Cohiba is surely just showing off? Rupert Mackintosh reviews the Cohiba Maduro 5. 


Everything happens in slow motion. The arm slides outwards to grab the Martini. The elbow clips the vase on the window ledge. The vase tumbles through the air, only to become a million pieces of tinkeling crockery on the varnished floor. Everything around me stops. The inevitable angry female cry across the room –


Oh the shame.

What does this have to do with the Cohiba Maduro 5, I hear you ask? Well, the Maduro marks the point that I opened the box and exclaimed –


manduro250You see, before you even get to touch a stick, you have to open the box. The box is a flipping humidor! They are actually packing and selling them in mini, 10 cigar (in this case anyway) humidors! Well, granted, it doesn’t have a water reservoir in it but it is lined in Spanish cedarwood, so it will retain moisture far better than a normal box. But isn’t that amazing? What perfect presentation. Cohiba should truly be congratulated for this (albeit adding a fair few dollars to the cost of production, I would imagine, but if you are buying a Cohiba you probably know the score anyway). This makes the Maduro range arguably the best cigar to give as a gift, if only for this stellar packaging.

To smoke, the Maduro is a delightful little stick (or at least this one is little, being the Secreto). The darker, oily and somewhat seductive wrapper has a deep plain chocolate hue that is normally associated with Dominican cigars – but rest assured, the taste is entirely Cuban. The flavour profile is like a Cohiba Sigilo of which has been left in the oven a bit too long (yes, I know, they aren’t cooked, but metaphorically, this is the best way to describe the deep and layered complex flavours). Even the aroma is a supercharged experience, with the darker liquorice and toffee notes of the Sigilo range being present, just, stronger.

Although I keep emphasising the depth and complexity of the smoke, it is still very accessible. I tried my first sampler for this test after a light lunch of country soup and fresh roll. Served with a newly ground cup of coffee (Americano style), it was lovely. No question about it, a great combination, and enabled me to get straight back to work after lunch without the sluggish feeling a larger lunchtime smoke can bring. For me, the El Rey Del Mundo Choix Supreme is a great lunchtime smoke, if you haven’t got much else to do for a few hours. This, however, is a really great pocket smoke but one that will really entertain. You may find the smaller size a bit simple for evening smoking though – if you are an ‘evening darter’ and duck and dive to and from a smoking terrace on the Kings Road, the complexities will be a bit lost. Either pick a bigger size to get the flavour punch or just stick with a normal Sigilo for your kick, as this really needs to be savoured to be enjoyed. I will keep an eye out for the larger sizes and report back findings on these in due course…


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