Manolo Estate Cigars Serie 32 Habano | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Broadleaf
Binder: Dominican (Cuban Seed) Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan (Estelí), PA Ligero
Size: 5 x 50 “Robusto”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $6.48 MSRP ($5.52 @ Famous Smoke)

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Today we take a look at the new Manolo Estate Cigars Serie 32 Habano.
Thanks to Luis Gutierrez, co-founder, of Manolo Estate Cigars for the samples.

I received all three blends yesterday and lit up this blend ROTT. To say I was blown away is an understatement. Therefore, I am reviewing the blend after only one day of humidor rest. And immediately amended my “Top 25 Cigars for 2015” to include this cigar.

BACKGROUND:
From the Manolo Estate Cigars web site:
“The Serie 32 Habano uses a rich, properly aged blend of mostly Cuban Criollo 98 seed varietals that imbue this cigar with its full-bodied taste that is reminiscent of vintage old school Cuban cigars starting with its exquisite Ecuadorian Habano broad leaf wrapper. The masterful blend of Cuban-seed Dominican-grown Corojo, Ligero, and Seco, coupled with a strong base of Nicaraguan Estelí and Pennsylvania Ligero provide the perfect balance of smooth flavor and rich complexity that envelops your palate with a satisfying aftertaste of sweet spices and a nutty essence leaving behind an unmistakable aroma that soothes the senses of the most discerning cigar connoisseur.

“Manolo Estate cigars are made with select complimentary wrappers, fillers, and binders from around the globe and then aged at least 3 years before finally being hand rolled into a perfectly matured cigar that lives up to our time-honored Cuban family tradition. Our Manolos are then stored in a special aging room for an additional 12 months until they are delicately packaged in our Spanish cedar encasements for your enjoyment.

“The release of Manolo Estate Handmade Cigars marks the team of Luis Gutierrez and Juan Carlos Rojas’ official foray into the cigar industry following their initial role as purveyors of fine premium cigars at their tobacconist shops, Ash Fine Cigars located at 203 Washington Street in Hoboken, NJ and 2915 Rt. 23 South in Newfoundland, NJ.

“Proudly named after both Juan Carlos Rojas’ father Manuel “Manolo” Rojas and Luis Gutiérrez’s great-grandfather Don Manuel “Manolo” Gutiérrez.

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Their latest creation is a line called Cuban Heritage Collection. It has 3 blends:
Gran Fino Connecticut: Wrapper: Connecticut Shade Broadleaf, Binder: Dominican Criollo ’98, Filler: Dominican (Cuban Seed) Ligero, Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli), PA tobacco. (Mild/Medium)
Serie 32 Habano: (See leaf stats above)
Heavyweight Maduro: Wrapper: San Andrés Maduro, Binder: Dominican Criollo ’98, Filler: Nicaraguan (Estelí), PA tobacco, Dominican Ligero. (Full)
All three blends come in the same two sizes and the same price points.

DESCRIPTION:
A gorgeous oily wrapper that is the mocha brown in color. There is a small bit of tooth that creates a sandy feel to the touch.
Seams are locked tight. Lots of small veins but based on the oiliness, the color, and mottling…it makes the wrapper look like fine art.
The triple cap is impeccable. The sticks are solid. With the proper amount of give.
The bands on all three blends are classy and simple:

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SIZES AND PRICING:
5 x 50 Robusto $6.48 MSRP ($5.52 @ Famous Smoke)
6 x 60 Double Toro $8.47 MSRP ($7.43 @ Famous Smoke)

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell fruit, citrus, sweetness, spice, dark earth notes, cedar, and molasses.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell delicious dark bittersweet chocolate, very strong spice, barnyard, espresso, cedar, and hay.
The cold draw presents flavors of hay, grass, chocolate, spice, earthiness, and spice.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is spot on.
Whew! My face explodes into flames. SPICE! Man, I love it. But as strong as the spice is, other flavors are just as powerful: Chocolate, malts, coffee, sweetness, caramel, charred steak, cedar, and a touch of grapefruit citrus.

This is why I chose to review this cigar. Because it only gets better from here.
It doesn’t start like a lamb and grow into a lion; it starts as a lion and turns into a Giganotosaurus. The malts are strong and delicious. More on that later.

While close to being a kitchen sink flavor profile, it is more about the boldness. As well as a backup of ancillary subtleties that I cannot yet identify.
I remember yesterday. (Odd for a change). And thinking that Manolo Estate says it is a medium/full body and the Maduro is the full body. Well, halfway through the Serie 32 Habano, I thought I was flying on a magic carpet ride.

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The char line began a bit wavy but now is dead nuts perfect.
Which reminds me….As I only received these cigars yesterday after nearly a week in transit; I should expect some burn issues. Which is no fault of the cigar. It is my impatience to bring a superb cigar to you.
Strength is medium/full.
So smooth.

OK. Here are the malts: Cara Vienna Malt, Chocolate Rye Malt, Coffee Malt, and Honey Malt. (See Malt Chart).

The Manolo Estate Cigars Serie 32 Habano is the type of blend you want to roll naked, and oiled up, in a big ball pit. Does that make any sense?
Dried fruit, roasted nuts, grapefruit citrus becomes dried pineapple, and charred lamb instead of charred steak. This is Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

If you don’t go to Famous Smoke right now and buy some, you’re nuts.

The Manolo Estate Cigars web site has a sizeable Retailer Page you should check out. I counted over 30 B & M’s. Plus a few online stores. Check it out, I say.

