The Garofalo is a cigar line that is distributed by United Cigar Group. The cigar is named for David Garofalo. Garofalo is best known for being the long-time owner and founder of Two Guys Smoke Shop in New Hampshire. He also is the host of the popular cigar broadcast, The Cigar Authority and he is the man behind United Cigar Group. United Cigar Group is best known for being the exclusive U.S. distributor of Nelson Alfonso’s Selected Tobacco brands (Atabey, Bandolero, and Byron). The group also works with other manufacturers to distribute other products. For, the Garofalo, it is produced out of Tabacalera Perdomo. Recently, I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Garafolo in the Robusto format. Overall I found this to be a very nice mild smoke and deliver some great value.
In terms of the cigar, United Cigar claims that Garofalo is the first cigar named after a retailer since Zino Davidoff (while I did think “what about Nat Sherman?”, Sherman created his cigar before Davidoff). If one listens to Garofalo’s broadcast on The Cigar Authority, they know one thing – Garofalo loves cigars and he loves the cigar industry. In terms of having his own named cigar, Garofalo says, “I have spent more than half my life in the cigar business, and I am going to give launching my own cigar a try.”
Garofalo has stated on his broadcast many times he tends to go for cigars on the milder side. It was no surprise to me his eponymous cigar had an Ecuadorian Connecticut profile.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Garofalo Robusto and see what this cigar bings to the table.
As mentioned the Garofalo is made at Tabacalera Perdomo. It features an Ecuadorian Connecticut seed wrapper that is aged for four years. After the cigar itself is made, it is aged for a minimum of six more months.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Seed
Binder: Not discloed
Filler: Nicaraguan (Proprietary)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Perdomo)
Garafolo is available in four sizes. Each cigar size is available in twenty count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Torpedo: 6 x 54
Toro: 6 x 50
Churchill: 7 x 50
The Ecuadorian Connecticut Seed wrapper of the Garofalo Robusto has a light brown color. The wrapper itself has a slightly weathered look to it. There is a light coating of oil on the wrapper. While there are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams, I felt the wrapper leaned toward the smoother side.
The band features primarily a white, gold, and black color scheme. On the center of the band is a white oval with gold trim. Inside that oval is a classic styled “G” in black font supplemented by gold adornments. To the left and right of the oval is a white and gold pinstriped pattern. On the left, there is a white wedge sitting on the pinstripes that contains the text “NICARAGUA” in black font. There is also a corresponding wedge on the right side with the text “HAND MADE” in black font. Below the pinstripe pattern, there is also a black stripe. On the left side of that black stripe is the text “A FAMILY LEGACY” in red font. On the right side is the text “Garofalo” in red cursive. Below the oval is a thick gold stripe with the text “GAROFALO” in larger black font. There are also some black stripes on that thick gold stripe. The band itself contains black trim.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up my Garofalo Robusto, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered some notes of wood, cedar sweet-spice, and a touch of black pepper. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the Garofalo Robusto to be satisfactory. At this point, I was ready to light up my cigar and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
Once the Garofalo Robusto was lit, it pretty much picked up where the pre-light draw left off. I detected a mix of generic wood, cedar, and black pepper to start. As the Garofalo Robusto moved through the early stages, the wood and cedar became primary. In a short time the cedar took control. Meanwhile I detected some grassy notes as well as a sweetness that was a cross between butterscotch and caramel. The black pepper I detected early on moved into the distant background, but was still present on the after-draw. As for the retro-hale, it was more subtle, but I still picked up cedar notes.
Midway through the first third, the grass notes joined the cedar in the forefront. The butterscotch / caramel sweetness floated back and forth between the forefront. The black pepper remained distant, but still was present on the after-draw.
In the second half, there was a nut flavor that also surfaced – and joined the butterscotch / caramel sweetness in moving in and out of the forefront. The cedar and grass remained constant in the forefront while the pepper still remained in the background.
The last third saw the cedar and grass notes remain primary. Most of the butterscotch / caramel sweetness had dissipated. There still were some nut notes. The pepper slightly increased, but remained in the background. This is the way the Garofalo Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was outstanding – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
From a burn standpoint, I found the Garofalo Robusto to perform quite well. Overall I found the burn path to be straight. There was some jaggedness on the burn line, but nothing a short touch-up wouldn’t fix – and there were not that many of those required. I found the ash to be on the firm side with a nice white color. The burn temperature was ideal, but I did find this to be a fast burning cigar. The fast burn didn’t have any adverse effects other than shorten the smoking time.
|Burn of the Garofalo Robusto
The draw performed very well. The draw leaned toward being open, but it was not a loose draw. I found the Garofalo Robusto to produce a nice amount of smoke.
Strength and Body
As I mentioned, from following David Garofalo on his weekly broadcast, I’ve always felt he likes things on the milder side. It was no surprise that from both a strength and body perspective, this cigar leaned milder. The Garafolo Robusto is going to be low in terms of strength. I pretty much had it in the mild strength range from start to finish. As for the flavors, while there are plenty of them, but they are going to weigh lighter on the palate. I assessed the Garofalo Robusto as being a mild to medium-bodied smoke. As for strength versus body, the body definitely had the edge.
Sometimes many of us forget that milder cigars are still the best selling ones. In the case of the Garofalo Robusto, I found this to be a very good milder cigar and I think it eclipses many big name milder smokes on the market. I didn’t find this cigar to be an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade that is going to be overly creamy, but it had a nice sweetness that made this an enjoyable cigar. In a lot of ways, this made this Ecuadorian Connecticut stand out from many others. At around $6.50, it provides an excellent cigar at a very good price. It’s a cigar I could easily recommend to a novice – or to a more experienced person that enjoys something on the milder side. As for myself, this was a cigar I’d smoke again – and one I’d certainly keep a five pack around for.
Body: Mild to Medium
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 132
Stogie Feed: Garofalo Robusto