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Maduro

Not Rated.
MaduroMaduro
BA SCORE
95
world-class

36 Ratings
Ratings: 36
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 6.94%
Taps: 19
Bottles: 0
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar ]

117 E Main St
Madison, Wisconsin, 53703
United States
phone: (608) 294-9371

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: DaPeculierDane on 03-24-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of emerge077
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%

Visited on a weekday night, so it was pretty relaxed, and the refined atmosphere really shined through. Vintage French beer and cigar posters blended with the soft lighting and mellow jazz, seeping into the leather couches...oozing "cool".

Luckily it wasn't too smoky either, and I was able to enjoy a Caracole Nostradamus on tap without swimming in clouds of tobacco smoke. Selection were all taps, but the bartender mentioned that in 2008 they will be bringing in a bottle selection, and taking over the front chalkboard (currently all wine).

Other patrons were chatting about beer, and I was able to peruse a couple back issues of BA magazine from the table past the bar. It felt like we had stepped into an alternate dimension. There are very few places in Chicago that have the same mellow appeal, the top beer venues there are usually mob scenes. It was great to relax and get introspective about beer at this amazing Madison locale...

emerge077, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of woodychandler
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%

This was a very narrow and not terribly deep establishment, so it there is an event that you are planning to attend, I recommend arriving early. Two big glass panes flanked the doorway that opened onto the wood bar to the left. Black leather couches, coffee tables, and vintage advertising on the wall dominated the right side. Just inside the door, on a buttonhook right, were a couple of high tables and stools as well as a green (not black) board. All of the way aft was a short, red velvet-lined stage for bands that perform twice a week. Beyond the bar, headed aft, was a humidor and beyond that, still on the left, were the washrooms, as well as a small reading library. Couple all of that with a pressed tin ceiling and exposed ducting and I ask you, what’s not to like?

The back bar featured an impressive array of wines and liquors (or so I was told). They also had an equally impressive lineup of eighteen taps, including five Belgians, five Bell’s, three Lake Louie, Victory, and New Holland. I was further told that their mixed drinks are “kick ass”.

woodychandler, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Maduro is a beautiful little cigar bar tucked away on Main street just a block from the Great Dane, and within walking distance of several other great restaurants.

From the black leather love seats and sofas to the brown tin-ceiling, this place is just slathered in style. Be sure to take a look at the tiled bar!

Beyond that, they bands are great, and the cigar and drink selections are more than adequate. I should warn you, however, it is a cigar bar, and it will be smoky. You can try that rare single malt scotch if you'd like, but your senses will probably be at least a little bit numb. That said, you're certainly not going to do to well with beer. However, I have been in early and found no one smoking at all, so who knows.

There are 18 taps and a cask, although I'm not sure how often they use it. Of the local beers they had on tap during my last visit, 5 were Bell's/Kalamazoo, and 1 was from New Holland (Dragon's Milk... at least it's a real good choice). The rest were imports, mostly Belgian and English with a few very good choices - nothing truly ordinary.

The service is great and the bathrooms are clean, what else can you ask for?

NeroFiddled, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Kind of surprised I have never beerfly'd this before. This is a local BA favorite with good reason.

Location is a major plus, being in the 100 block of east main street. The Great Dane is a mere block away as our tons of local dives and great restaurants. If someone came from out of town and started at Maduro, you could occupy yourself all night without travelling more than a block or two.

Atmosphere is interesting...red christmas lights outside with a few outdoor tables on east main. Inside you will find the only smoke friendly place in Madison (smoking banned). No cigs, just cigars, and they sell them too. I am not crazy about this but it usually isnt offensive, depending on the time. Quite upscale, but dont expect to pay upscale prices. I have never felt like I wasnt the youngest person in there (i'm 24) and often favors upscale business class.

Service is pheonmenal, period. The bartenders are all nice, helpful, and very beer savvy. I can see people finding them pretentious, but thats Madison, and thats how we roll.

Selection is awesome. Usually about 20 taps. 2 hearted always on cask is probably the most overlooked beer treasure in Madison. Worst taps are usually guinness/boddingtons. There always seems to be crazy unique things. Last winter there was the south shore imperial mint chocolate stout. Lately there has been bells hell hath no fury, la chouffe, oak aged pilgrims dole. Always strong imports and lambics with a rotating selection of obscure micros.

No food.

prices are tough to beat. everything on tap is 4 beers and always served appropriately. happy hour is 4-7 and everything is a dollar off

a must stop

dirtylou, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of TX-Badger
5/5  rDev +15.7%

TX-Badger, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%

Some time ago, when I drank more scotch than beer, I was almost a regular customer at Maduro. At that time they had but six taps and no bottles. Boy have times changed.

Maduro is strong in every area that we rate on BeerFly. The staff is good looking, smart, attentive, and extremely knowledgeable about their trade. My bartender last night was well versed on some relatively obscure Belgians and fully capable of discussing any great American craft brew you could throw at her. Furthermore, the owner is frequently found in the bar and takes an obvious pride in his establishment. This is always nice to see.

The atmosphere is excellent. Maduro is fairly small. The mosaic bar seats about twelve to sixteen but there are more than enough tables and leather chairs available on most nights to seat a large group. A fireplace and small stage sit in one corner. The lights are kept dim and there are enough soft materials around the place absorbing sound to allow for quite and intimate conversations even when the place is somewhat busy. The walls are decorated mostly with tasteful antique beer art and one wall is line with a small armoire style humidor. Maduro recently received an exemption form the city’s smoking ban. Beginning in April of 2006, it will be the only bar in Madison where cigar and pipe smoking will be legal. Cigarettes are still verboten and Maduro has a state of the art air filtration system so beer enthusiasts need not worry too much smoke ruining their beloved hops aromas. Speaking of smoking, did I mention that Maduro has Aecht on tap!

Bottle selection is minimal. Currently they’re serving the entirety of the Bell’s wheat experiment. In the future they will offer only one or two bottled beers at a time, focusing on extremely rare or interesting brews. I’m looking forward to what they come up with.

Taps are a different story. Maduro offers 19 and every single one of them is a winner. Last night taps consisted of: Anchor Christmas, Franz Dunkel, Reissdorf Kolsch, La Chouffe, St. Louis Special Framboise, Aecht Fasten, Lake Louie Milk, Madhatter, Pilgrim’s, Bell’s Rye, Porter, and Winter Wheat, Boddingtons’s, Guinness, La Rulles, Strongbow, Hebrew, and Anderson Valley’s Winter Solstice. They change them frequently. They also have one cask ale from time to time. Recently it was Bell’s Two Hearted. Are you getting the picture as to why I’m so syked about this place?

Great beer aside, Maduro is a scotch bar so if you’re like me, you can get your peat fix too. They also serve some great wines and can make a mean cocktail to boot.

Oh, and one more thing…Happy Hour is unbelievable. From 4-7, Monday through Thursday, all taps are just $3. That’s three bucks for La Chouffe, three bucks for la Rulles, three bucks for Aecht, etc…four days a week. In other words, if you ever want to meet me I’ll be at 117 E. Main, Mon-Thu from 5 to 7 from now on.

Update, 5-2-06: Selection raised from 4 to 4.5 because this place rotates awesome beers like none other. Since my origional review a month or so ago Maduro has tapped Golden Monkey, Erdinger Weizen, Piraat, South Shore Bourbon Barrel Coffee Mint Stout, and about five other kick ass beers all for only $3 a glass!!!

Update 6-2-06: In the last 7 days I've consumed a couple gallons of St. Bernie 6, 8, and Tripel on tap thanks to Maduro. Des Roc's Grand Cru and Tripel Imperiale are coming next!

DaPeculierDane, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of crossovert
3.8/5  rDev -12%

When I went here they had a ton of Bell's beers on tap for an event prior to Great taste of the midwest. We hit it after the Great Dane as it is right around the corner.

It is a cigar bar primarily but the bartender knew his stuff about beer and it had an obviously nice beer selection. There was a few other things other than Bell's as well.

The beers were obviously fresh because of the event and a pretty nice temp.

I didn't buy a cigar and I am not sure if they even have food.

