Team Cigar Review: Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

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Cigar Details: Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • Length: 5.75″
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Cameroon
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Dominican Andullo, Corojo, Criollo ’98, Nicaraguan Condega Ligero and Viso Condega
  • Factory: La Aurora
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $16.75
  • Release Date: November 2023
  • Source: Developing Palates

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

Aaron: About 80% of the Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro is covered pre-light, with a primary band that is white and gold and has the company name and it is on top of a parchment paper type sleeve that runs all the way to the foot. The sleeve is green and gold with a repeating leaf design. Above the primary band is a band that has all of the cigar info on it such as company, line, sub-line, tobacco and rolling dates along with blend and factory info. The sleeve and primary band slide off together, revealing a wrapper that is medium brown with some decently raised veins. The seams are smooth and the caps well applied. The aroma from the wrapper is cedar and light earth while the foot brings cedar and raisin. The pre-light draw brings airy cedar and stewed fruit along with a mild spiciness on my lips.
Seth: Once you take off all the bands you have a solid looking cigar. Dark Natural wrapper with minor veins throughout. Firm in texture, the Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro is rolled well. Aromas of sweet cream, soft earth, sweet tobacco, faint cherries and chocolate. Warm spices as well.
John: The Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro comes in cellophane and does not have a UPC code. It has a plastic sheath over roughly two thirds of the cigar, with the secondary band over top. The secondary band indicating Don Doroteo 1920 slides off with the sheath, and the primary band remains. On the primary band are details regarding the tobacco vintages as well as the tobacco types and the factory information. I weighed the cigar at 20.1 grams, and measured the humidity at 60.6% with the HumidiMeter Pro. For aromas, I am getting a rich, sweet tobacco with stewed raisin background notes off the wrapper. Out of the foot, I am picking out a bright fruit, almost a raspberry sweetness from the foot.
Jiunn: The Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro has a lot of bandage covering up the cigar. Pulling back the sleeve reveals a uniform oily Colorado wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head is well wrapped and capped. Pre-light aromas consist of heavy barnyard and creamy toasted nuts.

Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

First Third

Aaron: The cigar begins with lightly toasted cedar, creamy chalkiness and mild black pepper. At a half inch in, the black pepper is showing a long finish. The retrohale is toasted cedar, creamy chalkiness and mildly zingy black pepper. As the third comes to a close, the toasted cedar is slightly ahead of the creamy chalkiness while the black pepper is a fair amount behind. The strength was slightly below medium.
Seth: The first third starts out with a muddled flavor of soft earth, tobacco, wood, sweet spices and cocoa. I would classify the cigar as being medium in strength and body.
John: A creamy tobacco starts the first third with a moss, wood and earth combination on the finish. Spices join the finish after a few puffs at light plus strength. Those spices evolve into a pepper and move up to medium strength as the first third continues. A light plus sweetness eventually comes through at the end of the draw to offset the pepper. A stewed, dark fruit sweetness moves into the retrohale, and brings with it a toasted earth and pepper finish. The pepper recedes to a light plus and finds a balance with the sweetness, both lingering on the post draw. Sweet wood joins the post draw as the first third continues to develop.
Jiunn: The first third’s flavor profile presents an overall muted experience. The flavors of dried red pepper spice, leather tannins and toasted nuts all taste fine, but I’m hoping it’ll be fuller. Retrohaling helps with that by giving more spice. The finish is short with lingering tannins and cedar. Strength and body is medium.

Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

Second Third

Aaron: As the second third begins, the toasted cedar and creamy chalkiness are now even up front. The retrohale remains toasted cedar, creamy chalkiness and mildly zingy black pepper. At an inch and a quarter, the toasted cedar has become fairly dry. At an inch and a half in, the black pepper picks up a bit. As the third comes to a close, the dry, toasted cedar and creamy chalkiness are even up front, with the black pepper a bit behind. The strength bumped up to medium.
Seth: The second third is in line with the first. Soft earth with wood and sweet spices. Bits of cocoa, but a muddled flavor profile. Medium in strength and body.
John: Creamy tobacco greets me in the second third, with a mild spice and wood center and mild, dry wood finishing into the post draw. A faint stewed fruit joins the end of the puff as the second third settles in. As the cigar moves towards the halfway point, the post draw is largely defined by wood. Through the bottom half, baking spices at light plus strength define the center of the retrohale.
Jiunn: There’s greater spice influence on the second third from all manners (mouth draws, retro, finish), but the core range of flavors are still the same (dried red pepper spice, leather tannins, toasted nuts). Strength and body remains medium.

Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

Final Third

Aaron: As the final third begins, the toast level becomes pretty heavy. At a half inch in, the creamy chalkiness mellows a bit. The retrohale is now toasted cedar and creamy chalkiness with mellow black pepper. At three quarters of an inch in, some wood bitterness joins the profile. At an inch in, the wood bitterness transitions to a vegetal bitterness. As the cigar wraps up, the heavily toasted cedar is just ahead of the creamy chalkiness with black pepper a bit behind and vegetal bitterness in the background. The strength remained at medium.
Seth: Final third was right in line with the first and second thirds. No change. Tobacco, earth, faint spices and wood.
John: Creamy wood is my initial flavor impression with a sharper, tannic wood at almost medium strength through the finish and post draw. The profile remains stable until the halfway point, where earth comes into the end of the draw and lingers between puffs. Not long after, pepper teams up with the earth. The wood continues to become more tannic through the bottom half, driving the flavors.
Jiunn: The final third shows no flavor changes from the second third. Still the same muted combination of dried red pepper spice, leather tannins and toasted nuts. The strength does ramp up to a medium-full, while the body remains medium.

Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

Burn

Aaron: The burn was straight through the first two thirds and then became a bit wavy in the final third. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.
Seth: Very good burn from start to finish.
John: The burn was straight through the review with nothing to remark on.
Jiunn: Burn performance was perfect. Even burn, ample smoke production, tight ashes and cool burning temperature.

Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

Draw

Aaron: The draw was perfect, with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.
Seth: Perfect draw from beginning to end.
John: The draw started out quite resistant, roughly 3-1/2 to 4 notches into the resistant spectrum. I made a second cut and the cigar was 2-1/2 to 3 notches into the resistant spectrum. As the first third settled in, the cigar opened to 1-1/2 to 2 notches into the resistant spectrum.
Jiunn: Draw performance was on point, providing the ideal balance between air flow and resistance.

Overall

Aaron: The cigar began with lightly toasted cedar, creamy chalkiness and mild black pepper. The second third saw the toasted cedar become fairly dry. The final third saw the toast level become heavy and a wood bitterness joined in that then transitioned to vegetal bitterness. The Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro had an average flavor profile throughout. A pretty basic flavor profile that was a bit mundane with little transitioning until the final third when the bitterness joined in. This felt like a pretty paint by numbers blend out of La Aurora and I didn’t feel like I got much Andullo influence. Not a cigar I’d come back to, but we’ll see how the Angular version does.
Seth: I wrote this conclusion the day after I smoked this cigar, and I’ve already forgotten it. I did not care for the Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro. The blend was lacking and did not mesh. It was not offensive, but there was not much there. I enjoyed the aroma, but other than that I was not getting anything out of this cigar. Price really hurts too.
John: The Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro delivered some engaging and interesting flavor combinations through the first third, and was pleasant for the remainder of the review while lacking a lot of the dynamic character that was initially present. The burn was perfect, while the draw started out fairly resistant and finally settled into slightly into the resistant spectrum. I’m glad I had the opportunity to smoke and review the Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro, but I don’t think this is a cigar I would be likely to revisit. The total smoking time was 2 hours and 3 minutes.
Jiunn: This Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro was a decent introduction to the brand. The flavor profile, although non offensive, was lacking in complexities and depth. The flavors were good, but it needed to be deeper and fuller. I look forward to trying the Dominican Corojo version. This version I will pass on.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
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GoodFirst
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Average
AverageSecond
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Average
AverageFinal
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Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnAmazingBurnAmazing
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Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$2.96

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$2.96

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.95

Cost/Point

$2.82

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$2.91

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro

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