16 Feb 2009
With a winkled texture, a soft feel, and a few green splotches, I had every reason to be leery of this relatively unknown cigar when I removed it from a Bravo five-pack that was labeled “100% pure gold.” But this Colombian puro—that’s right, Colombian puro—made a real believer out of me.
Blended by Roberto Juarez and Antonio de Jesus, this series is one of five puro blends made by Bravo in the Andean mountain range of Colombia, “the same location as some of the world’s finest coffee beans.” It features an Ecuadoran-seed wrapper, a Connecticut-inspired binder, and a filler with Cuban ancestry.
Handmade by artisans at the Duran Factory in Santander, Colombia, the six inch by 50 ring gauge Toro has a flat, hastily applied cap and a shade-grown look. It sells for about $5 apiece when bought by the box from select retailers. I’ve wanted to try this particular vitola ever since our friends at Keepers of the Flame named it one of the best mild cigars of 2008.
Based on appearance, I was preparing myself for disappointment. This cigar, however, serves as a fine example of why you can’t judge a stogie by looks alone.
After touching flame to the tobacco, the prelight notes of delicate hay give way to a mild taste of cream, toast, and traces of spice. The flavor builds after the first inch to take on oak, vanilla, and honey characteristics.
Where many cigars are bold and boisterous, this Bravo is subtle and patiently delectable. The profile is particularly intriguing, allowing the smoker to discover the complexity on his own instead of hitting him over the head with it.
With an all-around fantastic burn, a well-behaved ash, and a good draw, the experience stays enjoyable to the nub. I noticed little increase in spice and no harshness in the two Toros I sampled.
It’s safe to say I am pleasantly surprised by this mild treat and its uncompromisingly gentle yet intricate aroma. Maybe there’s something about Colombian tobacco. Or maybe the folks over at Bravo really know how to develop excellent cigars. Either way, the Colombian Gold Toro is worthy of four and a half stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys