Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : N/A
More info about Jose Carlos cigars...
Today we've got a review from The Tollaficionados, as they call themselves. Enjoy!
Well, being that this is our first article I would assume that a short introduction is in order. My name is Nicholas Tolla, Jr. and my Fathers name is Nicholas Tolla, Sr., collectively known as The Tollaficionados. For well over 20 years we have been sharing quality time together with a fine cigar in hand. It is the pinnacle of Father & Son time for us. We sit back, enjoy a quality smoke and discuss anything that comes to mind. Quite often our minds are on the cigars.
After all the time that we have spent with the tobacco gods, and all of the people that have come to us asking our opinions on various smokes, we have decided that it is about time to put pen to paper, (or finger to keyboard if you will) and give everybody that is interested our take on some of the many cigars on the market. Yes, there are a lot of people out there giving their opinions on the quality and enjoyability of the stick-of-the-day, but we want to take a slightly different approach to the task at hand. Let me explain…
I will preface this by stating that I mean no disrespect to those who explain their smoking experience differently than I do. In fact, I thank all of them for the variety of phrases and unique (sometimes outright abstract) descriptions that I have read. We will do our very best to refrain from orange peel and nutmeg undertone phraseology. They don’t put it in the tobacco, and I won’t put it in my articles. I have not recently been kicking back to enjoy a $10 Dominican Maduro, to all of a sudden find myself chewing on a peanut or some toast that magically appeared in my mouth as a result of the cigar I picked to smoke. I am not going to tell you what I think I taste in the form of a food, drink, herb or otherwise. You won’t be able to find the same thing no matter how far into the depths of my handy thesaurus I go. So I won’t do it. Let’s cut to the chase here. Words like sweet, spicy and bitter will work fine for all of us. Connoisseurs and novices alike can enjoy a layman read, and probably relate to it better than most of the other summaries out there.
We will tell you what we think throughout the duration of the smoke, and give the cigar a rating from 1 to 10 (10 being the best) OK. Enough of that. Let’s get started with our first Father & Son rating with the line of cigars called Jose Carlos.
The Jose Carlos line is named after an orphan from Nicaragua that so impressed the owner of this cigar brand that he named them after this child who always seemed to find the brighter side in things. Consisting of three blends and only one size, we felt that this brand would be a good place to start this little adventure. There is a Habano, a Connecticut and a Corojo, all are 6 inches with a 52 ring. They come 26 to a box. With a philosophy of “Do things right, not fast” being the way they describe the quality of their product, let’s see if they hit the proverbial bulls eye. Please follow us into the lounge won’t you?
First up, the Jose Carlos Habano. This cigar is a blend of long filler tobacco (and a touch of some that has been specially aged) from the three growing regions of Nicaragua. The wrapper, also from Nicaragua is Sun Grown Habano.
At face value the cigar seemed to be well made. It had a mild aroma to it and a sturdy looking cap. A very smooth, dark brown leaf rounded out the aesthetics. When putting cutter to cap – eureka! - it held up just fine. Now the fire…
Upon lighting this cigar it put out a cool smoke that had a bit of tang to it. (Can I say tang? Am I breaking my own rules? Well deal with it!) It almost immediately turned bitter. This bothered Nick Sr. more than myself in that his palate and the back of his tongue held onto the bitterness far longer that it should have. I just didn’t particularly care for the taste. Not a stellar start. There were no draw problems, but will that be enough to resurrect our opinions?
As the cigar reached the end of its first third, its light grey ash held tight. The body of the cigar began to soften from the increasing heat felt right through wrapper. The taste at this point could be called mild. Not exactly what you would expect from a Habano looking like this. From this point on, the cigar did build in strength and flavor. I’m not saying that we completely enjoyed the flavor, but it DID improve. It just wouldn’t lose that annoying aftertaste for either of us. And on top of that, it began to burn unevenly. Very unevenly. Canoe unevenly.
I refrained from touching it up with the torch to see if it would correct itself in time. It did, but that didn’t make up for the heat that this stick was beginning to pump out or the thickness that we both felt on our tongues. We agreed that we didn’t want to get our stinky food holes too close to anybody in the immediate future.
And the finish. Much like the rest of the experience. A continued, lingering bitterness on the tongue and palate, though softened slightly as time passed. Slightly more flavorful and a whole lot hotter right to the end.
The Ranking: We give it a 5. As much as we complained about some of the qualities of this cigar, it wasn’t completely repugnant. There were some periods that we put the bitterness aside and just enjoyed the act of smoking and tried to fish for the good things that the Jose Carlos Habano could provide. We have had worse in the past, but we have had a lot better as well, so a 5 will have to do for this one.
Come back next time when we rank another cigar. Who knows, you may even see the other two Jose Carlos sticks in the future. But after this do you really want to?