Brick House Maduro | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6.25 x 60 Mighty Mighty
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $7.40 (Can be had for as low as $6.75 online)

Today we take a look at the Brick House Maduro.
Samples were provided by J.C. Newman Cigar Co.
They have received 5 months of naked humidor time.

Regular production.
From Cigars International:
“Surely, you’ve heard of Brick House, a 93-rated gem that managed to work its way onto the “Best 25 Cigars of 2010” list. Well J.C. Newman is back with the Brick House Maduro. This cigar is darker and spicier than its predecessor. An oily Brazilian Arapiraca Maduro wrapper houses a blend of premium Nicaraguan long-fillers and a Nicaraguan binder. The bold, full-bodied flavor profile is punctuated by notes of cocoa and sweetness. Slow-burning, firm in hand, and deliciously tasty, it’s a fitting follow-up that will easily work its way onto your top ten list.

“Good news! In 2017 Brick House Maduro received an impressive 91-point rating, noting: “Strong and earthy, this dark, attractive cigar also has a salt-and-pepper quality that becomes lighter and floral. The finish is bready with a hint of caramel.”

Gordo 6.25 x 60 $7.40
Robusto 5 x 54 $6.40
Toro 6 x 52 $6.70

I think this is a nice-looking cigar. The gorgeous hue of an oily espresso colored wrapper is full of bumpy tooth and shines in the sunlight…when there is sunlight in winter Wisconsin. The wrapper is mottled like a brindle colored dog.

Seams are tight. Veinage is on the mild side. The triple cap application is impressive.
The best part is that the cigar has the perfect amount of resistance when squeezed. None of this hard as a rock crap I’ve seen in so many review cigars. The tobacco is evenly distributed.

A big burst of baking spices hits my nose first. Followed by dark chocolate, malt, black and red peppers, extreme nuttiness, smokiness, cedar, barnyard, marshmallow, and caramel.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, chocolate, malt, cedar, marshmallow, caramel, French fries, and creaminess.

The draw is exactly how I like it. I put my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool away for another time.

I read other reviews of the cigar and could not find any info on how long the reviewers allowed the cigar to rest prior to review. Scores were mediocre on some sites and better on others. I’ve seen some sites begin to inform their readers how long the cigar humidor rested but it is still too few. You guys want to know this. Especially, if you want to get the most out of your purchase. Too many reviewers rush to judgment trying to get the review out. And when you are dealing with a Gordo, the cigar needs a bunch of rest.

While I am most probably the last reviewer on the planet to review this cigar, as its been out for years, I intend to offer my two cents.

The stick begins with a rich tobacco taste; followed by an onslaught of black pepper.
Strength starts out at medium+.
Complexity kicks in immediately. I do believe 5 months of humi time was essential; especially as I tried a couple cigars along the way, and they taste nothing like this one today tastes. That’s a good thing for today. So, once again, I believe the reviews showing a sub-90 rating were reviewed too soon.

Elements of malted milk balls, caramel, marzipan, creaminess, black coffee, some kind of berry, teriyaki, smokiness, and strong cedar permeate the first couple of minutes of life.

The flavors are aligned very closely with each other as the complex nature of the blend takes over. Transitions are on the move. The finish is buttery, peppery, and sweet.

The price point is amazing. Less than $7 online. Who knows on the auction sites? I’ve smoked cigars at twice this price that didn’t have the splendid start this baby had.
I can’t believe I’m saying this at such an early juncture of the experience, but the complexity is through the roof. And it’s so smooth, you can rub your tuchas on it to itch yourself.
The ash is nearly black.

Dark chocolate and espresso take the lead. Those baking spices that appeared in the schnoz category are coming to fruition in the taste. Touches of cloves, nutmeg, and spicy ginger.
The cigar reached near perfection for my palate in the first inch.

The Brick House brand has been a go-to cigar for so many smokers for a long time. Priced not to break the bank and a solid smoke. I can’t believe I waited so long to tackle the Maduro. My bad. But then, not every review has to be something that just hit the market.

Strength is medium/full but is so balanced and smooth that the totality of the power seems unimportant. And then the balance moves into perfect savory v. sweet territory.

The band America is playing. Am I the only one on the planet that saw this band as WTF? I can’t believe producer George Martin was involved. He went from The Beatles to The Two Chord Band.

Smoked meat. Brisket. My mother made a killer brisket growing up. A heavy savory beefy flavor is upfront. The sweetness of the chocolate and caramel really accent this to the nth degree.

I’ve mentioned this in other reviews but Julius Ceaser Newman and my grandfather, Harold Kohn, were best buddies in Cleveland. My gramps left Hungary and set up an old-style bar in Cleveland. He sold Newman cigars only. And he brought Julius to our house in Long Beach, Ca every time he visited. Til my gramps died in 1979, he always spoke kindly of Julius and how much he missed him.

An inch away from the second third and the Brick House Maduro is knocking my socks off. You gotta wait when you get a cigar like this. Don’t rush it. Based on what I taste now, I wasted a couple of good sticks smoking them early.

I reviewed the Fratello The Texan last week. As good as it was, I believe I like this blend better. Of course, it should be pointed out that I wasn’t able to allow The Texan five months humidor time…but still.

Strength is full tilt now.
Construction has been impeccable. No wrapper issues. No burn issues. Love it.

The chocolate maltiness moves up the chain. The savory/sweet balance has not relented. We are in prefect alignment with the cosmos.

If you like peppery blends, this cigar will be your undying friend. It’s not over the top or overwhelming. It matches the other flavors step by step. A nice, constant oomph.

