The Sindicato Maniac is a new line introduced in 2016 by Sindicato Cigars. The Maniac marks a couple of firsts for Sindicato Cigars. First, it introduces a new factory that Sindicato is partnering with in American Caribbean Cigars. Secondly, it introduces the first 7 x 70 offerings by Sindicato Cigars. In fact, this is a line that solely focuses on 7 x 70 vitolas. There is a 7 x 70 Gran Belicoso (a large belicoso) and a 7 x 70 parejo known as the Colossal. Today, we take a closer look at the Sindicato Maniac Colossal. While 7 x 70 cigars have a polarizing effect on the cigar market landscape, this is a cigar that performs quite well and delivered an enjoyable smoke. If you are looking for a good quality 7 x 70 at a value price, the Sindicato Maniac Colossal is for you.
Sindicato Cigars was officially launched in March, 2013. The company was started by a group of 45 strong cigar retailers who have joined together to enter the manufacturing side of the business. Long-time Industry veteran Jim Colucci serves as their President and CEO. One of the mantras of the company is to leverage the retail experience of the owners in terms of getting input from the consumer base. There certainly has been a demand for the 70 ring gauge in the marketplace, thus it made sense for Sindicato to introduce the Maniac line.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Sindicato Maniac Colossal and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Sindicato Maniac incorporates a Habano 2000 wrapper from Ecuador over an all-Nicaraguan blend. As mentioned, this is the first Sindicato Cigar to come from the American Caribbean Cigar Factory.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (American Caribbean Cigar Factory)
Both vitolas area a 7 x 70. The Colossal is a parejo while the Gran Belicoso is a belicoso. The cigars are packaged in 10 count bundles and 30 count boxes.
Colossal: 7 x 70 (parejo)
Gran Belicoso: 7 x 70
The Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper of the Sindicato Maniac Colossal has a medium brown color to it. Depending on how much light shines on it, it will give off a colorado red tint at different degrees. The wrapper has a bit of a rougher texture when felt in one’s hand. There are some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams on the surface of the wrapper.
The cigar features a large band that has a black background. The front of the band is shaped like a large badge surrounded by chrome colored trim. There is a large modern looking red “M” on that badge-shaped field. Below the “M” is the text “MANIAC” in a white colored font. The left and right of the band are black with a black “chain link effect”. Sitting on the left side of the band is the white Sindicato Cigars company logo. On the far right of the band is a barcode.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Sindicato Maniac Colossal, I still opted to use a straight cut. My cutter was capable of cutting cigars in the 60 ring gauge. I was still able to get a good (and clean) cut with this cutter. The dry draw delivered a mix of wood and natural tobacco. Overall I didn’t consider this the most exciting pre-light draw, but since the pre-light draw not scored, there was no loss of points here. At this point I was ready to light up the Sindicato Maniac Colossal and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Sindicato Maniac Colossal started out with a combination of cedar and natural tobacco. In the background was an interesting note that I’ll best describe as a combination of floral and mint notes. Meanwhile on the retro-hale I detected a subtle black pepper note.
As the Sindicato Maniac Colossal moved through the first third, the natural tobacco notes developed a nice, but not overpowering sweetness. From time to the time, the cedar notes along with some generic wood notes were mixed in. Meanwhile the mint and floral notes remained in the background.
By the second third, I found the cedar notes joined the natural tobacco notes in the forefront. The mint / floral combination seemed to diminish. By the midway point, I found the cedar notes became the primary note. There was now some black pepper that I detected on the tongue. There still was a slight amount of the mint / floral combination present in the background.
I didn’t find many changes during the last third of the Sindicato Maniac as the flavor profile above remained until the end. There was a slight amount of increase in spice, but like the sweetness (throughout) it never became overpowering. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn of the Sindicato Maniac Colossal was one that some “tlc” along the way. I found this burn required more frequent touch-ups to remain on straight path and keep the burn line itself from being overly jagged. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color. While there was some minor flaking along the way, I found the resulting ash to still be somewhat firm. The ash itself had a salt and pepper color. Meanwhile the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw for the Sindicato Maniac Colossal performed quite well – especially for a large 7 x 70 cigar. I found this to a draw that was not too loose, nor too tight. As a result, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
Despite its large size, the Sindicato Maniac Colossal is not a cigar that is overpowering. From both a strength and body perspective, I found this cigar started out in the mild to medium range. By the middle of the first third I found both attributes progressed to medium. I still found the strength and body increased throughout the smoking experience, but both never got out of the medium range.
In terms of strength versus body, I found both attributes balanced either other very nicely with neither one overshadowing the other.
I said at the beginning of this assessment is that 7 x 70 cigars have a polarizing effect. In recent years, they have become a cigar that sells well and has its fans On the other hand, there some detractors who will pretty much dismiss ever smoking a cigar like this. While a 7 x 70 wouldn’t be my first vitola of choice, I can say that if I were to reach for one, the Sindicato Maniac would be one I would smoke. Overall I found this cigar to perform nicely in the 7 x 70 format. It’s not an overly complex smoke, but it is one that produced nice flavor. I also think the fact that this was not an overpowering cigar in terms of strength and body worked very much in favor of this blend. This is a cigar I’d recommend to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s one I’d smoke again and it’s worthy of a fiver.
Strength: Mild to Medium (Start), Medium (Remainder)
Body: Mild to Medium (Start), Medium (Remainder)
Assessment: 3.0-The Fiver