20 Sep 2007
Tiant’s cigars are all made at the Tabacalera Tambor cigar factory in Nicaragua. The El Tiante Maduro line features Habano Nicaragua and San Andreas Mexican filler, with a Mexican Sumatran binder and a Habano Nicaragua wrapper. (The natural line features the same Habano Nicaragua tobacco in the filler and wrapper, but instead uses an Indonesian binder and drops the San Andreas tobacco from the blend.)
The line features three sizes: a five inch by 50 ring gauge robusto, a seven inch by 50 ring gauge Churchill, and a six inch by 54 ring gauge torpedo, which is the subject of this review. The red and gold band features Tiant in his number Red Sox uniform just about to unwind from his famously contorted pitching motion.
Wrapped in the shiny gold band, the cigar’s fairly oily maduro wrapper is attractive with only a few small veins. To the touch, the classically proportioned torpedo is firm and not at all spongy. After clipping the end, I took a draw before lighting up and found floral and grass flavors. In my mouth the wrapper imparted plum flavors and it was salty.
Once lit, I found a subtle mix of multiple tastes, including apricot and plum fruit, grass, and classic maduro sweetness. The draw is deliberate but not forced, and the cigar produces ample amounts of light aromatic smoke.
In our interview Luis told me he “wanted my cigars to be mild and smooth with lots of flavor.” Usually I find such claims to be overstated, but I must say this truly was the rare milder cigar that had a rich, complex flavor. Although I wouldn’t strictly classify this cigar as “mild” – rather more mild- to medium-bodied.
In addition to the “mild but flavorful” tastes, the cigar had an unimposing cedary finish that lingered only for a few seconds. Construction wise, the burn was fairly even and, while I would have liked the ash to hold a bit longer, it wasn’t a big distraction while smoking.
Overall, I found myself really enjoying these cigars, probably because of how many cigars I’ve smoked that claimed to be “mild but with lots of flavor” but failed to live up to the billing.
Retailing for around $7 each, this cigar isn’t exactly a bargain, but it certainly doesn’t seem like too much to pay for the unique taste – something far too rare in today’s cigar industry in my opinion.
For bucking the trend towards ever stronger cigars without dulling down the flavor, the El Tiante Maduro Torpedo earns an impressive rating of four out of five stogies.
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