The weather here in PA is all over the place! Sunday it was darned near 80, and today it snowed in some places and the temps didn’t get too far out of the 40s. This didn’t stop me from smoking what used to be considered larger cigars. The Toro has been among my favorite sizes since I started smoking cigars in the 90s. Six inches by 50, 52 or 56 is in the ballpark, not as fat as the 60 ring gauge cigars, nor as long as a Churchill or double corona. They are usually good for an hour to an hour and a half. I like Robustos too, but the Toro is a great size.
The first toro I smoked this week was a Gurkha Ghost Asura, at 6″ x 54. I bought a couple of these at a shop in New Jersey, and they’ve taken some time to grow on me, the first few I smoked I didn’t quite get. I figured I should like this cigar, it has a maduro Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper (interestingly mispelled on the Gurkha website), and I usually like that wrapper. Eventually, I’ve come to enjoy this cigar, it’s on the rustic side, appearance wise, and it’s got a nice, fairly heavy flavor of dark roast coffee that I like. This one burned well with a dark grey ash that hung on pretty well. Lots of people think Gurkha cigars are all hype, but they have a bunch of cigars that are really very good.
Last night I grabbed a Drew Estate Nica Rustica El Brujito for my evening walk. This 6″ x 52 toro has a closed foot so you get a nice blast of flavor from the Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper. the fist time I tried this it was a pre-release sample from the factory, and it had a half a leaf of a “wild” Esteli tobacco that added a real special little zing to the blend. I suppose the availability of this tobacco wasn’t in keeping with the idea to make an affordable and sustainable blend, so it was replaced with something more available. The cigar is still a winner, it’s got some strength and good, hearty flavor. The reason I grabbed this was that I was thinking about the recent earthquakes in Nicaragua. I happened to see a comment on a cigar makers post asking for positive thoughts and prayers for the Nicaraguan people and someone responded with something along the lines of “keep the cigars safe”, which I thought was about the most selfish comment. Really? Losing a few cigars is more important that people dying? We all love cigars, but are they more important than lives? I don’t think so. I haven’t heard anything more about the earthquakes, except they were preparing for “the big one”, like the one in 1972 that pretty much leveled Managua. Let’s hope that the seismic activity settles down in that part of the world, they have it bad enough. Anyway, the El Brujito is one of my favorite new cigars in the last year. For around $6, if you like stronger cigars these are worth a try.
Tonight I dug deep into one of the coolers and selected a Tortuga 215 Edición Limitada 2011 Toro. This is a 6″ x 50 traditional toro that’s made in the Dominican Republic with Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos. This is from a ten count box that was a generous gift from Victor Vitale a few years ago. These are aging very nicely. It’s a cigar with a lot of balance and class. Where the Ghost and the Nica Rustica are pretty brash, in your face kind of cigars, this one is loaded with flavors that are delicate and refined. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Victor Vitale‘s cigars, and I only have a few of these left, which I’ll savor slowly because I don’t think there’s many of these left in the market. I know I have one enormous double corona that was a gift from a great friend in New York State that will be a great pool cigar this summer! Keep up the great work Victor!
That’s all for now, until the next time,