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Casa Magna Colorado

12 Sep

Synopsis:
Blender: Manuel Quesada
Maker: MATASA via Plasencia/ Segovia Cigar factory
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Flavors: Coffee, fresh tobacco, mild spice, subtly sweet
Draw/Volume/Strength:
-1 / +1 / 4
Rating: 9.2

This review of the Casa Magna Colorado Churchill is presented courtesy of the Stogie Boys, the fastest growing online cigar retailer in America.

What makes a cigar great? Is it the leaves themselves, their growing, curing, fermenting, and aging? Is it the construction of the cigar? Is it the hands of the buncher who puts the leaves of the filler together, and rolls them up in the binder, the torceador who puts on the finishing touches, the wrapper and cap? Or is it the blend itself, the work of the master who selects the leaves, assembles them in concept first, then in actuality later, along with countless other blends which don’t make the cut, choosing the one blend, the diamond in the rough, to go into production?

Or is it something more transient? Is it flavor and aroma? Is it its pairing potential, how well it compliments a fine brandy or Scotch? Are there other factors that drive greatness? What’s in a name, and how about the price you paid? Does the band say something about the smoker, as well as the cigar?

Photo of Casa Magna Colorado Churchill cigar

Casa Magna Colorado Churchill (6⅞x49)

So what exactly is it that makes a cigar great? The answer of course is all of these things. But it’s none of them, as well.

Psychology teaches us that we place greater value on those things that are harder to obtain, with minimal regard for their intrinsic worth. Ask a college graduate how he or she feels about his or her diploma, and you’ll begin to get an idea of what I mean. The value in an otherwise worthless piece of paper is the effort and sacrifice that went into earning it. The same is true with cigars.

A cigar—every cigar—is worth more than its intrinsic value. The cheapest cigar, purchased for a dollar apiece in a bundle of 20, has a greater value than the sum of its constituent parts plus the added value of manufacturing and transport. To the guy who loves those smokes—and there are plenty—they represent moments of relaxation and pleasure, a chance to connect with other cigar lovers in his own herf and across the planet in the Brotherhood of the Leaf. The One Dollar cigar may be the best he can afford, and may even represent a greater proportion of his disposable income than the high-roller who drops $40 on a big juicy ultra-premium. And as such, it may be valued by him that much more.

High-dollar cigars have something going for them beyond just marketing, too (and for the record, a high price-point, and therefore greater prestige, is a significant component of marketing). They have to be good enough to get people to come back and buy them again. I’ve often said the difference between a good cigar and a bad cigar is taste and burn, but the difference between a good cigar and a great cigar is consistency. I’ve smoked cigars that cost $30, $40, $50 or more, but price alone does not make a cigar great. In fact, many cigars that are “great” in price leave me wanting more.

So what is it that makes a cigar great? I say it’s magic. Magical leaves, laboriously grown, harvested, cured, fermented, and aged, blended together by a genius, assembled by skilled hands, and smoked—preferably in good company—by someone who values them as greater than the sums of their parts. It’s the magic of a feeling, that moment of pure bliss, the first puffs which carry away your cares on a cloud of swirling blue smoke. And it’s magical times shared with friends and family, priceless in themselves. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

Without question, Casa Magna Colorado are great cigars (for the record, I have also thoroughly enjoyed the Casa Magna Domus Magnus Limitada). Manuel Quesada made magic with this Nicaraguan puro, assembled at Nestor Plasencia’s Segovia factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The blend features leaves from Esteli and Jalapa, finished in a gorgeous mahogany-hued capa, the origin of which is unspecified.

I’ve smoked a great many Casa Magna Colorado cigars over the years, though for this critical analysis, I’m smoking the fourth in a five-pack of Churchills (6⅞x49). The cigar is tightly rolled and seamless, with some light veining in the wrapper.

The first impressions show pronounced flavors of coffee and fresh tobacco, with a distinctive coffee aroma. There’s a hint of tangy spice, with a subtle sweetness, and a cool, dry mouth feel. The draw from a cap cut is a hair on the tight side of even (-1), producing an ample smoke volume (+1) of above-average strength (4).

The flavors are remarkably stable, and center around the rich coffee and tobacco tastes, with a woody, subtly sweet background, and a delightful aroma. The burn is a little disorganized, but not distractingly so, and the salt and pepper ash is nicely scaled, holding to just under an inch, and slightly flat. It grows in richness and complexity as it goes, developing a robust toasted quality in the final third, smoking to an inch and a half nub in about 80 minutes.

Overall I rate this cigar 9.2. The flavors are profound and delicious, and while is loses a point or two for minor burn issues, the overall experience is tremendously satisfying. Pair it with you richest, smokiest Scotch or heaviest Bourbon after a hearty steak dinner, and it will stand up famously. Or match it against a fruity port or brandy, and the nuance will surprise and delight the senses.

Until next time, this is the Cigar Sasquatch saying, “Love what you smoke, and smoke what you love.”

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