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Stogie Reviews: José Carlos Habano Toro

23 Nov 2009

José Carlos Habano ToroThis summer, I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Davies at the IPCPR Trade Show in New Orleans. He was in town to debut his first cigars, the result of years spent scouring Central America for quality land and tobacco.

One of the first things I asked Davies was why he settled on the name “José Carlos Cigars.” He told me the story of how, during his exploits in Nicaragua, he met an orphan named José Carlos whose parents had abandoned him for a better life in America.

“What I saw in that young man was amazing…Not a bitter, angry, or mischievous boy, but a happy, well-mannered, polite little man,” writes Davies on his website. “That young man gave me the inspiration to find a way to manufacture excellent quality cigars in a very difficult environment.”

Genuinely thankful for his blessings and intent on giving back to the orphaned children in Nicaragua, Davies built the foundation for his premium boutique cigars in Estelí. “My philosophy is simple: Do things right, not fast,” he says.

His new lineup of cigars, grown on land tested by the Nicaraguan Agriculture University with limited amounts of fertilizers, is a result of those efforts. It is offered in three different wrappers: Connecticut, Corojo, and Habano.

The six inch by 52 ring gauge Habano Toro has a smooth, reddish Nicaraguan sungrown exterior leaf with only a few skinny veins. It is impressively firm to the touch and the draw pulls through with moderate effort.

After toasting the foot, pre-light notes of sweet sawdust give way to a medium-bodied flavor of oak, cream, and cereals. A good amount of spice is also present—especially on the finish—that tastes of dry cedar and black pepper.

The overall effect is a classic habano taste from beginning to nub with hints of sweetness.

With a solid white ash and a straight burn, the physical properties are excellent. And, like a well-made cigar should, this Toro smokes slowly, taking almost two hours to complete.

Currently, information on price and availability of José Carlos Cigars is hard to come by. But if you love traditional-tasting habanos with top-notch construction, seek this blend out. The impressive Habano Toro earns four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: José Carlos Habano Toro”

  1. Padronnie Monday, November 23, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    Where can I find these? No retailers are listed on their website. I would buy a 5-pack based on this review.

  2. Matthew Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 8:01 am #

    Thanks for the review fellas; I've got a 3 pack of these and look forward to seeing how they smoke–they sound great.

  3. Peter brown Friday, August 1, 2014 at 7:23 am #

    This cigar is just started off with a nice sweet corojo taste combined with earth and slight pepper notes. It had a nice highly spiced tobacco smell which I like most.