29 Apr 2015
Not long after The Bull was released nationwide, my colleague reviewed this cigar and awarded it a four-stogie rating. Flash forward to about a week ago, when I found a stash of Robustos in my humidor, each begging to be smoked from beneath yellowed cellophane.
The Bull was originally distributed by the parent company of Cigars International, but last spring was joined by the rest of the San Lotano lines offered through A.J. Fernandez’s regular distribution channels. It’s marketed as a bolder (and more expensive) alternative to the popular San Lotano blends.
The Bull features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper around Nicaraguan tobaccos that were grown on A.J. Fernandez’s farms. Four box-pressed sizes are available: Toro (6 x 54), Torpedo (6.5 x 54), Gordo (6 x 60), and Robusto (5 x 54).
The latter retails for about $10 and sports a dark, velvety exterior with thin veins beneath a cedar sleeve. Each of my three samples had a few bumps and tears in the wrapper, which is frankly a little annoying given the premium price tag. The pre-light notes remind me of sweet milk chocolate an oak.
On the palate, The Bull Robusto is full-bodied from the get-go with notes of espresso bean, black pepper spice, and a sensation I can only describe as Nicaraguan zing. The texture is thick and leathery. Ligero strength is evident, as is a taste of sweet cream that helps offset the dark, rich flavors in the foreground.
In my colleague’s review from April 2014, he wrote, “The Bull lives up to its billing as a more powerful smoke, while maintaining an inviting, smooth balance.” I wholeheartedly agree. While the Robusto is bold in taste and strength, the cigar is nevertheless approachable. Credit its balance. As The Bull progresses, tastes of cream, peanut, and sweet cedar prevent the profile from becoming too one-sided.
True to the A.J. Fernandez reputation, I have no qualms with this cigar’s combustion qualities. It burns like a champ and smokes like a chimney. Expect a straight burn line, solid ash, clear draw, and above-average smoke production.
Yes, by most standards $10 is a considerable sum for a five-inch stick. But if you crave flavor, strength, and also balance, The Bull Robusto is worth every penny. I concur with my colleague in awarding it four stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys