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Cigar Review – Maria Mancini Magic Mountain Natural

I’m always curious as to how good a cigar can be at $2 and change per stick, so it’s fun for me to crack a box or bundle open and put one to the test. Today’s victim is the Maria Mancini Magic Mountain Natural, which we have for about $2.75 apiece. This stogie had a very dark wrapper for a “Natural”—a Nicaraguan-grown Habana 2000. According to Stogie Guys’ review of this stick, this wrapper is a cross between Cuban-seed Corojo and Cuban-grown Connecticut-seed tobacco. Also, according to a post I saw on, this was once Robert DeNiro’s house smoke, though I’m not sure how true that is.

I clipped about ¼ of an inch off of the cap and the draw was already generous. Initially I got pre-light notes of butter, pepper, and a little bit of sweetness. The filler was pretty evenly packed, though there were a couple of hard and soft spots. These, however, didn’t impede the burn or draw at all.

Because of the Magic Mountain’s (I know, that name is awesome) generous 54 ring gauge, it took a little extra effort to light up. Once I got it going, though, I didn’t have to break out the torch again for the rest of the smoke. The first few puffs delivered a blast of black and red pepper spice, along with a little bit of butter and some light, sweet sugar in the background.

Around halfway through, the pepper began to back off and the smoke became very creamy and buttery. This, along with some maple syrup sweetness, turned this smoke from a peppery powerhouse to an easygoing breakfast cigar. Further in, a little bit of cocoa came out and the pepper had a little bit of a resurgence, though it never got as spicy as it was in the beginning.

The last third was remarkably consistent. The chocolate had a bit of a charred taste to it, the maple syrup lingered, and the pepper didn’t ramp up or die down at all. Though the taste never became unpleasant, the tapered nub eventually became a bit too hot to hold onto, so I set it down. One thing I noticed is that the ash on this thing was a little bit inconsistent. At first, it fell off at around a half inch. After that, it held on for a good inch or inch and a half at a time. I’m not sure what caused this but I figured it was worth noting.

The Maria Mancini Magic Mountain Natural was a straightforward, spicy, sweet, flavorful smoke that did its job and did it well. As I mentioned before, I didn’t have to touch up the burn once and the ash, though it started a bit inconsistent, was firm and solid. For $2.75 a stick, I could see this one becoming a good standby.

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