Maduro Rico Club (5 1/2 x 54)
- A Custodial E2 Cigar Review -

This is a large cigar; 54 ring gauge. It's from the makers of the El Credito line, and was on hiatus in the late 1990s due to a shortage of its filler, which is Nicaraguan Ligero tobacco - strong in both bite and flavor. This version, as per its name, is wrapped in Maduro tobacco, in this case an Ecuadorian Sumatra leaf.

The one I smoked was individually wrapped in cellophane - in the box, they come wrapped in cedar. Still, it was a powerful smoke. The cap was slightly dry, impeding the V-cut and causing a bit of crumbling, but the burn was even and the draw was excellent. From the first, this is a powerful cigar. The taste is quite strong, and is deep wood and smoke, with few of the aromatic oils that can be discerned in mellower smokes. The main hit is the dark tobacco. As a result, I wasn't totally into it; I'm into the more accessible sticks, myself.

The smoke was quite consistent, all the way through. The initial sharp taste mellowed slightly as the residues built up in the stick, but never really got down below 'harsh.' I have a couple friends who swear by Maduros who say it has a smooth and consistent taste for a dark cigar. I can vouch for the consistency, and it did have a nice woody base to it. Still, I personally would reserve these for smoking with a strong Scotch, or perhaps after a very spicy meal.

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