Cigar Review: La Unica Maduro

Size: 4.5×50, Robusto (#400)

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: Dominican Republic

Filler: Dominican Republic

Strength: Mild

Price: Box of 20, $75.95 (Purchase)

Grade: 8.8

Today’s review was provided by one of our sponsors, AJ’s Cigars; you’ll see their box ad to the right. We first reviewed the La Unica Natural a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it, so I was especially excited about reviewing the Maduro version.

La Unica is a collaboration between J.C. Newman’s Chairman, Stanford Newman, and Carlos Fuente Sr. Back in 1985, Newman had an idea to offer a premium bundle cigar – back then only factory 2nds were sold in bundles. Once the sizes were selected by Fuente and the blend was approved by Newman, the La Unica shortly became the top selling bundle cigar in America. The blend has remained the same, but it is now sold in boxes rather than bundles. It is produced at Tabacalera A. Fuente.

The La Unica is available in Natural, Maduro, and the recently introduced Cameroon. Sold in boxes of 20, there are six sizes offered: 8.5×52 (#100, Presidente), 7×49 (#200, Churchill), 6.75×44 (#300, Lonsdale), 4.5×50 (#400, Robusto), 5.5×42 (#500, Corona), and 6×50 (#600, Toro). La Unica has received high ratings from both Cigar Aficionado and Smoke Magazine.

You can check out La Unica online and follow JC Newman on Twitter. Now, on to the toast!

Pre-light, 1.7:
With a firm roll and solid construction, the La Unica Maduro is appealing in the hand; rolled perfectly along seams, the splotchy, leathery exterior deepens the appeal of the dark Maduro wrapper. There are no blemishes on the cigar and the slight box press is a surprising addition from a low priced cigar. The aroma is of sweet cocoa with a mild barnyard along the edges and a clean and fresh finish. The draw is open with a proper amount of resistance and the flavor is in line with the aroma – a slight cocoa with hints of wood.

Burn, 1.8:
On the initial light, a cloud of smoke billows from the spot on draw. The Maduro possesses a slow burn despite an open draw, though the ash is flakey along the edges and nearly creates a split down the center – this corrects itself a few inches in. Overall, the draw and burn is effortless.

Flavor, 2.6:
A sweet core is surrounded by notes of hay and pencil wood. Up front, the Maduro is very mild and gentle and really highlights the wrapper. There is a slight bite as I move into the smoke, and there is no real movement in flavor; just consistent, smooth, and very gentle. This is a fairly one dimensional smoke, though the profile category that it remains in is enjoyable. The profile most closely reminds me of chocolate covered coffee beans; if you’ve ever had this as a snack, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Overall, 2.7:
This is pretty much what I expected – a mild, sweet smoke at an affordable price. A lot of times this is exactly what you want from a cigar, especially a daily smoke – straight to the point with no surprises. The La Unica Maduro is not going to wow you, but it will offer you a consistent smoke – the burn, flavor, and construction have all been spot on in each of my samples, both with the Maduro and the Natural. If you are looking for a well priced cigar for early morning, or for handing out to friends that don’t frequently smoke, this would be a good cigar to have around. When room clears in my humidor, I’ll likely pick up a box, especially since they are a bit cheaper than the Casa Torano Maduro, and share a very similar experience.

(Total: 8.8)