Guantanamera DUO Double Maduro | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan ’98 Criollo
Size: 6 x 60 “Box Press”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $10.80

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guanbox

Today we take a look at the Guantanamera DUO Double Maduro.

This was a gift from my buddy Johnny at Prime Cigar here in the Milwaukee area. I’ve allowed it to rest over a month and Johnny had it resting prior to that.

This company is not well known. Here is why. From Wikipedia:
“Guantanamera is the name of a United States cigar brand owned by Guantanamera Cigars Company of Miami, Florida and a Cuban cigar brand produced in Cuba for Habanos SA, the Cuban state-owned tobacco company.

“Corporacion Habanos’ version of Guantanamera was launched in Dortmund, Germany on September 14, 2002 and was made internationally available in October of the same year. The brand was named after the song “Guajira Guantanamera” (Spanish for ‘peasant girl from Guantánamo’) by José Fernández Díaz. Unlike nearly every other cigar blend produced in Cuba, the tobacco used in the brand comes from the Vuelta Arriba region, which is located in the middle of Cuba, rather than the Vuelta Abajo in Pinar del Río.

“Featuring only machine-made cigars, Corporacion Habanos’ version of Guantanamera is known as an affordable choice for consumers. The blend is mild with a slightly harsh/tannic aspect to it.

“On the other hand, the United States brand produced by Guantanamera Cigar Company is a premium long-filler hand rolled cigar.”

The owner’s name is on the big billboard cigar band: Jose Montagne.

From Cigarcyclopedia:
“To strengthen his hand, Jose Montagne recently announced that he has acquired the Guantanamera rum brand, made by Dominican distiller Oliver & Oliver, which will continue to make and sell the rum under license. “If Guantanamera was registered for rum at the Federal trademark office, why can’t it be registered for cigars,” asks Montagne.

“Cuba objected to our company’s application for trademark registration because Cuba has a huge money-making product by the same name, sold worldwide to the tune of 33 million units for the last year alone. Just became Cuba wants to sell its competing brand in the United states doesn’t mean that it has the right to do so, especially since we began selling the brand five years before they did.’

“Montagne’s Guantanamera Cigar Co. continues to make the brand in both Honduras and in Miami and also markets the Duo and 310 brands. Habanos, of course, sells the machine-made Guantanamera brand all around the world, but still not in the U.S.”

The Guantanamera web site is in Spanish in the “About Us” section.

A gorgeous chocolate candy bar of a cigar. It has a mottled dark brown wrapper with a road map of veins, tight seams, and perfect triple cap. There is a nice oily sheen with a bit of tooth. The box press has crisp corners down the entire length of the cigar. But merges to a soft press about 2” from the cap.

I clip the cap and find aromas of chocolate, spice, coffee, cedar, hay, leather, and a touch of peppermint.
Time to light up.

The stick lights up with a big blast of red pepper. Followed by smooth notes of cocoa, coffee, and cream.

As this is a Nic puro, I would expect that trifecta +1 to show up first. I highly anticipate what is to follow. What makes this different from every other Nic puro out there.
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The line of cigars can be bought directly from the Guantanamera Cigars web site. I also found another online store: Cigar Cabana that carries them.
But two issues here. The home base web site only sells the cigars by the box. And the Cigar Cabana has no visible manner in which you can purchase them. It is hidden.

Ahh…but then a little more looking and I find that Cuban Crafter’s Cigars carries them for $90 less per box than Guantanamera. But same issue: Boxes only except for a four stick sampler of the 310 blend. But it does bring the individual single price down to $7.20 instead of $10.80

I just realize something. As I look at both web sites, the DUO is sold only as a 6 x 60. And not a torpedo like the one I’m reviewing. I will ask Johnny at Prime Cigar what the heck is up. So the pricing is now approximate instead of dead nuts correct.

And inch burns and the flavor profile opens up. The spice goes from red to black pepper and really ramps it up. The other flavors: Chocolate, coffee, creaminess, wood, sweetness, dried fruit, and a touch of caramel. So far, the Guantanamera DUO Double Maduro is playing out the stereotypical Nic puro flavor profile. It is doing it well but no surprises.

The ash is making a dog leg to the left. Funny looking.
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The strength started out medium body but quickly turned into medium/full.

The earthiness of the tobacco comes to the surface. There is a deep guttural sensation.

The dried fruit is raisin. And there is a black cherry element.

But the whole experience is now very rich and complex. Nice balance. Long finish.

The Guantanamera DUO Double Maduro has become an upstanding member of society. In other words, it is an excellent blend. It isn’t unique but the blending was done with care and focus.

Now I really would like to try the 310 line that Guantanamera Cigars makes.

The DUO is packed tight and is a slow burner.

But once again, my postulate about big cigars not having the pizazz of smaller cigars is dashed on the rocks. The DUO smokes like a robusto. The wrapper is thick giving the wrapper vs. filler ratio a great balance.

The second third begins.
I’ve invested 30 minutes in smoke time.
5third

The price point. Guantanamera wants you to shell out $270 for a box of 25. Ouch. I don’t understand why they don’t offer samplers or even 5 packs. For a cigar that is virtually invisible online, the owner should do what he can to make the cigars affordable and wallet friendly. No one is going to shell out that kind of dough for a cigar they are not familiar with. Unless you’re bucks up of course. I will send the review to the owner and hope he hears me. Because I would love to buy the DUO and the 301 but not by the box. My cigar budget won’t allow it.

The construction is doing very well. No touch ups required. No wrapper issues. And the cap is hanging tough.

