Last year, Jose Blanco released Señorial, his first line. Blanco has been in the industry for years and behind many great releases, but during those years he was with La Aurora and Joya de Nicaragua. Eventually, Blanco decided to go out on his own, and with his departure from Joya de Nicaragua and return to the Dominican Republic, he established Las Cumbres Tabaco. In the company's first year, Blanco released Señorial and Señorial 65th Anniversary. Both received much success from the online community, and consumers were eager to see future projects. Well, in July of this year, Blanco announced a new line and a line extension to Señorial. The new line would be called Señorial Maduro Natural, and it would feature a rustic looking wrapper from Mexico. The cigar got the name because of its natural and rustic appearance while technically being a maduro. Today I take on Blanco's new line and review it in one of my top three vitolas, the Lonsdale. Let's see how the Señorial Maduro Natural Lonsdale Refinado smokes.
Cigar: Señorial Maduro Natural Lonsdale Refinado
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera Palma
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Dominican Piloto Cubano
Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano and Dominican Criollo ’98
Length: 6 1/2"
Ring Gauge: 44
The Maduro Natural has a very light maduro coloring and it has some touches of those natural color qualities present as the name implies. If you have ever seen true Cohiba Maduro 5, it is similar in appearance. The wrapper is very toothy and present some medium sized veins throughout. The foot of the cigar has an aroma of dark spices, black pepper, dark chocolate cake and stone fruit, while the wrapper is presenting an aroma of dark espresso, leather, oak and spices. It has a nice firmness throughout and has a nice cold draw.
The Maduro Natural opens up by showing a lot of powerful spices with a focus on pepper. There is a bit of dark chocolate present as well, but it does not have a lot of sweetness to it. With that, there is a nice dark espresso flavor that really conquers the palate. It is a complex and full flavored smoke, and it is a nice representation of a strong Mexican offering. I would classify the cigar as being full in body, strength and flavors, but it is a balanced cigar. The construction thus far has been great and it is producing an even burn line, a solid ash and a nice cool draw with a decent amount of smoke.
When I enter into the second third of the cigar I find that there is a slight change in the flavor profile while still remaining complex. I am picking up some leather and earthy qualities with the cigar, but it is still delivering that dark espresso, dark chocolate and strong pepper spice flavors as well. It is a full flavored smoke that is also full in body and strength, and I would not recommend it to a novice smoker. This is a maduro for a connoisseur. The construction is perfect in this third of the cigar and it is delivering that cool draw with a lot of smoke, perfect burn line and a solid ash on the end.
I am in the final third of the cigar now and it is a third that continues to show the powerful and dark flavors that have been present from the beginning. There is a nice bit of leather and oak on the forefront, and it is followed with some strong espresso notes. I am getting this combination of unsweetened dark chocolate with chocolate cake, and it has a peppery spice finish. Very complex, the cigar has a long finish that is full in body, flavors and strength. This is a late afternoon or evening Maduro, and even then I would only recommend it to a handful of seasoned smokers. The construction is top notch in the end and it has a cool draw to the nub with an even burn line and solid charcoal ash.
Maduros are tough. There are a lot of guys out there that release maduro offerings and fail miserably. I often find that maduros simply deliver the flavors from the wrapper, and you get nothing from the filler and binder tobacco. Because of that, the cigar is one dimensional and lacking in so many ways. The other alternative is that because they have a maduro, they want to make it stronger and pack the blend with ligero and strong tobacco. This also kills the cigar and in the end, you don't get a great level of complexity. Finally, there are a lot of maduro offerings that are with Mexican San Andres and Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco, and there are not a lot of people in my opinion who use those tobaccos well. Connecticut Broadleaf is either a hit or a miss, there is no middle ground, and more often than not it is a miss. Mexican San Andres is typically decent or bad, never great, and for some reason a lot of people settle with being mediocre. This is not the case for Señorial Maduro Natural. What Jose Blanco has done with his Mexican offering is make a complex and advanced maduro smoke. It is a maduro for a connoisseur, and that is in line with what he has done with his other blends. It has complex flavors with a lot of body and strength, so he touches on what you need to have, great flavors, but also gets that strength and body that people love. It is not the most beautiful maduro, but typically the beautiful ones suck. I really enjoy how the Maduro Natural smokes, especially in the Lonsdale offering, and from smoking this blend over a large period of time, I am very pleased with where it is now. I give the cigar a 90 rating, which is a box split under our system, but personally I would buy a box.
Rating: 90 AKA "Box Split"