Monday, May 4, 2009

My Weekend Cigar: Bill W. Toro

You’re probably already asking yourself, what the heck are Bill W. cigars? First, let me tell you who Bill W. is. Bill is a regular Famous Smoke Shop customer who has become a good friend, and have referred to in prior blogs. (He was the one who suggested the Bitter Lemon for cleansing the palate, I recently wrote about.)

Bill was also one of the lucky guests at last year’s Famous Cigar Expo who won a Rocky Patel Cigar Trip to Honduras. The trip also included getting to blend your own cigar at the Plasencia factory. After several months of factory aging, the cigars were shipped to Bill and he was kind enough to give me one. At his suggestion, he told me to let it age-up some more. So yesterday, about six months later, I finally got around to smoking it in the store. I even paired it with Bitter Lemon. Later, somebody came in with a bottle of Sandeman Founders Reserve Port, and I smoked a good portion of the cigar with that, which was a nice match.

So why am I writing about a non-existent cigar? Because I promised Bill I would, and I have a habit of keeping my word. Besides, I thought it would be a good change of pace for this column, and frankly, considering Bill only had about an hour to select his tobaccos, he did a pretty good job. Here’s the blend he came up with:

Wrapper: Sun Grown Jalapa Ligero
Filler: Jamastran Ligero, Nicaragua Habano Ligero, Costa Rican Habano Viso
Binder: Costa Rican Jaltepec-seed Viso

The cigar was rolled to a 6” x 50 Toro, and the wrapper was attractively dark and oily. The cap was well made and clipped-off neatly. The sweet, woody pre-light flavor was a prelude to the smoke itself. Once lit, the cigar drew well and was unexpectedly mild, since I know Bill has acquired a taste for full-bodied cigars. Once it got going, the smoke was very creamy, dominated by a robust, yet very smooth woody-leathery flavors laced with an appealing sweetness in the mix, and carried a long finish.

For the most part, the cigar was well-balanced and consistent. By the end third act it became juicier and more full-flavored, taking on a spicier dimension while maintaining its sweet, woody base. The cigar had some minor burn problems along the way, but always righted itself. What was most surprising about this cigar was it smoked for about two hours. Even one of the other patrons was impressed.

So, there you have it - proof that even an regular guy from New Jersey can blend a darn good premium cigar. Congratulations Bill.

Ever blend your own cigar? If so, please leave a comment.

~ Gary Korb

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