The cigar uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and filler. The cigar was initially released in this Toro vitola of 6×52. Shortly thereafter, two more vitolas were introduced, a 5×46 Corona and a 6×56. The Toro carries an MSRP of $8.96.
A very nice dark chocolate brown color with a few small veins visible. The seams are easily visible as they are slightly raised but wrapped well. The cap is very neatly applied. The wrapper gives an aroma of barnyard which contains that bit of funk along with sweet hay. The aroma from the foot is also sweet, but more of a mix of raisin and tobacco. The pre-light draw continues the raisin and tobacco sweetness with a little bit of spice tingle on the lips.
The initial draws bring flavors of cocoa, earthiness and spice. About a quarter inch in, the cocoa has faded away. The earthiness and a bit of spice remains, but now with the addition of some breadiness both in the mouth and on the retrohale. At an inch in, a creaminess joins the mix which is really helping round out the overall profile. Nearing the end of the third, the spiciness is gone from the mouth and only noticeable on the retrohale. The earthiness is the dominant flavor now with a slight bit of coffee mixed in. The body is at a medium with the strength being closer to medium-full.
The second third is a continuation of the first with primarily earthiness with a hint of coffee. Further in, the coffee turns to more of an espresso as it and the earthiness becomes much darker. A slight bitterness is present, but it is not detrimental to the experience. The third wraps up with the earthiness and espresso. The body remains medium with the strength remaining medium-full.
The final third continues with the espresso flavor. The earthiness has faded a bit and a smoky wood has entered in. As the third continues, the woodiness is becoming the primary flavor. There is also a bit more bitterness making its way in to the profile. The cigar finished up with the body remaining at medium and the strength increasing to full.
The draw was a bit firmer than I prefer, but it didn’t have a negative effect on the experience. The burn was fairly wavy, but it always corrected itself and never needed any intervention from me. The construction seemed good. When setting the cigar down on the ash tray, flakes of ash would come off, but that never happened when just holding it.
This cigar carried a bit more strength than I expected based on previous cigars from HVC. It has darker flavors which would make me lean towards smoking it in the evening or as a final cigar of a multi-cigar smoking experience. There weren’t many transitions, but that is OK as the cigars flavors were good. I wouldn’t recommend this cigar to a new smoker, but rather someone that is interested in strength along with flavors of earthiness, coffee and wood.
The cigar lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes for me.