The Kauai Makaleha bears the name of Makaleha mountain in Hawaii. The tobacco farm responsible for this cigar is located at the foot of said mountain. According to Kauai’s website, the Hawaiian tobacco used in this cigar was fermented for “no less than 12 months, and aged to perfection.” Sounds yummy.
The label bears the signature palm tree of Hawaii, but other than that is elegant in its simplicity.
Les Drent, owner of Kauai Cigars, is hell-bent on making the “Hawaiian Puro” a mainstay in the cigar community. His enthusiasm is admirable and his business savvy seems sound, but tobacco requires the perfect climate, rich soil, and the know-how to cultivate meticulously. Will he deliver?
Possibly. I love trying new tobaccos, and being that I cannot remember anything about the first Hawaiian cigar that I smoked, this will be like a brand new experience for me! Huzzah!
Let’s get down to business…
Kauai Makaleha Cigar Review
I’ve only smoked one Hawaiian cigar before, and for the life of me I cannot remember a thing about it. My local store started stocking Kauai cigars, and the allure of something new and boutique drew me in like a gypsy to a wagon (is that PC?).
I’m not sure exactly what to expect, but the light wrapper and Cuban origins have me thinking cream, kitchen spice, and nuts. I’m always thinking about nuts. Yes, Freud. I smoke penis-shaped cigars and think about nuts. Nothing wrong with that.
Appearance: Smooth, tan wrapper. Free of blemishes or veins. Perfect, really.
Pairing, Cutting, and Lighting
Drink Pairing: Green tea
Lighter: Xikar single-flame butane
Cutter: Xikar guillotine
Cutting and Cold Draw
Cut the cap easier than a seasoned mohel. Cold draw is a little bitter, which has me worried, and a tad sweet. But not bittersweet; there are no symphonies here.
The First Third
Odd taste to start the Kauai Makaleha. Metallic twang on my lips and wet grass everywhere else. Reminds me a bit of taking an elbow to the jaw playing soccer and basking in the grass until I remembered who I was. Five concussions can’t stop a winner!
Cream coming through after a few puffs. Reminding me a lot of the standard Montecristo Dominican blend at this point.
The ash is pulling apart, but otherwise the burn is sharper than a razor-honed tack. Draw is a damn near perfect medium, a happy medium if you will, even with the loose guillotine cut that I prefer. Heavy, chewy, plentiful smoke; Hawaiian tobacco is a benevolent giver of clouds.
The Second Third
Bitter every so often. A bit disappointing. Almost tastes unaged. Nut and cream coming through enough to keep me happy. Yes, the nut is coming. Ha. Ha. Little to no aroma to the smoke.
Hints of nutmeg as well. Everything about this cigar is subtle. If this cigar were literature, it would not be the metaphors in 50 Shades of Grey.
The Final Third
Disappointing, because the construction and story behind the Kauai Makaleha cigar is enticing, but the follow-through is like A-Rod in the playoffs.
The Last Inch
Acrid. Ammonic. Bitter. Put it out.
Final Impressions and Rating
I love a good story to a cigar, and I really wanted Hawaiian tobacco to be a thing, but between the high price point and the uninteresting blend and the, frankly and unfrankly, disgusting notes, I cannot recommend this cigar to anyone outside of a “life experience” smoke. You know, to try Hawaiian tobacco and whatnot (though I have heard that there are some fantastic Hawaiian cigars out there, but clearly not the Kauai Makaleha).
Rating (Seek out and buy again, Smoke if I happen to find one, Avoid at all costs): Avoid at all costs
I don’t like smoking bad cigars. I’m not a nicotine fiend. I don’t need my fix. Cigars are my relaxation and my mental masterbation, and this cigar got me off less than a mechanic-run massage parlor.
Maybe I got a dud. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Kauai Makaleha, be they good or bad. Lambast my opinions, I say.