Team Cigar Review: Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Toro

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Cigar Details: Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Toro

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Columbia
  • Factory: Las Lavas
  • Blender: Luis Cuevas, Sr.
  • Price: $12.00
  • Release Date: July 2019
  • Source: Casa Cuevas

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Toro is light brown and has some slightly raised veins. The seams are easily visible as they are lifting a bit. The head is finished off with a tightly wound pigtail cap while the foot has a half inch of binder and filler exposed. There are two bands with the primary being the standard brand design with burgundy on gold. The secondary band denotes Limited Edition and carries the same color combination. The aroma from the wrapper is a smooth mixture of leather and hay while the foot brings a combination of cherry and tobacco sweetness along with a light white pepper. The pre-light draw brings dark cherry and wood with a mid level spiciness.

Pre-light Experience

The Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Toro is beautiful in presentation. The shaggy foot and pigtail finish are perfect and I am not going to lie, I am a sucker for that look on a cigar. The cigar has a lovely Colorado wrapper and the color is this beautiful dark red clay color. There is an aroma on the foot of earth, spices, chocolate and raisins, and the wrapper is showing tobacco, wood, earth, leather and baking spice qualities.

Pre-light Experience

The Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Toro has a UPC sticker on the cellophane designed not to break when opened and leave the UPC intact. There are some interesting complications on the cigar in the form of a pigtail cap and an exposed binder at the foot. The wrapper is dark, smooth, with firmly pressed veins. There are two bands, both with similar styling. The font is gold on red, with metallic gold accents. The secondary band indicates ‘Edicion Limitada’. I’m able to pick up aromas of sweet raisin, graham cracker and cedar on the wrapper. In the foot, more intense raisin at medium plus.

Pre-light Experience

The Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Toro has a lot of flair to the cigar given it’s pigtail cap, double band and exposed binder. The wrapper is a Colorado Claro with a decent amount of oil content. Bunch and roll is even, seams are tight, veins well pressed and the cap is well wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper tell dank barnyard and cedar. Aromas from the foot give rich nuttiness and a nostril tingling black pepper. Cold draw gives a cedar and hay mixture with subtle black/white pepper spice.

First Third

The cigar begins with a combination of cedar and baking spice. When the burn hits the wrapper, an interesting floral note joins the profile. At three quarters of an inch in, some mustiness joins the cedar, baking spice and faint floral note. The retrohale carries the same profile except for the baking spice. At an inch and a quarter, a slight chalkiness joins the profile. As the third comes to a close, the cedar and mustiness are paired up front while the baking spice is slightly behind and some faint chalkiness and floral notes remain. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

Lighting up the cigar, you are greeted by the flavors of the shaggy foot. It is showing salted wood, sweet paprika, red pepper, dried fruits and leather qualities. Once the wrapper comes into play, it begins to show some sweet spice notes and it is paired with some leather, sweet floral and herbal qualities. There is a nice dried fruit and sweet tobacco finish, and it is very pleasant. I would classify the cigar as being medium-full for body and flavors, and the strength is around a medium level.

First Third

Sweet cedar, leather, with graham cracker to finish as the first third opens. Spicy cedar develops on the mid palate. Baking spices immediately present on the retrohale with lingering cedar and pepper. At the 20 minute mark, the pepper fades, leaving lingering cedar post draw with accents of graham cracker. Halfway through, light graham cracker takes over the center of the flavor profile. Sweet citrus comes through in the bottom half of the third.

First Third

The first third within the non wrapper portion creates a really great rich roasted nuttiness. Once the wrapper starts burning, the profile creates a cedar and red pepper spiciness to the profile. This is especially evident during the retrohale. The finish is a mixture of cedar and red pepper on the front and rear palate. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the profile is the same other than the floral note has gone away. The retrohale does still carry a bit of the floral note. At an inch in, the cedar, mustiness and chalkiness are at equal levels and the baking spice is gone. As the third comes to a close, the cedar has transitioned to a general wood note while the mustiness is even with it and the chalkiness is slightly behind. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Second Third

When I get into the second third of the cigar, I am finding that the sweet spice notes continue on and I am getting some rich earth and damp wood notes. The fruit notes are softer than before, but the leather is still present and the tobacco notes on the finish are just as present and enjoyable as before. The cigar is remaining at that medium level in terms of strength, and the body and flavors are still at that medium-full level.

Second Third

Cedar and graham cracker lead the profile heading into the second third. Mid profile cocoa comes through as it settles in. Citrus mixes with graham cracker at the halfway mark. Sour citrus joins the end of the draw carrying into the post draw.

