Team Cigar Review: Micallef Connecticut Toro

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Cigar Details: Micallef Connecticut Toro

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Micallef
  • Blender: Joel Gómez Sanchez
  • Price: $10.00
  • Release Date: February 2019
  • Source: Micallef

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Micallef Connecticut Toro is light brown and has some veins visible that are well pressed, but some raised areas where the veins from the binder protrude and have a darker color. The seams are smooth and very well blended while the triple cap has the top cap lifting in a couple of areas. The band is the traditional design for the brand and this line has a bright red color at the bottom and designates Connecticut. The aroma from the wrapper is sweet, dry hay while the foot brings a more robust version of the same components along with a light spiciness. The pre-light draw brings a nice aged cedar along with a mid-level spiciness on my lips and tip of my tongue.

Pre-light Experience

The Micallef Connecticut Toro indicates “Connecticut” on the band, which as a reviewer who has had to decipher unlabelled cigars before, is very much appreciated. The wrapper is silky smooth, and tan in color. Nosing the wrapper, I was able to get some sweetness, bread, light wood and a toasted sweetness, almost creme brulee, underneath. From the foot, there was a sweet plum, cola sweetness and wood.

Pre-light Experience

The Micallef Connecticut Toro comes with your fairly standard Colorado Claro Ecuadorian Connecticut shade. Veins well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even but on the firmer side and head finished off with a well wrapped cap. Aromas from the wrapper give strong cedar, hay and baking spices. Aromas from the foot tell roasted nuts, minerals and baking spices. Cold draw gives nuts and hay.

First Third

The cigar begins with toasted oak and light black pepper. At a quarter inch in, while the black pepper is still at a light level, it has a heavy finish as it lingers at the back of my throat. At a half inch in, the black pepper picks up a bit as a faint creaminess joins the profile. The retrohale begins with a black pepper kick and then finishes with musty oak. At an inch in, the creaminess has transitioned to a slightly fuller mustiness. As the third comes to a close, the toasted oak is up from with the black pepper and mustiness slightly behind. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

Initial draws have a very clean finish, with the profile being sweet creaminess, and a light wood to finish. On the post draw, sweetness mixed with wood, again at a light level. As the cigar progresses, graham cracker shows up on the retrohale, as baking spices join the post draw. Wood and graham cracker settled into the middle of the profile. Later, some dry wood joins the post draw, and then mild hay.

First Third

There are two main flavors within the first third. One, a sour citrus and the other cedar. Past that, slight leather and nuts. Retrohaling is by far the best part because the profile gives more depth. Flavors of baking spices and toast accompanies the sour citrus and cedar. The finish is namely a soft cedar. Strength and body medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the black pepper is now even with the toasted oak while the mustiness is just slightly behind. At three quarters of an inch in, a light dry earth joins the profile. The retrohale maintains the zingy black pepper start with a musty oak finish. At an inch and a half, the toasted oak and dry earth are even up front while the mustiness is right behind and the black pepper is now in the background with a long finish. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.

Second Third

Creamy cedar that finishes with baking spices as the second third kicks off. Slightly bitter cedar makes up the post draw. As the second third settles in, dry cedar joins the profile. In the bottom half of the second third, mild chocolate comes through.

Second Third

The second third’s profile maintains the overall sour citrus and cedar, but now adds bitterness and tannins especially present on the finish. Retrohaling is still the best part mainly because I’m not getting the flavors off the mouth draws and finish. Strength and body remains medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the toasted oak, dry earth and mustiness are all even while the black pepper remains in the background with a long finish. At three quarters of an inch in, the dry earth falls slightly behind the toasted oak and mustiness while the black pepper becomes pretty faint. The retrohale now starts with the dry earth and finishes with the musty oak. At an inch and a half in, some char replaces the toasted note on the oak. The strength in this third bumped up to medium-full.

Final Third

Creamy cedar and a dry wood finish going into the last third, with dry cedar coming into the post draw on a delay. As the cigar settles in, cedar becomes the primary flavor component for the remainder of the third.

Final Third

The final third takes a bigger dive for the worse. The bitterness and tannins mixed with sour citrus and cedar intensifies, sitting very heavy on the palate. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn line was perfect throughout. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

The burn is relatively straight for the entire smoking experience. Ash holds on well up to 1-1/2 inches at times.

Burn

The burn performance was spot on. Tight ashes, even burn and cool burning temperature.

Draw

The draw was perfect, with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar began with toasted oak and light black pepper. A light creaminess joined and later transitioned to a fuller mustiness. The second third saw some dry earth join and the final third saw some char replace the toasted note as the cigar came to a close. The construction was perfect and the strength built from slightly above medium to medium-full. The Micallef Connecticut Toro had a nice start, with a good combination of flavors. The second third saw the enjoyment level drop a bit as the black pepper played more of a role, and that enjoyment level remained through the end of the cigar. This is definitely a punchier and fuller strength Connecticut shade. It also provides none of the traditional components of hay or bitterness. I’d be up for this cigar from time to time when I’m looking for a fuller bodied and strength Connecticut. If you’re not a fan of the milder type Connecticut shades, then this might be one that fits what you’re looking for.

Draw

The draw has some slight resistance to it, at most 1 notch.

Overall

The Micallef Connecticut Toro is a pleasant Connecticut Shade blend that offers some interesting complexity in the first third. For the second and last third, the profile is fairly consistent with most Connecticut Shade cigars. While the first third was interesting, and the construction was impeccable, the overall experience didn’t make for a standout from the myriad of other Connecticut Shades that are on the market. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 52 minutes.

Draw

The draw was also top notch, providing the ideal air flow.

Overall

This was an average experience. While the technical performance of the burn and draw was flawless, I can’t say the same for the flavor profile. One of the setbacks of Ecuador Connecticut Shade is the sour and bitter notes. It needs to be carefully blended out or else these notes can dominate the palate in an unpleasant manner. This is exactly what happened for me. Past the sour and bitterness, there wasn’t much else to get out of the Micallef Connecticut Toro. I guess I am now one for two on Micallef.

Aaron
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Average
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Average
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Subpar
AmazingBurnAmazingBurnAmazing
AmazingDrawAmazingDrawAmazing
AverageOverallAverageOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.10

Cost/Point

$1.64

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.10

Cost/Point

$1.64

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.40

Cost/Point

$1.85

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Micallef Connecticut Toro
Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Micallef Connecticut Toro

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