Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaraguan
Vitola: Toro Bravo (6 x 54)
Factory: Tabacalera Palma
CigarNoise Price Range: $8-$10
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Matilde Quadrata – First Thoughts
Here’s another cigar that Andrew included in a shipment-bomb that I’ve been itching to review. Having just hooked up humidifiers throughout the house to baby my nose back to life, I think we’re on the right track and I’m pressing forward with the Matilde Quadrata today.
The foot showcases wonderful aromas of buttered Raisin Bread toast. If the experience is anything close to this, I’ll be overwhelmed with satisfaction. The wrapper itself smells of cedar, yet a cold draw exhibits everything above minus the butter.
This box-pressed Ecuadorian Habano wrapper is dark, toothy, and glitters in direct sunlight. This sample has several large veins running the course of the backside of the cigar, with visible seams as well, while the front presents the look and feel of luxury.
Please forgive the pictures for today’s review, my chosen location has either full sunlight or no light to choose from.
Matilde Quadrata – First Third
Raisin Bread, Bitter Chocolate, Cedar, Earth, Pepper, Kettle Corn, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Cherries Cordial
My very first draw is smooth, gentle, and welcoming. In the mouthfeel, I’m picking up hints of raisin bread, bitter chocolate, and faint cedar amidst a soft, earthy background. A retro hale adds noticeable amounts of sinus heat, a generous amount of black pepper, and an unmistakable impression of kettle corn. Tons of smoke is pouring off the foot and rewards each draw. The body has just enough depth to it to really enjoy the flavors without overwhelming the senses this early in the morning.
At just shy of an inch into the Matilde Quadrata, notes of raw raisins drizzled in brown sugar begin to shine. If it didn’t before, this cigar has my full attention now. If you enjoy medium-bodied cigars with lots of flavor that tend to go towards the sweet side of the wheel, my advice would be to find these cigars at your earliest convenience. Burning down a little further, cinnamon also steps out from the fray to hold it’s own ground.
Where we began working with the composite of Raisin Bread, now we seem to be experiencing the pieces of the sum in a spotlight capacity. It’s like looking at an exploded-view drawing and being able to dissect and examine the parts of a whole.
Now vanilla is added to the mix. Raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla – not sure my taste buds could ask for much more this morning. The finish adds distinct notes of cherry liquor that’s driving me crazy as well. A charred, smoky aftertaste contrasts the sweeter currents of the Matilde Quadrata. Reflecting on this for a moment, I’m pretty sure that it’s a good thing, balancing out the flavors to attack multiple corners of the tongue.
Towards the end of the first third, cherry sensations ramp up dramatically, teasing me with every draw to chief this cigar down to the nub. The cherry notes present in the Matilde Quadrata reminds me very much of the cold draw on the 1502 XO, like those alcohol-infused Cherries Cordial that comes around at Christmas time.
Matilde Quadrata – Second Third
Fruity Pebbles, Cream, Grapefruit, Soft Earth, Raisin Bread, Cedar, Brown Sugar
Just when I was thinking that I wouldn’t start the second third until the cigar told me to, I’m hit with a superb interpretation of Fruity Pebbles. No shit, there I was… Still a soft, earthy backdrop, still a slightly charred aftertaste, yet a sustained, pronounced taste of fruity cereal. And a rich, creamy texture also distinguishes this segment from the first.
How ’bout those mechanics? The draw has continued to prove adequate with medium resistance and copious amounts of smoke. Our burn is the only detractor so far, requiring a few touch-ups. Nothing too far out of the ordinary, but noteworthy nonetheless.
I’ve never picked up grapefruit from a cigar before, but it’s definitely happening today. It could be that my recent experiences with grapefruit in the DFAC have broadened my base, but the Matilde Quadrata is firing on all cylinders.
Approaching the midway point, this cigar is beginning to reach back to some of the core flavors in the first third. I’ll list them in the tasting notes above, but otherwise will move forward with the new stuff. Intermittent citrus notes continue to evolve as we burn down a little further. Every now and then a touch of orange is layered into the finish, refreshing the palate.
Matilde Quadrata – Last Third
Roasted Pork, Peppercorn, Orange Tea, Chocolate Covered Oranges
I’m jumping the gun a little bit by heading into the last third a half inch (or so) early, but once again the Matilde Quadrata experienced a shift in profile and I felt like I needed to go with it. Roasted pork, strong peppercorn flavors, and an healthy amount of orange is the first deviation from the path. This time the orange is like smelling Orange Tea, a very potent and aromatic combination.
Relight. That was like going from 70mph to a dead stop. Strange. Here’s the culprit:
Side Note: These bands have been applied by mythical creatures with only the greatest dexterity and require the utmost skill to remove. Consider it your first quest.
Orange continues to ramp up in this segment, combining with hints of dark chocolate to form a feeling of chocolate covered oranges. The occasional puff of savory clashes with the sweeter sensations in a way that serves as an insight into each opposing flavor. Like sorrow emphasizes joy, or being productive highlights those quiet moments of relaxation.
Aside from one final crescendo of pepper, that’s how this tale ends: sweet vs savory in a final battle til the finish. Luckily the tunnel that briefly developed only proved to be an adversary once, leaving me to an enjoyable smoke after a relight.
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