Wrapper: Dominican Habano Oscuro
Binder: Dominican Piloto Cubano
Filler: Dominican Criollo Ligero ’98, Dominican Piloto Cubano Ligero, Dominican Andullo, Dominican 20-20
Size: 5.5 x 60 “Page 1”
Today we take a look at the new Headlines Maduro 2nd Edition from Sosa Cigars.
I want to thank Arby Sosa for gifting me the samples for review.
I don’t normally review the big honkers like this one but it has had plenty of humidor time and should be great.
There are three sizes: Page 1: 5.5 x 60, Page 2: Torpedo 6 x 54, and Page 3: 6 x 50.
Prices range from $7.50-$8.50 per stick.
All of Sosa Cigars can be bought online at Antillian Cigar Corporation. And Arby sells other mainstream cigars as well. I’ve reviewed all of the Sosa blends, Headlines 1st Edition, Santa Julia, and Macabi. All terrific cigars for a reasonable price point.
Headlines is made at Tabacalera, Real, S.A.
This is a gorgeous, oily cigar. The wrapper is a dark coffee bean brown. Feels a bit toothy. The seams are tight. Not very many veins. And solidly packed with no soft spots.
I love the cigar band. My only issue is that there is too much glue on them and getting them off in one piece is near impossible. I will cut mine off and cross my fingers I don’t nick the wrapper.
I use a punch and find aromas of dark baking cocoa, spice, espresso, honey, and floral notes.
Time to light up.
And the first flavors are spiciness, sweetness, something fruity, and a touch of cocoa.
BTW- I’ve had this cigar for almost a month.
There is an herbal spice that lingers at the back of my palate. As opposed to sitting in the passenger side and nagging about the way I’m driving. “You go too fast. You just missed that abutment. Didn’t you see that red light? Why would you run over that lady and her baby?” Stuff like that.
The Headlines Maduro 2nd Edition does not start off aggressively due to its size. Arby sent me a couple of the original Headlines 1st Edition in the Corona size and they were napalm and fire crackers.
Creaminess and caramel. It seems to be getting more of a Nic puro taste than a DR puro taste. But it’s early. I should finish this 6 x 60 sometime Wednesday afternoon. Charlotte is hooking up a saline IV to my arm as I type this.
The sweetness branches out: Honey, dried fruit, brown sugar, and chocolate pudding pops. (Where is Cosby when you need him?)
Charlotte lived in Lake Tahoe for several years and has stories up the ying yang about Cosby and other celebrities. (What the hell is a ying yang?)
But basically, according to Charlotte and what she saw, the accusations are all true. The Katman lowers himself to TMZ.
Back to business.
The strength is classic medium body.
While the spiciness was mild at the very start, ¾” in, it blossoms into a potent red pepper. I like it.
A crack forms in the front. I glue it.
I bet this blend in a smaller cigar is dynamite. This blend is sort of lumbering along. It’s nice but not very interesting. But I’ve only burned 1”.
I think that smokers who prefer the large redwood trees are missing out. The small ring gauges have a better wrapper vs. filler ratio and tend to be twice as good. If not more.
If I were smoking the Corona version, I know I’d be fawning all over it and praising it to baby Jesus himself.
But lots of smokers like that long 2-1/2 3 hour cigar. And I understand that. But if you want real flavor, stick with the small cigars. Robustos, coronas, petite coronas, etc. There are exceptions, of course.
Arby doesn’t say when these will be available on his web site. I look forward to that day and I will pounce on the corona size.
I check out the site and the original Headlines come in only three sizes and no Corona. But Arby also sells a 6 cigar sampler and the photo clearly shows a Corona sized stick. I’m confused. Is he only going to sell those larger sizes and omit the Corona? Time will tell.
The flavor profile hasn’t really changed much: Sweetness, creaminess, cedar, honey, floral notes, herbal notes, toasty, and chocolate.
The char line needs a continuous watch.
The second third begins.
The strength reaches medium/full.
That fruity element has a nice variety: Black cherry, raisins, dates.
The red pepper is all but gone now.
I know what Sosa can do. The man is a master blender with the highest standards. This cigar is not him.
But this might explain why the Headlines Maduro 2nd Edition tastes as it does:
“Nowadays everybody wants this straight forward power bomb cigars. Not my thing but I have to make cigars for every palate.”
OK. I can respect that.
The Headlines Maduro 2nd Edition is a venture into a milder flavored blend. If you want that power bomb, try the Headlines 1st Edition.
Both blends are at the same price points.
I reach the halfway point. The Headlines Maduro 2nd Edition is just cruising along. Very smooth.
The flavor profile is a bit bolder as I begin the second half. This blend is heavy on the “sweet” factors.
I think the issue is that the cigar band seems to be made of a more porous paper than those shiny bands. And therefore, soaks up the glue making it difficult to remove in one piece.
The fruitiness takes over. Coffee really jumps in with both feet. The creaminess looms large. And the red pepper begins to ramp up.
It just may be that the second half is the sweet spot. And that possibly this behemoth of a cigar needs several months to reach its zenith.
The char line begins to behave itself.
Caramel shows itself for the first time. I have a hunch that from here on, I am going to become impressed.
Other flavors joint the ride: roasted nuts, wheat, and the chocolate returns in force.
The Headlines Maduro 2nd Edition becomes a whirling dervish. The flavor profile has taken a 180° turn on me. It is bold and powerful. It has become complex with a nice balance. And it now has a long chewy finish.
I thought I was going to be very disappointed. And maybe I was as a result of the impact the first half had on me. But that may just be a lack of humidor time. The Headlines 1st Edition Coronas that Arby sent me to enjoy were ready to rumble in just three weeks.
The first half took a good hour to smoke.
Now I want the burn time to slow down because of how much I’m enjoying it.
Side note: The damn cat chronicles. All night long, the cat jumps up and down on me. Last night, I turned on my right side hoping the cat would leave me alone. The cat got up on my left side and slipped. Using his claws to hang on for dear life. Using his claws on my bare arm. If I went to the doctor, the nurse would look at my arm and think I’m cutting myself. This is the first cat we’ve owned that likes to kiss. It shoves its puss (Pardon the pun) right up to my mouth and kisses me over and over. It makes sleep very difficult.
Back to the Headlines Maduro 2nd Edition. Everything is A-OK now. No burn issues. No wrapper issues. Just okey dokey.
Here are the flavors: Creaminess, chocolate, spice, honey, wheat, nuts, fruit, floral notes, cedar and herbal notes.
This is a great road trip cigar. No fussing with cutting and lighting a new cigar while driving. It should get to where you’re going without needing a second cigar.
The last third begins.
The flavor profile is very intense. That long finish has me licking my chops like the dog does when she sees me eating something.
I can taste a small amount of black licorice. Very subtle.
The strength moves to full body.
Some nicotine shows up. Oy.
I’m getting wrapper cracks now. And it has nothing to do with my humidification. I’ve reviewed dozens of cigars lately that had no wrapper issues.
I can’t explain it. Bad luck?
The Headlines Maduro 2nd Edition finishes without heat or harshness.
I haven’t met a Sosa cigar I didn’t like. So I don’t think that the problems I’ve had with this cigar are normal. Sometimes you just get a bum cigar.
I still recommend the Headlines Maduro 2nd Edition. I am pretty sure the issues I had with this cigar was just a fluke. I’ve reviewed so many Sosa cigars and not once did I have these issues. So if it isn’t Sosa, it is my fault. Some cigars are more sensitive to the cold. And Wisconsin cold is extreme.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS