20 Oct 2008
It’s been six weeks since I reviewed a pre-release Medina 1959 Robusto, a creamy smoke with undertones of spice and plenty of mild complexity. And since this week marks the limited edition blend’s launch on Cuban Crafters’ website, I thought it appropriate to celebrate with an examination of another vitola.
For those of you who don’t remember, Medina 1959 was created to be the Miami-based boutique manufacturer’s crown jewel. To me that says a lot, especially since Cuban Crafters already makes plenty of excellent, under-priced sticks, including Cupido, J.L. Salazar, Don Kiki (Brown and White), La Carolina, and Cameroon.
The idea behind the premium line is to create a pre-Castro stogie (hence 1959) made by masters who have cigar experience in Cuba. The five vitolas, therefore, will be handmade in Miami by Cuban expatriates under the supervision of Manuel Medina, formerly of the H. Upmann and Davidoff factories in Cuba. “All the rollers are Cuban-born cigar makers that came over, some very recently,” says Alberto Noguera, Cuban Crafters’ national sales director. “There are a few that worked for Medina in the H. Upmann factory in Cuba.”
Like the Robusto, the beautiful 6.5 inch by 54 ring gauge Torpedo features a smooth, virtually vein-free Cuban-seed Sumatra wrapper and Cuban-seed habano long-filler. While there was some question about what Cuban Crafters means by “extremely aged tobacco” in my last review, this time I know more details: The wrapper is aged for five years, and the binder and filler for six.
After clipping through the neat, sharply pointed cap, prelight hints of sweet hay and field grass come into focus. The Torpedo starts milder and creamier than the Robusto, developing the same toast and cream profile but with a more diluted onion spice. Balanced by a dry oak flavor, a butterscotch sweetness joins in after the first third.
The rest of the cigar slides from mild- to medium-bodied for the remainder of the 100-minute experience. That enjoyable foray is complemented by superior physical properties that can match any stick on the market.
After smoking six Torpedos for this review, I can confidently say this vitola is just as soothing and delicately delicious as the Robusto. Fans of milder tobacco should not let the $9.20 per cigar MSRP impede them from at least trying the Cuban Crafters Medina 1959 Torpedo. I give it four and a half stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys