Even the most established cigar brands can have what are often referred to as holes in their cigar portfolio. Many companies begin by offering the standard trio of mild, medium, and full, blended from any number of tobaccos to achieve those generic descriptors.
In the case of Dunhill, the historic cigar brand had always lacked one particular offering: a maduro cigar. Maduro is the Spanish word for ripe, and can refer to either the dark brown color of the wrapper leaf, or an extended curing process that those leaves undergo to bring out more of the natural sugars as well as achieve a darker color.
General Cigar Co., which was chosen to handle distribution for the Dunhill brand in 2011, gave the brand’s Aged Range line a refresh shortly thereafter. A new line, the the Dunhill Aged Reserva Especial 2003, was also added, with the cigar blended around Dominican filler tobaccos from 2003.
Last year, General Cigar Co. filled in the missing maduro piece, releasing the Dunhill Aged Maduro at the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show. The Dunhill Aged Maduro was released in three relatively petite sizes, Marevas (5 1/8 x 42, $9.45), Short Robusto (4 x 54, $10.45) and Short Churchill (5 1/2 x 54, $11.95). Each comes in 10-count boxes and is a regular production release.
Here’s what I said about the Dunhill Aged Maduro Short Robusto when I reviewed it in Sept. 2016:
There are two things that stand out about the Dunhill Aged Maduro Short Robusto: the consistency and the ash. The former was remarkable from cigar to cigar, as each sample provided exactly the same experience from start to finish. The ash was worthy of trying an ash stand with, something I haven’t come across on many cigars of late. While the flavors are certainly good, they are a bit shallow for my palate through most of the cigar, with the final third letting them loose with a bit of sharp pepper contributing a bit too much to the equation. All told though, this is a solid first maduro for the Dunhill name, and one that is worthy of trying at least once in whichever vitola you prefer.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Dunhill would be leaving the cigar and pipe business, something that is expected to take place sometime next year.
- Cigar Reviewed: Dunhill Aged Maduro Short Robusto
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: General Cigar Dominicana
- Wrapper: Sun Grown Ligero Maduro
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Length: 4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Short Robusto
- MSRP: $10.45 (Box of 10, $104.50)
- Release Date: September 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 3
I recall the Dunhill Aged Maduro Short Robusto being a dark cigar, but taking it out of the humidor after nearly a year of rest was still a visual surprise as this is one dark leaf. Color aside, it has a few decent veins on it but nothing distracting. The roll is firm and clean although it looks like the cap is starting to loosen up just a bit, and I’m not optimistic that the tobacco directly underneath it will hold on through to the end of the cigar. The foot is fragrant with tree bark, pepper and just a bit of chocolate, while the cold draw shows no sweetness and minimal pepper, offering a flavor that’s hard to describe both due to its mildness and unfamiliarity.
The Dunhill Aged Maduro Short Robusto opens up with a good bit of pepper, some funky woods, and a bit of sourness that lingers on the front of the palate. The retrohales are much more enticing in the first inch, with thick, rich soil notes pairing with decent amounts of pepper to create a complex, enjoyable exhale. The sourness shakes off pretty quickly, disappearing before the burn line hits the one-inch mark, which is also when the band needs to come off. The cigar has burned well with abundant smoke, even burn line, and an easy draw. But was most stands out is the ash, holding on without flinching through the midway point and showing no signs of wanting to let go. The Dunhill shifts a bit in advance of its second third, bringing the pepper back to the forefront and amping it up a tick, while staying firmly rooted in its earthy base that is fairly heavy on the palate. Of course, the ash finally knocks off at the midpoint.
Not much has changed about the profile as it remains medium-plus to just shy of full in terms of flavor, a bit less than that in terms of strength. Pepper continues to be the big driver of each puff and I find the variance to be a plus in keeping the cigar interesting. The tree bark note that was found on the pre-light aroma comes in as the final third starts, and with it comes a mouth-tingling bit of pepper that is new to the cigar. It seems to have a bit of red chili pepper flakes to it, though I also get a bit of minerals. Heat also quickly becomes a factor, as the smoke develops a decided edge to it with just under two inches left, forcing me to space out my puffs. There’s a smoky campfire flavor and aroma beginning to join the Dunhill Aged Maduro’s profile in the final inch, and while slower puffing helps the flavor, the heat becomes too much and I call it quits at an hour of smoking time with just a small nub left.
After a year of rest, the Dunhill Aged Maduro Short Robusto hasn't shown much in the way of change. Many of the same flavors are present, though might be manifesting slightly differently as I got more espresso the first go round than I did here. The final third was a disappointment, mainly because the heat became a factor fairly quickly, ending what had been a very enjoyable smoke a few puffs before I was ready to put it down. If there's one downside to our redux reviews, it's that we only smoke one sample, and I think this might hurt the Dunhill, as I'd be intrigued to see how another sample or two performed and whether the finish was just where it's at or simply an aberration. Regardless, this is quite a good cigar, and one worth considering the next time you're in the mood for something rich, peppery, and fairly quick.