When it comes to premium cigar blends, there are heavy hitters, and there are those that are just plain old HEAVY. I'm not just talking strength either here people, but sheer mass as well.
Such was the case when I picked up the "Toro Grande" vitola of the Flor de las Antillas blend from My Father Cigars. Although its 60 ring-gauge may not be considered sizable by many cigar smokers, the weight of this tightly-packed, double-binder behemoth was astonishing.
But that wasn't the only surprise this sun-grown stick had in store, for when your Toro version is revered as #1 Cigar of the Year by the likes of Cigar Aficionado, there's no telling where the larger variant might lead...
It smells like a holiday dream come true too. Almost as if hot cocoa and Christmas somehow got magically rolled into a single smoke.
Yes, there is some peppery tobacco spice on the nose, but nothing abrasive by any means. If anything, it compliments the holiday spice notes you pick up from the foot of the cigar. Unlit dry pulls are much of the same, but with a hefty backbone of graham cracker and vanilla thrown in for the hell of it.
On a side note, there is very little oil to be seen on the stick itself, with the sun-grown wrapper favoring a color that mirrors its milky hot cocoa aroma. The length of the barrel also felt overly tight down one side, a concern that we will discuss in detail later on.
Those hints of milky cocoa and holiday spice are certainly there too, but not in an overpowering way. Just smooth smoking and outstanding aromatics.
Accompanied by tannin notes and a pleasant peppery pop, you can see how this cigar will likely fall into that signature Don "Pepin" Garcia 3/4-to-full bracket toward the end.
Strength has increased to balance these more robust flavors, while that silkiness from the first section of the cigar keeps things smooth. Definitely an enjoyable middle ground for this flavorful Nicaraguan puro.
The grand finale of the Flor de las Antillas "Toro Grande" vitola is a borderline full-strength endeavor. The sum of all of that previously combusted tobacco has formed a potent cigar flavor profile that is both enjoyably intense.
The oils and resins have made a monster, and it is one that will keep you coming back for more. While it may not be on par with the sensational finish found in the Series JJ from the Garcia Family, there's a lot to like in this spiced mocha-like parting puffs of this premium cigar blend.
Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw
Construction was the Achilles heel of the Toro Grande version of this cigar. It smoked like a champ, had a great draw, and made one hell of a fat ash, but it began to burn unevenly shortly after the halfway point.
This resulted in the stiffer-feeling side of the double-binder equipped stogie canoeing out. Fortunately, this did not seem to hamper the flavor of the cigar whatsoever.
The band also proved to be a bit problematic, for it was so tightly pressed to the cigar wrapper leaf, that it pulled a portion off the outer portion upon removal.
This is one of those smokes that I'm going to need to revisit. Construction issues are just the risk you run when indulging in a hand-rolled premium cigar, for every now you get one that won't burn right.
But the primary purpose of me revisiting this potently packed beast of a smoke once again, is because I relish the notion of tasting it all over again.
This premium cigar blend produces such a sensationally smooth spiced flavor, that I found myself struggling to put it down. Even when I knew that all that tobacco packed inside its 60 ring-gauge was kicking may palate into overdrive.
|Cigar||My Father Cigars "Flor de las Antillas"|
|Pairing Drink||Herb Tea|