Last month I reviewed the Atabey Ritos, a cigar sent to me by Barry Stein. Many of you know Barry as the founder (and former proprietor of) A Cigar Smoker, a former employee of Miami Cigar & Co., and a current employee of the New Hampshire-based Two Guys Smoke Shop, a chain of cigar retailers.
These days Barry is also doing some marketing for United Cigar, an outfit that “works with top cigar manufacturers throughout the world to create unique cigars built exclusively for the premium cigar retailer.” Among United Cigar’s other brands are Bandolero, Byron, Fleur de la Reine, La Gianna, and Garofalo.
The latter is named for David Garofalo, a Bostonian “who has spent over 30 years as a cigar retailer and is obsessed with cigars” (he’s the owner of Two Guys Smoke Shop and hosts a weekly radio show with Barry Stein). It is a four-vitola line—Robusto (5 x 50), Torpedo (5 x 54), Toro (6 x 52), and Churchill (7 x 50)—made in Estelí by Nick Perdomo to celebrate David’s 50th birthday.
The recipe includes a golden Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper around a Nicaraguan binder and a blend of three Nicaraguan fillers. “The finished cigar has been sitting in aging rooms for a minimum of six full months to marry the blend until it has reached optimum flavor,” according to the United Cigar website. “The flavor is rich and rewarding while elegant and refined.”
The Robusto, which retails for $6.79, features a triple-cap, a firm feel, and a clean exterior with only a few noticeable veins. For such an innocent-looking smoke, the pre-light notes are extremely pungent. I find aromas of hay, hickory, and syrup off the foot. Once clipped, the cap exhibits a moderately smooth cold draw.
After setting an even light, the first few puffs of the Robusto are predominantly nutty and slightly grassy. There’s also a chocolaty background with hints of caramel and a soft peppery spice. The body is mild to medium, and the aftertaste is short and sweet. Towards the midway point, some of the nuttiness fades, leaving behind a flavor that verges on papery and buttery. But the final third once again witnesses an enjoyably interplay between sweet, nutty, and spice.
As for physical properties, the Garofalo Robusto performs impeccably. All three of my samples demonstrated straight burn lines, above average smoke production, and a solid white ash that holds well off the foot.
David Garofalo reportedly spent two years and hundreds of test blends to finalize this cigar. If his objective was to create an interesting mild-bodied cigar that still packs considerable flavor, I’d say he did a job well done with this five-tobacco blend. And the price point is commendable. In my book, the Garofalo Robusto earns a solid rating of three and a half stogies out of five.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys