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Cigar Review: Wunder|Lust Gran Toro

28 Sep 2020

Two of the best cigars I smoked in 2013 were Abaddon and Ouroboros, both of which are exclusives made by Skip Martin’s RoMa Craft Tobac for Blue Havana, a Chicago tobacconist. So when I read that Martin said, “in a lot of ways, [Abaddon and Ouroboros are] like the American version of the Wunder|Lust,” I knew I had to get my hands on some.

That’s easier said than done. Wunder|Lust, introduced in 2016, is made for—and exclusive to—retailers in Germany (the German prefix wunder means “wonder,” and the name also plays off the concept of wanderlust). But when I recently found a stateside RoMa sampler that included several Wunder|Lust cigars, I jumped at the chance.

Made at the NicaSueño factory in Estelí, the Wunder|Lust recipe includes a Brazilian mata fina wrapper, an Indonesian besuki binder, and undisclosed filler. There are five sizes, each packaged in boxes of 40: Robusto, Petit Belicoso, Gran Corona, Fiorella, and Gran Toro.

The later measures 6 inches long with a ring gauge of 52 and, depending on the exchange rate, retails for just under $11 (€9.25 in Germany). It has a handsome, understated light blue band over a white ring. Underneath is an oily wrapper with a well-executed cap and a firm feel throughout. While there are a couple prominent veins creating some minor wrinkles and lumps, there’s not enough to merit calling the cigar rustic. Once the cap is clipped, the cold draw is moderately stiff. At the foot, the pre-light notes remind me of cinnamon raisin bread.

After establishing an even light with a few wooden matches, I find a dry, medium-bodied introductory profile with bready, oaky notes and a white pepper spice. Background flavors include espresso and cinnamon.

As the first third turns into the second, RoMa Craft devotees who are used to Nicaraguan power might be surprised as the cigar retreats a bit in terms of strength. There is no retreat in taste, though. The aforementioned flavors still shine through but are now accented by subtle, Cuban-esque floral notes. This makes for a delightful, incredibly tasty experience, and one that remains largely unchanged until the finale.

The physical properties—while not perfect—in no way interfere with my enjoyment of the Gran Toro. The burn requires no touch-ups or relights, but it is also prone to some uneven meandering. The white ash holds firm off the foot, the draw is smooth, and the smoke production is about average.

I will resist the temptation to compare and contrast this with Abaddon or Ouroboros. My memory—and a re-read of the reviews I wrote seven years ago—seem to suggest this is a very different cigar, though one that’s equally enjoyable for different reasons. I’m a fan, and I’m glad I went out of my way to procure some Wunder|Lust; I suggest you do the same. The Wunder|Lust Gran Toro is worthy of a rating of four and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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