|Lou Rodriguez MF|
The Lou Rodriguez MF is a limited edition cigar that was released by Lou Rodriguez Cigars. The founder, Lou Rodriguez is a surgeon who is based in Greenville, North Carolina. His company is a true “seed to store” cigar company as they grow their own tobacco, have their own factory, and handle their own distribution Since he launched his company, he has produced four core lines (all of which have been reviewed on Cigar Coop). The Lou Rodriguez MF has been kept under the radar. It is not something that was advertised in his product catalog, or was even promoted at the IPCPR Trade Show. As a result, this has become a sought after cigar by cigar enthusiasts. Recently, I had the luck to come into some of these cigars and smoke them. Overall, this is an excellent smoke. If you are lucky enough to find this cigar, you should definitely enjoy and smoke it.
The word is that only about 1,500 cigars were produced for this blend. The cigars were allocated to the top tier Lou Rodriguez accounts. Much of the reason for the limitations are because the tobaccos were in extremely limited supply. Given there are ten cigars per box, this totals 150 boxes total.
Let’s take a closer look a the Lou Rodriguez MF and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The MF stands for Mata Fina – as in Brazilian Mata Fina. This marks the first Lou Rodriguez cigar released to use this wrapper. The wrapper is a maduro – which Rodriguez is on the record saying is one of makes up one of his favorite types of cigars. The tobaccos themselves are from a 2010 vintage crop.
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
The Lou Rodriguez MF is available in a single vitola – a 6 x 52 box-pressed torpedo. With the exception of the Lou Rodriguez Edicion Reserva Connecticut, a box-press vitola is a staple of the Lou Rodriguez cigar lines.
The Mata Fina wrapper to the Lou Rodriguez MF is a rich coffee bean color. It has some marbling to the color scheme. The wrapper itself has a silky complexion to it. There are some visible wrapper seams, and there were a couple of visible veins. The box-press was well-packed and firm.
The cigar features the standard Lou Rodriguez band found on his core lines. This band consists of a black, white, and gold color scheme. On the center of the band is the Lou Rodriguez name in white font – consisting of a cursive “Lou” and below it; the printed name “Rodriguez” is in a larger font. Below the name is a caduceus medical logo – signifying Rodriguez’s medical roots. The band also has gold trim and gold adornments. Going across the bottom in almost a ticker tape fashion is the text “LOU RODRIGUEZ CIGARS” in small black font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the Lou Rodriguez MF, I used a straight cut to remove the tip of the torpedo. I then moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes provided a mix of mocha, cedar, and cherry flavors. Overall, I considered this a positive pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to light my Lou Rodriguez MF and see what the overall cigar experience would deliver.
The Lou Rodriguez MF is not going to be a cigar to deliver a lot in terms of radical flavor transitions, however this is going to be cigar that has some nice flavor nuances to it.
At the start of the Lou Rodriguez MF, I was treated to a classic black pepper blast to start. Once the pepper subsided, the flavor profile became a combination of coffee and pepper notes. In the background, I could also detect some cherry sweetness. As the cigar moved through the first third, the cherry notes slowly diminished. As for the pepper, this is something that is also prominent in the retro-hale throughout the smoke.
In the second third, with the coffee and pepper notes still in control, some nut and cream notes surfaced. While the nut and cream were secondary flavors, they provided enough balance to the coffee and pepper up-front to make for an enjoyable flavor profile. The cherry notes are still present, but more of a tertiary flavor. By the end of the second third, the cherry notes had dissipated.
In the last third, the pepper definitely takes over as the primary flavor. The coffee, nut, and cream notes could still be detected in the background. While there is some spice at the end, there is no harshness. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but slightly soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
For a torpedo vitola, the Lou Rodriguez MF scored very well here when it came to burn and draw. I’ve been on the record many times as on this web-site saying that (in my opinion) a torpedo does not burn or draw as well as a classic parejo. In the case of the Lou Rodriguez MF, there were no such issues, so I’m proven incorrect again.
The burn remained straight from start to finish – requiring little in the way of touch-ups. The resulting ash was a classic salt and pepper color. The ash had some slight flaking to it, but nothing major. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
As for the draw, it was pretty much effortless. For a torpedo, this was what I categorize as a low maintenance draw – meaning it does not take a lot of work to puff on the cigar.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Lou Rodriguez MF has a little pop to it. From a nicotine standpoint, it doesn’t overpower yet still has enough kick to it. I assessed it to be medium to full in strength. The cigar also has some nice depth to its flavors. I also assessed this cigar to be medium to full-bodied. Both the flavors and the strength of this cigar have a nice balance to them – with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
When I first looked at this cigar, my expectations were that this was not going to provide a new and innovative maduro smoking experience, but rather a classic one – and that is exactly what the Lou Rodriguez MF does. The cigar delivers outstanding flavor, nice balance – and is complemented by some great construction. I admit, I still would have loved to see this blend in a classic parejo shape, but the torpedo still works fine here. This is a cigar that an experienced cigar enthusiast – particularly a maduro fan will like. For the novice cigar enthusiast, this provides a classic maduro experience – as well as a cigar to graduate to something with a little more “pop” to it. For both the novice and experienced cigar enthusiast, this is a great special occasion cigar as well. As for myself, this is a cigar I would definitely smoke again, and certainly buy again if I can find it.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Havana Phil’s in Greensboro, North Carolina.