It would be nice to reach into the humidor every time and pull out and Opus X, Ashton VSG or an Liga Privada No. 9, but finances don’t always allow for that. So many cigar enthusiasts have experimented with different budget concious cigars. Some of these cigars are big winners and others are obvious losers; but you could draw a similar comparison when it comes to the higher priced cigars as well. In this article, the first in our Cheap Ash series, I’ll sample the Don Barreto Toro Flaco, a cigar that can be found for approximately $2.00 a stick.
Company: Oliva Family
Made in: Nicaragua
Made by: Oliva Family
Size: 6″ x 46
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Colorado Maduro
Weighing in at 6 inches long with a 46 ring gauge the Toro Flaco is more of a Grand Corona, but what’s in a name. The wrapper was riddled with veins and the seams were very visible. So it’s not the most attractive cigar I’ve ever smoked. On the positive side the wrapper was dark brown, slightly oily and toothy. I felt my way down the cigar and noted that there were no soft or firm spots. I cut the head of the cigar and took a few pre-light draws. These sticks had a great draw, just the right amount of resistance.
So far so good, these samples produced ample amounts of smoke. The flavors I could pick up in this cigar were ground roasted coffee and a classic tobacco. I use classic tobacco as a description because the aromas this cigar produced reminded me of smelling my fathers cigars growing up, it really took me back. Along with the draw remaining perfect the burn was also great. The ash was strong, not flakey, and easily found it’s way to my ashtray where it belonged.
As I puffed my way through this cigar I didn’t really notice an major flavor changes. I did note a few peppery hits during the second third, which I would expect from a Nicaraguan cigar. The cigar continued to burn well and at this point I could safely label this as a full bodied cigar.
I wasn’t expecting much complexity in this stick and for most of the final third that’s exactly what I got. After I removed the band I started to notice a vegetable taste, and I was very confused by this until I looked at other cigars in the box and the pictures I had taken. It’s then that I noticed an abundant amount of glue residue on the wrapper from the band and about a half inch past where the band ended. It’s then that I remembered that Torcedors (cigar rollers) us a glue like substance made from vegetable byproducts to hold the wrapper leaf together and that this same substance is also often used to attach the two ends of the band. So I feel confident that I can explain the vegetable taste as just being an over usage of the glue like substance during the rolling and banding process.
Like I said earlier, my wallet demands a few good daily go to cigars, and the Don Barreto fits the bill. The flavors are rich with coffee and classic tobacco, and the room aroma is pleasant. The sticks I sampled for this review all burned well and the ash didn’t make a mess all over my shirt, which is great if you’re like me and enjoy a good lunch time cigar while at work. I’m not sure if the glue residue issue is a common, but since it only effected the last inch of the cigar I don’t believe it was a big issue. I’d recommend this cigar to anyone that’s shopping on a budget and suggest you buy a box. A 25 count box will only set you back approximately $50.00, and who can argue with an everyday cigar at that price.