Bellas Artes Maduro
Bellas Artes Maduro
This cigar has a beautiful dark wrapper, matte in appearance, mildly toothy like low grit sandpaper. Huge double cap, very neatly rolled, minimal veins. Gorgeous cigar. The body of this cigar smells great; dark chocolate, barnyard...musty. Off the foot, I'm getting aromas of dry fruit, a minor spice; a light pepper and fruit. I'm getting a plum note...smells great.
Cold draw in a nice medium draw. Cold draw flavors are as follows, a light spicy white pepper and raisins. I'm also getting coffee, and you can taste black pepper off the wrapper.
This stick is full strength and strong on the retro-hale. The first thing I taste on the draw was cabbage. I'm getting black pepper with a long finish. The black pepper has a zing that increases until the next draw. I'm also getting bread. The spice is long; it stays on your palate, but it's light...it's there. Flavors on retro-hale are also that cabbage note mixed with subtle floral notes. The kick in the retro is coming from that black pepper and cayenne; very strong and also presents a long finish. Wow, it's good, but not for the light retro-haler.
Smoke output is heavy off the foot and equally heavy off the draw; this thing is a smokehouse. This cigar has a thick creamy smoke, very smooth and noticeable on the palate. This cigar has a very bold aroma, again spicey, black pepper, and cayenne, but also has a subtle cinnamon that blends right in the mix to lighten the intensity. The floral notes are there also, mix with the cinnamon provides a smooth transition to the boldness that smooths out the pepper.
Medium draw, not too much or too little resistance, so extra attention or work is needed; the cigar is doing the work. The burn is pretty good, though going uneven a couple of times it corrected itself with no touch-ups. Dark ash and presents some cracks. The ash looks as if it can fall at any moment, though it's holding about 2 inches so far.
The strength has mellowed out to a medium to full; that medium being the top of medium. The black pepper and cayenne have mellowed, more of that plum is now there. The cabbage is still there which is different for me, but pleasurable...I like different. The dry fruit is there, but not in a sweet fashion and the bread is picking up. On the retro-hale, this also has mellowed out which may be great news for a lot of you; it's smoother, not as bold, but no loss in the big flavors. I'm getting bread, floral notes remain, and again the pepper is more softer...like a white pepper. There's a shorter finish now with the floral notes lingering more now than the pepper in the 1st 3rd.
Smoke output is still enormous! This is smoking on Drew Estate levels. Great smoke output throughout so far. The smoke remains smooth and creamy and has that pleasure of a cappuccino; you can eat the smoke. The aroma is fantastic; it's like walking through a field of flowers and spice.
The draw is still on point at that medium level giving just enough resistance. I absolutely hate a snug draw, and if it's too easy of a draw (which I would rather have than a snug) it still bares the challenge of pacing yourself so that you don't overheat your cigar. This cigar has neither of these issues. This thing has been burning excellent. The ash is a bit flaky in appearance, but no snow effect, so this can be an on the move or car smoke. -------------------------------------
The strength remains at the top end of medium. I'm feeling a buzz, though it's light, it's there. The flavors have remained pretty consistent, and complex in the transitions while smoking. The bread is still there. The cabbage has faded as well as the black pepper. This stick has mellowed out tremendously from the bold initial kick your head in strength to something lighter, though you still get the strength much like a fruity alcoholic beverage that sneaks up on you later. The flavors are still grand. Flavors on the retro-hale are the same, with the black pepper being largely more apart of the background.
The smoke output off the foot has fallen back to a medium, but still very noticeable. The aroma is still very pleasing, pretty much the same except now I'm getting a more harder chemical aroma, not very distinctive for a description.
The draw is holding at that medium which I'm not mad at, and to speak on the burn, it's been ultimately great...so far needing only one touch-up.
So here's the skinny! Beautiful eye catching band (which I love to see...means nothing, but none the less makes things a bit more interesting). This cigar had no issues for me aside from the one touch-up. The band came off with no issues, no hot spots or mushiness at any point. No bad after taste, no flakes, and overall construction are what you would want from a premium cigar. So, the flavors, man, this cigar taste as good as it looks. The cabbage note was different and good. The dry fruit, cinnamon, and floral notes complimented and smoothed out the very noticeable spice that particularly presented itself in the 1st 3rd. You also had notes of bread and plum. So these flavors swirling, bouncing in and out made a great with the rich creamy smoke texture made this a very pleasurable smoke for me.
The strength started out bold and surely full-bodied, but mellowed to the upper end of medium by the 2nd 3rd to the last. The subtle flavors such as the floral notes really balanced it out to a smoother mellow smoke for those that can't take too much pepper. The retro-hale started hard but also mellowed by the 2nd 3rd.
Smoke output is big pretty much the entire smoke, and the burn was pretty even and consistent. I did start to feel a light buzz in the mid 2nd 3rd that carried out the rest of the smoke, so just be aware that this would be considered in the same category as a sleeper race car.
No extra attention was needed at no point, so I didn't feel I couldn't set it down for a minute to do a few extra things I needed to do and come back to have to relight.
There's no mistaking this cigar being bold, but it's a boldness that most would be able to tolerate as it adjusts throughout to become more smooth. This cigar finished at the high end of medium for me with just enough of everything; It's fulfilling. Thumbs up from me! Try it, and if you have, tell me what you think.
Until next time, stay smoky; The Brooklyn Way!