Black Label Trading Co. La Madonna Negra
We are going on 24 days now with 100+ degree temps which has kept me away from a lot of my reviews. It’s just too hot to sit out back comfortably too often, however I wasn’t going to miss my chance to put together a review for the Black Label Trading Co.’s La Madonna Negra.
The Good Stuff:
To celebrate their 10th anniversary Black Label Trading Co. has released La Madonna Negra, a celebratory cigar that will be offered in three different formats. Blended at the company’s Fabrica Oveja Negra factory in Esteli, Nicaragua the blend features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over an Ecuadorian Habano binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and Pennsylvania. James Brown, founder of Black Label Trading Co. described the cigar as a blend that not only represents Black Label Trading Co., but also a blend that represents who he is today as a cigar maker. We’ve been lucky enough to follow James along his 10 year journey and hope to be a part of the next 10. The La Madonna Negra is offered in three sizes: Rothchild Boxpress (4 1/2 x 48), Corona Gorda Boxpress (5 1/2 x 50), and the Robusto Boxpress (5 x 54). Each come packaged in boxes of 20 and run between $11 and $13 per cigar. There will only be 900 boxes of each cigar produced. There will also be an incredible 50 “Collection Boxes” which contain a mixture of 32 La Madonna Negra cigars as well as a gorgeous dress box which includes a black rosary to top off the production. Huge thanks to the Black Label team for sending a few my way for review.
- Size: 4 1/8 x 48
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
- Filler: Nicaraguan and Pennsylvanian
- Body: Medium/Full
- Strength: Medium
- Price: $11
The La Madonna Negra starts out with a very, very dark brown, almost black wrapper which is very fitting for the cigar. The color is mostly consistent with a few darker areas around the foot of the cigar. The wrapper’s texture is pretty toothy and gritty with a ton of oils coating it which rub onto my fingers slightly as I handle the cigar. The wrapper feels very hard, very thick and very dense while the cigar as a whole is very hard and well-packed. I love the soft box press format. There are quite a few larger veins running through the cigar’s short, stubby body leading up to the round, double-wrapped cap. I also really like the band design here which features an actual black madonna over gold and white as well as a secondary matching foot band with the “La Madonna Negra” title embossed on the front.
The wrapper on the La Madonna Negra gives off mostly musk and chocolatey aromas while the foot o the cigar carries more chocolate along with some sandalwood and earthiness. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces mostly notes of dark chocolate and coffee.
Due to the smaller format I will be reviewing this cigar in halves, instead of my normal thirds. The Black Label Trading Co. La Madonna Negra leads off with just a whisp of black pepper which only lasted through the first few puffs before the cigar released bold notes of dark chocolate and light baking spice over a subtle mixture of sandalwood and musk. I also get this great little acidity/tartness that I often get from strong black coffee. The draw is flawless as each and every little puff kicks out a huge cloud of thick, white smoke which really takes some time to dissipate while the cigar releases almost no stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. I also want to note just how comfortable the soft-box press is in both my hand and mouth. The burn line is dead even leaving behind a very tightly compacted trail of light and medium gray ash which held on for about an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second half of the La Madonna Negra and the flavor profile has remained mostly the same. The dark chocolate completely owns the profile backed by lighter notes of sandlwood, musk, and plum while the baking spice has completely dropped out at this point. It took me only a little over and hour to smoke this cigar down to the nub. I experienced no harshness, nor any extended heat. One of the cigars I smoked did go out on me a few times even with my faster paced smoking, however it wasn’t anything bothersome, and the others smoked like a dream. I closed out the cigar with nothing in terms of nicotine kick.
The Black Label Trading Co. La Madonna Negra is a solid cigar. I am used to these rich, deeply complex flavor profiles from the company and was initially caught off guard with how smooth and seamless this experience was. After smoking the cigar again I was really able to enjoy the slight nuances in the flavors while appreciating the overall profile of dark chocolate and musk. It’s a bit of a departure from the norm, and it should be as it is a cigar created to celebrate the companies longevity and Jame’s growth as a cigar producer. While I didn’t pair this particular review with a beer as I normally do, I did pair my first La Madonna Negra with a bourbon barrel aged chocolatey milk stout and holy crap was it a great pairing. The more I smoked through these cigars the more I realized it is absolutely a perfect cigar to pair with just about any stout beer.