This is one of the smokiest cigars I’ve smoked in a while. I open the dining room window the whole way and turn the fan on. And of course, it is snowing. And cold. Although, it is 29° which isn’t bad.

As the Guantanamera DUO Double Maduro progresses, the flavors become bolder with a nice intensity. Big flavors for a big cigar.

On the web sites, there is a Guantanamera Habano Especial 310 Churchill that looks very enticing. With the 310 blend, the prices are about the same from both web sites.

Here is what Cuban Crafter’s says about the 310:
“Produced in very limited quantities, Guantanamera Habano Especial 310 is a magnificent ultra-premium cigar with a sophisticated Cuban taste.”

Kinda makes me drool. But then I’m an old man and that comes with the territory.

I reach the halfway point.

Now this cracks me up. The ash is now doing a dog leg to the right this time.
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The flavors go unchanged except for the intensity that keeps reaching for the stars with each puff.
The Guantanamera DUO Double Maduro is extremely complex now.

The flavor intensity just hangs on to my palate for dear life. Such a long chewy finish.

I remove the cigar band and the cigar has such a crisp box press that the band has creases in it.

The caramel element moves ahead in the line and matches the coffee component. We now have a caramel macchiato.

In fact, that is exactly what the Guantanamera DUO Double Maduro reminds me of: A chocolate smoothie.

My Atkins Shakes are proving too expensive so under the advice of musical partner Rick T, I bought an inexpensive smoothie machine. Should arrive today or tomorrow. Will make my own Atkins Shakes from now on and the first ingredients I plan to use are exactly the same as the flavor profile in the Guantanamera DUO Double Maduro.

New flavors arrive: Graham cracker and cinnamon.
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The strength remains at medium/full.

The Guantanamera DUO Double Maduro has turned into a special experience. I understand the retail price. It is worth $10.80 per stick. But the Cuban Crafter’s price is easier on the wallet.

I hope that Jose Montagne realizes that CC is undercutting his box price by $90.

Oh man, the blend on this baby is oozing flavor. Something I’ve never understood as a cigar outsider. And a lazy researcher. How does the tobacco become so chocolatey?

Is it the soil? Is it the aging? Is it the choice of leaves? Or all of the above?

With 2-1/2” to go, I’ve put an hour and 15 minutes into the cigar.

The chocolate becomes a dark, powdery baking cocoa.

Once again: Chocolate, creaminess, coffee, graham cracker, cinnamon, cedar, black cherry, raisin, wood, and leather. With a massive dose of earthiness.
I can’t find a list of retailers on the Guantanamera Cigars web site.

This is a must try cigar. The flavors are just bozo crazy.

The last third begins.

The strength begins to eke into the full body range now.
Some nicotine shows itself.
8third

Turnabout is fair play as the ash goes back to the dog leg to the left. LOL.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable cigar. I would like to see it in a smaller version. As it is not always prudent to have the time to spend 90+ minutes on a cigar. But I have to admit that it kept my interest the whole time.

The strength hits the pedal and moves to a strong full body. I think I’m seeing double.

The Guantanamera DUO Double Maduro finishes without harshness or heat. No bitterness.

I would contact the Guantanamera folks and see if they will sell the cigar in something other than a box. A sampler would be great. 5 pack even better. That’s how you lure potential customers in so if they like it, next time they buy a box.

The Guantanamera DUO Double Maduro is a damn fine cigar.
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And now for something completely different:

Remember The Byrds?
The_Byrds_in_1965
In 1966, at the height of their short career, I got to meet and hang with them at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, CA.

The Golden Bear is a small venue. Maybe seated 200 people. The Byrds had a string of major hits. And were considered the American Beatles.

It was impossible to get tickets. So my buddy, Elliot Kushell, had an idea. We would pretend we were reporters for the Long Beach Telegram newspaper.

I called the Golden Bear and introduced myself as a reporter. An hour later, The Byrds manager called back and said he would get us backstage passes.
Elliot and I were ecstatic.

We were both 16. And hardly looked like reporters.

I brought along my Sony reel to reel that my grandfather bought me for my Bar Mitzvah. And I brought two cameras: A Kodak Instamatic and a Polaroid.
The Byrds did two shows.

We met them as soon as we got there. We were invited into their dressing room. A drab and tiny room.

Right away, they were friendly and generous.

I got a 45 minute interview with Roger McGuinn. I took lots of photos. During the concert, I just wandered to the front of the stage and took pictures with my Instamatic.
roger

Back stage, I used my Polaroid. David Crosby asked if he could use it and show me something. He knew how to get double exposures with the thing.
So he took a bunch of crazy photos.
david

Strangely, I never saw them drink alcohol or smoke any weed. They were sober.
And neither Elliot nor I had tried weed at that age. Things were different then.

Now Roger went to a guru on a regular basis. This guru said his original name of Jim was wrong for him and changed it to Roger. LOL.

I asked for an autograph and, apparently, he wasn’t used to his new name. He started to write the letter J and then stopped and wrote Roger. I wish I still had that piece of paper but that was almost 50 years ago.

Roger let me hold the famous Rickenbacker 12 string that was the signature sound of The Byrds.

There were girls in the dressing room of course. And David made sure that they all sat on my lap. I almost passed out.

The evening lasted for 6 hours. All of it exhilarating.

The next day, I wrote up an article from the interview and submitted it to the teeny bopper magazine “Tiger Beat.”

A couple weeks later, it was returned to me bleeding with red mark ups. I was told that my article was not cuddly enough.
That was the official start of my writing career. LOL.

I hope you find my cigar reviews cuddly.

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