16 Jul 2014
About one year ago, Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars and House of Emilio—his umbrella of the “best of the boutiques”—announced a new partnership with Bodega Premium Blends (BPB). “BPB offers cigars that embody the company’s passion and commitment to the ‘cigar experience,’” reads the BPB website. “Our philosophy is to capture how and when people enjoy cigars and reflect this essence in our blends.”
BPB has four founders headed by Gino Domanico, who serves as president and social media guru (@Cigar_G). The founders do not hide from the fact they weren’t born of cigar lineage. “Their blending pedigree stems from passion and vision, not birth right,” says their website. “Maybe it’s their busy family lives, or the harshness of their northern climate, but the guys at BPB understand the value of time and the relevance of the cigar experience.”
BPB’s cigars include Reunión Aperitivo—a Habano Claro-wrapped, three-vitola line that’s intended to be smoked before a meal—and Reunión Digestivo. The latter, as you’ve likely guessed, is intended to be a bolder, post-meal smoke. Also offered in three sizes, it has a Mexican wrapper around a proprietary binder and fillers of Nicaraguan origin.
The Reunión Digestivo Toro (6 x 52) costs about $10 per single. It’s a heavy, oily cigar with rich pre-light notes of raisin and a firm packing of tobaccos. The exterior is dark and silky, and the cap is applied neatly. The cold draw is moderately firm with some spice on the lips.
Once underway, a spicy, leathery profile of black pepper, espresso, and dry wood emerges. The texture is thick and meaty, and the spice-centric aftertaste lingers on the tip of the tongue. As the Toro progresses, background notes of raisin, dried apricot, and sweet earth come and go. The body is medium to medium-full with a moderate nicotine kick. Down the stretch, a sour meatiness becomes more apparent. A background sweetness—which BPB attributes to a longer fermentation process—keeps things interesting.
The Toro’s physical properties do not detract from the flavor it offers. The gray ash holds well off the foot, and the burn is straight and true. At times, though, the draw can be a little stiff, and the smoke production can be a little stingy.
In all, the BPB Reunión Digestivo Toro is a nice smoke that, frankly, I’d be more excited about in the $6-8 range. I think $10 is asking a lot when you consider the many outstanding smokes that can be had at that cost. That said, this is a respectable after-dinner companion that isn’t so spicy or strong it would drown out a full-bodied red like a Cabernet or Bordeaux. For that, I award it three and a half stogies out of five.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys