Cesar Espinal Torpedo Maduro | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Dominican Corojo
Filler: Dominican and US
Size: 6 x 54
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $8.25 from Brickell Cigar Company

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Today we take a look at the Cesar Espinal Torpedo Maduro.

I recently reviewed the Habano. It was a fine, fine cigar.
Now, Brickell has followed up with sending me the Maduro version.

From the Cesar Cigars web site:
“Cesar Espinal had a dream in his youth. A third generation tobacco grower, Cesar was fifteen when he started working at his family’s farm in the Dominican Republic. He worked in the fields learning how to plant, cultivate and harvest tobacco. The Espinal family sold their yield to several of the most prominent cigar makers. In his late teens, Cesar started learning the art of making premium cigar from master blenders and rollers that came from the Dominican Republic.

“With his family’s help, he opened a small factory in San Diego in 1996 called Cesar Cigars where he began producing hand rolled cigars for the locals and tourist trade. Cesar desired to perfect his skills of the trade, so in 2000 decided to move to the Dominican Republic and started honing his craft.

“Driven by his passion, he took over the family farm in 2010, built a small factory near Santiago and began manufacturing cigars for several small retailers. By 2012, he moved his operation to Tamboril to continue expanding Cesar Cigars. The factory has grown to over 1,200 Acres for growing tobacco, and includes the box factory which produces packaging not only for Cesar Cigars as well as many other well-known Tabacaleras.

“Cesar values life’s simple pleasures. An exceptional cigar using three year old wrapper and five year aged fillers, a great presentation and an affordable price. Cesar Cigars recently acquired additional property to expand and build a larger facility. Fabrica de Cesar will be completed by 2015.”

Nice looking stick. But I notice that after removing the cedar sleeve that the Torpedo shape is more of a Piramide shape. The cap at the shoulder, measures 54. But the foot measures 60.

The wrapper is a very dark, oily coffee bean colored that feels pretty smooth. Seams are invisible. Very few veins. A gorgeous triple cap.

And the cigar band is a real work of art. But there apparently is no difference in band design between the Habano and the Maduro. As both are dark cigars, watch out!

I clip the cap and find aromas of potent red pepper, dark baking cocoa, grapefruit (at the foot), cedar, leather, hay, espresso, and sweetness.
Time to light up.

Creamy and sweet. A dash of cappuccino. The draw is spot on. But the foot needs a minor touch up.

This is a big honker of a cigar. Don’t like ‘em this big. The Habano sent to me was a Toro that measured 6 x 50. Look at the difference between the two. When the difference is only a 6 x 50 Toro and a 6 x 54 Torpedo.
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The flavor profile starts out slowly and building towards something good, I hope. The Habano was a spectacular blend. I hope the Maduro matches it.

Oddly, not a pinch of spiciness is tasted. It was a blast on the Habano. And the Habano came out of the gate snortin’ and roaring to go. The Maduro is a very slow starter.
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If you want a discount, use the coupon code Lifeisgood15 for 15% off at checkout. Brickell sells 99% of its wares in boxes only. But the owner of Brickell made 5 packs available for both the Habano and Maduro.

There is a sweet cream lemony custard flavor now.

The strength is medium body.
The char line is on the money.

Here are the flavors so far: Creaminess, chocolate, espresso, lemon custard, cedar, leather, toasty and earthy tobacco.
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I’m an inch in. Took 10 minutes to get here. I am dismayed at the lack of spice. I loved everything about the Habano. A great cigar. But its cousin, the Maduro, seems to be lackluster.

And like a stage play, my last sentence leads to a turnaround of the flavor profile. I could delete that last few sentences so I don’t look stupid…but stupid looks good on me.

The spiciness finally arrives in the guise of black pepper. The entire flavor profile mans up.

Oh God. Bob Seeger on the radio. I just never got that guy. Put him in the rink with Michael McDonald of Doobie Brothers and let them fight it out to the death. Has anyone ever seen them in the exact same place together? I thought not.

The chocolate is absolutely screaming laughter. Man, is it rich! The creaminess is molten lava almost like a meringue on top of lemon pie.

The second third begins.

Strength moves to medium/full.
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And the flavors have really kicked in. I suppose that this big of a cigar just needs another month of humidor time. Probably.

As far as I know, Brickell Cigar Co. is the only online store to carry them. I would definitely recommend the Habano. I’m not ready to recommend the maduro yet.

The Habano had a myriad of flavors are swirling like a sea of swarming simbas. The Maduro is a slow build but getting there.
I like the former’s approach better.

The price point. Both blends are the same price. The Habano was worth every dime of the $8.25. The Maduro? Not so sure.

The Cesar Espinal Torpedo Maduro is a very pleasant cigar. When I use the word “Pleasant,” I usually mean it belongs in the “The Katman’s List of 128 Great Cigars in the $5.00-$6.50 Range.”

I reach the halfway point.

