Boutique Wendesday Cigar Review: Marco V Bronze Label

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Size: 5×60, V. Gigante

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: De Olor, Dominican

Filler: Blend, Dominicano de Olor and Piloto Cubano (Cibao Valley, Dominican)

Strength: Mild

Price: Box of 20, $120

Grade: 8.8

So, the Marco V is huge, it is, as they call it, a gigante cigar. When we first received these samples I was shocked by the size—they looked large online, but in hand, they are something totally else! Marco V is new to the cigar industry and is run by Marco V. Keiser. He describes their process a bit on their website:

We use tobacco from all over the world to create unique and powerful luxury cigars for the serious cigar aficionado. Marco V Cigars are rolled in the Dominican Republic and are brought to you directly from the factory. Marco V Co. is the first cigar brand in the world to only offer cigars with at least a 60 ring gauge. This is done to exhibit the excellence of the Marco V filler blend. All Marco V Cigars are rolled in limited batches to ensure every single cigar is blended and rolled to perfection.

Marco V currently offers three blends and is in the testing stage for a fourth blend made up of full ligero. The current lineup hosts the Platinum Label (Grand Reserve, Medium), Gold Label (Brazilian Grand Reserve, Full), and the Bronze Label (The Dom Grand Reserve, Mild), which we review today. They have also recently released a chiseled head to help ease the obtrusiveness of the high gauge. Marco V is approaching 50 retail stores nationally, with the majority being in the Midwest, and the majority of those in Minnesota. Currently, Marco V does not sell their cigars online and they are seeking 100 tobacconists to help maintain the boutique nature of their business and maintain their focus on quality.

You can find Marco V online and on Twitter.

So, let’s see how long it takes to toast this gigante.

Marco VPre-light, 1.7:
At first glance, it looks like this stick is going to be some work; very heavy and somewhat obtrusive, which I think is the point! The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper is buttery smooth and has a nice almond color. The veins are minimal and hard to notice and the band is a very thick black label with a gold M in the center, etched in bronze coloring, and surrounded by the words hand made, Marco V, and imported. The large ring gauge made this difficult to cut with my Xikar and created a jagged head. The aroma on the stick is overwhelmingly vegetal with hints of hay and grass. The cold draw is a bit bland on the cold draw but it pulls excellently.

Burn, 1.8:
It took some concentrated effort to get an even toast on this 60 gauge foot, but it lit very well. The draw was excellent and the smoke emitted was plentiful but a bit thin and airy. The effortless draw was crucial with this cigar due to the large gauge. The ash held perfectly and formed a nice sheet of gray, nearly white, ash. The burn was nice and slow. The only complaint here was the wrapper seemed to be pretty thin and delicate, especially after the heat hit it. It cracked toward the head at the 2/3 mark and it also ripped a little when I pulled the label.

Flavor, 2.6:
The Bronze Label lit harshly at the foot, but it quickly faded into a very strong vegetal profile with notes of hay and a very dry aftertaste—without a transition this will be a dud. Luckily, the vegetal makes a very nice transition with a subtle creaminess, which is what I always look for in a mild stick. The second third also brings a shift to an earthier and musty profile, with the final third mellowing way out with some continued creaminess complimented by the usual mild barnyard flavors. This cigar was much more complex than I expected and made wonderful transitions.

Overall, 2.7:
At $6 a smoke, this cigar is certainly worth the money. The large ring gauge makes this an entertaining cigar—add in a great burn and draw, a silky smooth wrapper, and a moving flavor profile, and you’ll find a winner. I can see how over time the gauge can become a nuisance and this prevents the stick from being an every day smoke for me. However, the newly introduced chiseled head will offer great improvement.

(Total: 8.8)

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