Guest Review: Maria Mancini Magic Mountain

Maria Mancini Magic Mountain

Origin : Honduras
Format : Torpedo
Size : 6 x 54
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Honduras
Binder : Honduras
Hand-Made
Price : 4.30 € each
Global Rating : ★★★★½
Humidor's Rating : ★★★★½
Gabriel's Rating : ★★★★½
More info about purchasing Maria Mancini cigars...

Today's review comes from the leading Romanian cigar resource, Humidor.Ro. Bogdan (author and owner) was very kind to translate the review of the Maria Mancini Magic Mountain that was published on his website a little while ago.

Humidor: Almost one year ago, I was reading “The Spell of a Vice” on Lascaris’ blog. In his article, Lascaris refers to Thomas Mann’s “The Magic Mountain”, where the main character, Hans Castrop abides by his habits, enjoying a cigar manufactured by Maria Mancini. As far as this cigar is concerned, reality and fiction mingle because the author uses the name of a real producer from Honduras - Maria Mancini, the only difference being that, in the novel, the cigar is located in Bremen. Maria Mancini settled the scores and, taking advantage of the novel’s success, created a cigar called Magic Mountain.

I liked Lascaris’ article and Maria Mancini brand’s idea of creating a cigar inspired by the novel. Consequently, I re-read the novel, paying special attention to the sections including cigar descriptions, which I had ignored upon the first lecture:

Thomas Mann“The first thing he needed after meals was the scented water bowl to wash his fingers, and the uncustomed Russian cigarette, which he gladly purchased from the black market, through rather illegal means. He smoked it before the cigar, a savory brand from Bremen, called Maria Mancini, to be mentioned later on and the poisonous flavor whereof so wonderfully mingled with that of coffee. Hans Castrop kept his tobacco ration away from the negative influence of the radiator, he kept it in the basement, where he was descending each morning to fill his port-cigarette with the daily share.”

“ – [...] Please excuse me for a few moments ! And he took out of his fine leather case, adorned with a silver monogram, a Maria Mancini cigar, a beautiful one, tapered at one end, as he especially liked them, he cut off the cap using a penknife hanging from the watch chain, he open the lighter and lighted up the long and upwards-bended cigar, smoking heartily. It is obvious that you don’t smoke; I find it a bit too much.
- But I never did, said Joachim. Why should I take up smoking here?
- That is something I’ll never understand, said Hans Castrop. I can’t understand people who do not smoke, because that somehow means depriving yourself from one of the joys life has to offer, and by all means of a delicious pleasure! When I wake up in the morning I’m glad because I know I can smoke during the day, and during meals I think of the same thing. Yes, and I think I’m not exaggerating too much if I tell you that I only eat to be able to smoke afterwards”.

Then, the curiosity to see if Maria Mancini cigars are as described followed. As far as I could find out, Germany is the only country in Europe where the cigar is imported (maybe out of patriotism). After two unsuccessful attempts to purchase it from Dan Pipe (my card was rejected..) I found it in another shop, charging EUR 50 for shipment… In the end, I found a convenient solution; I bought 10 pieces to be delivered in Nurnberg, at Gabriel’s, who sent them by mail, at a much lower cost.

I should mention that I tried to persuade even Ciprian Halasz, the Docnet owner (importer of cigars from Honduras to Romania) to bring these cigars.

Humidor

Gabriel

First impression:
The cigar has a very attractive shape, with a properly manufactured band, and H2000 wrapper, oily look, elastic, without imperfections and a wood flavor before lighting up. All these make it the ideal candidate for a humidor-window.
First impression:
From the first glance, it imposes due respect, through its irreproachable shape, with its oily wrapper and pleasant touch. The band is the classical one, adding to its elegance.
Construction:
Nothing to reproach, quite on the contrary, the shape is perfect, a well-pressed torpedo, medium filler, a bit stuffed, but with proper drawing. The cutting was neat, without any damages to the extremely thin wrapper, requiring a sharp cutter. I used a double-jet lighter when toasting and a single-jet one for lighting up. The cigar lights quickly forming a uniform cinder disk. The burning is flawless and perhaps a bit too quick. The ash is light grey with darker shades here and there.
Construction:
In the case of torpedo cigars, I prefer a different cutting and lighting up method. I start with the toasting and I only do the cutting afterwards. Thus, I obtain a stronger flavor in the first part. Usually, in the case of cigars featuring this shape, it is recommended that the smoking performances are checked after cutting. If they are too slow, the cutting can be adjusted to obtain the ideal smoking performances. The drawing of this cigar is excellent, and I personally opted for a smaller diameter cut to get higher concentration puffs. I used a double blade cutter, and for toasting and lighting up I used a double jet lighter. These operations ran smoothly. The burning is irreproachable for the entire cigar, producing considerably long light grey ashes.
Flavor:
The beginning is a bit dazzling, with a special nuance as compared to other cigars, a combination of coffee, wood, and vegetal flavors. After a few accommodation smokes, one cannot but irremediably love this cigar. The rich flavors intensify in the second part, becoming slightly sour, piquant, which perfectly fits the vaguely bitter coffee flavor with milk touches here and there. Towards the end, the strength increases towards medium-high reaching maximum complexity and gaining a slightly piquant taste. It is one of those cigars one feels like puffing on continuously, with dense smoke, and when it finishes, you will most certainly burn your lips.
Flavor:
The cigar includes a complex flavor, with pleasant nuances of coffee, wood, and nut. In the second half, the cigar becomes strong, with heavy smoke, pure pleasure to the end. The cigar lasts for approximately one hour, during which one does not get the chance to become bored; quite on the contrary, it makes you crave for more. The bitter hue intensifies towards the end, but it does not disturb as the coffee flavor and a slight roasted nut flavor are maintained.
Value:
Is the cigar worthy of Mann's description? From my point of view, it is. It is a cheap cigar, with a full flavor, with hues of coffee, slightly piquant, and which finishes quickly. I recommend it in combination with a white sweet Porto (Porto Cruz), after having read the book.
Value:
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain clearly exceeds expectations, it is a cigar with personality, surpassing other established brands, through its value. With age, this cigar can acquire extremely fine qualities, being the exquisite companion, together with a glass of cognac, for the silent winter nights, in front of the fireplace.
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain
Maria Mancini - Magic Mountain

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8 Comments on “Guest Review: Maria Mancini Magic Mountain”

  1. What a great post, and what a great review! Makes me want to try it!

  2. It’s a honour for me to be mentioned here. Thomas Mann’s “The Magic Mountain” determined me to start smoking pipe tabbaco. Humidor (Bogdan) kindly sended to me a Magic Mountain cigar, and I belive that his gesture triggered the desire to explore the cigar world.

  3. Great idea for a double review posted side by side. The details of the cigar’s characteristics plus the history behind the name and link to the novel made this quite an entertaining post.

  4. I’ve tried the Robusto Larga from Mancini, and I can honestly say the above review does it justice too .. try it if you can find it :)

  5. Now that’s my kind of review! It makes me want to smoke a Magic Mountain and read The Magic Mountain again… it’s been a few years since I did either. Bravo!

  6. Love the side by side review. Gives similar but distict impressions and saves time searching the web for other reviewers.

  7. Thank you for your feedback.
    Cheers!

  8. An excellent cigar. Need to give one another try, it has been awhile.

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