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Stogie Reviews: Marco V Platinum Label V. Gigante

13 Apr 2009

Among the young boutiques that are trying to carve out a niche is Marco V, “the cigar industry’s newest premium cigar brand.” With a lineup that is restricted to vitolas with at least a 60 ring gauge, this unique and affordable manufacturer is positioning itself to become a favorite of lovers of thick smokes.

Marco V Platinum Label V. GiganteI’m told this distinctive strategy is more than just a marketing gimmick. Company president Marc Keiser told us in a letter that he designed the vitolas to “exhibit the excellence of the Marco V filler blend.” In the case of the Platinum Label, that blend includes Nicaraguan viso ligero and Dominican piloto cubano and de olor tobacco.

The V. Gigante (5 x 60) has a look similar to the Robusto from Isla de Cuba’s Aged Maduro blend—although it’s much softer to the touch. I wasn’t surprised when the reddish Brazilian arapiraca wrapper leaf cut to reveal a clear draw with a hint of sweetness on the lips. I was, however, caught off-guard by the incredibly potent pre-light notes of dry cocoa.

After taking great care to ensure the foot was lit completely, I was greeted with a hearty taste of black coffee, leather, and a bit of pepper. Each easy puff produced a surplus of smoke, and the cigar continues to chug along like a smokestack when left to rest in the ashtray.

The overall flavor, which is thoroughly consistent from light to nub, is best described as full-bodied but not strong. And it’s worth noting that the typical arapiraca taste of cocoa and chocolate is hardly noticeable; that’s probably a result of the V. Gigante’s high ratio of filler to wrapper tobacco.

Construction is good for a stogie that sells online for $88 per box of 20 or $20 per 5-pack. The large burn diameter only requires a touch-up or two and the ash, although a tad flakey, holds firm for an inch and a half. The handful of V. Gigantes that I smoked were all unwavering in these qualities. This is, perhaps, a testament to Marco V’s commitment to “batch system” operation—controlling the whole supply chain of each limited production cigar to ensure top quality.

All things considered, I give Marc Keiser credit for creating this reasonably priced, high-quality cigar. While the Platinum Label V. Gigante doesn’t have tremendous balance or nuance, it does offer a warm, savory flavor that seems to last for days. That’s why it earns a solid rating of three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

4 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Marco V Platinum Label V. Gigante”

  1. Dwyer76 Monday, April 13, 2009 at 4:07 am #

    From the picture, it looks like the company doesn't worry too much about the quality of the wrapper leaf. I'm not being critical, just saying that it's good to know the emphasis is placed on the tobacco you can't see (filler). Sounds like this could be a good yard gar.

  2. CWS Monday, April 13, 2009 at 6:44 am #

    5×60 – looks huge.

  3. CWS Monday, April 13, 2009 at 7:51 am #

    ABC News is reporting travel rstrictions will be lifted to Cuba …

  4. Chris Monday, April 13, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    Travel restrictions for Cuban Americans…not the rest of us.