Wrapper : Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler : Nicaragua & Colombia
Binder : Honduras
Size : 5 x 54
Mataza is made by Alec Bradley, in Honduras. At this time, the only carrier of the stick is Hiland's Cigars in Scottsdale, AZ.
Construction is excellent and it’s a thick, dark chocolate brown stick with uniform color and smoothness. The stick has a bit of toothiness. A wonderful aroma of dark espresso and leather can be sniffed on the stick along with leather and tea at its foot.
I snip the puppy and light up. This is my second cigar and found it very good. I’m hoping for the same experience with this one. The first flavors are very leatherish. And smoke spews like a chimney. I get a bit of milk chocolate as well on my palate.
This is a meaty, sweet cigar. Half an inch in, I get the black pepper rush. And the body is already approaching full tilt. The leather component is very strong. Manly.
The first third doesn’t go through any major changes. It’s a solid smoke with a nice group of flavors. Not that complex, though.
The second third introduces some coffee notes that coincide with some cocoa notes. The sweetness increases. And leather continues to be the prominent flavor.
The ash is a lovely snow white. Dwarves exempted.
During the second third, the pepper aspect disappears. And the power ceases to be full bodied. It settles back down to medium in strength. But the long awaited creaminess kicks in making up for the loss of strength.
The balance of the cigar doesn’t change much. Cocoa, coffee, leather, some wood notes, and a creamy center. This is not a $8 stick. It retails for $3.40. And for $3.40, I’d say this is an excellent cigar for your money. I’ve tasted other A/B house brands that cost more than this one, which is not a house cigar. I think you get a lot of bang for your buck with this stick.
Hilands Cigars has a special right now that gets you 5 Robustos and a pretty cool embroidered ball cap for $21.98 at www.hilandscigars.com
This is an addendum to my review. March 31, 2012:
In the time since I've written this review, the cigars have had a chance for additional rest time and they have blossomed. It's become a more hearty cigar with much more complexity and pleasant nuances. I would put this cigar up against almost any of Bradley's other high premiums for taste and body.
And now for something completely unwarranted:
My girlfriend of 8 years dumped me. I had just bought her a nose job. So in her head, the time must have been right. I came into my grandfather's inheritance, bought a house in north Long Beach, CA, shave the afro and went "New Wave."
I joined a band called "The Attitude." Four young good looking guys with a great sound. We went into the studio and recorded some tunes. One was "Hound Dog."
THE REALLY SKINNY KID PLAYING BASS IS ME
We were just about done doing a wonderful tough rock version of the song when in walked through the door.....Little Richard. He was recording in the studio next door and had heard us.
We begged him to play on Hound Dog but he relented. He was too caught up with the good looks of our singer/guitarist. Richard kept making advances, freaking out the singer. The rest of us came up with an idea.
I took Little Richard aside. We stepped outside for a smoke. I told him that I could guarantee a night's visit with our band leader is he would play on the song. He agreed in a nano second.
Richard and I re-entered the studio and I exclaimed to everyone that he had agreed to play some kick ass piano on our single.
He then sat all by himself in front of the studio piano with head phones on.
We sat excitedly in the booth waiting for the magic. The song started. He never asked for the key. And then his hands hit the keyboard and lightning shot from the ends of his fingers.
He did everything he needed to do in one take. 3 minutes. A trifle to pay for a night with our clueless singer.
The song had been brought to life.
As we are all back slapping each other in the booth for being in a place that magic was performed, Little Richard was all smiles.....He then sidled up to the singer and began a conversation. Little Richard was wooing him. The other 3 of us could hardly contain our laughter. The singer thought he was bonding with a rock n roll legend, not being softened up for the kill.
Little Richard motioned for the singer to come outside with him and out they went. A few moments later, the singer came running back to the safety of the booth, screaming at us, "What did you do?"
We burst into laughter just as Little Richard walked back in. He grabbed the forearm of our singer and tried to lead him out and then there was a scuffle. Richard's people began to raise their fists. The singer was a Medal of Honor winner in Viet Nam where he was a Marine sergeant. You can see this music video on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEGf5zlqdrQ&feature=youtu.be