Dual Review: Cubao Maduro Belicoso

Cubao Maduro Belicoso

Origin : Nicaragua
CubaoFormat : Belicoso
Size : 5.5 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuador
Binder : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Price : ~$7.5 each

Below is the fourth dual review in our series of 6.

Ed: The Cubao line was introduced in 2008 by EO Brands (Espinosa y Ortega). This company is also responsible for the EO 601 cigars. The cigar is produced in Esteli, Nicaragua, and it is a product of Don Pepin Garcia. Cubao comes in two types of wrappers: an Ecuadorian-grown Sumatra seed Oscuro, and an Ecuadorian-grown Broadleaf featured in the Cubao Maduro cigars. The Cubao Maduro comes in four vitolas: 7.13 x 49 Churchill; 4.88 x 50 Robusto; 6.13 x 50 Robusto Extra; and today’s cigar, the 5.5 in x 52 Belicoso.

Jason: The Cubao Maduro is one of the newest lines from United Tobacco, who also makes the 601 lines of cigars. I’ve been a fan of the original Cubao line for a while now and have been really looking forward to trying the new maduro version. Now onto the good stuff…



Appearance: Rating: ★★★★★
The cigar has a very nice dark chocolate color. There are not too many veins. The stick is very firm, except that there is some give near the foot of the cigar. It has a very nice sheen to it, and one can feel the oil from the leaves in the hands.
The wrapper had a barnyard smell which was not overwhelming. The foot had a more pronounced barnyard/hay notes to it.
The first band has the what looks like a star in the middle of it, and this is surrounded by the phrases “Espinosa y Ortega” on the top; and “Cubao” at the bottom. The second, smaller band has the word “Maduro” on it.
Appearance: Rating: ★★★½☆
This is a rustic looking cigar with a toothy and oily wrapper. It was molted looking, as it was mostly black with some lighter brown areas mixed in randomly. This stick had a strong leathery prelight smell.
Construction: Rating: ★★★½☆
As mentioned before, the Cubao is very firm with no soft spots felt. The cap in one of the cigars smoked for this review seems to be composed of a dark chocolate tobacco leaf and a lighter brown one; the other cigar did not have the light-colored leaf. The pre-light draw was nice and easy.
The major band was very difficult to remove, and while removing it, it also took out some of the wrapper with it.
The outer ash was very tight and white while the inner ash was charcoal grey. During the second half, the ash did turn more flaky.
The burn was even for the first half, and then it turned uneven during the second half of the smoke.
Construction: Rating: ★★★★½
This was a very well made cigar. The draw was perfect and the burn required only a couple of minor touch ups.
Flavor: Rating: ★★★★★
The cigar was cut using a Xikar Multi Tool Cigar Cutter scissors. On pre-light, it had a salty and slight peppery taste to the tongue. The draw had a nice note of hay.
I used a Davidoff giant cigar match to light up the Cubao. The initial taste was very leathery with notes of cedar to it. There was a fruity, sweet undertone, but the leather taste was dominating.
The retrohale had hints of espresso coffee beans. During the second half of the smoke, it became nuttier.
The cigar is classified as medium to full bodied; it my opinion, it was more medium-full with a long finish.
Flavor: Rating: ★★★★☆
The Cubao Maduro Belicoso started spicy with earth and leather notes, but wasn’t too harsh. Then it smoothed out nicely after the 1st 1/3, but kept much of its flavor. Its flavor was reminiscent of a Padron 1926 Maduro, but was more mellow… very balanced at this point. After the halfway point its pepperyness started to pick up and became intense toward the end of the cigar. I would classify this stick as medium to full bodied.
Value: Rating: ★★★★☆
At $7.50/stick, this is a reasonable price to pay for the Cubao Maduro Belicoso. The cigar features a good flavor profile which are very enjoyable and pleasant. However, I have to knock down the rating to 4 stars due to the band removal and the burn issues experienced.
Value: Rating: ★★★★☆
I’ve looked around at some online retailers and the price of this cigar seems to range from about $7.50 – $10.00. I think $10 is a little much, but at $8.00 or less I would say it’s an excellent buy.
Overall: Rating: ★★★★☆
Overall, this was a very enjoyable smoke. I definitely liked the flavor profile that it offers. My main issues were the burn and the tough band that took out some of the wrapper. Knowing this, I would definitely buy these cigars again and not attempt to remove either one of the bands. The uneven burn was fixed fairly easy by retouching the cigar with a lighter.
Overall: Rating: ★★★★☆
I was pretty impressed with this cigar overall. It was smooth, flavorful, well made, and offered above average complexity. I definitely plan on picking up more of these, especially if I can find them discounted. Recommended!

Cubao Maduro Belicoso