Cigar Review: Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro – Rated 95

Introduced at this years TPE, the Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro is the latest addition to the company’s portfolio. The cigar is the counterpart to the original Cuevas Mandarria launched in 2019, which used an Habano wrapper and Olor binder and are made at the company’s Dominican Factory – Tabacalera Las Lavas S.R.L.

Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro

The new Mandarria Oscuro blend is described by the company as:

  • Wrapper: San Andrés Maduro
  • Binder: Habano
  • Filler: Dominican, Pennsylvania, Nicaraguan

President of Casa Cuevas Cigars, Luis Cuevas Jr. stated:

“It is with great pleasure that we launch a Maduro extension of our popular, La Mandarria Habano. We are excited about this project and look forward to cigar smokers enjoying our newest Casa Cuevas addition to the Cuevas portfolio.”

La Mandarria Oscuro is expressed in a single (6 x 52) Toro vitola and has an MSRP of $12.48 per cigar. They are packaged in 20-count boxes.

For this review, I sampled 3 Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuros that I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.

Pre-Light Examination

The Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro is a fine looking cigar with its dark reddish-brown, oily wrapper and exposed foot. There are some noticeable veins running through the barrel. The cigar has firm packing head to foot, well just to the end of the wrapper by the foot. A expertly applied pig tail cap finishes the construction.

Two bands adorn the cigar. The primary band is gold and black and boldly displays the company logo in the center. A secondary black and gold band is placed right below the primary and declares this as La Mandarria Oscuro. Keeping with the theme of the original La Mandarria it includes two crossed sledge hammers that represent the break in and theft of cigars from the company’s warehouse in Miami, FL.

Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro

“La Mandarria brand was born out of the unfortunate robbery which occurred in February 2019 at the Casa Cuevas Cigars distribution center in Miami. Burglars used sledgehammers to break in and steal over 25,000 of the Casa Cuevas brands which included the Casa Cuevas Limited Edition Flaco and Casa Cuevas core line of cigars. The Cuevas family made the decision to forge ahead and create a cigar that will mark the era where they faced and overcame adversity.“

Running the Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro across the nose, I picked up a mildly pungent barrel while the foot included pungent and earthy notes

Using my dual blade cutter, I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder of the cigar and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs that I found to be a tad tighter then normal for me while offering notes of cinnamon spice and earth.

I warmed the foot to an even orange glow using my Xikar fan flame torch and drew in the first puffs of cracker and fruit notes. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.

Cigar Review Notes

Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro
Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro
Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro
Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro
Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro
Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro
Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro
Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro
Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro
Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro
  • Initial light offers the binder and filler flavor which offers cracker and fruit notes
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon spice joins the early profile
  • Full volume of smoke fills the palate
  • Once the wrapper starts igniting there is a touch of vanilla cream that sooths the palate
  • A solid white ash forms, on top of a thick slightly jagged char line, once the wrapper begins to burn
  • The cream builds with a touch of natural sweetness
  • Red currant fruit notes join the mix in the second third
  • The cinnamon is ever present but muted in the profile
  • The long solid ash finally fell revealing a decent burn cone
  • Caramel notes develop deep in the second third
  • A deepening citrus note brightens the profile
  • Slight off burn deep in the final
  • Mild spice down in the final
  • Medium In Strength
  • Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 50 minutes

Final Analysis

The initial profile of the Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro imparts a delightful blend of the binder and filler, with subtle notes of toasted cracker and fruit. A hint of cinnamon spice soon joins this early profile, adding a warm complexity. As the smoke envelops the palate, the ignition of the wrapper introduces a soothing touch of vanilla cream. The creaminess gradually intensifies and mingles with a hint of natural sweetness. Moving into the second third, red currant fruit notes enhance the mix, while the cinnamon remains a constant but muted presence. The long, solid ash eventually falls, exposing a well-formed burn cone. Deeper into the second third, caramel notes emerge, adding richness, while a deepening citrus note brightens the profile. Towards the final segment, a mild spice joins the mix that lingers gently until the end. The Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro is worthy of a box buy. I rate this a 95.

Point Deductions: (-1) Jagged Burn; (-1) Slight off burn deep in the journey

Bonus Points: (+1) Box Buy; (+1) Extreme Ash; (+1) Pleasurable and balanced across multiple samples

Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Oscuro

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