Ratings: 32 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
4.56/5 rDev +5.1%
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...
12-28-2007 03:38:12 | More by emerge077
4.56/5 rDev +5.1%
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, whats 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 Bells, three Lake Louie, Victory, and New Holland. I was further told that their mixed drinks are kick ass.
01-08-2007 11:05:10 | More by woodychandler
4.5/5 rDev +3.7%
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?
01-07-2007 17:47:46 | More by NeroFiddled
4.5/5 rDev +3.7%
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.
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
09-28-2006 01:54:30 | More by dirtylou
4.64/5 rDev +6.9%
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 citys 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 theyre serving the entirety of the Bells wheat experiment. In the future they will offer only one or two bottled beers at a time, focusing on extremely rare or interesting brews. Im 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, Pilgrims, Bells Rye, Porter, and Winter Wheat, Boddingtonss, Guinness, La Rulles, Strongbow, Hebrew, and Anderson Valleys Winter Solstice. They change them frequently. They also have one cask ale from time to time. Recently it was Bells Two Hearted. Are you getting the picture as to why Im so syked about this place?
Great beer aside, Maduro is a scotch bar so if youre 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. Thats 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 Ill 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!
03-25-2006 00:03:20 | More by DaPeculierDane
3.8/5 rDev -12.4%
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.
08-14-2011 14:41:08 | More by crossovert
4.5/5 rDev +3.7%
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.
08-15-2007 16:51:46 | More by blackie
4.64/5 rDev +6.9%
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.
05-25-2008 06:17:20 | More by Deuane
4.2/5 rDev -3.2%
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.
07-02-2006 02:39:54 | More by rhoadsrage
Maduro in Madison, WI
95 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.