COVERING YOUR ASH: ROCK-A-FELLER MADURO

Rock-A-Feller Cigars came on the scene a couple of years ago with its Connecticut and Habano blends, earning praise for producing quality sticks at reasonable prices ($6 range). The brand’s latest entry is its Maduro blend. Produced at the Tabacalera L&V in the Dominican Republic under the direction of Victor De La Cruz and Leandro Compres, the Maduro is Rock-A-Feller’s foray into the realm of the full-bodied smoke.

Cigar Stats: The Maduro sports filler and binder from Cuban, Nicaraguan and Dominican seed grown in Nicaragua and the Dominican. The Maduro wrapper is from Brazilian seed grown in Ecuador. It is offered in three sizes – Short Toro (5½ x 54), Pyramid (6 x 60) and Toro Especiale (6 x 57). I sampled the Toro Especiale.

Appearance: The dark brown wrapper covers a tightly rolled stick that has a few small bumps and veins. The presentation is appealing, with a rustic feel.

The Smoke: The first thing one notices when the match is applied is the thick, rich smoke the stick gives off. The aroma is enticing and ever-present, and it’s one of the cigar’s strongest attributes. Earth, wood and leather flavors dominate early in the smoke, while cocoa and a bit of sweetness eventually make their presence known.  In sum, it’s a smooth, tasty mix throughout. The only issue I had with the two samples was with the burn. The draw consistently easy – no problem there – but I did have to do a couple of touchups along the way. It’s something that seems to happen more often with maduro wrappers, but it did not take much away from the overall enjoyment of the smoke.

Verdict: Rock-A-Feller Maduro falls squarely in the Should Try category. It packs plenty of taste and certainly lives up to its full-bodied billing. To learn more about Rock-A-Feller Cigars, visit rafcigars.com. – Brian Coyne

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