|Casa Magna Domus Magnus – Optimus Vitola|
In 2008, Cigar Aficionado awarded its Cigar of the Year award to Manuel Quesada’s Casa Magna Colorado cigar. While we can all be critical of Cigar Aficionado, the award does carry a lot of weight – and its always good to be a retailer with a cigar with this label on the shelf. While I did enjoy the Casa Magna Colorado, I actually was more impressed with the 2009 follow-up – the Casa Magna Oscuro. It’s been almost two years since a new blend was added to the Casa Magna line, but it is now time for the third installment in this line. This one is called the Casa Magna Domus Magnus. The release is intended to coincide with 2011 IPCPR convention – a time when many manufacturers unveil their new releases. I was lucky enough to get an early sample this week. After getting an opportunity to sample this new blend, I’m inclined to think that this might be the best blend in the line.
The Casa Magna Domus Magnus is another collaboration between Manuel Quesada and the Plasencia family. It is a box-press cigar that will be sold in boxes of ten and it a small pig-tail on the cap. The cigar will be sold in boxes of 10. The plan is for 100,000 cigars to be produced (in other words 10,000 boxes). From the appearance of the Casa Magna Domus Magnus, it personifies the definition of “cigar art”.
Let’s break down this cigar a bit more and see what it brings to the table.
The Casa Magna Domus Magnus is an all-Nicaraguan blend. The blend differs from the other blends in the Casa Magna line.
Wrapper: Sun-grown Jalapa Wrapper (Nicaraguan)
The Casa Magna Domus Magnus will be available in two sizes. I like how each of the vitolas were given a name. Each of the vitolas are in a box-press.
Maximus: 6 1/2 x 55
Optimus: 5 3/4 x 52
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For this cigar experience, I had the opportunity to sample the Optimus vitola. I gently placed a straight cut where the pig-tail is attached. (I usually do not like to “pull” the pig-tail off) It was then on to the pre-light draw. I got some interesting complexity on the dry draws – a nice combination of chocolate, tea, and wood. I was pleased with the pre-light draw, so it was on to light the cigar and see what flavors would now emerge.
After lighting the Domus Magnus, the initial flavors gave me a combination of cedar spice and floral notes. It didn’t take long before a citrus sweetness emerged. The citrus sweetness was complemented by the cedar spice. The citrus and cedar notes formed an interesting combination going forward – making for a unique flavor.
It was around the 1/3 point where the Domus Magnus made a very sudden and interesting change in flavor. It was around this place when some cocoa notes emerged quickly. I would not categorize this as a deep chocolate, but more of a baker’s cocoa. The sweetness also seemed to change from citrus to a more unusual sweetness. The best analogy I can give is that the sweetness almost had a taste like Pez Candy. I found the sweetness to be rather pleasant (despite my strange analogy). The cedar spice also remained. Putting these flavors together – the unique flavors remained.
Around the midway point, the cocoa notes moved into the background while he “Pez” sweetness and cedar spice moved to the forefront. In the last third, the spice took it up a level. Some of the tea notes from the pre-light draw also re-emerged. I got a nice firm nub as the cigar experience came to a close. The nub was a little warm, but the finish was not harsh.
Burn and Draw
For the most part, the burn remained straight. The burn rate was perfect and while the nub was a little warm, the burn temperature was satisfactory for the majority of the cigar experience. My only knock on the cigar is that it did tunnel a couple of times. The tunneling was not major and did not affect the flavors. I was able to fix-up the tunneling quickly.
The draw was flawless. This was a cigar that I really enjoyed smoking.
Strength and Body
When Cigar Aficionado posted a preview of the Domus Magnus, Quesada described this as a stronger blend. I agree with Quesada’s assessment of this. I found this to primarily fall into the Medium to Full range in terms of strength, but I definitely feel the strength crosses over to Full by the end of the smoke. As for the body, the flavors had depth and were robust. It has just enough body to qualify for a full-bodied smoke in my book.
This was definitely my favorite cigar released under the Casa Magna brand. The Domus Magnus is the kind of cigar that you will want to bring in as a retailer. The price point should be around $9.00 -$12.00 depending on the size and how much the Pleasure Police slap you with a tax. The Domus Magnus is probably a cigar that is going to be aimed at the more seasoned cigar enthusiast. This is definitely a cigar I would reach for again.
Strength: Medium to Full (Full at end)
Disclaimer: This cigar was provided to myself from Manuel Quesada of Quesada Cigars during a visit to Outland Cigars in Charlotte, NC. The cigar was offered to myself (Cigar Coop) in the spirit of camaraderie. Cigar Coop is appreciative the sample provided but this plays no role in assessing this cigar.