I met Christopher J. Yarosz, owner of Moneda de Cuba cigars this year at the IPCPR in New Orleans and he was kind enough to provide us some samples of his line of fine cigars. Having returned from a long week of business in Detroit, MI, I got up this beautiful late summer Florida morning and decided to give his Maduro Churchill a spin, and I am glad I did. Moneda de Cuba translates to the Currency of Cuba. I suppose if paper money were not available we could trade cigars for goods and services and the Moneda de Cuba would be high on my list for value. Christopher describes it as:
Moneda de Cuba was developed to describe to the premium cigar smoker the true essence of the wealth of the Cuban nation and its finest cigars.
Rolled in the traditional Cuban entubado style the Moneda de Cuba churchill has a perfect draw and fine ash. The maduro line comes in 4 vitolas:
- Robusto (5 x 50)
- Petit Torpedo (5 x 54)
- Churchill (7 x 50)
- Torpedo (6.5 x 54).
They are priced between $6.50 and $7.00 which is an excellent price point considering the quality construction and flavor that they deliver. The company offers them in boxes of 20 and bundles of 25.
The Moneda de Cuba is constructed with beautiful Brazilian Araparaca Maduro Wrapper that encases Premium Dominican and Nicaraguan Fillers along with a premium Criollo 98 Binder.
Examining the churchill vitola you will easily notice the nice waxy feel to the wrapper. The company say these cigars have been aged a year before shipping to the consumer and you can tell that just by the wrapper, a wrapper that dark brown and slightly marbled giving it that extra character before firing it up. It has an enticing cocoa powder pre-light aroma, on the foot and body of the cigar. It is finished off with a simple cap.
The band of the Moneda de Cuba is colorful with a silhouette of the Isle of Cuba in the background with the word Moneda de Cuba center in the middle embraced with green tobacco leaves on each side. It is further adorned with Cuban pesos. As much as i like the band, i think the art could have been made sharper as it is slightly pixelated, but as a new company this may be something they will correct in the future.
The cap is easily clipped off and the dry draw is open and unrestricted. I detect some black pepper on my lips as I puff on it before lighting it up.
I choose to fire it up using a cedar spill that I received from Cigar Reserve to get the best light possible. The initial puffs of full body smoke present a slight pepper and chocolate flavor with a hint of raisin in the background. It is a cool morning in the Stogie Press lounge with a light breeze coming in for out outside. I decide to cue up some live Kinks on the turntable and sit back in my solitude to enjoy the Moneda de Cuba as my first cigar of the day.
It is good to be back home relaxing and trying not to think about work. My dog Ziggy is on the floor next to me so happy that I am home.
As the music plays and the Moneda de Cuba burns there is an amazing wafting aroma of chocolate that is coming of the foot. The ash is developing into a medium grey color and rests on a fairly thick char line. The wrapper has quickly developed a nice oily sheen. So far so good. The retro-hale is incredibly smooth and adds to the enjoyment of this fine smoke.
A touch of spice enters the profile around the inch and half mark as the wafting chocolate aroma fills the air around me with the sounds of Ray Davies’ guitar. The ash fell around the 2 inch mark and then held on for about an inch or so more between falls.
The flavors are blending well into the second third with a solid burn and a gentle sweetness coming from the Brazilian Maduro wrapper. Other than a slight wave that required only a minor touch up, the burn has been impeccable.
Wood and spice dominate the second third and the aroma shifts from chocolate to nut, though it may also be described as possibly roasted acorns.
As the Moneda de Cuba transitions to the final third the wood evolves into a spicy cedar.
Overall the Moneda de Cuba maduro churchill is a well constructed multi-dimensional cigar with a fantastic aroma and flavor. It is a medium strength cigar that can easily be enjoyed in the morning like I did or any other time. I feel this would pair well with a nice Merlot or Malbec red wine or possibly some aged dark rum. The only issue I have is not in the cigar itself but the band. I would like to see Moneda de Cuba sharpen the artwork since it is a beautiful band that adorns a wonderful cigar. It would add to the pride of this swell smoke.
Nice job Christopher. I look forward to sampling and reviewing the other blends in your lineup over the coming months.
The wood transitions to more of a spicy cedar entering the final third.