Cigar Review: Karl Malone Barrel Aged Robusto by La Aurora Cigars – Rated 90

One of the cigars being featured at the Miami Cigar Co. booth at this year’s Premium Cigar Association Trade Show was the Barrel Aged Karl Malone. Yes, this is a collaborative effort between NBA Basketball star Karl Malone and La Aurora. The process used to make this cigar is described by the company as aging all the leaf used in the cigar for six years and then the all the leaf (except the wrapper) is then placed in Rum barrels for six months. After completion of the cigar rolling, the final product rests in the aging room for another three months before shipping.

The Rum barrels used in this process come from the E. Leon Jimenes 110 Anniversary rum which was being used to celebrate the 110 year anniversary of La Aurora Cigar Factory, the oldest in the Dominican Republic.

Karl Malone is best known for his 18 NBA seasons with the Utah Jazz and was known to his fans as “The Mailman” because he could deliver. To his credit Karl “The Mailman” Malone was a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, a 14-time NBA All Star, and an 11-time member of the All-NBA first team. Considered one of the best power forwards in NBA history, Malone scored 36,928 career points and holds the NBA record for the most free throws attempted and made. Karl is a two time Olympic Gold medal athlete as he played with the United States Olympic team in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

So what do you get when you put a legendary NBA power forward together with a legendary cigar factory in the Dominican Republic? Read on an you will find out.

The Karl Malone Barrel Aged cigar has a four country blend described as:

  • Wrapper – Ecuador
  • Binder – Ecuador (barrel aged)
  • Filler – Peru, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua (all barrel aged)
Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars
Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars

The Karl Malone Barrel Aged is expressed in 4 vitolas and comes packaged in bright orange and black 25-count boxes except the Sumo Toro which comes in a 20-count box.

  • Churchill (7 x 47) MSRP $10.00
  • Belicoso (6 1/4 x 52) MSRP $11.00
  • Robusto (5 x 50) MSRP $9.00
  • Sumo Toro (5 3/4 x 54) MSRP $12.00

For this review I sampled the robusto which I received from Miami Cigar Co., which is the official distributor for the Karl Malone Barrel Aged cigar.


Pre-Light Examination

The La Aurora – Karl Malone Barrel Aged is a lightly gritty gently marbled medium tan cigar that has a minimal veins running through the wrapper. There is a decent oily sheen to it and it is finished with a simple cap.

A single band adorns the cigar using an orange, black, and gold motif that is designed to resemble a basketball. The name Karl Malone is boldly printed in black across the band and it also identifies it as “Barrel Aged” and made by La Aurora. It also has the number “32” on the back of the band denoting Karl’s jersey number when he played in the NBA.

Running the cigar across the nose, I picked up a delicate baking spice aroma along the barrel and butter like notes off the foot.

Once I sliced the cap with a straight cut, the cold puff delivered a Slam Dunk of red pepper initially that eventually sweetens up as you continue to puff on it. There is also a touch of earth.

I toasted the foot with my double flame torch lighter and brought to an even orange glow as I drew in the a sweet puff of smoke and a pepper retro-hale.


Cigar Review Notes

Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars
Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars
Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars
Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars
Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars
Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars
Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars
Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars
Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars
Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars
  • First light offers pepper on the nose sweetness on the palate
  • Touch of wood notes join the mix joined with a bit of malt
  • Light grey ash forms on a thin char line
  • Burn starts to get a tad wavy
  • Nutty aroma
  • Cream notes and cedar build as it burns through the first third
  • The off burn grows to the point where it required a touch-up
  • Once the ash fell it had a pointed and slightly off centered burn cone
  • Fruit aroma appears deep it the second third
  • Dark chocolate notes move in to entice the palate
  • End of the second third there is light bitter note
  • The bitter moves away and cashew notes enter moving into the final third
  • Light spice and a touch of sweetness finish the journey
  • Medium in Strength
  • Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 15 minutes

Overall, I found the Karl Malone Barrel Aged to have a fine set of flavor transitions and aromas. I especially liked the notes of dark chocolate and cashew deep in the burn. From a construction perspective, it had a wavy burn that evolved into an off burn that needed a touch-up, after which it progressed well to the final. It also had a slightly off centered and pointed burn cone once the ash fell. This is a cigar I may pick up another one if I saw it on the shelf. I rate this a 90.

Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy Burn; (-1) Requires Touch-up; (-1) Off Burn; (-1) Off Centered Burn Cone; (-1) Sharp Pointed Burn Cone; (-1) Might Pick up another

Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars
Karl Malone Barrel Aged by La Aurora Cigars

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