Second Third

As I smoke through the second third, the flavors deepen (creamy nuttiness, spicy cedar) and adds a nice dose of minerality. Although the flavors deepen, the strength and body remains at a solid medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the musty wood remains up front while the chalkiness is now in the background. At an inch in, the mustiness is now slightly ahead of the wood while some dry earth has joined the profile. The retrohale has lightly charred wood, mustiness and dry earth. As the cigar comes to a close, it begins to heat up which brings some mintiness to the profile. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

I am in the final third of the cigar and this third shows the most transitioning in my opinion. I am picking up leather and sweet tobacco notes, and it is paired with some mineral and herbal qualities with a soft spice and red paprika finish. It is still medium in strength, and the body and flavors are at that medium-full level as well.

Final Third

Light graham cracker with cedar leading into the final third. Post draw earthiness settles in once the last third has established itself. Citrus returns shortly after on the middle profile. Cedar carries the remainder of the cigar through the third.

Final Third

The last third at times becomes a bit more mineral forward than the other notes but overall it is still a good representation of intensified notes of roasted nuttiness, spicy cedar and minerals. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn line was a little wavy throughout but never needed any attention. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

The burn on La Mandarria was great from start to finish. At no point was the burn line wavy, and while it was not perfect, it was darn close. The ash produced was a nice light gray coloring and it held on firmly from beginning to end.

Burn

The La Mandarria is slightly uneven through the exposed binder, which straightens out. The burn is uneven again heading into the second, resulting in a canoe and a touch-up. The cigar goes out in the last third requiring a re-light.

Burn

Burn performance had a good share of issues. The burn line was wavy the entire time requiring a couple major touch-ups. Further, the ashes were incredibly flaky, constantly flaking onto the ground. Other than that, the burn was cool and smoke production was ample.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The cigar began with cedar and baking spice and once the wrapper was reached, a floral note joined in. Some mustiness joined shortly thereafter. The profile settled in with musty wood and later some dry earth. Construction was pretty good and required no attention. The Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Toro had a nice start, but settled in to an average flavor profile. I liked the transition at the foot which was a nice touch. As a limited edition, I don’t think it quite lived up to the billing, but it’s a good addition to the company portfolio. The price isn’t too bad for the smoking time and flavor profile. I would smoke this again, but it’s not something I’m going to rush out to do.

Draw

Draw was fantastic from beginning to end. There was a nice little bit of resistance and it really helped in having a slow smoking experience where the flavors simply popped.

Overall

Limited Editions are meant to be special and Casa Cuevas truly delivered something special with La Mandarria. I can’t recall the last time I saw such a gap between regular production offerings and limited editions, and the Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Toro took my thoughts on Casa Cuevas to a much higher level. This was a balanced cigar that was flavorful and while there was not a dramatic level of transitioning between each third, there was some present and it helped out with the depth of the overall flavor profile. The tobacco and floral flavor notes that were present throughout was truly enjoyable and this is a cigar I would smoke quite frequently and love to see aged. I also felt that they did a great job with body and strength. It had the perfect balance and nothing was overpowered but constantly complimented by one another. Job well done!

Draw

The draw is right in the ideal range, with a half notch of resistance.

Overall

The Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Toro is a fantastic looking cigar with interesting complications on the vitola, along with a classy primary and secondary band. The first third starts out interesting with a complex balance of cedar, leather, graham cracker, pepper and citrus. That complexity doesn’t seem to hold up as those flavors either fall off or fade moving into the second third. I enjoyed the cigar experience but the overall flavors sit at just above average for me. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 3 minutes.

Draw

No issues with the draw as the air flow was perfect.

Overall

This was a nice showing by Casa Cuevas. There’s quite a lot of Ecuadorian Habano wrapped cigars in the market, so to have one that is a notch above is not an easy task. The Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Toro is able to accomplish this by having amplified and deeper flavors (creamy roasted nuttiness, spicy cedar, minerals) that keeps interest within the entire duration of the smoking experience. Well worth the limited edition tagging.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
Very GoodPre
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AmazingPre
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Good
GoodFirst
Third
Very GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
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GoodSecond
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AverageSecond
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AverageFinal
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GoodFinal
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Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnGoodBurnAverage
Very GoodDrawVery GoodDrawAmazingDrawAmazing
AverageOverallVery GoodOverallAverageOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

$2.05

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

7.63

Cost/Point

$1.57

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.90

Cost/Point

$2.03

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.87

Cost/Point

$1.75

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Toro
Seth GeiseTeam Cigar Review: Casa Cuevas La Mandarria Toro

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