I was pretty thrilled when I was able to procure a box of the Oliva Connecticut Toro — and I’m even more excited now that I finally get to fire a stick after months of aging in my humidor. Every blend that comes from the factory of Oliva Cigars is always heads above the competition, and it’s no different when the coveted company’s Connecticut line debuted onto the scene of the cigar industry, quickly capturing the attention of connoisseurs searching for a premium quality smoke with good value.
With that in mind, I had high hopes for Oliva Connecticut Toro, and it had everything going for it. This cigar conveys a stunning visual perfection from head to foot. Beneath its elegant white and gold cigar band is a pristine golden brown Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper — boasting invisible seams and minimal vein structure. The lustrous exterior of the cigar embraces a premium blend of the finest tobaccos from Nicaragua, handcrafted by the most skilled rollers and blenders in the country.
|Wrapper Origin: Ecuador||Shape: Toro|
|Length: 6||Ring: 50|
|Wrapper: Connecticut Shade||List Price: $180 (Box of 20)|
|Origin: Nicaragua||Strength: Mellow|
Pull of Cigar
The cap of this Toro slides off easily between the blades of my cutter, ushering in an intoxicating aroma of tobacco, wheat, and floral honey.
The pull of the cigar is impeccable — precisely on the money as to how I like the resistance of the draw in my cigars: effortless and smooth, with desirable restraint. The cold draw unleashes a promising profile of honey, woody cedar, and the lightest touch of spice. After a few patient rotations over my torch, my Oliva Connecticut Toro is ablaze.
The cigar starts nicely with toasted almonds and subtle hints of espresso. The Connecticut wrapper’s generous dose of creamy butter and pleasant sweetness dominate the palate with a smooth, fleeting texture in the first few puffs. The cigar exuded a mesmerizing aroma of freshly baked bread, earthy tobacco with a faint touch of black pepper throughout the first third. With a little concentration, notes of butterscotch and honey were introduced on the palate in a series of tapered but easy-to-pull draws.
The second third of the cigar did not see much of an evolution of flavors. Cool and subtle notes of spice stimulate the palate without interrupting the creamy and nutty foundation laid out in the beginning. While an array of exciting flavors whizz by, that creamy butter element remains the dominating component.
This Toro burned razor straight with effortless grace — a testament to the high level of quality control that Oliva Cigars institutes in crafting their blends. Firm gray ash held steady at the foot as the cigar progresses into the final third. The last stage displayed cream and honey segueing to notes of sweet spice, black coffee, and earthier tobacco flavors.
The cigar burned quickly as it reached its finale — or it could be that I was enjoying this smoke so much that I didn’t even notice it was reaching the nub. The balance of the flavors is simply stunning. The complexity of this Oliva masterpiece is off the grid, yet nothing close to a flavor bomb. All flavors are subtle and nuanced, with the complexity and creaminess reaching for the stars with every puff.
Overall, the Oliva Connecticut Toro was a very impressive cohesion of flavors. This cigar isn’t short on complexity, but it will throw a curve to traditional Oliva Cigars devotees who anticipate the emergence of robust and domineering spices. It attacks with a subtle, hypnotic approach — a true carousel of impressions with each draw.
This Oliva stick’s draw, burn, flavor profile, and overall construction are impeccable, as expected from a blend crafted by Oliva Co. This excellent cigar most definitely deserves a 92-point rating. The Oliva Connecticut Toro is just one of those stogies that every cigar enthusiast should try at least once — mellow and smooth for novices, with just enough complexity and boldness to attract and keep long-time aficionados.
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Oliva Baptiste Robusto Maduro
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AJ Fernandez New World Oscuro
The AJ Fernandez New World Oscuro cigar, originating from Nicaragua, is crafted from superior long filler tobaccos from the country’s prime growing regions—Jalapa, Condega, and Estelí. Created by Fernandez and his father, the cigar boasts a rich flavor profile, including dark chocolate, cedar, leather, and pepper, with a full-body character especially prominent in the final third. Its dark brown Nicaraguan Oscuro wrapper is notable for its artistic band and toothy texture. The smoking experience evolves from a medium to a full-bodied intensity, maintaining consistent flavors throughout, though the sweetness diminishes towards the end. Despite a slight tightness in the draw and less-than-perfect burn, the cigar’s construction quality is high, offering excellent ash production and smoke output. Considering its complexity, flavor, structure, and performance, it delivers outstanding value, affirmed by the positive review of AJ Fernandez New World Oscuro among cigar enthusiasts.
Tatuaje Cabaiguan Guapos
The Tatuaje Cabaiguan Guapos, crafted by renowned cigar maker Pete Johnson, is a medium-strength cigar that draws its name from a Cuban town and presents a distinct flavor profile infused with notes of cedar, spice, and a creamy, floral essence. Despite its unappealing appearance characterized by an uneven, lumpy surface and visible veins, the cigar’s aesthetic is partially redeemed by its unique pigtail cap and a color-complementary band. Initial smoking experiences are marked by a bitter taste that gradually gives way to a more balanced blend of cedar and creaminess, punctuated by occasional floral highlights. However, the lack of complexity, persistent underlying bitterness, and a steep price point overshadow the well-constructed cigar’s positive aspects. This contributes to a lukewarm reception in the review of Tatuaje Cabaiguan Guapos, with its value being questioned in light of the overall quality offered.