I chose to drink a Diet Coke due to the intensity of the chocolate and creaminess. Now with each swig of the cola, I get a big wash of chocolate and cream on my palate. This is what I expected the Cesar Espinal Torpedo Maduro to taste like naturally.
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As the cigar moves along its path, the chocolate and cream escalate to what I tasted with a swig of Diet Coke. There is toastiness, nuttiness, lemon, cedar, and a bit of cinnamon graham cracker.

Like a light switch, the flavors bolt into the light. It is not a kitchen sink type of blend. It has a short list of flavors. But there is an earthiness to the tobacco that is actually remarkable. I can taste the minerals from the dirt the plants were grown in. That’s a big plus.

The construction has been amazing. A perfect char line the whole time. Not a single wrapper issue. And the cap has held up admirably.

I believe this is a regular production cigar. There is very little info on the Brickell web site and the Cesar Cigars web site about their blends. Of which, there are only two at the moment. Just the Habano and the Maduro.

The Cesar Espinal Torpedo Maduro has passed pleasant and moved on to very interesting and bold.
This is the sweet spot. On the Habano, the sweet spot started immediately.

I still have a couple left from Brickell. I’m going to let them rest another couple of months and report back.

Nicotine enters the picture. In a gentle sort of way.

Yeah, I hesitantly recommend this cigar. I think that Brickell should have sent me Robustos instead of the behemoth size.

You know who the greatest of them all is? Sheryl King of Stogie Boys. This is one terrific rep for the company. I don’t know her full title but she’s up there.

I would love to sit and talk to Sheryl over a cigar. She is kind and generous. I mentioned I might want their new Rocky Patel Especial Corojo Robusto. It comes in a bundle of 20 for $53.95. She just sent them to me gratis. I’ve had them for a month now and I lit my first one up a day or so ago. Pretty good cigar. So I will review it soon. Their pricing is right in the middle of other online stores. But as a Katman reader, you get a 10% off coupon: Katman10.
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The last half of the Cesar Espinal Torpedo Maduro is an excellent cigar blend. I am really digging it now. I’m very impressed with the construction.

The last third begins.

The flavors don’t change. But they are very intense now. The stick is a very slow burner. I’ve invested an hour and 15 minutes.
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I’m also impressed with the structural integrity of the ash. It maintains 1-1/2” before it falls off…leaving a perfect char line.

For the first time, there is a real definitive sweetness. It is raisins, graham cracker, and buttery shortbread.
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I remove the cigar band. The artwork is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen on a band.

Yeah, I can recommend this cigar at this price. Although, the first half was nothing to write home about, more humidor time might cure that. The second half is spectacular.
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The Habano got a #1 Boutique Cigar of 2014 from Cigar Spirits Magazine. Well deserved. If the Maduro had started out with a big punch like the Habano does, it too might have won an award.
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Snagging a 5 pack is a good idea. Tell Brickell that the Katman sent you. And grab some Habanos while you’re at it.
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And now for something completely different:

Curved Air played a concert in Dover, England. On the coast.

We always headlined and the band was a legend. It had been around since 1968, I think. This was 1974. I believe the band has put out 14+ albums. I’m on 3, I think. They keep doing compilations so I lose track.

A trifecta of my musical heroes were in the audience that night: Jean Luc Ponty (Violin), Michael Goodman (Violin with Mahavishnu), and Jeff Beck.

During our one of many encores, the boys came on stage to jam with us. It was a dream come true for me. I will never forget when Beck and I traded riffs at the front of the stage.

We played 3 long jams and the audience was in rapture. So was I.

This was the first tour I did with the band. It was the “Hide that Sonja was a junkie period from the band.”

We all were in the dressing room. I shoved Sonja in the bathroom and told her to change. And then I forgot about her.

I was having the time of my life hanging and kibitzing with the three rock stars.

And then an hour later, I slapped my forehead and yelled, “SHIT!”
I knocked on the bathroom door. Nothing. I kept knocking. Nothing.

I had gone through hell keeping this from the band and I was just plain worn out on it.
I went back to the band and told them everything.

We tried to break the door in. Everyone including the three guests.

When it flew open, there was Sonja still sitting in her stage gear with her arm extended and blood dripping from it. She had taken a bottle opener and cut her wrist.

The boys ran into the bathroom. I just walked away shaking my head. She kept pulling these cry for help fake suicides and I was tired of it.
The cuts were superficial but they took her to the hospital where she spent the night.

Goodman suggested we get something to eat. Back then, not much was open at 2am but we found an open Indian restaurant. The band didn’t want to go. They were snobs and not impressed with Ponty, Beck, and Goodman.

So it was just the four of us. We talked about Sonja for a bit and then the conversation switched to road stories. I laughed my ass off.
We sat there til 5am. I then got up and said I needed some sack time.

I said my good byes and left.

Thank God for those dear boys. Without their company and support, I would have been in a real funk.

The next day, I dealt with the band and told them every little detail of what had been going on for the last 3 weeks.

To be continued….

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