Castro Brothers Blue Ridge Maduro
Many novice smokers (and even a few experienced smokers) assume that a cigar with a dark wrapper is going to be strong. Though lighter colored wrappers will usually (though not always) indicate a more mild smoke, dark wrappers run the gamut of flavors. Whenever someone asks about the relationship between wrapper color and strength, I always point to the Castro Brothers Blue Ridge Maduro as a dark cigar that offers a smooth mild-to-medium smoke. It has that great richness and slight sweetness of a maduro wrapper with a pleasing well-balanced blend. It's no wonder that the Blue Ridge Maduro is one of the most popular cigars we carry...
The Castro Brothers Blue Ridge Maduro cigars are made exclusively for Davidus Cigar stores by Honduras American Tobacco, SA, a division of General Cigar. Even though this is a house brand, and it features our owners faces on the label, I can assure you that this is an impartial review.
The Blue Ridge Maduro features a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper from Ecuador, Connecticut Binder, and the filler is a blend of Honduran Tobacco. I've selected the Toro size (6x54) for this review.
From the start the Blue Ridge Maduro has a smooth, woody character with the vegatal sweetness that is the hallmark of maduro cigars. After ashing the cigar just shy of the midpoint, the favors open up more with the sweetness being followed by hints of leather. There are cedar notes to the finish, but the overall finish is fairly short.
The draw is effortless, and produces a good amount of light bodied smoke. The ash is solid and white, the mark of impeccable rolling. The contrast of the white ash with the darkness of the wrapper is one reason that I have such a fondness for maduro cigars.
The maduro sweetness dissipates as you approach the final quarter of the cigar, with a stronger cedar flavor coming to the forefront. The finish becomes slightly bitter, and lingers longer, but there is little harshness or bite as the heat of the draw becomes more intense. There aren't many cigars that I smoke down to the nub, but I managed to burn my fingers on this one.
The burn is nearly perfect throughout, matching or exceeding the consistency of cigars three times the price.
I was honestly very surprised by how much I enjoyed the Blue Ridge Toro. I hadn't smoked one in quite some time, but may have to return to them more often. I tend to smoke more full-bodied cigars, but it had enough flavor to keep me interested, and the construction really sealed the deal as a quality smoke.
The Blue Ridge Maduros are available in sizes that range from the Corona to the 6x60 Mountain. Starting at $76.99 for a box of 20, they are a tremendous value. They are only available at Davidus cigar stores, but can be ordered from anywhere through the Davidus.com website.
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