I rarely say this, but the BH Maduro is very relaxing cigar. I’m not quite sure what that means…but it puts me in a good head space. Like a warm blankey, it just coats my palate and my brain simultaneously and triggers endorphins.

Each new flavor that takes its turn in line as I smoke is delicious. One moment, it is the chocolate and the next is the smoky meatiness. The tobacco plays a huge part; obviously, while a lot of blends, the tobacco itself never becomes the center piece. Here…it does.

I cannot understate the smoothness of the blend. Nuances and subtleties abound. Little wisps containing a myriad of flavors show up and then morph into a different component…keeping the cigar interesting and enjoyable.

The second half begins after 75 minutes. Sometimes, a Gordo can seem to take forever to smoke. Not this baby…it seems to have condensed time and I look forward to more; rather than wondering when it will end.

My daughter, Katie, had her 34th birthday party on Saturday. She also used the occasion to let us know that the new baby due in July would be another boy. So, if I can live long enough, I will be able to teach one to play drums and the other the guitar. We will have a power blues trio with me on bass. I’ve already begun teaching my grandson piano, but he only wants to play Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis. Kids. This summer, I will aim him towards Monk.

There is nothing linear in this blend. Constant movement and forward progression are its thing. Just keeps getting better.

Nicotine arrives just in time. I’m lightheaded so I strip down to my Speedo and IDF tee shirt.

Creaminess makes a big surge now. Flavors of espresso, caramel, a hint of citrus, licorice, baking spices, smoked meat, and cedar behave like a carousel out of control.

While I am totally enjoying the Gordo, I’d like to snag some Robustos. I’m sure they won’t need the extensive humi time that this cigar required. Size matters. If I had a dime every time my wife said that, well…

My vision returns as the nicotine is in abeyance. Dodged that bullet.

Sometimes, reviewing a cigar is a real chore. This review has been a lot of fun. What a great cigar and one that I now want to always be in my humidor. And with the cigar being so reasonably priced, this is possible.

Nothing new at this point as the cigar begins to close out its life. But that’s good because it has been a constant. Complexity hit the street running and continued to become more intense with every third. Transitions are marvelous. The chewy finish has been delicious.

The trick to a good blend is the subtleties you can’t really put a finger on. These little nuances give the blend some extraordinary flavors.

The guts being Nicaraguan give the cigar a deep, dense profile. The Brazilian wrapper adds a nice sweetness that encourages the blend to exponentially expand its effect on my palate.

Black licorice shows up as the leading edge. It is accompanied by the meatiness and rich tobacco flavors.

Then it switches to a decadent dark cocoa influence. Constant flux while maintaining the original intent of the blending.
The BH Maduro might be too much for newbies. Sophisticates will dig it.
A great cigar at a great price…Carry on…


And now for something completely different:

Sonja was a morphine addict when I joined the band. She was under a doctor’s care to wean her off by giving her methadone. At that time, doctors didn’t realize that methadone is just as addictive. Now they use other drugs to wean addicts.

Every night on tour was the same thing. She didn’t shoot up the methadone before a show because it got her too high.
So, by the time the show was over, she was jonesing big time.

It was my job, as the new guy, to get her back to the hotel and get her fixed up. By then, she was out of her mind.

It was always a struggle to get her to hold still while I prepped the syringe.

Once, she was so out of it, that I couldn’t get her to inject herself. I sat on top of her on the bed and slapped her over and over until some semblance of reality sunk in. I had never stuck a syringe in anyone; including me.

I had tied her arm off and thought I was going to have to inject her myself. All I could think of was the headlines the next day as it proclaimed that bassist kills beloved singer.

She came out of her hysteria of withdrawal long enough so I could get her to guide the syringe in properly. Moments later, she remembered nothing of what happened and suggested we go downstairs and play poker with the roadies. I fell off the bed on to my back huffing and puffing telling her I pass.

She was constantly depressed that first tour. She kept making half ass attempts at killing herself. It got very tiring.

She and Stewart Copeland moved in with each other. And they began breaking open the glass ampules with the methadone in it and drinking it to get high.
And then one day, Stew found himself going through withdrawal and stopped immediately.
She was eventually put on oral methadone and was successfully cured. She’s been clean ever since.

When I joined the band, I expected it to be fun and a big bowl of cherries. I had no idea that I would be the guy to keep her alive.

The band decided to fire me a couple years later. And it was Sonja who told me over the phone. I was devastated. There wasn’t a good reason for letting me go, but rather, it was just politics within the band.
I told her she was an incredible ingrate. I kept her alive that first tour and this is the loyalty she showed me? She was very nonchalant about the whole thing. I became very bitter.

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 was 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 our 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 cries 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 goodbyes 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.


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5 replies

  1. These can be had on Cigar Page for 4-4.50 a stick all day every day.

  2. I’ve had the brick house maduro in robusto, and all 5 that I smoked were some of the most awful cigars I’ve ever had. Maybe the larger size is a different blend, or I got a bad batch. I’ll have to give these a whirl again, they always seem to be on cbid.

  3. How long did you allow them to rest before smoking?
    I tried one a month in and not so great…a month later, the same thing.
    It took almost 5 months of naked humi time before mine blossomed.

  4. I experienced the same aging phenomenon on the Brick House natural toro. After a few months was nothing but sour citrus, then after a year delicious sweet tea. For me a great everyday cigar. An excellent maduro worth trying is the La Aurora 1985 Maduro, an amazing cigar at any price but value-priced like the Brick House..

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