Cheap Ash: Don Barreto Toro Flaco


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
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
MSRP: $2.00


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.

First Third

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.

Second Third

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.


Last Third

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.



Final Thoughts

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.

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Love the “Cheap Ash” idea. Great review.

Chris, do you know if this is nationally available or at least found on an internet retailer’s site?

Good review, thanks!


I just ran a quick search and found that Famous Smoke no longer sells these. Dang, I was thinking about getting some more myself. If I find another retailer I’ll be sure to let you know. Thanks for visiting the site.

Cool, thanks. Hit me on Twitter if you ever find them.

Keep up the great work guys!

i had just smoked a don barreto and was looking to see where i could find one when i came across your critique. i have yet to find anyone who sells them. where can i get them?

I just ordered a box from famous smoke. A box of robustos was $57.50 before a site coupon of $10.00. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a $47.50 box of cigars. I hope they don’t disappoint.

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