PDR Cigars is a boutique cigar manufacturer based in the Dominican Republic and has been in business for over a decade. Under the watchful eye of Abe Flores, PDR has garnered several rewards for their blends. PDR is committed to providing aficionados with quality cigars at reasonable prices and boasts of using the “entubado” method of cigar rolling. This dedication to quality is evident when you pick up one of their cigars and take your first puff.
The 1978 Capa Madura I smoked came in a 6 x 52 Toro, dressed in a well-designed silver, black and white band. A second band covers the lower half of the cigar towards the foot. This band looks to be some type of a gray or silver tissue paper with the company logos, a nice touch in my opinion. The construction of the cigar was very good. It had a little give when squeezing the by the foot and cap, but the center was rigid. The Cap seems to be the continuation of the wrapper leaf coming to a large twisted pigtail, a feature which I loved. The foot of the cigar is closed so this is meant to light and drawn on immediately. No toasting required.
The PDR website says the wrapper is Brazilian Arapiraca Maduro, the binder is Dominican Criollo 98 and the fillers are Dominican and Nicaraguan Criollo 98.
The wrapper has a very light odor of hay or an agricultural barnyard scent which I typically like. This scent is usually an indicator that you are about to enjoy a medium to full stick. There is also a hint of a little sweetness on the nose which I cannot quite place at the time I was taking notes. I was thinking of something like a spice or vanilla.
Cutting the cap offered a decent amount of resistance, there was a nice crunching sound almost as if the cigar might have been a little bit on the dry side however cutting left no damage to the cap structure. Another sign that the PDR would be a solid smoke. Looking inside my cut showed the “entubado” technique, the array of tobacco appeared denser and compressed to one side and then you can see visible bunching and folds with a good amount of air. The draw for a closed foot cigar was effortless and open. There was a hint of something like fruit punch or Sprite on the cold draw. I fired up my torch experiencing no issues during lighting.
My initial draw off the closed foot gave me a bitterness with a slight tangy sweetness. My first retro hale offered up an earthy tobacco with a little bit of that bitter zest. I was not picking up a whole lot of pepper at all. The PDR produced a very good amount of smoke at the foot of the cigar which was drawn into the mouth. Generous but lacking substance, it was very airy without a lot of body. I was not getting that chewy feeling I get from other cigars I smoke and enjoy.
I put the cigar down to make some notes and was struck by how the foot of the PDR just continues to pour out smoke. Almost as if the cigars is smoking itself. The ash is a stark white, which I’ve heard is indicative that the tobaccos used in the blend come from good volcanic, mineral rich soil. The ash formed into flaky layers and held together well. The wrapper itself had a nice grit. I have seen more pronounced texture on other cigars, but the Brazilian leaf definitely presents nicely and the wrapper wass attractive with some slight color variations. It had a faint veining which I would not say was excessive, it added character to the cigar.
I experienced a strong blast of black licorice which is not something that I typically pick up in my cigars. An interesting anise flavor mixed with dark espresso. Also, a sense of buttery cream way back in the lower corners of the mouth. I experienced a little tingling warmth and flavors reminiscent of cream or butter.
The ash continued to hold strong. As it grew longer, it became a nice grayish brown with flecks of the darker color and those little oil pockets from the wrapper were visible on the burn line and in the ash. The aroma of the cigar was providing that same buttery sweetness, there was no doubt that I was smoking a cigar however the aroma picked up on that fruity, bitter, sweetness that I was sensing on the cold draw.
I set the cigar down and I had to handle some personal business and came back to the PDR after eight minutes… the stick had gone out. I would not say this was a fair hold test, but it did go out and I had to knock off about an inch and a half of ash off to relight. The ash dropped off in a nice solid chunk, further evidence of the quality construction.
Well into the second third, the maduro wrapper was providing a lot of sweetness to the smoking experience. I would place the PDR Capa Madura in a medium to medium-mild category. The cigar does not knock you over with strength and provides ample sweetness. The flavor does not linger long on the pallet. I cannot say the cigar leaves a clean finish, but it also does not make you run and rinse your mouth out.
I was sitting out back and opened a pilsner to cool off. This was not a good pairing for the Capa Madura. I slowed down my smoking because the draw was beginning to heat up. The pilsner’s aftertaste lasted longer than the PDR cigar and the pairing created a horrible sulfur, or rotten egg taste. This was operator error and not any fault of the cigar. The Capa Madura would be a better pairing with rum or a sweetened coffee. I would recommend you avoid bitter drinks. I am again impressed by how much smoke this cigar is producing on its own.
I did a second hold test, probably no more than five minutes and the cigar did stay lit. I also took some pictures of the cigar in front of our crotons as a background with a good inch to an inch and a half ash hanging off. When I sat down and took another draw on the cigar that ash ended up falling off.
Final thoughts on the PDR Capa Madura, depending on how much you pay for it, this could easily be a good daily smoke. I received this cigar as a gift from a close friend to try and I would revisit this or even purchase it depending on price. The stick really doesn’t hit you over the head with nicotine and has too clean a finish for me. I do like a stick that tends to linger a little longer and remind you of what you are smoking. The sweetness was a nice touch and I see the stick pairing very well with a Cafe Cubano or a good rum.
My smoking time was just over an hour and I was very impressed with the ash, construction and the ample smoke near the end. If I were to rate the PDR Capa Madura Toro on a scale from one to five, I would give it three stars.
I am looking forward to trying some other blends from PDR soon.