The price point on this cigar is insane. If this were a big manufacturer’s cigar or even a good boutique brand, this cigar would cost $14.00. Instead, it is less than half. At Famous, a 21 count box of the Manolo Estate Cigars Serie 32 Habano is only $116.00. Crazy.
I told you that I would make my last 5 weeks something special.

It is very difficult to describe a cigar in which the only thing that comes to mind is WOW!
Transitions. Depth of character. Rich complexity. Perfect balance. Long, long chewy finish.
Luis Gutierrez and Juan Carlos Rojas should be very proud of themselves. Out of nowhere they bring to the table exquisite blends at a very wallet friendly price.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 25 minutes.
Strength is moving towards full body.

Here they are: Chocolate, malts, spiciness, coffee, creaminess, molasses, caramel, roasted nuts, charred lamb, dried fruit, cedar, floral notes, rich earth notes, herbal notes, and licorice.
Once again: WOW!

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I’m thinking that the Manolo Estate Cigars Serie 32 Habano should be higher than No.12 on “THE KATMAN’S TOP 25 CIGARS OF 2015.”

This is the most fun I’ve had with my pants on in ages.

Flavors rise exponentially. Never giving in. Never lessening in boldness. Transitions move around my palate like the Hadron Collider shooting particles at near the speed of light.
Smoke pours from this small cigar like a 1975 rock concert. Back then, everyone used smoke machines. But as the technology was new, they used some sort of oil that if exposed too long, gave you diarrhea. They fixed that of course.

I want to thank all the wonderful comments and loads of emails I’ve gotten from readers that I’ve heard from for the first time plus the old stalwarts. I cry each time I read one. LOL. Alzheimer’s has turned me into an old woman.

The halfway point. Smoke time is 40 minutes.

Caramel and creaminess push their way up the line of flavors as does the nuttiness. The spiciness has calmed down quite a bit. I betcha’ a dollar it returns in force in the last third.
The malts are flaming red.
I can’t remember how I learned of Manolo Estate Cigars. Maybe their Face Book page? I just cannot remember. I’m kvelling with mazel that I found them before I shut down the shop.

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Strength hits full body. No sign of nicotine.
Really. Stop reading and go buy some.

I check out the couple of other online stores that carry them. One doesn’t. The other sells them for much more (And doesn’t carry all the blends). Famous Smoke is the designated hitter.
And since Famous is a sponsor, Katman readers get 15% off orders over $75.00. The promo code is KATMAN. That means a 21 count box of robustos goes for $98.60, or $ 4.70 per stick…instead of $ $5.52. Pure insanity!!

The Manolo Estate Cigars Serie 32 Habano has required a couple minor touch ups but I expected that as it didn’t get proper humidor time. I cannot begin to imagine what the cigar will taste like after a couple months.

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LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 5 minutes.
As predicted, the spiciness returns. Just like the start of the cigar.
Flavors explode. Bona fide flavor bomb.

I can’t wait to try the Gran Fino Connecticut and the Heavyweight Maduro.
If I had the dough, I would definitely buy a box of Manolo Estate Cigars Serie 32 Habano.
I will review the Heavyweight Maduro tomorrow.

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It’s friggin’ cold here in Milwaukee. It’s 23°. And since we had a couple days of snow, it has turned to solid ice. And I’ve got the dining room window open where I write. Brrrr…

The Manolo Estate Cigars Serie 32 Habano is a spectacular blend.
I am duly impressed.
Remember, if you choose to follow your Uncle Katman’s advice and go to Famous Smoke and snag some; let them know I sent you.

RATING: 94

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And now for something completely different:

In the last couple of months, I’ve become friendly with the three brothers that run the family owned J.C. Newman Cigar Co. Bobby, Drew, and Eric.

Turns out that the patriarch, who started the company before 1900, was named Julius Newman. The Diamond Crown Julius Ceaser is named for him.

As it turns out, he was my grandfather’s best friend. Both from Hungary. Lived in Cleveland. Both smoked cigars of course. And both families Jewish. Julius was about 15 years older than my grandpa. But it seemed to have no impact on their friendship.

I remember when I was a little guy, on the times my grandpa visited us in Long Beach, Julius would make the trip to hang with us. I remember Julius well. Gramps and Julius loved each other. Friends for life. After Julius’ death in 1957, my grandpa was inconsolable. Gramps died in 1979 at 83. For over 20 years after Julius’ death, that was all my grandfather talked about was his friendship with Julius.

The Newmans sent me a precious book that is only one of a hundred still in existence. Written by Julius called “Smoke Dreams.” And they put a nice note inside the cover.

They also sent me a book that their dad, Stanford, wrote called: “Cigar Family – A 100 Year journey in the Cigar Industry.”

I received both books yesterday and Charlotte and I spent hours on the couch reading Julius’ book. When I saw the photos of Julius, I broke out into sobs. I loved my grandfather very much. He was my dad’s pop. I never knew my other grandfather as he died when I was 2.

So, now I’m referred to as “Cousin Phil” by the Newmans.

The Newmans also presented me with a care package of cigars.
I would have never guessed in a million years that something like this would happen in my latter senior years. Just before I take the long Alzheimer’s nap. I am grateful.

SMOKEDREAMS

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My grandparents and my father (circa 1927):
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Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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2 replies

  1. Wow, that is amazing about your connection to the Newmans. (Now I’m wondering if my aunt and uncle Sid and Addie Newman could have known them). Which reminds me I just found out that Mama Cass Elliot, who was born Ellen Cohen, might have been my dad’s half-sister).

    I would love to read that book somehow someday.

    Sounds like an amazing cigar/value!

  2. That’s what the web site says.