avantgrade purchased this cigar on 2010-05-25.
It has 3.5 months of additional aging.
With a quick toast of the foot and a few puffs, the cigar lit up and immediately filled the air with peppery smoke. The red pepper flavors found during pre-light tasting were more amplified and complemented by notes of warm nutmeg. An unmistakable dark coffee flavor also develops within the first few minutes of the burn.
Currently, the cigar is displaying a very solid burn line that keeps the wrapper lit with relative ease.
A chocolate aroma is present, together with nutmeg and more peppery notes. The cigar is burning very cool, and the flavors, while appearing in full force, are mellowing out a little bit when compared to the initial light. As the first 1/3 advances, the cigar further mellows out, introducing a certain creaminess to the the complexity of the cigar.
One flavor that kept me interested even more, which have not really found in other cigars, was a distinct metallic tone. Certain Cuban brands (and the flavor is definitely not limited to Cuban cigars alone) display a mineral characteristic in the taste profile, which I could describe best as being on a beach by the sea, and inhaling fresh, salty air that you can almost taste. The Mad Dog has a similar quality, but the metallic aspect of the mineral taste is much more highlighted when compared to other smokes I had in the past.
As I keep smoking the cigar further, I remember that it is a Panamanian puro: you really do not hear of that too often. Most blenders have a tough time incorporating Panamanian tobacco into their creations, so to have a stick that contains nothing but is quite a treat on its own.
The spicy front end of the cigar slowly becomes subdued, but the profile still retains some of the metallic tastes. Into the blend come nuances of leather and toasted bread, with an occasional undertone of citrus. The body has settled into a steady medium realm, and thick smoke keeps coming with every puff. I did start to run into some burn issues that required 2 large touch-ups before the end of the cigar, as the cigar would unexpectedly start to stray from the seemingly perfect burn line.
As the cigar approaches the finale, the smoke remains cool and flavorful. Citrus notes no longer appear, and the leathery flavors intensify. Bread notes are more toasty than before, but all of the flavors remain balanced as the smoke stays creamy and cool.
Before setting the cigar down, the metallic notes intensified a little bit, delivering a slightly acidic taste (trust me, it's a really pleasant flavor, and not something you find too often).
At less than 6 dollars a stick, you would be silly not to try this (if you can find them).