Marco V Bronze Label The Dom

After a video-heavy week, I’d say we’re about due for another written review. Accordingly, I’ve slipped the flipcam into it’s case and grabbed the point-and-shoot to give you another textual cigar smoking experience.

You may be looking at this review’s title thinking, “Marco V, hmm. Haven’t I read reviews on this stick already on a lot of other cigar blogs?” You have seen Marco V cigar reviews, but you haven’t seen one on “The Dom.” When the good folks at Marco V Cigars asked me to review one of their sticks, they opted to send me the unbanded, pre-release cigars from their brand new Bronze Label line. Unfortunately, due to scheduling issues, I wasn’t able to turn around a review prior to the April release. But that also means that if this sounds like a cigar you’d like to try, you don’t have to wait. You can buy them now, with proper cigar bands and everything.

But before we light up, here’s a little background from Marc Keiser, President of Marco V Cigars:

Marco V Cigars were created in response to the fact that most premium cigar brands now report up through 3 major tobacco corporate conglomerates. The founders of Marco V Cigars enjoyed the consistency and quality of boutique cigars and wanted to combine their uniqueness and characteristics that they enjoy in a cigar to create their own boutique brand. The major brands controlled by these corporations have the same issue: tobacco tastes differently from every field, year, etc. Because of the volume, these huge brands could potentially use one field in the morning and in the afternoon they have to switch to another. Because of this, the blends in the same box could taste differently. These major brands also have 3000 rollers – the experience level and skill will vary within these 3000 rollers. At our factory, all of our rollers have 15+ years of experience and are true Torcedors. Also, we draw test and quality test every single one of our cigars, where the major brands are only able to quality test every 50th cigar or so…

Marco V Cigars are rolled in the Dominican Republic and are brought to you directly from the factory. Marco V Co. is the first cigar brand in the world to only offer cigars with at least a 60 ring gauge. This is done to exhibit the excellence of the Marco V filler blend. All Marco V Cigars are rolled in limited batches to ensure every single cigar is blended and rolled to perfection. Quality tested over and over again and aged to perfection, every time you pick up a Marco V Cigar you can guarantee that you are getting your moneys worth.

And with that, it’s time to get on with this tobacco combustion experiment.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 60 “V. Gigante”
Wrapper: Cameroon-seed Ecuadorian
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 1 3/4 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: MSRP $5.00

The Pre-Smoke
It wasn’t until after I started writing this review that I thought of the possibility of a Nub cigar comparison. The reason it didn’t occur to me, is that the additional inch the Marco V has over the Nub has a slimming effect on the cigar visually. It looks like an obese robusto more than a Nub.

A visual aspect that did stand out was how oily the wrapper was. I tend to keep my cigars in lower humidity than you’ll find at your average B&M, and that drier environment means they shine less at home than they do in the shop. The weeks these cigars spent in my humidor had no significant impact on the oiliness of the wrapper. These babies shined like they’d just been turtlewaxed.

In terms of the other senses, I found the sticks to be firm, and a little lumpy. (The lumps appeared to be mostly from veins in the binder leaf, as the veins in the wrapper were pretty fine.) The wrapper scent varied from stick to stick. Some were very funky and a bit grainy smelling, while others were a bit more like honey.

The Burn
I have to give The Dom good marks in the burn department. The draw was fine, I never needed to relight, and the heft 60 ring gauge assisted in the creation of some really long ashes. (One cigar ashed only once.) The burn line was also pretty straight for the duration, though it had a tendency to burn lopsided toward the end of the second third or beginning of the final third, requiring a little touch up.

You might notice from the final picture in the Tower of Burn that there are some spent matches in the ashtray. Just for kicks, I decided to light a couple of the cigars with matches instead of a torch. I did that partly because I was curious how many matches it would take (about five) and because I have pile of matches I’ve picked up over the years from visiting shops. It didn’t seem to have any real impact on the smoking experience, other than being kinda fun.

The Flavor
Before I get into the flavor I need to note that I’m discounting one cigar. Based on comparison with the other sticks, it appeared to have a bum leaf or two in the blend. Whatever it was, it took the wind out of the sails in the first third, and crash the flavor vessel into the rocks completely in the second.

The cigar opens up with a creamy, sweet toasty flavor and settles into that for the majority of the first third. Shortly before the second begins, I picked up a little bit pleasant woodiness. The wood flavor would become more prominent in the next third, and the creaminess while still a little sweet at times started to taste a bit more savory, almost like butter. In the final third, the creaminess pulled back a bit, and the cigar tasted a bit more like a mixture of minerals, wood and occasional toastiness.

The Price
There’s a lotta tobacco in The Dom, but it’s priced like there isn’t. At $5 a stick, it’s hard to find anything to complain about.

The Verdict
I don’t often do this, but after taking my last set of notes, I decided to smoke the final stick with a cup of coffee while writing up the review. I did it part to make sure I could, in good conscious, discount that one kinda foul tasting stick. It became clear that could. In fact, I probably enjoyed that last stick more than the rest.

My only beef with the Marco V “The Dom” is the same one I have for all large ring gauge cigars. They’re a little hard on the jaw. If I were to offer some constructive feedback to the Marco V folks, it would not be to reduce the ring gauge. The sixty is their thing. I’d just ask that they consider coming out with a vitola that has a tapered end. I’m not thinking torpedo here, more like short taper you see on some belicosos. It’s not a deal-breaker, tapered end or not, it’s a good smoke.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: I’m really thinking about it.
Recommend It: Yes, it’s a tasty, mild morning-coffee type of smoke.

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.