What Makes It Special
Chicago’s favorite Norwood Royal Cigars owner, Vick Shah, has teamed up with cigar industry icon, Oscar Valladares, to create a very special cigar. Introducing The DON V Maduro, a next level follow up release to Vick and Oscar’s original DON V Corojo, Honduran Puro cigar. Both cigars are personally blended by Vick, and produced by Oscar Valladares’ tobacco factory in Danli, Honduras.
Vick’s new blend features a Natural Maduro wrapper from the region of Jalapa, Nicaragua, over Nicaraguan binder, and Oscar’s signature Honduran fillers. Vick is affectionately known by his customers as ‘The Don’, in reference to a mafia leader, or in this case, a cigar industry leader. Vick said: “my customers call me ‘The Don’, so it made perfect sense to acknowledge that by calling my cigars DON V.” Be sure to check out The Don’s recent appearance and live Whiskey Network pairing discussion, featuring Whyte & Mackay’s Senior Whisky Specialist, Ben Boice, on this epic and globally rebranded Great Cigar & Pipe Show:
The DON V cigar line’s homebase, Norwood Royal Cigars in Chicago, features the Midwest’s largest 1,800 square foot humidor, with endless cigar options. Vick describes the DON V Maduro’s flavor as “sweet sugar cane over cocoa, with a leathery finish and a hint of spice on the retro-hale.” Both DON V expressions can also be purchased in five packs, ten packs, or twenty count boxes online at NRCIGARS.COM.
Visual / Pre-light Draw
This is a sexy looking Maduro! The unique dark brown wrapper sparkles like diamonds when rotated under light, something I have never seen before on a cigar. Its classy black and gold trimmed band displays ‘DON’ over ‘V’, in gold, superimposed over a golden tobacco leaf, with a slick streak of dark blue on the sides. The front of the band also acknowledges its producer: ‘By Oscar Valladares’. Vick mentioned the blue streak acknowledges Police, while the dark red streak on his original DON V Corojo represents Fire/EMS.
The cigar’s oily wrapper has tough looking seams, but is incredibly smooth to the touch. Its hard construction, side sniff, and dry foot odor is typical of Oscar, with obvious notes of bold and fresh barnyard hay. There is no spice on the palate while prepping this DON V, for my favorite cut, the Colibri-V. The medium tight but smooth dry draw is floral with nice hints of white chocolate.
A deserving slow soft flame lighting of this classy Maduro produced a very thick and creamy, seductive chocolate foot smoke odor, with floral and very bold chocolate notes on the first cocoa puff. The cigar’s pull is consistently smooth, with hints of Oscar’s classic barnyard hay. Its incredibly creamy cake battered retro-hale has a very subtle and enjoyable barbeque chocolate spice on the finish. The developing delicious chocolate truffle flavor in this lengthy, slow burning first third, is consistent and palate coating. Then there is a sweet leathery transition to smoked meat approaching the second third. I can tell the cigar is simply warming up as the retro-hale becomes sweeter and creamier.
This is a very seductive Maduro! The cigar seems to transition back and forth from sweet leathery white chocolate and bolder dark chocolate notes. Be prepared to spend some time with this slow and perfect burning luxurious cigar, as that cool creamy chocolate truffle, wet rubbed barbeque rib note gradually reappears. The now creamier retro-hale becomes addictive, it’s like lifting your slow smoker’s lid, and taking multiple but unnecessary status whiffs. Unnecessary because this DON V Maduro naturally hits on all levels. Time to introduce this chocolate truffle cigar to the lovely Dalmore 14…THIS IS PURE BLISS!!!
The cigar’s alluring draw really opens up and here comes an even bolder dark chocolate truffle flavor. The retro-hale mellows to creamier and smoother incredible flavors of light baking spices over fresh French bread. As the cigar’s sexy fine ash finally falls off with dignity, its burn slows even more. Finally, its consistent medium bold back end flavors mellow to yellow, vanilla cream filled bundt cake, over classic Honduran tobacco notes. Overall, this trip to the chocolate factory cigar is ‘like sex in the mouth!’ You can’t help but tilt your head all the way back, and slowly exhale its seductive leathery smoke to the sky, in a chocolate truffle shuffle of pure bliss. The perfect cigar to spark up some romance this Valentines Day!
This is a luxurious but affordable match made in heaven, a dessert pairing fit for a king, for you to light, smoke, pour, sip, and absolutely love!!!
It’s like “sex in the mouth!”
Dalmore 14 is aged in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, and finished in rare Pedro Ximinez sherry casks, hand selected from The House of Gonzalez Byass, Spain. This is the first Dalmore ‘Principle Collection’ whisky of its kind, and was released exclusively in the USA in the fall of 2022. Dalmore really upped their game with this new and higher 43.8% ABV sherry expression. It is a new whisky that I am personally excited about, so it made perfect sense to pair it with this new and exciting next level DON V Maduro.
Dalmore’s Master Whisky Maker, Gregg Glass, says “The Dalmore 14 is a truly exceptional expression combining the beauty of The Dalmore Scotch Whisky from Scotland with the delicacy of rare sherry casks from Spain. This whisky showcases delicious notes of citrus and rich caramel, harmoniously balanced. The sweet intensity of sun-drenched Pedro Ximénez sherry wine perfectly complements The Dalmore’s distinctive house style of chocolate orange and subtle spice. Ideal to cherish.”
The cigar to the drink is like washing down a very bold dark chocolate truffle with sweet tingly and high quality sherry wine. Then there is a beautiful transition to a lingering creamy and sweet crème brûlée dessert note on the finish. The sweet orange citrus over cinnamon notes of The Dalmore 14 to the cigar produced a creamy orange marmalade and white chocolate explosion of flavor. Overall, this perfect and dessert-like pairing reminds me of white frosted vanilla confetti cupcakes, with the most seductive leathery char on the finish.
Be sure to hit repeat on this Blackbird Blackbird “Pure” track, enjoy your slow smoked ribs and blissful chocolate truffle dessert, while you wash it all down with a dram of Dalmore’s finest, PX sherried gem of a whisky. This is a luxurious but affordable match made in heaven, a dessert pairing fit for a king, for you to light, smoke, pour, sip, and absolutely love!!!
Acknowledgment & Oscar Valladares Interview
Thank you Vick Shah and Oscar Valladares for these awesome DON V cigars. When we light and smoke them, it’s impossible not to love them!
Thank you Vick for being a proud supporter of our Military and First Responders, via daily 10% and 20% Wednesday discounts. Vick and NRC Co-owner, Asmita Kamdar, also sponsor many local fundraising events, in support of the community, Military, and First Responders.
Thank you Whyte & Mackay Senior Whisky Specialist, Ben Boice, for joining us on the podcast, and sharing your incredible Scotch malt whisky knowledge.
Click here to view my Whiskey Network interviews of Oscar Valladares and Vick Shah, during The Great Cigar and Pipe Show’s DON V Maduro Release Party coverage on November 12, 2022.
Additional pairing song recommendation: “Tangerine Sky” by Blackbird Blackbird
Photography by: James Archie