I have not personally met Dr. Gaby Kafie, owner of Kafie 1901 Cigars, but I have spoken to him several times on the phone and I have to say he is all the gentlemen he seems to be on social media. The man has a true passion for cigars and love of small business. Gaby spent over 10 years as a practicing Podiatrist and due to an ocular illness he had to leave the profession.
In his own words:
I get asked a lot of questions regarding my title as a doctor. People are always intrigued how a doctor is now in the cigar business. It was not by choice, but I do believe it was my destiny.
You can read his story here:
Ever since I received samples of his cigars last year I have been a fan of his brand. In fact the Kafie 1901 Connecticut made our top 5 Connecticut cigars last year and we are here today to do a long-awaited review of the Kafie 1901 Don Fernando Maduro Torpedo. The Don Fernando is tribute to his father who he describes as “the most influential person in his life”.
The Don Fernando Maduro is a dark, espresso bean brown, colored cigar with a slight sheen to it. The Don Fernando Maduro is one of three different blends that Gaby has introduced to the market. The other two are the Connecticut and the Sumatra. Like all Kafie 1901 cigars it is adorned with a band that declares it is a Kafie 1901 cigar. The Don Fernando Maduro band is black and gold with two red stripes across the top and bottom and the word Maduro centered below. The Maduro has a red satin footer band on it also.
From a construction perspective it is firmly packed with minimum veins and tight seams and a well applied cap. The blend is a three country mix:
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Honduras
- Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
All Kafie 1901 blends feature Honduran binder as he and his family are from Honduras and Gaby believes in giving back. The Kafie 1901 Maduro is available in 5 vitolas:
- V Sixty – 5 x 60
- Toro Bello – 6 x 54
- VI Sixty – 6 x 60
- Torpedo – 6.5 x 52
- Robusto – 5 x 50
The Don Fernando Maduro line is packaged in boxes of 20 except the torpedo, which comes in a 10 count box.
I received a box of Torpedos from Gaby, back around Christmas last year, and when I first opened the box, my nose immediately picked up a raison and spice aroma. Having smoked one I knew I had to share these with a number of friends and now that I have one left it was time to pen the review. The notes in this review are from smoking 4 of these over the last 6 months.
I chose to enjoy this final Kafie 1901 in quiet solitude on the back deck with my faithful friend Ziggy by my side. It was early morning and my palate was as clean as it could be. The sun was rising as the day began. “Sunshine of My Love” by Cream was playing on Pandora as I sliced the cap to give about a 1/4 opening giving it just the right amount of draw restriction. That is the nice part of a torpedo vitola – you can control the draw with the cut.
Rolling it around my lips I get medium amount of pepper and a touch of coffee; definitely a hint of whats to come once ignited. You may not know that besides cigars, Gabby’s family is in the coffee business in Honduras so having some coffee notes in the blend seems appropriate.
I used a single flame lighter to heat the foot, rolling slowly between my fingers warming it up before taking the first puffs which had, as expected, a decent amount of coffee and some white pepper that tingled the back of my throat. Continuing into the burn there was a touch of wet leather followed with a little seltzer zing on the tongue.
So far, the Kafie 1901 Don Fernando Maduro has an excellent burn. Coffee is dominating the profile as the wrapper oil develops with a glowing sheen above the thin char line. A long nut finish develops with a light spice background. There was brief moment of bitterness that entered at the end of first third which is where the medium grey ash finally fell. The construction quality is clear by the excellent centered burn cone.
The smoke production is medium. I should note that I did do deeper cuts on earlier tastings and the smoke volume was more medium to full,but today I am happy with the volume as it is, especially since it is the first cigar of the day.
The nut starts to control the profile as the bitterness fades and a sweet sugary sensation develops along with a spicy aroma. By the end of the second third a fruity tang tantalized the palate like a glass of orange juice mixed with your cup of Joe.
The Kafie 1901 Don Fernando Maduro ends with cedar and wood notes wrapped in a sweet nut component. I really liked the nut flavor in this smoke after tasting it a few times I would say it was like a sweet almond.
Overall, the Kafie 1901 Don Fernando Maduro was solid medium strength and flavorful cigar that has some complexity to the smoke. The construction was spot on with no burn issues. I would certainly pair this with a cup of dark coffee or possibly a full body rum. Like i said before, I have shared these with numerous cigar smokers and they all appreciated the cigar. I would like to thank Gaby and Kafie 1901 Cigars for the samples.