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

Kauai Makaleha Cigar ReviewSize: 5 3/4″ x 50 ring gauge
Style: “Momona”
Wrapper: Hawaiian Cuban seed
Binder: Hawaiian Cuban seed
Filler: Hawaiian Cuban seed

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.

Initial Observations

z_1Kauai Makaleha BurnKauai Makaleha Ash

Appearance: Smooth, tan wrapper. Free of blemishes or veins. Perfect, really.
Aroma: Nutty.

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

Kauai Makaleha First ThirdOdd 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

Kauai Makaleha Second ThirdBeautiful ash cone–the Kauai Makaleha lacks nothing in the construction department. No Chinese drywall up in here.

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

Kauai Makaleha Final ThirdOne dimensional. Definitely not The Fifth Dimension, though I wouldn’t mind singing Aquarius to distract me from the basic that is this cigar.

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.


2 thoughts on “Kauai Makaleha Cigar Review”

    1. Thanks for the heads up, but I’m having a difficult time verifying what you said. The product info on Kauai’s website and on Corona’s website makes no mention of Honduras. Both state the tobacco is grown in Hawaii and fermented and rolled in Nicaragua. Can you provide a source?

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