Who doesn’t love a good reboot? When it comes from the minds of two of the most talked-about names in the cigar industry that now work for the same team, you tend to take note.
One year ago, Forged Cigar Company embarked on an exciting journey to resurrect and reimagine the Los Status Deluxe brand, with Matt Booth (of Room101 Cigars) and Justin Andrews (New Business Development Manager at STG) leading the new direction. The cigars were reintroduced at the 2022 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show through the Room101 booth, which had recently (at the time) been acquired by Forged parent company, Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG). With a positive response to the refresh, the brand returned with more enthusiasm for 2023, unveiling a new member of the family: Los Status Deluxe Maduro.
In a press release, Matt Wilson, the senior brand manager for Los Statos Deluxe, noted: “Los Statos Deluxe Maduro takes what we started with last year’s re-release of the brand and brings it to the next level. Calling on modern imagery and a blend that is equally provocative, we are continuing to evolve Los Statos to appeal to modern smokers and traditionalists alike. When you factor in the combined blending expertise of Matt Booth and Justin Andrews with the support of our Honduran team, we’re sure this cigar will be a big seller when it hits retail in August.”
Los Statos Deluxe Maduro Robusto Breakdown
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican Republic | Honduras
Factory: Honduran American Tobacco S.A. (Costa Rica)
Production: Regular Production
Vitola: 5? × 50 (Robusto)
Price: $8.79 (MSRP)
The Los Status Deluxe Maduro is a regular-production offering, crafted at STG’s HATSA factory, located in Danlí, Honduras. This cigar boasts a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper complemented by a Nicaraguan binder, and it’s filled with a blend of Dominican and Honduran tobaccos. The cigars shipped in four sizes, each presented in 20-count boxes.
Robusto: 5? x 50 | $8.79
Toro: 6? x 52 | $9.49
Gigante: 6? x 60 | $9.99
Churchill: 7? x 49 | $9.99
Can you say,”Giant Tootsie Roll Fruit Chews?” The baby blue and white outer packaging of the Los Statos Deluxe Maduro, combined with white tissue paper twisted at both ends, is so reminiscent of the vanilla-flavored chewy candies that I challenge you to look up a picture of them and compare… I’ll wait. Upon removing all of this paper, a darker-than-expected, slightly oily, espresso-hued cigar is presented. The rough texture of the wrapper leaf is immediately noticeable to the touch. It’s a thick and hearty leaf that covers a lumpy and slightly uneven roll. The banding follows the same blue and white color scheme as the rest of the packaging, but there is an inherent “cheap” look and feel to the band. The paper is matte finished, and the printing seems faded, especially against such a dark cigar.
Sweet cedar jumps from the wrapper, alongside a light barnyard and potting soil aroma. For as dark as the Connecticut Broadleaf is, I’m surprised at how little I am picking up off of the wrapper. The foot of the cigar gives only barnyard and the lightest of black pepper tingle on my sinuses.
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The first few puffs take me aback with the bitter profile of the cigar. The dominant flavor is a “too strong” coffee mixed with some basic tobacco and black pepper. The retrohale stings the sinuses with bold black pepper, holding dry leather and dusty hickory wood notes. The draw is right in the sweet spot of 7/10. The body is medium, flavor is medium/full, and strength is medium.
Moving into the meat of the Los Statos Deluxe Maduro, I am appreciating the medium/full body of the smoke texture. Bitterness is still present, and is now more of a scorched coffee and musty wood. The pepper on the palate is strong (lingering longer than I would like), likewise stomping on other flavors through the retrohale, making it nearly impossible to pick up anything other than bitter wood. This bitter profile and the 7/10 draw seem to be the only consistent factors, as the body grows to medium/full, flavor at medium, and strength mild to medium. The burn itself is very wavy, but hasn’t required a touch-up.
Halfway through the Los Statos Deluxe Maduro, the flavor is going flat. Body is dropping to mild/medium, and the flavors themselves have mellowed as well. While still bitter through the finish, the smoke on the draw has taken on a chocolatey sweetness across my tongue. I wish this flavor carried over into the finish, as the retrohale brings a cold black coffee and damp wood swirled with a lighter black pepper finish. Imagine taking a drink from the coffee cup you forgot and left on the counter this morning. While referencing these different flavors, please note that they are getting much lighter and flatter than before. Flavor is mild/medium, and strength is maintained at medium-light. On a positive note, the burn has straightened up to a mildly wavy line that I would consider acceptable.
The final portion of this little robusto has offered only one change: the black pepper on the retrohale has all but disappeared. Only flat flavors remain. The bitterness that has been present throughout has mellowed, leaving only a scorched coffee and wet wood flavor. I wish I had more to talk about with this stick, but I’m afraid that is all I’m getting. Flavor, body, and strength have not changed, and it closes with disappointment on my end.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Flatly, no, I wouldn’t. The profile lacks complexity, and the overwhelming bitterness and dull black pepper flavors were not particularly enjoyable. I will say that the burn time on this 5? x 50 robusto is very good, as it was slow and, though wavy, it never required a touch-up or re-light. There are a lot of cigars out there at this price point that I feel are far superior, and I have been given no reason to revisit this cigar again. I’ve been a fan of both Justin Andrews’ and Matt Booth’s work in the past, but I feel that the mark was altogether missed with this cigar.
Body: Medium / Full
Smoke Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Pairing Recommendation: Cola | Manhattan | Bourbon | Caramel macchiato (hot or cold)
Purchase Recommendation: Try one and see if you agree
Consistent smoke outputNo touch-ups
Overall bitter profileBlack pepper dominatesFlavors weaken over time
Originally posted on September 27, 2023 @ 6:19 am