As a long time fan of “interesting” cigars, I have been quite happy to have developed a relationship with the folks at ItalianSmokes.com. Since my wife brought me back some Antico Toscano cigars from Italy 15 years ago, and since Kentucky fire cured, or dark fire, tobacco was all the rage last year, I thought I’d give the newest offering from ItalianSmokes.com a try. I’ll be honest, the Toscano 1492 was a little too smokey for me, so I hesitated a little before deciding to commit my precious cigar time to something new. But I did, and I was quite happy. A little back story on what is a fairly expensive cigar for this genre. The Toscano Modigliani is named for Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani (12 July 1884 – 24 January 1920), an Italian painter and sculptor, known for portraits and nudes in a modern style characterized by elongation of faces and figures. Modigliani spent his youth in Italy, where he studied the art of antiquity and the Renaissance, until he moved to Paris in 1906. There he came into contact with prominent artists such as Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brâncuşi. Amedeo Modigliani had little success in his short lifetime, but after his death he achieved greater popularity. He died at age 35 in Paris of tubercular meningitis. He was an avid smoker of Toscano style cheroots.
This cigar is a typical Toscano shaped cigar, a hair over 6″ long, with a ring gauge at its largest point in the 30 range. It tapers at both ends, and can either be cut in half to make two cigars, or smoked as one. I have done both in the past, but chose to smoke this whole, as it was Friday night and I just felt like it. Any trepidation I had about smoking this cigar went away when I lit it up. It had a bit of the smokey flavor one gets from the Kentucky tobacco, although perhaps the fact that this was grown and processed in Italy as opposed to the US maybe tempered the smokeyness. This turned out to be a rich, flavorful smoke, not very complex, but loaded with good, sweet and savory flavor. It’s got some strength to it, I wouldn’t smoke this on an empty stomach, but that’s not uncommon for this type of cigar. It burned perfectly and who among us can say it isn’t fun hanging a cigar like this from your teeth Clint Eastwood style. It’s elegant in its ugliness, if that makes any sense, and was a fun, satisfying cigar to smoke. As I said, these approach $5 a stick MSRP, which seems a bit steep, but it’s worth it as far as I’m concerned.
I was going to have a contest, to give a pack of these away, but I like them so much I might have to smoke them all! You all know me better than that! This contest will run through next Saturday, June 6, and I’ll announce a winner in my Sunday post. I’ll include a five pack of the Toscano Modigliani, as well as a 1492 and an Antico so you can get an idea what some other Toscano style cigars are like if you haven’t tried them. Also I will include a Screwpop Cigar Cutter, which is perfect for cutting these cigars in half if you so desire (they do make great short smokes that way!), and is a useful tool for cutting the cap on your premium cigars. The rules are simple, leave a comment for a chance to win, and I’ll draw a winner at random next Sunday. Usual rules apply. Thank you to ItalianSmokes.com and Screwpop Tools for providing the goodies.
That’s it for today, enjoy the weekend and tune in tomorrow for the regular Sunday recap of the week’s events.