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Stogie Reviews: Don Kiki Brown Label Toro

27 Aug 2007

From the company that brings us such lines as La Carolina and J.L. Salazar comes the Don Kiki Brown Label. Like others in the Cuban Crafters portfolio, these sticks are “made in small batches with attention to each and every detail” from Cuban seed tobacco. The operation is run by Cubans like Kiki who fled the island in search of freedom to produce their own cigars.

Don Kiki Brown Label ToroThe Toro is a six inch by 52 ring gauge stogie that’s six years in the making. Cuban Crafters makes no secret of the fact that they spend three years selecting and curing the best leaves, then another three aging them.

The product is attractive. The sun-grown criollo wrapper is light brown with a rugged, almost sandy feel; in contrast, the gold and brown band is flashy and metallic.

At the amazing price of less than $2 apiece when bought by the box, the cigar is advertised as well-balanced with floral notes of licorice, spice, earth, toasted nuts, and cocoa – much fuller than the White Label. Before lighting my first Brown up, I remember thinking, “If this sub-$2 stogie packs all those flavors, I’m going to have a new favorite everyday smoke.”

With a 2007 rating of 9.4/10 in Smoke Magazine, I was hoping that would be the case. Fortunately, I wouldn’t be disappointed.

The taste begins on the spicy side with prominent notes of clove and graham. Other flavors of leather and earth are quick to join in, rendering a taste that’s fitting for the cigar’s look.

Halfway though, notes of sweet chocolate are also introduced, making the flavors I’m able to pick out – with the exception of licorice – not unlike those that are advertised. Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy, but the bottom line is all 10 or 15 of the toros I’ve smoked in the past few months have been very well-balanced.

The physical properties of this one hour and 20 minute smoke are also favorable. Expect a strong, tightly layered white ash with a loose draw that produces lots of smoke. While the burn starts a bit uneven, it quickly straightens itself out. The only drawback is its inability to perform well in windy conditions, a slight flaw that’s true of most cigars.

In all, this cigar is nothing short of amazing – especially when you consider the incredible complexity versus the bargain price. For tremendous value, I give the Don Kiki Brown Label Toro four and ½ out of five stogies.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here. To purchase this cigar from a affiliate, click here.]

Patrick A


17 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Don Kiki Brown Label Toro”

  1. Alex Monday, August 27, 2007 at 9:41 am #

    I bought a box of these some time ago and really enjoyed them. Like Patrick says, they're full of flavor and easy on the wallet. Who wouldn't like that?

  2. Randolph Monday, August 27, 2007 at 11:20 am #

    Wow! At that price, I’d be impressed if the stogie is half as good as you’ve described…

  3. Cigar Jack Monday, August 27, 2007 at 11:44 am #

    I’ve been hearing quite a bit about the Cuban Crafters cigars and really need to pick some up.

  4. Hussein Roshdy Thursday, September 13, 2007 at 9:43 am #

    Very good cigar, but take care also very heavy. It blew my heads off for a whole day.

  5. Craig Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    As i sit here on my deck watching a beautiful midwest sunset, I chose to light up my first D/K Limited Reserve Brown Label Toro from a box I purchased about 2 weeks ago. Unless something goes dramatically wrong in the next 30-45 minutes I am going to have to say Patrick called it right. So far, over 2/3 of the way through I am enjoying great flavors, ample smoke and fine performance. It's a bit on the windy side but I am have no burn issues. Nice tight white-grey ash. I will add that this smoke seems to go well with the Tawny Port I am sipping as well. All the best to you…light 'em up!

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