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Staff Reviews

Cain Maduro 550 Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

POWER. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think about Cain Maduro. I’m smoking the popular 550 size, which is 5.75 inches long with a 50 ring gauge. It’s just a touch longer than a standard Robusto. If the thought of a strong cigar makes your knees buckle, best keep moving, friends. Cain is manufactured and distributed by Oliva Cigar Company in Estelí, Nicaragua. Oliva launched Cain in 2009 following the highly successful debut of their short and stout Nub Cigars franchise. Cain was blended to be a powerful, potent, and edgier brand to appeal to aficionados who enjoy cigars that are especially strong.

Cain comes in five blends: Connecticut, Daytona, Cain F, Habano, and Maduro. There’s also Cain Nub which combines the beefy taste of Cain in the short, stocky shape of Nub cigars. Cain Maduro is full-bodied and boasts the darkest, oiliest wrapper in the brand’s portfolio. It’s damned near the darkest wrapper you’ll find on any cigar. Cain cigars are packed in plain, slide-top wooden boxes, and the bands are placed on the feet. The 550 I’m smoking is one of my favorite overall sizes. When I pull one from a fresh box, a big bouquet of dark cocoa, spice, and hickory escapes.

Cain Maduro is visually pristine and shows no signs of inconsistency when I squeeze it, slide the band off the bottom, and slice the cap off. I pick up notes of cedar, dark chocolate, and black pepper from a few direct sniffs of the foot. As I toast it up, an instant kick of full-flavored, full-bodied intensity permeates my palate. Right away, Cain Maduro lives up to the brand’s motto, “Cain is for Tough Guys Only.” Even if you’re accustomed to stronger cigars, eat before you smoke Cain. A dominant blend of Nicaraguan Ligero long-filler tobaccos fills out the inside of the cigar, and if you smoke one on an empty stomach, you’re asking for trouble.

As the first two inches burn up, bold notes of espresso and hickory seize my taste buds like an occupying force. The smoke is dense, decadent, and quite spicy, but I like it. Cain Maduro singes the nostrils too, but that’s why it’s popular. Fans of the brand love the way Cain wakes them up like a stiff shot of whiskey. Plus, you can count on a perfect draw because every cigar is handcrafted to the same award-winning standards of the Oliva portfolio.

I sink into my chair after a series of flawless puffs pushes me past the first half of the cigar. If I were a rookie, I’d be green by now. A bead of sweat swells on my brow, but I’m prepared to power my way through the persistent spice Cain unleashes. Hints of licorice mingle with robust flavors of earth, leather, and the cigar’s abundant zest. I haven’t hit a single snag as a firm, clean ash forms every two to three inches before I tap it into the ashtray. The whole room smells like a fireplace as I pass the forty-minute mark and the first two thirds of the cigar are gone – probably a bit faster than I should really smoke a Cain. I recommend pausing as much as possible between every draw to give yourself enough time to absorb the cigar’s bountiful punch.

The final third reveals a consistent profile of cedar, spice, and earth with notes of cayenne and mesquite in the finish. Sweet hints of caramel surprise me just before a long, lingering aftertaste settles across the palate. Cain Maduro is succulent, complex, and a bit gruff at times, but that’s entirely because of the cigar’s high nicotine content. Smoke it slow, and if you like high-proof bourbon, like Four Roses, consider sipping on one.

When you’re craving a cigar with lots of intensity that steers clear of the bitter or harsh flavor stronger cigars can sometimes possess, Cain Maduro is up your alley. It’s also an especially affordable smoke. Because your pals at Holt’s are the biggest purveyors of Cain cigars in the entire nation, we regularly feature them in our daily and weekly deals for a significant discount. Get acquainted with the brand in the Cain 8-Cigar Assortment or our Cain ‘Good Squad’ Monster Deal, then come back and buy a box of your favorite blend for a fraction of the price!


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