4 Jan 2012
In December, I reviewed the Habano Oscuro from the reinvented Tiant Cigar Group, and I was impressed. I later received an email from Daniel Tiant who was prodding me to try the Habano Rosado blend since, in his words, it has more complexity than the Oscuro.
Daniel is the son of Cuban-born baseball legend Luis Tiant, known to many simply as “El Tiante.” Tiant launched his own line of cigars in 2007 (around the time of the 25th anniversary of his final major league game) and only recently unveiled the two new blends that serve as the cornerstone of the company’s reintroduction: Habano Oscuro and Habano Rosado. Each is made at Don Pepin Garcia’s My Father Cigars Factory with Ecuadorian-seed wrappers and Nicaraguan binders and fillers.
Why scratch the company’s original creations and launch two entirely new blends? “I wanted a more serious image with our cigar company, and that is the reason we recreated our cigar bands, boxes, and overall presentation,” Daniel told me.
Both new blends come in four vitolas that retail for $6.80 to $8.60 apiece: Pyramid (6 x 52), Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 50), and Toro Gordo (6 x 60). They are sold mostly in the New England area, including shops in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, but are also available at several locales in Florida. Daniel is looking to expand distribution nationwide.
The Habano Rosado Toro has a nice triple-cap, a firm feel in the hand, and a clean, silky exterior leaf. The pre-light aroma is mostly earthy with a touch of sweet cocoa. The maroon band is easily removed and the cold draw has just the right amount of resistance.
Where the Habano Oscuro starts with a chary, chewy Nicaraguan zing, the Habano Rosado has a jasmine-like floral taste with notes of toast, cinnamon spice, and a toffee sweetness on the finish. This is an entirely different cigar with a more medium-bodied profile (the Oscuro is a bold, full-bodied smoke). Still, the spiciness makes it no pushover, and the complexity makes it quite interesting.
As the straight burn line works down the cigar and the white ash builds off the foot, I notice that the resting smoke has a pronounced sweetness. I also notice that the taste of the cigar mellows halfway through with some of the spice giving way to more sweet notes. The overall balance of the profile from this point to the end is how I will remember the Toro, and perhaps the main reason why I look forward to smoking more of this blend.
Now I can see why Daniel prefers the Habano Rosado to the Habano Oscuro. I’d have to agree with him, giving the Rosado a slight edge over its partner in crime and awarding it four stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys