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Taps: 19 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar ]
117 E Main St
phone: (608) 294-9371
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This was my second stop of my beer tour of Madison.
There was no sign with a name out front, just their logo. I walked by it twice before realizing where the entrance was.
Walking in, all you smell is cigar smoke. As it is a tobacco bar, cigar and pipe smoking are allowed, but not cigarettes. How odd I thought, but since I am ignorant of their local laws, I just chalked it up to an exemption being passed for them.
Tap lineup was solid to say the least. Standouts were Duchesse De Bourgogne, Kapuziner, Abita, Reissdorf Kolsch, Nostradamus, and Czchecvar Pils. They also had Bell's Java Stout on cask, which is what I limited myself to.
But unfortunately, I just couldn't get past the cigar smoke. Well, that and the pretentious people smoking them. I learned later that day that the Criminal Justice building is right across the street. Which made sense with the pretentious lawyers sucking down those cigars.
But, they did have an awesome tap list. And if I was looking to smoke a cigar and drink awesome beer, this place would be the only option that I know of.
06-24-2008 15:59:08 |
More by leftmindedrighty
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped at this one the night before the Great Taste 2009.
Well located, easy to reach in Madison, this is a fairly small bar, standard looking, pleasant but not special except for the comfortable sofas. Bar is on one side, sofas on the other, single restroom which makes it hard when crowded like this night.
This particular night, Bell' special, so selection was amazing with 15 Bell's on tap, including two highly regarded, hard to get ones. I do not know how is the line-up on most nights, but this was special.
Cigar smoke does interfere with the enjoyment, but it was still worthwhile.
08-11-2009 01:44:19 |
More by brdc
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
When we first walked into this place I thought it was closed, but I guess it's just dimly lit, but with the couches and relaxed atmosphere it was awsome! We were able to talk between ourselves and have great conversations. There wasn't too many people there, the smoke was sweet and smelled like the best cigars! The beer was great and the service was quick. The selection was pretty good, I got a Bell's Two-Hearted on cask, and a Saint Bernardus 8. Overall the experience was great, I will definetly be going back.
02-11-2007 14:47:39 |
More by Erdinger2003
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
Maduro was a wonderful prize at the end of our Madison beer tour.
The space is a single room with large open windows on either side of a central door. Exposed brick walls, painted tin ceiling. Long bar along the left side with hefty wooden shelves stocked with top shelf liquor of all varieties. Cozy black leather couches on the right hand side and several tables and chairs. An organ or piano tucked into a back corner. Mostly candle lit. Cigar smoke that is present but not overwhelming around 10pm on a Saturday night. Also some tables on the sidewalk out front under red christmas lights. Very pleasant atmosphere. (especially having just come up the hill from the Essen Haus!)
The tap list was excellent and displayed on a chalkboard centered behind the bar: the standouts were Hell Hath no Fury and an Oak Aged Pilgrams Dole (both $4, Hell hath in a St Bernadus goblet and the Dole in a pint glass). The Hell hath was perhaps a bit off (or not as good as it was when we had it a couple months ago at the Map Room in Chicago) but the Pilgram's Dole was exquisite! Lovely oak and warm vanilla sweetness.
Rest of beer list was quite the selection: Einbecker Pils, Spaten Lager, Erdinger Weiss, Bells Oberon, Lake Louie Scotch, Bells Pale, Lindemanns Pomme, New Holland Black Tulip, St Lous' Framboise, Ale Asylum Trippel, Hitacho White, Echt Kriekbier, Urthel Hop-it and Heavy Handed on Cask (also Boddingtons, Guinness, Magners).
Service was fine -- almost everyone was drinking beer, and the bartender seemed to do a good job describing the styles to novices.
No food, but someone at the bar had a very nice plate of Sushi delivered (on a plate even).
This gets my pick as my favorite beer destination in the Madison area.
I was also favorably impressed by Quivey's which I had not been to before. Great to have two new wonderful destinations for beer travels.
10-08-2006 21:03:48 |
More by 4thoseabout2bock
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
Maduro has that classic "discerning man's" (or woman's) atmosphere, with great cigars, wine, Scotch, and martinis in addition to a dozen or so great beers on tap. It's relaxing in a timeless way, with solo drinkers reading newspapers at the bar while groups relax on the couches in a jazzy ambience. I suspect the tap lines are ruthlessly cleaned here, because more than once I've tried a new beer at Maduro and found it outstanding, only to try it a second time somewhere else and find it not quite as good as I'd remembered (or maybe the great atmosphere just biases me). The women tending bar are wonderfully knowledgable. Rotating selection, although Bell's gets a well-deserved emphasis. Happy hour prices are phenomenally good.
