Cigar Review: LLTK Mad MF by Caldwell Cigars

  • MadMF_straightVitola: Corona
  • 5.75” x 43 ring gauge
  • MSRP $10.40
  • Purchased at Burns Tobacconist

Background

One of the new lines to be introduced by Caldwell Cigars at this year’s IPCPR show is an extension to their ever-popular Long Live the King line: the Mad MF. The full name is Long Live the King Mad MF…Mad is short for “Maduro” and MF means…well, I’m sure you know what it means. Despite sharing a name and packaging designs, though, this new LLTK Maduro really has little, if anything, in common with the original.

The original Long Live The King is blend designed to show off Dominican Corojo, the leaf it uses for both binder and wrapper; it uses Peruvian Pelo de Oro and Nicaraguan Habano Ligero for the fillers. The LLTK Mad MF has Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Pennsylvania fillers, an Indonesian binder, and a Mexican San Andres wrapper. It’s available in 4 sizes, each of which comes just 10 to a box. Word is that these will be a regular—but limited—production item.

I gleaned some of the background information for this review from Cigar-Coop. The Long Live the King Mad MF is available from our site sponsor, Small Batch Cigar. Our other site sponsor, Cigar-and-Pipes, does not list it at the time of this writing, but they do carry Caldwell, so it will probably show up on their website eventually. This is the second LLTK Mad MF that I’ve smoked; I bought both at Burns Tobacconist.

Prelight

The familiar LLTK band is right up front, though the trim color has been changed from burgundy to midnight blue. The centerpiece is still the Junior Elvis image of the sneering kid wearing the ornate crown. A secondary band has been added; it just reads “MAD MF” in gold type against the midnight blue background.

The wrapper leaf was slightly less than dark chocolate brown with plenty of oils to the touch and to the eye. It had a rich sweet aroma to it, with an undercurrent of earthiness. The foot of the cigar had notes of dark roast coffee, earth, and cedar.

I got a really good prelight draw after clipping the head; it had flavors of cocoa powder and earth, with just a little anise.

MadMF_capFlavor

Firing up the LLTK Mad MF brought up a very interesting and complex collection of flavors. I got earth and cocoa powder immediately, with white pepper on the palate and a red pepper on the nose coming right behind, but then subsequent puffs revealed notes of bread and cedar, along with touches of baking spice and sweetness. As the first third burned on, I enjoyed the full-bodied smoke of the Mad MF as the cigar got sweeter with more chocolate notes as it went on.

The second third had cedar notes coming on strong, taking on a leading role, while the chocolate sweetness faded a bit. There was some anise on the palate, but the pepper there died away to almost nothing. The retrohale had cocoa powder and was very smooth, with virtually no pepper left there, either.

The final third saw some pepper returning to the palate while the cedar that had come on so dominantly faded away. The sweetness was at a medium level, helping to balance the whole thing.

Construction

I had perfect construction on this stick; great draw, very even burn line and solid ash close to a half inch.

MadMF_bandValue

The price tag on these is right in line with the other “Caldwell Collection” cigars and it delivers a great experience, so I say it’s worth the price.

Conclusions

I really enjoyed this cigar, even more than the first time I smoked it (which was right after it had come off the truck…and I liked it then!). While the Eastern Standard Maduro—aka Midnight Express—is a full-bodied powerhouse of a cigar, this was at the edge of full-bodied with great flavor and complexity, so this is my new favorite Caldwell Maduro—and maybe my new favorite Caldwell period. If you are a fan of complex Maduros you should give this one a try.

By-The-Numbers

Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 2/2
Flavor: 4.5/5
Value: 1/1
Total: 9.5/10

David Jones

David has been smoking premium cigars since 2001. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leaf Enthusiast. He is a full-time retail tobacconist, working for Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, where he has also organized the Chattanooga Tweet-Up for the last four years. He is also an independent graphic designer and typesetter. Twitter: @dmjones1009

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