Dapper Cigar Co. "La Madrina" Review: Five Tobacco Strains, Five Countries, One Winner

Like any quality ovenproof rum, or bottled-in-bond whiskey that's worth a snort, a full-strength premium cigar blend should always be balanced. 

The word "strong" should never mean harsh, or forcefully unrefined. It should just translate to "potent" or "intensely flavorful."

This is precisely why we have gathered here today, my fellow strong stogie snobs. For the Dapper Cigar Co. "La Madrina" is a FULL cigar in almost every sense of the word. But it is also one devoid of the sharpness and funky aftertastes that often accompany stronger cigar blends. 

[Buy 5 Pack]

Unlit Impressions  

Dapper La Madrina Habano Review

With Halloween being less than a week away, it only seemed appropriate that I would spark up a stick with a skeleton hand on the band. As with every other product produced by this boutique cigar manufacturer, the "La Madrina" banding appears pretty damn "dapper."

Aromas off the super-shiny Ecuadorian Habano wrapper are an unexpectedly subtle experience, with sweet dried fruit notes, and some mixed baking spices blended in with leather and cedar. The foot takes these notes and amps them up immensely, before socking you in the sniffer with even more sticky dried fruit notes and a puff of dried cocoa powder and pepper.  

Initial Smoke    

Dapper La Madrina Habano Review

Spicy pepper-packed at first light, but gradually more mellow and nutty with each passing puff, Dapper's signature full-strength cigar blend is one that I would advise you not to retrohale, at least upon light-up. However, if you are into seeing vapor trails and don't need your nose hairs, then blast away.

1st Half   

Dapper La Madrina Habano Review

As all of the black walnut notes we were promised begin to mill about, and the leatheriness of the smoke settles in, a toasty dried Habano earthiness arrives. It isn't dry to the point where you'll be forced to grab your beverage, but it is not overly oily or sweet tasting either.

Specs of fully aged cedar shavings flit about on the tongue, followed by an even coating of cracked mixed peppercorns and buttered rusk.

2nd Half     

Dapper La Madrina Habano Review

Nutty, with spiced dried fruit shoved to the front, things become more cedar-centric and dark baking cocoa powder packed toward the back end. There's a bit more of a roundness to the cigar from the halfway section onward, bumping the Medium+ body of the first half to a FULL rating in my book. Flavor intensity and strength have been, and will continue to be, full from every angle. 

As the final third begins, a pine resin taste toys with your taste buds, but ultimately dies back to a sappy, cedar-like note. Some may find this pleasing once melded with those earthy, sun-grown spice notes from the Cuban seed Habano wrapper.

Closing things out is this milky, slightly sweet cashew taste, which usurps the previously dominant dry black walnut flavors. While the first stick I smoked did not supply nearly as much nuttiness, the secondary review cigar provided plenty of cashew kick. This made for an even more round (and balanced) cigar flavor profile in my book and was arguably my favorite portion of the blend.

Parting Puffs       

Dapper La Madrina Habano Review

On the tail-end of the cigar, an even more intense, chewy, maduro-like tobacco sweetness starts to form for a moment, but it does not last long. Perhaps it is because it is overshadowed by passing pinches of saltiness every third draw or so.

Astringent flavors also begin to form where the pine sap note was prior, which I found to be a little off-putting at times. 

Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw    

Dapper La Madrina Habano Review

Nary a touch-up may have been required on my review stick, but there was a moment in the first third where I was about to break out the jolly ol' torch. Burn lines on both cigars I smoked were also wavier than Don King's perm, and despite building nicely in size, the ash was notably flakey on both smokes. 

On the positive end, Dapper still test draws every cigar it sells, and so the pull on both robustos was perfect. Ultimately, the same can be said for the medium, then full-bodied smoke that developed as the tobacco combusted.  

Final Thoughts  

Dapper La Madrina Habano Review

Strong yet satisfying, but not overly complex either, the sun-grown Habano doppelganger to the "La Madrina Shade" by Dapper Cigar Co. is a most-worthy buy in my opinion. You just have to know full well what you are getting into before firing one up.

In sun-grown form, "La Madrina" definitely isn't the most elaborate full cigar flavor profile I've encountered in my 20+ years of experience. It also does not transition like some other full-force blends on the market. But then again, I don't feel like it needs to.

And while it may not be my favorite full-strength cigar of all time, it definitely qualifies as a top pick for when I am in the mood for something substantially assertive. 

Broken down to its basics, this is a toasty, nutty, dry cigar with bodybuilding tendencies and strength to spare. So retrohale with caution ya'll, and enjoy the ride. 

Dapper La Madrina Habano Review

Cigar Stats


Dapper Cigar Co. "La Madrina"


Cuban Seed Habano (Ecuador)


San Andrés (Mexico)


Esteli & Jalapa (Nicaragua)

Habano '92 (Dominican Republic)

Pennsylvania Broadleaf (USA)


Nicaragua American Cigars S.A. (NACSA) 


5" x 50 "Robusto"



Pairing Drink

Mocha Italiano Iced Coffee



Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.