05-08-2007 02:13:57 |
More by Flyer
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
I really had my doubts about this place since it is a cigar bar and I am allergic to tobacco smoke, but I am sure glad that I stopped here with some of the Madison BA gang. Walked in to a dimly lit social club kond of feeling place. Many were smoking cigars and inbibing with their favorite adult beverage, but somehow I didn't really smell any smoke. Quite a feat. Maduro just feels comfortable to me. Many stools along the bar along with some table and chairs and more than a few leather couches. The perfect place to sit and relax with a beer and enjoy the company that you are with. Great beer selection that obviously is picked with the distinguishing beer drinker in mind. I had Aventinus and Pilgrim's Dole. Served a little cold for my taste, but that is really tough to avoid at a bar. Bartender was quick to help and very friendly. Everything was reasonably priced. I will definitely be back here next time I am in town.
06-30-2007 13:47:29 |
More by JeffKrenner
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is the first watering hole I visited when I moved to this town, and it's still my fav, especially since it's within walking distance. It's laid back, a few times a week there's a jazz duo, and the seating is comfortable, whether you're on the plush leather couches, at the bar, or at the table. Anytime a friend visits, I take them there, and it's a good place to stop for a drink with my wife. I don't smoke cigars too often, but the smoke is inoffensive. That being said, you will be able to appreciate it hours after you leave, so wear something that's not dry-clean.
Quality is this place's charm. The bartenders know their stuff, and they can answer most of your questions beyond your satisfaction. Their knowledge of brews, liqueurs, and spirits would put most bartenders working in pretentious, overpriced lounges to shame. I've only had one drink here that was not perfect, and it was from a polite new guy who offered to fix it, but I drank it anyway.
Service is excellent, and all employees are friendly, engaging, and welcoming.
I'm sure you can find places with more selections, but not with bartenders as knowledgeable about each one. Beer menu is good, wine list frequently changes and features great varieties, liqueurs are top-shelf, and the cocktails are unique and delicious.
I know you can order out food from somewhere else, since the establishment does not have an actual kitchen, but I never have.
Pricing is reasonable. As stated above, you are paying for quality, not pretentiousness or a sorry excuse for atmosphere, and you get a lot for your money.
01-25-2008 09:23:59 |
More by BoitSansSoif
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
A must for any visitor, and maybe the new best beer stop in Madison.
After being dissapointed by the Dane's mediocrity and stuffed with Come Back Inn's good beer and alright German fare, we capped the evening off at Maduro.
At 8:00 on a Saturday, there were about 10 other patrons there and it was warm enough to have the door open (which is probably why the smoke levels were quite tolerable). The music was good, classy, and at a sensible volume.
The bartender was very friendly and seemed knowledgeable. We were only getting one round. Although there were many high quality beers on the list, our decision was quite easy: Bell's Hell Hath No Fury, and New Holland's Barrel-Aged Pilgrim's Dole. The Bell's was in a nice chalice, and while quite good, it seemed to be going slightly south and taking on a sourness. The Dole was served in something like a 16oz water glass. Not the most pleasing glass, but a very pleasing volume of this strong and lovely beer. These two top shelf high gravity beers were $4 each, which is a great deal.
We sat on the comfy couch and leasuirely sipped our beers.
This is the place to go whether you want a relaxed, conversation friendly atmosphere or just want the best draft list in town.
10-15-2006 01:55:22 |
More by Tbone
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Great atmosphere in this place, dim lights and comfortable couches to sit on. A very nice place to sit with friends and relax, and enjoy good beers and conversation. Beer quality was very good, beer all seemed to be fresh, and I think they rotate pretty often. Service was good as well, bar tender knew about products and was able to offer suggestions to those that wanted them. Selection was not massive, but it is a quality selection. Once again I'll say that they rotate enough that it should keep things interesting for you. Prices are very competitive, especially for its location. A great bar that I will continue to visit when I visit Madison.
04-01-2007 20:10:30 |
More by badbeer
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $
What a cool place! I had no idea that this place existed until I read a beerfly review. I immediately decided to check it out, and it was well worth it. I visited Maduro on the day they allowed smoking cigars, following Madison's ban on smoking last year. Apparently they are allowed an exception for some reason. Anyway, I was skeptical of drinking beer in a smoky bar, but it wasn't bad. If you can stand cigar smoke, it's definitely worth coming here for the beer.
I had an Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier, a Bell's Two Hearted on cask, and a La Chouffe. The bill? 9 freakin' dollars. You can't beat those prices. In total there were 19 beers on tap and a couple more in bottles. The worst of the bunch was Guiness and Boddingtons. The selection was about evenly divided between American micros and tasty imports. In addition to beer they serve wine, scotch, gin, vodka, and cocktails. No food was available, as far as I could see.
Service was good, as the bartender was friendly but not overbearing. Many of the customers were friendly beer lovers interested in talking about beer. As I mentioned, prices are excellent. All beers are $4, with a dollar off during happy hour. Some of the more special beers are served in 10 ounce glasses. Maduro is conveniently located about a block and a half from the Great Dane. I'll definitely be back.
04-08-2006 03:01:03 |
More by beveragecaptain
Maduro in Madison, WI