Brand: El Maestro
Shape: Toro
Tobacco Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut
Body: Medium

El Maestro Connecticut Toro

They had a cigar roller at my friends' wedding!
Description: This cigar has a story that goes along with it, so bear with me for a moment while I tell you how I came across it in the first place. I was at the wedding of two friends of mine. The father of the bride, Oded Ben-Arie, owner of Mikes Cigars, brought in one of his cigar rollers to roll cigars right there for us at the wedding. They even went the extra mile to print custom wedding labels and give out complementary guillotine cutters and custom printed lighters as well. I got a real kick out of that in the first place. Well, naturally I stood in line and took my very own hand rolled cigar. Now, I was at a wedding, and I was there to dance, so I stored the cigar safely in the car I arrived in to smoke later. When I got home, I did.

I sat down on my roof, still dressed in my suit and tie, snipped, lit, and puffed. I was quite surprised at the quality of the cigar. A house brand cigar can be quite good, but I'm used to dealing with the Thompson Cigar house made cigars, which are, more often than not, only barely smokeable. If they are, they're not rich, or glorious or anything so fantastic as any other word that I could come up with if I had that cares. Point is, I can say with satisfaction that this cigar was quite nice. I'd call it a daily smoke, but it has plenty to offer.

To me the amazing thing about this cigar is that it lasted as long as it did. I smoked it starting at 6:00 PM and ended at 7:30 PM today. I wasn't expecting this cigar to go so long. And the truth is, I didn't smoke it as low as I like. I was about an inch and a half from the nub and had to take a bathroom break. When I came back, I decided I was done.

I could not really pick up any distinct flavors or notes worth mentioning. That being said, the cigar smoked nicely, with enough flavor to keep matters interesting. It was a smooth smoke, typical of Domincan tobacco, with a peppery finish. I'd recommend this cigar to anyone down for a good relaxing smoke, definitely a keeper if you smoke with friends. This is what I'd call a 'herfing cigar.'

Appearance and Construction: 14/15
Flavor: 22/25
Smoking Characteristics: 23/25
Overall: 17/20
Value: 12/15
Total: 88/100
Smoking Time: 1.5 hr.
Price: $89.95 for a bundle of 20 (About $4.50 per cigar). You can find them at Mike's Cigars.

Bottom line, I'd recommend this cigar to anyone, providing they were just looking for a simple smoke.

Revisited (5/30/13): While smoking the Licenciados Connecticut Wavell cigar also by Mike's Cigars, my friend who was also at the wedding, and also received a complementary cigar smoked his. He noted that the cigar (especially at the beginning) tasted almost exactly like the smell of a burning fireplace. I tried it and also agreed with that statement. I actually couldn't believe that I hadn't noticed it before. He then noted that the flavor profiles he was enjoying suddenly fell off, and he was left with just a straight up cigar taste. Not a bad thing, just less interesting. Anyway, for what it's worth, both were tasty.