|Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande 6 x 60
(Retail exclusive to Binny’s Beverage Depot)
The Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande is a retail exclusive, limited production release to Binny’s Beverage Depot. Binny’s Beverage Depot is chain of liquor and cigar stores in the Chicago, Illinois area. The Flor de las Antillas was released in 2012 by My Father Cigars and was meant to fill a gap in the My Father Cigars portfolio by providing a cigar in the medium strength, medium-bodied range. The cigar became a household name when the Toro vitola captured Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Year award in 2012. Since then My Father has quietly released four retail exclusive versions of this blend. Today we look at the Binny’s Beverage Depot release, which is a 6 x 60 known as the Toro Grande. Overall I found this a blend that performs very well in the 6 x 60 frontmark – and even delivers a few surprises.
There may be some confusion in that many might think the Flor de las Antillas line already has a 6 x 60. The line actually has something called a “Toro Gordo” which is a 6 1/2 x 56. It’s a little ironic that the 6 1/2 x 56 is referred to as the Toro Gordo. For the Binny’s release, this is referred to as the Toro Grande.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at Binny’s Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande and see what this cigar brings to the table.:
The Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande features the same blend as the other cigars in the Flor de las Antillas line. It is a Nicaraguan puro with a sun-grown wrapper.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun-Grown
For completeness, we list the eight currently available vitolas at press time. The Toro Grande is a box-pressed vitola. This is consistent with 6 of the other vitolas in the line – the lone exception being the Short Churchill released to Holt’s in Philadelphia.
The Binny’s Toro Grande release is limited to 500 boxes of 20.
Toro Grande: 6 x 60 (Retail exclusive to Binny’s in Illinois)
DeSocio: 5 3/4 x 54 (Retail exclusive to Alliance Cigar Distributors in New York)
Short Churchill: 6 1/2 x 48 (Retail exclusive to Holt’s in Philadelphia)
Lancero: 7 1/2 x 38 (Retail exclusive to Up in Smoke in Texas)
Belicoso: 5 1/2 x 52
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
Toro Gordo: 6 1/2 x 56
The Flor de las Antillas sun-grown wrapper has a rich, medium-brown wrapper on it. The wrapper is slightly oily and quite smooth. There are visible wrapper seams as well as some visible veins. The box-press is well-packed with no soft-spots.
The band is a very interesting and intricate design. My best analogy for the band is that it seems like an Italian Renaissance painting with a Cuban flair to it. The red, gold, mint, peach, and pale yellow colors give this cigar band a real classic feel to it. At the top of the band it says “Flor de las Antillas” in a classic red font. Toward the bottom of the band it says “MY FATHER CIGARS” in a thin black font on a mint-colored ribbon. On the back of the band it says “SUN GROWN” in a brownish font on a thin yellow rectangular field in landscape mode. There is also a red ribbon surrounding the wrapper on the foot of the cigar.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande, I opted to go with my usual selection of a straight cut. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded to commence the pre-light draw. The cold draw provided a nice mix of caramel sweetness, wood, floral spice, and some grass notes. Overall I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point I removed the ribbon from the foot of the Toro Grande and lit it up to begin the actual smoking experience.
Like the robusto vitola, the Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande started out with a quick and not too overpowering pepper blast. As the pepper subsided, the flavors settled into a mix of natural tobacco, pepper, coffee, and an interesting sweetness. The sweetness almost seemed to be a marshmallow flavor, yet had both caramel and berry aspects to it. The natural tobacco and sweetness became primary early while the coffee and pepper were secondary flavors. The pepper was not overpowering on the tongue, but there were times I could detect in prominently on the retro-hale.
As the Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande progressed to the second third, the natural tobacco flavors took over. The pepper spice was close behind. The coffee and sweet notes were more distant.
During the last third, the flavor profile remained the same, but there were times the sweet flavors would re-emerge in small spurts. The end of the cigar was flavorful and not harsh. The resulting nub was consistently firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Since it was released last year, I’ve always found the Flor de las Antillas to be one of the more consistent lines when it comes to burn and draw and the Toro Grande was no exception. For the most part the burn line remained relatively straight. While it was slightly jagged a couple of times, there was no problems in terms of canoeing or tunneling. The resulting ash was tight and firm – with a nice white color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande|
The draw was outstanding as well. It was not loose and it was not tight. Overall it made the Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande to be an enjoyable and low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
Back when I assessed the Robusto, I classified this cigar as a medium strength, median-bodied smoke. The one thing I noticed with the 60 ring gauge version of the Flor de las Antillas is that it lost a little strength in the first half. I actually assessed this cigar to be on the upper end of mild to medium strength in the first half – before progressing to medium strength in the second half. As for the flavors, they were medium-bodied with the Toro Grande. Overall I gave a slight edge to body over strength with this cigar.
I’ve always been partial to the robusto sized vitola of this blend. However, I found that this blend worked very well in the 6 x 60. While it did lose a little strength, it did have more in the way of complexity versus the robusto. In fact, while this might seem like a similar cigar to the 6 1/2 x 56 (Toro Gordo) offering, I think the reduction in length, and slight increase in ring gauge worked real well here. This delivers an excellent cigar experience. This is a cigar I’d recommend to both novice and experienced cigar enthusiasts. I’d also recommend this to people who like a 60 ring gauge – as well as those who might not normally go to a 60 ring gauge. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again.
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st Half), Medium (2nd Half)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were provided by Binny’s Beverage Depot. These samples were initiated by Binny’s Beverage Depot in order to provide feedback. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this review.