|Senor Rio Anejo Toro|
The Senor Rio Anejo is one of two cigars made by a company called Jalisco International Imports. The company was founded by Jonathan Gach, CEO and Debbie Medina, President back in 2009. Jalisco is best known for making a small batch line of tequila also called Senor Rio (the name and logo pay tribute to Medina’s father). Both Gach and Medina are cigar enthusiasts. Gach always had the dream of blending his own cigar and they eventually had an opportunity to meet with A.J. Fernandez in Nicaragua. This led to the development of both the Senor Rio Anejo and another cigar called the Senor Rio Diamonte. Today, we take a closer look at the Senor Rio Anejo in a toro vitola. This is definitely a cigar to keep an eye out for in 2015 as I found this to deliver an overall outstanding cigar experience.
Both the Senor Rio Anejo and Senor Rio Diamonte are designed to be paired with tequila or any fine spirit. The Senor Rio Anejo cigar shares the name of a tequila in Senor Rio’s portfolio that is also called Senor Rio Anejo – which is a tequila that is aged two years.
As for distribution, they are available at Total Wine retail stores in several states (Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas). They have also been making their way into some retailers in Arizona and have plans for further increased distribution this year.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Senor Rio Anejo Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Senor Rio Anejo features a San Andres wrapper over Nicaraguan tobaccos. As mentioned the cigars are made by A.J. Fernandez at his factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: San Andres Mexican
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Fernandez)
The Senor Rio Anejo is currently available in one size – a 6 x 52 box-pressed toro.
The San Andres Mexican wrapper of the Senor Rio Anejo Toro has a dark espresso colored wrapper. If you look even closer, you can see some nice dark marbling on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper itself is not too oily, but is quite smooth. There were a couple of thin visible veins. Most of the wrapper seams are well hidden. The box-press is firm with no soft spots.
There are two bands on the Senor Rio Anejo Toro. The primary band has a silver-gray background with gold font A silhouette profile of a man in a panama hat sits on that background. Just under the silhouette is the text “Senor Rio” in a modern cursive font. There are rings of gold and black surrounding the logo and text. The silver-gray background extends to the left and right of the band. On the left side of the band is the text “HAND” in white font on a small silver rectangle. On the right side is the text “MADE” in white font – also on a silver rectangle. The remainder of the band has gold and black trim.
Just below the primary band is a black secondary band with gold dotted trim. On that band is the text “Anejo” in gold font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Senor Rio Anejo, I went with a straight cut. After clipping the cap, I proceeded with the pre-light draw experience. The dry draw yielded some classic maduro notes of espresso, earth, and some assorted spices that had a slight lingering effect on the tongue. Overall, I considered the pre-light experience of the Senor Rio Anejo to be outstanding. At this point I was ready to light up the Senor Rio Anejo and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Senor Rio Anejo Toro started with a blast of black pepper and asian spices. As the spices receded some of the espresso syrup notes emerged. The espresso syrup had a sweetness that coated the palate very nicely. This cigar moved to the forefront and the spices became a close secondary note. Meanwhile the retro-hale yielded some of the similar spices that I was getting on the tongue.
Around the ten percent mark, an earthy note surfaced joining the spice notes in the background. As the Senor Rio Anejo Toro moved through the first third, I also detected some dark chocolate notes mixed into the forefront.
In the second half, I found the espresso and dark chocolate notes to dialed back with the earth notes moved into the forefront. The earth notes still provided some sweetness of their own. Toward the last third, the earth notes definitely were in control. There was a slight increase in the spice, but it never overwhelmed the palate. This is the way the cigar experience came to an end. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn of the Senor Rio Anejo remained relatively straight from start to finish. The burn did require some touch-ups along the way, but nothing that I would categorize as abnormal. The resulting ash had a charcoal gray color to it. The ash itself was on the firm side and came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. The cigar wasn’t prone to any significant flaking. Meanwhile the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Senor Rio Anejo|
I found the draw to be outstanding. It had just a touch of resistance, but still maintained enough openness that I like on a box-press cigar. This was a low maintenance cigar to touch on to derive the flavor.
Strength and Body
I did find the Senor Rio Anejo a cigar to deliver a nice kick from a strength perspective. I had this cigar on the upper end of medium to full strength for the duration of the cigar experience. Meanwhile, the flavors did have some nice depth and provided a nice amount of weight on the palate. I assessed the Senor Rio Anejo as being a full-bodied smoke from start to finish. In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had a slight edge throughout the smoking experience.
One thing that A.J. Fernandez hasn’t really gotten credit for is how good he can deliver a box-press cigar – and with the Senor Rio Anejo, this cigar is an absolute winner in this format. My gut tells me that this blend was tailor-made for a box-press cigar. While I admit that I have not been the biggest fan of San Andres wrapper, I did like the flavor profile the Senor Rio Anejo cigar delivered. The spices of this cigar complemented the sweetness very nicely. While (at press time) this might not be a widely distributed cigar, this is absolutely a cigar to keep an eye on. Given this cigar has a little more strength and body, I’d steer this particular blend this to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would consider for a box purchase.
Strength: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
Price: $12.50 (Total Wine)
Source: Cigars provided by Manufacturer
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