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Cigar Review: Azan Maduro Natural Campana

10 Nov 2014

About a month ago, I reviewed the Premium Line, the most expensive brand to date from Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigars. Impressed, I set out to round off our coverage of the company’s Azan line by trying the Azan Maduro Natural for the first time.

Azan Maduro Natural CampanaAzan is an old Cuban cigar brand that was revived by Roberto Pelayo Duran and reintroduced at the 2013 industry trade show. Azan was originally started by a Chinese immigrant who produced handmade cigars in the Manicaragua area of Cuba prior to Castro taking control. He eventually won a lottery and invested the money in his tobacco operation, only to have the Cuban government nationalize his business.

Today, Roberto P. Duran offers three variations on Azan: White, Burgundy, and Maduro Natural. Maduro Natural includes filler tobaccos from Estelí and Jalapa, a Nicaraguan binder, and a dark Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper that reportedly takes over 22 months to process. “This Maduro wrapper is very oily and naturally dark [hence, “Maduro Natural”] while maintaining the sweetness of the Corojo,” according to the manufacturer. “The beauty of the wrapper comes absolutely natural without any additive.”

Azan Maduro Natural comes in two sizes: Robusto Extra (5.5 x 52) and a belicoso called Campana (5.5 x 52). The latter retails for about $10 and comes complete with a well-executed cap, a firm packing of tobaccos, and pre-light notes of espresso, leather, and earth. The cold draw is moderately tight.

After setting an even light, a spicy, full-bodied profile abruptly announces itself. There’s no easing into this smoke. Right at the outset, bold, rich flavors of coffee bean, roasted nut, and black pepper hit the palate with a thick, leathery texture.

Background tastes include sweet cream and cinnamon. Aside from the additions of cocoa and warm tobacco in the final third, I don’t find many changes from light to nub.

While the complex flavor leaves little to be desired, the two samples I smoked for this review did not perform as well in the construction department. For one, the draw is stiffer than I would like (even though the smoke production is solid). Second, the burn line is often ill-behaved, requiring touch-ups along the way to stay even. That said, flavor is king. And the Azan Maduro Natural Campana has flavor in spades. As an after-dinner smoke and a complement to bourbon, this belicoso is an excellent choice and worthy of four stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

 

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