HBTC Review: Casa Cuevas La Mandarria

In 2019, Casa Cuevas announced and released La Mandarria as a limited edition blend. In the original production only 500 boxes were produced (20-count boxes). Early in 2020 it was announced that the cigar would become a regular production line for Casa Cuevas. La Mandarria translates to sledgehammer. Casa Cuevas opted for that name in response to a burglary that took place at their warehouse in Miami in early 2019. Here is Matt’s review of La Mandarria from Casa Cuevas.

Casa Cuevas La Mandarria is currently made only in this vitola.

Casa Cuevas La Mandarria
MSRP: $12.00
Size: 6 x 52
Origin: Tabacalera Las Lavas (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Habano (Ecuador)
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic

La Mandarria is a beautiful cigar, with a red sunset color to the wrapper. It has a shaggy, unfinished foot, and a curly pigtail cap. It almost feels heavy for the size but draws well when cut. There is a leathery and woody aroma to the wrapper, and the foot has some spice and hay. The cold draw has some mild pepper spice and some barnyard characteristics.

Act I
When I first light these, I get toasted cedar and smoke soft mineral notes. There is very little spice until the burn line reaches the wrapper. Once that happens, I taste notes of roasted nuts and ginger. As the burn progresses I get more notes of earthy minerals, mild black pepper, cedar, and a little dry fruit. The retrohale is very smooth to start, with hardly any spice and just a hint of toasted wood.

Act II
The flavor profile in the middle of the cigar gets a little more spice and a little more strength. There is a richness to the smoke texture and that carries flavors of cedar, bitter cocoa, and a little more of the dry fruit from earlier. I also get a note that reminds me of pie crust. The retrohale has more black pepper spice now, and some of the dry fruit notes.

During the end of the cigar I find that the earthy notes increase and the wood notes almost become more like a charred wood. The dry fruit flavor notes are still there but very much in the background. There are still some roasted nut and baking spice notes here and there. The richness seems to transform into a brightness on the front of the palate. There is a nice sour note, but it’s not really a citrus, more like a balsamic type of note. The retrohale has plenty of black pepper, but balances nicely with some sweet smoothness.

Overall, this cigar is a really nice smoking experience. There is a depth to the smoke that typically gets lost with a Habano wrapper, but still comes through on this one. It is not ultra complex but it is very consistent. Each of the ones I smoked basically gave me the same flavor profiles and that is something every blend should strive for. It’s a solid medium-plus, but not so strong that it would be too much for a newer cigar smoker. This is a cigar that I would recommend to anyone.

Casa Cuevas La Mandarria – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout A Box?
Overall Score: 91
PAD: +0.0 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Cedar, mineral, Dry Fruit, Mild Spice, Roasted Nuts
Strength Assessment: Medium-Plus
Source: Cigars for this review were purchased by HBT Media LLC

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