It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade since Habanos released the game-changing Cohiba Maduro 5 line, a range of maduro cigars with wrappers far darker than the traditional Cuban puro.
10 years later, the range still honors the best tradition of Cuba’s “capa madura” or dark wrapper cigars.
The maduro wrappers use the upper leaves of the tobacco plant, with a slow and complicated process of fermentation. These wrappers are then aged for five years (hence the 5 in the brand) and make for a very different smoking experience.
There are three cigars in the line: the Genios, 52 ring x 140mm, the Magicos, 52 x 115mm and the Secretos, the tinier 40 ring by 100 mm.
On a recent trip to Havana, I tasted the Secretos, and it remains excellent.
The secretos has an expectedly dark brown wrapper; the smoke begins with a powerful, robust, earthy flavor that develops into something richer and creamier about halfway through the smoke — soon developing new notes of cacao and coffee.
But the aroma is the star here, a lovely, sweet fragrance of firewood, black cherry and leather.
This is not a big cigar — which makes it a perfect afternoon smoke, ideally with an espresso (and even more ideally at the Casa del Habano in Miramar).
10 years later, it’s still terrific.
— Alexander Britell