If you don't like smoky bars then don't go here, but I thought it was nice, worth a stop on a downtown Madison pub crawl.

crossovert, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of blackie
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

I've visited Maduro about four or five times over several trips to Madison, 'bout time I reviewed this gem. I'm sure some of the local reviewers can offer a little more info, but this place certainly deserves some props.

atmosphere: Low lit, cozy, and comfortable. Tasteful, interesting decor. Plenty of seating between the bar and the groups of couches inside, as well as a few tables on the sidewalk. Gets a little smoky at times (cigar bar) but nothing too bothersome. Very conducive to chilling out with a few friends or reading or whatnot.

quality: Everything I've had has been at proper temperature, and usually served in some manner of appropriate glassware.

service: Cant' complain at all here. Any requests have been granted and service has always been prompt, even when slammed with a hundred or so people for a Bell's pre-Taste Extravaganza.

selection: Never disappointing. I've been twice for the Bell's pre-Taste gig, but I suppose those are special circumstances. On the average day, a nice selection by anyone's standards can be found. Two Hearted on cask all the time. A great rotating selection of Midwestern micros.

I'm sure some of the local reviewers can offer a little more info, but this place has certainly earned a good rating from me.

blackie, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of Deuane
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%

Walked by on Easter Sunday night after eating at The Great Dane. Not a soul in the place....not even a bartender to be seen. Tried the door and VIOLA! open! We go in and marvel at the impressive tap list....hey, look they got Cantillon Vigneronne on tap!

When the tender emerges, Lucas takes wonderful care of us. Full of talk and interested about our trip. Within 15 minutes the place fills up and a nice, lively group of beer lovers are talking and sharing thoughts. Wonderful! We end up meeting a new friend there.

Place is very interesting and would be quick to establish itself as a local favorite if I lived in the area. I will certainly return when we attend The Great Taste later this year.

Deuane, May 25, 2008
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%

Look for the glowing logo above the door and that is the place. They have a very dimly lit bar with some people sitting around smoking some nice size heaters. The narrow long bar on the left leaves room for soft leather couches on the right and a DJ spinning some house music in the back by the cigar humidor.

They had lots of good beers on tap and they said as soon as La Chouffe was finish they had their new IPA ready to go. They were pretty knowledgeable about beers and for 4 bucks a chalice it was a great price.

We had to move out to the tables on the sidewalk because although you can smoke pipes and cigars you can't smoke cigarettes inside the bar. Gotta love the law. It was a great night and the bar next door had hookahs that people were bringing out to smoke on the sidewalk tables.

Great place for beer and they have a great selection of cigars aswell.

rhoadsrage, Jul 02, 2006
Photo of DCLAguy11
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

DCLAguy11, Nov 14, 2014
Photo of frazbri
3.96/5  rDev -8.3%

I've got start by saying I was at Maduro during Bell's pre-fest party. The long wooden bar sits to the left of the enterance and comfy furnishings sit to the right. Patio space is right on the front sidewalk.

The bar was packed, but we were lucky to find a seat at the end of the bar. The tap list this night was all Bell's, and that's not a bad thing. Service was quick all night long. It wasn't jovial, but it was efficient.

Maduro is a cigar bar. The ventilation system is good, but if the guy beside you lights up a stogie it's not going to help. I enjoyed my visit, but I was starting to feel the effects of the smoke when I left.

frazbri, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of KAF
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

KAF, Nov 09, 2014
Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

bpfrush, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%

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.

leftmindedrighty, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of Erdinger2003
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

Erdinger2003, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of brdc
3.94/5  rDev -8.8%

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.

brdc, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of Gotti311
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Gotti311, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%

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.

4thoseabout2bock, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of hoosier222002
4/5  rDev -7.4%

hoosier222002, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of Flyer
4.45/5  rDev +3%

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.

Flyer, May 08, 2007
Photo of BarrelAgedG
4/5  rDev -7.4%

BarrelAgedG, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of Tbone
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%

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.

Tbone, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of JeffKrenner
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%

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.

JeffKrenner, Jun 30, 2007
Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.9/5  rDev +13.4%

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.

BoitSansSoif, Jan 25, 2008
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Maduro in Madison, WI
95 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.