|El Centurion Toria|
A few weeks ago, we reported on a limited production, limited distribution line extension to My Father Cigars’ El Centurion line called the El Centurion Toria. This cigar adds a 5 5/8 x 46 Corona Gorda frontmark to the recently re-released, re-blended El Centurion cigar line. Currently the cigar has been made available to three retailers: Federal Cigar, Casa de Montecristo, and Atlantic Cigar. We recently have had an opportunity to smoke this cigar. Overall we were very pleased 2013’s new version of the El Centurion, and in this new frontmark really helps the re-blend shine.
Many cigar enthusiasts will remember the original El Centurion cigar that was released in 2007. That cigar was a limited release cigar. With My Father Cigars focusing 2013 on the 10th anniversary around family patriarch Don Pepin Garcia, a decision was made to bring the El Centurion back. We soon learned that this would be an all-new El Centurion – from the blend to the packaging. In addition the new 2013 version of the El Centurion would now be a regular production offering – this time under the My Father Cigars umbrella. The new El Centurion was launched in four sizes. The Toria becomes the fifth size, and first limited vitola in the line.
Without further ado, let’s break down the El Centurion Toria and see what this cigar brings to the table:
The 2013 version of the El Centurion is a very different blend, but like the 2007 version it is a Nicaraguan puro. This new version features Sancti Spiritus in the filler. Sancti Spiritus is a variant being used by the Garcia and is famous for being the wrapper of the L’Atelier cigar by L’Atelier Imports (also made by the Garcia family). Here is the breakdown of the blend:
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo 98
Filler: Nicaraguan (Criollo, Corojo Habano, Sancti Spiritus)ackground-color: white;” />Filler: Nicaraguan (Criollo, Corojo Habano, Sancti Spiritus)
The Toria becomes the fifth vitola in the line joining the other four regular production vitolas. Each retailer has received an initial shipment of 200 boxes.
Toria: 5 5/8 x 46 (Limited edition)
Robusto: 5 3/4 x 50
Belicoso: 5 1/2 x 54
Toro: 6 1/4 x 52
Toro Grande: 6 1/2 x 58
The Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper of the 2013 edition is definitely darker than the 2007 edition (which featured a Habano wrapper). The wrapper’s color is chocolate in color with some marbling. A little more oil than what was smoked last time and a less rustic look. There are some visible veins, but the dark color and rustic look do a good job at hiding the wrapper seams.
The band to the El Centurion 2013 edition is a variation of the original El Centurion band. Most of the changes are in the color scheme. The 2013 has more red while the 2007 edition has more yellow. This cigar features a color scheme consisting of red, gold, and an orange/peach combination. At the center of the band is a big red “C” on a shield shape. The shield has an gold/orange color Above the shield is an pale yellow ribbon with the text “EL CENTURION” in red font. To the left and right of the shield are gold medallions. In black font, the text “PREMIUM BLEND” and “MY FATHER CIGARS” to the left and right of the shield respectively. To the far right of the band, there is a small signature of Don Pepin Garcia. The remainder of the band has red and gold adornments on it.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the El Centurion Toria, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. Once this task was completed I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw provided me a mix of cocoa, leather, and some light spice notes. Overall, I considered the Toria to have an excellent pre-light draw – and one that was certainly on par with the regular production vitolas. At this point, I was ready to light up my Toria and see what the overall cigar experience would bring to the table.
The start to the El Centurion Toria started with a blast of black pepper. This was reminiscent to what I detected when I smoked the robusto size. Like the robusto, the black pepper was also prominent on the retro-hale throughout the smoke.
As the pepper blast subsided, notes of chocolate and leather joined the pepper notes in the forefront. The leather notes subsided mid-way through the first third. In the background, I soon detected a unique sweetness to this blend – almost a banana flavor. I had detected this on the robusto, but on the Toria it emerged much earlier. In addition to the banana-like sweetness in the background, there was a creamy undertone present.At the start of the second third of the Toria, the chocolate notes remained as the primary notes. The pepper, cream, and banana-like sweetness were now background flavors.
In the second half of the Toria, the chocolate notes diminished gradually The pepper and banana-like sweetness moved into the forefront. By the last third, the chocolate and cream notes were dissipated and the sweetness was now diminished. I found the last stages of this cigar to have more of an earthy, spicy profile. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The El Centurion Toria scored very high in terms of the attributes of burn and draw. This cigar was truly a “set it and forget it” when it came to keeping the burn line straight. I found the Toria needed minimal touch-ups along the way to burn straight. The resulting ash was tight and firm with a mostly white color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the El Centurion Toria|
The draw was ideal as well. It had just a touch of resistance – which is something I really like when enjoying a cigar. This made the El Centurion Toria a very enjoyable cigar from start to finish.
Strength and Body
When I smoked the El Centurion in the Robusto I found it to be a full strength cigar. For whatever reason, I found the strength of the El Centurion Toria to be dialed into the medium to full strength range. Meanwhile the flavors on the Toria were medium to full-bodied. This was more in-line with what I detected on the Robusto. There was a nice balance of strength versus body as neither attribute overshadowed the other.Final Thoughts
For this assessment, I went through four iterations of this smoke. I found each one in succession to outperform the previous one. By the time I had smoked the fourth one, I realized that the Toria was what I term the “perfect storm” of the right blend coming to the right vitola. It easily now has become my favorite frontmark in the re-released El Centurion line. My Father Cigars has certainly kept busy with a lot of limited line extensions to their brands this year – and the Toria definitely ranks as one of the better ones. This cigar is probably one I’d steer more toward an experienced cigar enthusiast because it still has some kick. As for myself, this is a great cigar – and one I’d smoke again. It’s certainly box worthy in my book.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
Source: Samples provided by retailer (*)
Stogie Geeks Podcast: n/a
Stogie Feed: El Centurian Toria
* Cigars for this assessment was provided by Federal Cigar, a retailer who has received the El Centurion Toria. The samples were received in order to provide feedback. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the samples, but in no way does this influence this write-up.