José Seijas is definitely no stranger to the premium cigar world. The former vp of operations at the Tabacalera de García factory in the Dominican Republic has blended and manufactured several very familiar brands such as Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, H. Upmann, and VegaFina.
Seijas retired from the tobacco world in 2011, but it did not take long for him to come out of retirement, working with his sons Enrique and Ricardo to revive what was one of the original brands in the Dominican Republic: Matilde.
Resurrected in 2014 with the release of the Renacer cigar (meaning Rebirth), the Seijas family was off and running in a new direction. Fast forward to 2021; Matilde announced the launch of the first cigar in a limited-edition series named Limited Exposure, planning to release each installment in a single size (ultimately expanding the line to include additional sizes).
Hot off the heels of 2021’s Limited Exposure No. 1 comes 2022’s Limited Exposure No. 2, which was announced at the TPE trade show in Las Vegas. The second installment of the Limited Exposure line features an Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper, with binder and filler tobacco coming from the Dominican Republic. This is a fairly limited release as well, with the shipment only consisting of 350 boxes of 20 cigars.
Matilde Limited Exposure No. 2 Breakdown
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera la iSLA (Dominican Republic)
Production: Limited Edition (350 boxes of 20 cigars)
Vitola: 6? × 50 (Toro)
Price: $10.50 (MSRP)
Like the 2021 original, the cigars are rolled out of the Tabacalera la iSLA factory in the Dominican Republic, differing from Matilde’s usual Tabacalera Palma partner. This factory is owned and operated by Hostos Fernández Quesada, who is related to Manuel Quesada and formerly worked at the family’s well-established factory in the Dominican Republic. Shortly after founding the iSLA factory, the facility became one of the more sought-after locations in the area, with Matilde being among the first to offer multiple releases from the factory.
The cigar looks special as soon as it is picked up. The body of the toro is medium brown in color, with raised veins running throughout. There is quite a bit of tooth to the wrapper as well as several bumps.
Interestingly, the wrapper leaf has more of a dry appearance (as opposed to a shiny, oily one), and there is a little bit of roughness in the seams where the cap is attached. The pastel purple band with gold and white trim steps up the overall appearance of the cigar, using the same overall design as all Matilde cigars before it. It seems as if the band color was picked specifically to contrast with the cigar, as it easily stands out against the Corojo wrapper and gives a nice curb appeal.
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The pre-light aroma from this cigar is very good, with the foot of the cigar emanating hints of raisins, natural tobacco (like in a curing barn), and fresh-ground medium-roast coffee beans.
The pre-light draw is a little tight for my liking. While I am able to pull air through the cigar, it is a bit like trying to drink a milkshake that is too thick. Regardless, the retro has quite a bit going on, with cedar, espresso, nutmeg, and raisins, with just a lingering hint of leather.
As soon as the first puff hits the palate, damp cedar and espresso notes come to the front. Getting a few more puffs in, dark chocolate and floral notes come into play. The retrohale has hints of raisins and peanut brittle, with a cayenne pepper zing on the finish. What a great combination of flavors. None of them are heavy notes—the body of the cigar is medium at most—but each one is easily detectable. The draw opens up to almost perfect shortly after the cigar is lit, and it is burning straight and true. Strength, body, and complexity are all at the lower end of the medium range, making this a very mild-mannered (although flavorful) start to the cigar.
Burning along into the middle part of the cigar, I’m surprised to find little development. Flavors all stay the same, although they do increase slightly in intensity, pushing through what I would consider in the medium range. If anything, the peanut brittle notes actually begin to dominate the other flavors, moving to the front of the palate. Strength and complexity both remain in the lower end of the medium range, while the body starts to move towards the upper end of medium (not quite to medium-full). The burn and draw are both superb at this point.
The flavor profile chugs along in similar fashion as the cigar continues towards the end. Happily, there is a new development—though it is subtle to the point where you’d miss it if not on the hunt. A sweet berry note enters and sits on the tongue through the finish, along with some hints of floral in the retrohale. Leather replaces peanut brittle as the dominant note in the profile, giving a bitter tone on the draw, joined by a sweet finish from the berry notes. The burn and draw are still superb. Strength and complexity are still medium, while body just begins to touch medium-full.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Hell yes. I am typically not a huge fan of a linear-profile cigar unless they offer flavor that is very satisfying and delivers the whole way through. This cigar did that!
The original Matilde brand was founded in 1876 in Santiago de los Caballeros and revived by the Seijas family in 2014.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a cigar that is not overly complex but delivers a solid, flavorful experience; and this cigar does just that. Nothing odd, nothing strange or confusing, just a well-balanced smoking experience from start to finish.
Flavor: Medium / Full
Smoke Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Pairing Recommendation: Spiced chai tea | Aged rum | XO Cognac | Medium-roast coffee | Plain ‘ol Topo Chico
Purchase Recommendation: If you find them, buy what you can
Captivating flavorFun limited project out of a true boutique factoryGreat price point for being so limited
Linear profileCan prove very hard to findStrength/body/complexity could be too mild for some