point early because I am not really sure of its actual price depending on which state you live in. Although most on the web site list will ship to you. I spoke to Betty at Wabash Cigar Store in Terre Haute, IN and she had the more of the stock from El Artista than any of the other B & M’s. Including the Puro Ambar. Plus she is a very nice lady and easy to work with. But if you Google this cigar, you will find a couple online stores carrying them. Here is their phone number: 1-800-299-7459.
Ok. The reason for mentioning the price point should be evident. I love this cigar. It is cost effective. It has a stunning flavor intensity, early complexity and a brilliant balance and finish.
Flavors are very distinct. No blurring of the edges. More flavors join up. We have some raisins, toffee, toast, nuts, wet wood; but the creaminess, spiciness, cocoa, and coffee steal the show.
The strength is hanging tough at medium/full. I expect the last third to knock me unconscious. Crash helmet ready.
I smoked an Exactus Maduro about a week after receipt. Nowhere close to the blender’s intent. I am so glad I waited the full month before lighting one up again. Because they are difficult to get with so little online stores making them available, I will cherish my other 3 sticks.
This is the perfect example of a wallet friendly cigar being a high premium blend. They don’t spend the dough on PR and pass the savings on to the consumer. I heard that at this year’s IPCPR convention, where the Puro Ambar made its debut, that the El Artista booth was flooded with people.
I’ve smoked the Puro Ambar and I am telling you straight out that this is the strongest cigar I have ever smoked. Bar none.
You need to eat a meal like Henry VIII did before lighting one up.
I’m like a pig in mud. The Exactus Maduro is a very special cigar.
The Exactus comes in three wrappers: The Clasico (Ecuadorian Connecticut), Habano (Ecuadorian Habano), and Maduro.
Also in their line is the Exactus Super Coloso. Both in Habano and Maduro. It’s size? 11 x 90. That should settle you in for a weekend.
And lastly, the Puro Ambar whose wrapper is T13 (Exclusive of Tabacalera El Artista grown in Rancho Elba Maria).
The cigar has characteristics of a much more expensive cigar. If the Exactus Maduro was in the big online stores, this stick would go for $8-$9 a pop. They are that good.
It is another dreary day in Wisconsin and of course, no sun. So the lovely oiliness is barely visible.
I told Charlotte what I wanted for my 65th birthday: A new camera. A good one. Can’t wait. Of course, I will have to do all the research so she can buy it. And I want her to go to a real camera store. I don’t want some pimply teen advising her about what I want.
Here are the flavors as I near the halfway point: Creaminess, cocoa, coffee, spice, citrus, wood, sweet cedar, raisins, toast, toffee, nuts, a touch of black licorice and leather. Whew.
And all are pumping like a marathon runner.
The complexity runs deep. The balance is perfect. Lately, I’ve been lucky with the cigars I’ve reviewed. Lots of good stuff. And I am debating whether or not to insert this blend into my Top 25 Cigars of 2013-2014. It is that good.
I spent 5 minutes, just now, Googling these cigars looking for an online store that carries them. Nada. Call Betty. Her price was also better than the other dozen stores I called. Brought the Exactus Maduro down to around $5 a stick by the box.
I was told by a lot of B & M’s that they have trouble keeping the line in stock. A very popular cigar.
The cigar is packed perfectly with the right amount of tobacco. It smokes nice and slow and the draw is on the money.
The toffee becomes caramel and is right behind creaminess and cocoa.
The spice has tamped down a bit.
The Exactus Maduro holds on to its flavor bomb status like its life depends on it. There is no dissipation of any flavor. And in fact, as I am now in the last third, the flavor profile becomes even more intense.
I read a couple reviews and clearly, the cigars were smoked too soon. Their reviews are nothing like mine.
Impatience can ruin a review and the chance for you to want to buy some.
The Exactus Maduro reaches full body now. Nicotine follows and I place my crash helmet on my pate.
This is a real cigar experience. One to be savored.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS