Cigar Review: HR Blue Maduro
White Hat Tobacco
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano Maduro)
Size: 6” x 50
Overall Rating: 9.0
After the stellar release of the HR Habano in late 2014, everyone was waiting to see what Cuban tobacco grower Hirochi Robaina would do next. First he made our Most Fascinating People in the Cigar Industry 2015 List, then he teamed up with Spence Drake to expand the brand at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Shows in New Orleans with two new additions. The HR Blue is the new maduro added to the line, and uses tobacco from the original HR Habano blend covered in a Ecuadorian Habano Maduro wrapper. This a good full bodied cigar at a great price, and should be a good sign for the future of White Hat Tobacco.
Pre-Light: The HR Maduro is a good looking cigar. The blue and silver HR band stands out against a dark Ecuadorian Habano Maduro wrapper. There are a few noticeable veins to the dark oily wrapper of this latest addition to the HR line.
A noticeable sweet cocoa scent comes from the wrapper of the cigar, with just a hit of barnyard in the background. The sweet cocoa aroma carries over to the partially covered foot of the cigar. A fairly easy cold draw allows though a mix of sweet cocoa, earth and mild pepper notes.
Burn: Once lit, the draw of the HR Blue Maduro is perfect, allowing though a great amount of smoke. From start to finish the cigar is mostly even burning. The white ash of this cigar does occasionally fall off without warning.
Flavor: The first third of the HR Blue begins with some sweet cocoa, earth and mild pepper. Quickly the flavors begin to develop more with more pepper and some spice joining existing flavors of earth and cocoa. On the retrohale there is a lot of earth and pepper. As the HR Blue burns into the second third of the cigar there is a boldness to the flavors that occurs. Earth, spice, cocoa, oak and pepper all occur in the second third of the cigar. At this point the retrohale is very peppery, but not overpoweringly so. The final third of has a mix of earth and pepper with a slight bitter (but pleasing) cocoa in the background.
Overall: The first HR cigar was a huge hit with those in the Cigar Media, making countless Top 25 and Top Ten lists the year it was released, but the steep price was a barrier for some cigar enthusiasts. With the HR Blue, distributed by Spence Drake’s White Hat Tobacco, there is not a great HR cigar on the market at a sub-$10 price point. Even though we don’t take price into account in our Overall Rating of a cigar, this is a great cigar for the value. Full bodied with bold flavors of earth, cocoa and pepper flavors, the HR Blue delivers just what one expects from a full bodied Nicaraguan cigar. Though full bodied, the strength never becomes overpowering. While there is not a massive amount of complexity to the cigar’s flavor profile, there is a good deal of development in what I can only tern the boldness of the existing flavors. I really enjoyed the HR Blue Maduro, and I have and I will definitely be revisiting it on a regular basis. While I’ve had it in each size, the Toro vitola really allows the blend to shine. I’d definitely recommend this cigar to those who enjoy full bodied cigars with lots of cocoa and earth flavors.
Pairing: The HR Blue pairs very well with a peaky or iodiney single malt. I personally like the Ledaig 10 with my HR Blue. The Ardbeg 10, Lagavulin 16, Talisker 10 or Laphroig Quarter Cask are all great choices for pairing with this cigar.
Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)