Cigar Details: Ventura Archetype Initiation Toro
- Vitola: Toro
- Length: 6″
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
- Filler: Nicaraguan Habano
- Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
- Blender: Undisclosed
- Price: $11.99
- Release Date: August 2016
- Source: Ventura Cigar Co.
The wrapper is a lighter brown and has a network of veins running throughout. The seams are barely visible and very smooth. There are also three very well applied caps. Two bands on the cigar with the primary band being red, silver and black showing a winged beast. The secondary band is at the foot and is silver and displays the name of the line theme. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of leather and barnyard. The foot aroma is very interesting as it is a mix of pipe tobacco and black licorice. The pre-light draw brings a slightly less full pipe tobacco that I got from the foot aroma.
The Ventura Archetype Initiation Toro has a Colorado Claro shade wrapper. Major veins are well pressed and seams are tight but visible. Bunch and roll feels well executed giving a uniformity and no soft spots. The parejo head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. Nosing the wrapper gives strong barnyard and wet earth. Nosing the foot tells black tea and white pepper. Cold draw tells hay, dry wood and a hint of baking spices.
Initial draws bring a very mellow aged wood note, both in the mouth and retrohale and the smoke is very thin. At a quarter inch in, things pick up as the profile becomes fuller and the smoke thicker. At half an inch in, a very subtle baking spice is present in the background while the aged wood has gained a creamy component. As the third comes to a close, the cigar continues with the creamy aged wood and subtle baking spice. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.
First third starts with a mixture of aged dry wood, white pepper namely prevalent on the tip of the tongue and baking spices. Half inch in, the white pepper becomes sharper but never overtly sharp. Retrohaling brings stronger notes of both baking spices and aged wood. There’s also a very unique eastern medicine like wood/herb mixture. The finish consists of mild dry nuts and subtle black pepper. Strength and body is at a consistent medium throughout the entire first third.
As this third begins, the profile is very similar to the first with just a slight increase in baking spice from before. At a half inch in, the cream lessens and leaves more aged wood and baking spice up front. At an inch and a half, the aged wood transitions to a standard oak while the baking spice remains while the retrohale is just oak. This is how the third finished. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.
The second third is wood dominant, giving the same aged, dry wood. Within the backdrop of flavors, subtle white pepper and faint baking spices. Through retrohaling, the unique wood/herb medicinal note is barely detectable now, leaving me with deeper notes of aged wood and semi-sweet roasted dry nuts. The finish lingers quite long with aged, dry wood and layered white pepper spice. Strength and body continues to be medium.
As the final third begins, it gains an interesting flavor that I can’t put my finger on. It’s a bit sharp, but I can’t identify it. The oak and baking spice are still in the profile. At three quarters of an inch in, that sharp/bright component has increased slightly and is kind of overshadowing the other flavors. At an inch and a quarter, the bright note fades back a little bit and turns into a slight mintiness to go along with the oak. The baking spice has completely left the profile. This is the profile the cigar finishes with. The strength in this third was right at medium.
The last third is basically a replica of the second third, still aged dry wood centric. This note is surrounded by the same white pepper and baking spices notes. Retrohale is by far the best part of this third, with stronger notes of aged wood and semi-sweet roasted dry nuts. The finish continues to linger with dry wood, layered white pepper and now the same semi-sweet roasted dry nuts from the retrohale. Strength and body finishes at the medium mark.
The burn was rock solid. Very straight and the ash held on in impressive 2 inch increments.
A great burning cigar with slightly flowery ash, relatively sharp burn and most importantly, never requiring the use of my lighter. Total smoking time of 1 hour and 45 minutes, which is in line with most toro’s based on my smoking rate.
The draw was a bit snug, especially in the final third even though I made a second cut and tried a draw tool.
The cigar started with a very smooth profile and as it went along, lost the cream which left a primarily oak and baking spice note. Smooth is a great descriptor for this cigar. Strength level was below medium for most of the time and if you were introducing someone to cigars, this might be a perfect fit. This isn’t something I would go to often, but would revisit it when looking for a smooth and mellow experience. Maybe the best Archetype I’ve had thus far.
Just the perfect balance of airflow of it not being too loose nor too tight. Very well done.
Overall, I think this is an average to good cigar. When benchmarking against the other Archetypes, this is most likely my favorite one of the group. Given that it is produced at Drew Estate’s factory, a part of me wanted the cigar to taste Liga or Undercrown-like. I know that may sound unreasonable especially knowing the blender is undisclosed, but in a way, I wish it did. But nonetheless, this one is worth picking up for a well constructed and easy going smoking experience showing good depth in wood, spice and subtle sweetness.
Evans - May 22, 2017
Really Like this side by side review style. Pretty cool. Glad you posted on r/cigars.
noel n paguio - May 22, 2017
Cool that you did this after the Reddit ama, males me want to get a couple sticks
Shane - May 22, 2017
Loving the site and all the information great to see you guys active on /r/cigars
J Miller - May 22, 2017
Great review as always guys!
Robert Ritchie - May 22, 2017
Chris K - May 23, 2017
Nice review. Ventura has been on my radar. Time to pick some up.
Jason - May 23, 2017
I’ve heard of ventura but have not had a chance to try one yet. Sounds like a solid summer golfing cigar.
Jeff - May 23, 2017
Just recently tried some of the Ventura brands, Sage Advice and the Axis Mundi. Thanks for review of the Initiation,
I’ll have to pick one of those up.
John B - May 24, 2017
Always up to try new blends. Thanks for the contest.
Donald Santos - May 24, 2017
Sounds good great contest also
Bob Langmaid - May 24, 2017
gibby - May 25, 2017
never tried a ventura before….but i like free cigars.
lorri langmaid - May 26, 2017
Great review, and thanks for the opportunity!
Tim McCabe - May 26, 2017
I’m a fan of their Pyscho and 805 so this is definitely one I’m looking forward to trying. Thanks for the chance.
stogiedaddy - May 28, 2017
Great to see a local company get some great praise.
Aaron Loomis - May 30, 2017
Congratulations to Nikko P. for winning the contest!