Perdomo ESV Maduro Imperio. Where the ESV stands for Estate Seleccion Vintage. Only the top 5 percent tobacco of Perdomo’s Finca Natalie is selected for the ESV series. Up until 2019, the ESV was a limited edition with releases in 2005 and 2016, but now it’s a regular production cigar although in small quantities due to limitations to the tobacco.
The regular production version is box-pressed instead of round. It is an all Nicaraguan cigar. The binder and filler are from Cuban seed tobaccos. The wrapper is a Nicaraguan Maduro. The imperio measures 6×54. I did a review of the ESV Sun Grown last year, that one scored a 92.
This cigar is a looker. A smooth, very dark, Maduro wrapper without any ugly veins. An almost metallic blueish gray ring with black and gold, very stylish. The Perdomo estate is pictured on the ring. The box press look works really well on this cigar. To the touch, this cigar feels very good with the right amount of bounce. And the aroma is strong, very strong. Oak, hay, and soil.
The cold draw is fine. A strong, spicy hay flavor is what comes to mind. The cigar starts with leather, earth, but mostly a slightly acidic and bitter dark roast coffee flavor. A good kind of bitter though. There is a hint of red pepper as well. The cigar turns dark and earthy, with a classic Maduro sweetness. Towards the second third, leather and a hint of dark chocolate join the earthy, peppery flavors. Even though the flavors are on the darker side of the flavor wheel, the cigar is creamy. With some nuts as well. The cigar slowly gets lighter in taste, not in strength or flavor, but on the flavor wheel. More chocolate, cream plus citrus acidity. Slowly leather shows up as well. The Maduro wrapper keeps releasing a subtle sweetness. The base flavor is earthiness with that Maduro sweetness, but with some black pepper to remaining interesting. The finale has a nice nutty flavor, with pepper, soil, and sweetness.
The draw is great. The ash is almost white and Nick Perdomo once told us that it’s because of the potassium in the soil. The burn is immaculate. Slow and steady, straight as can be. There is a good amount of smoke coming from the cigar. This is a full-body, full flavor cigar. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? I prefer the Sun Grown.