Cigar Review: Cusano M1

Cusano M1Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Connecticut

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican

Strength: Mild

Price: Bundle of 20, $59.99

Grade: 7.3

The Cusano M1 was created for the Macanudo lover on a budget – mild Dominican mixed filler and a US Connecticut wrapper. Sold in bundles of 20 for around $60, the M1 is available in five sizes. You can find these sticks all over the web but you’d be hard pressed to find a B&M stocking them.

Cusano has received high marks in the past from both Cigar Aficionado and Smoke Magazine and we reviewed the Cuvee Blanc from Cusano a while back and loved it (review). Surprisingly, the M1 was given a 9.0 by Smoke Magazine, which surely ranks as one of the higher rated bundle smokes out there. To learn more about Cusano and see a full listing of their offerings and ratings, check them out online.

Now, on to the toast!

Pre-light, 1.3:
Everything about the exterior of this stick says bundle – simple logo, minor wrapper blemishes, jagged cap, and a thick stalk running up the side. The wrapper is nicely colored, in between a Connecticut and Maduro, with minimal veins. The packing is a bit spongy and the draw is appropriately loose. The aroma is of sweet hay with a very thick molasses and the cold pull places some sweet cedar on the lips. But, for a bundle stick, I’ve definitely seen worse.

Burn, 1.4:
The spongy packing and the loose draw revealed in the pre-light is evident in the burn. The ash is flaky and loose, though nicely and consistently colored, and it burns very fast. It does burn in a straight line however.

Flavor, 2.3:
There are no shifts in this smoke’s flavor profile, other than some movement as harsh spots came in and out. The M1 starts off with a very creamy and palate filling sensation, with notes of coffee and toffee. There is also a very dry finish throughout the cigar that actually overpowers the creaminess at times. Though very one-dimensional with a few rough spots, the flavor profile is fairly enjoyable.

Overall, 2.3:
Billed as a cheaper alternative to the Macanudo, I can vouch for this; when you drop down to $3 a stick, you expect to forfeit a good bit on construction and a little bit on flavor. Though the burn was fast, it didn’t require any touch-ups, and though the flavor was harsh at time, it never became the dominating flavor profile and it did not stick around and affect the finish on the cigar. Though a low scorer, the M1 is bundle worthy.

(Total: 7.3)