At the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show, Maya Selva Cigars will introduce a toro vitola to both its Flor de Selva Connecticut and Flor de Selva Maduro lines. Flor de Selva is one of three lines of cigars made by Honduran cigar manufacturer Maya Selva Cigars. The company is named for its owner, Maya Selva. Maya Selva Cigars has had a footprint in Europe for quite some time and recently has turned its attention to the U.S. market. The introduction of a 6 x 52 Toro vitola seems perfect with this strategy because this is a popular size in the U.S. market for which Flor de Selva did not have an offering. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Flor de Selva Connecticut Toro. I’ve been quite impressed with the Flor de Selva line, and the Toro does not disappoint as it provides a wonderful addition to his line.
Maya Selva Cigars is also not a new company and neither is the Flor de Selva line. The company is named for its founder Maya Selva and is based in France. Maya Selva Cigars and the Flor de Selva line have twenty years of history as both launched back in 1995. This year, the company has plans to commemorate its twentieth anniversary with a special cigar called Flor de Selva 20 Anos. The line was launched in a Connecticut Shade, but now also includes a Maduro component. In addition to the Flor de Selva line, there is also the value-priced Villa Zamorano line and the Nicaraguan blend Cumpay.
In addition to a new size, Maya Selva Cigars has launched new packaging for the Flor de Selva line:
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Flor de Selva Connecticut Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table:
Blend Profile and Vitolas Available
Wrapper: Honduran Connecticut
Country of Origin: Honduras
In addition to the Flor de Selva Toro, there are fourteen other frontmarks in the Flor de Selva line that feature an Connecticut Shade. Maya Selva Cigars uses a philosophy where they blend for a specific size. While there are fifteen vitolas of the Flor de Selva Connecticut, each of the blend components vary quite a bit from size to size. Some of the vitolas are not yet available in the American market. For reference, we include all 15, but the blend components above only apply to the new Flor de Selva Connecticut Toro.
Toro: 6 x 52
Robusto: 4 3/4 x 50
Extremo: 11 x 54 (European only)
Doble-Corona: 7 1/2 x 52
Churchill: 7 x 49 (European only)
Tempo: 6 x 60
Fino: 6 x 44
El Galan: 6 x 29 x 49 x 43 (European only)
No. 15: 5 1/2 x 54
Corona: 5 1/2 x 48
Petit Corona: 5 1/2 x 42
Panetela: 4 1/2 x 30 (European only)
Siesta: 4 1/4 x 40
Petit-Cigar: 3 1/2 x 20
Egoista: 3 1/2 x 50
The Flor de Selva Connecticut Toro has a light brown colored wrapper. This wrapper didn’t quite have the weathered look that some of the other sizes I’ve seen in the line. I also noticed a little more in the way of oil on the wrapper of the Toro. While there are visible wrapper seams and visible veins, I still found the surface of the wrapper is quite smooth. The cigar also was a well packed cigar. It actually has some weight to it when held in your hand.
There are two bands on the Flor de Selva Toro. The primary band is white with a bronze front. The image on the front of the band has the likeness to a Roman Statue. To the left is the image is the text “FLOR DE” and to the right is the text “SELVA”. On the left and right side are the band are images of a leaf and medallion surrounded by a circular design.
The second band is on the footer. It features a red to dark maroon gradient style background. Sitting on the background is the text “Maya Selva Cigars” in white cursive font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to the start of the smoking experience with the Flor de Selva Connecticut Toro, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut. After successfully clipping the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw experience. The dry draw provided a mix of cream, cedar, and marshmallow sweetness. Overall, I considered the pre-liight draw of the Flor de Selva Connecticut Toro to be excellent. At this point I removed the footer band of the cigar, put the torch to the footer and awaited what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Flor de Selva Connecticut Toro delivered a combination of cream, cedar, black pepper, and the marshmallow sweetness from the pre-light draw. As the cigar burned through the first third, I found the cream and marshmallow notes moved primary early on. The cedar and pepper notes moved into the background. The pepper lingered quite a bit on the after-draw and was also quite prominent on the retro-hale.
During the second third, I found the cedar sweetness joined the cream notes in the forefront. The marshmallow notes moved into the background joining the pepper notes. At the same time, I noticed a natural tobacco note surfaced. I also noticed the spice on the after-draw had more of a cedar influence.
By the last third, I found the natural tobacco notes to be the primary notes along with the cedar notes. The cream and marshmallow notes were now diminished. I also found the pepper notes had somewhat increased. This is the way the cigar experience of the Flor de Selva Connecticut Toro came to an end. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn of the Flor de Selva Connecticut Toro was as good as it gets. The burn path remained straight from start to finish requiring minimal touch-ups. The burn line itself remained sharp from start to finish. The resulting ash was tight and firm with a nice charcoal gray color. The ash itself came off the cigar is nice clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal. As a result of how well this burn performed, the Flor de Selva Connecticut Toro earns the “Exceptional” rating for this attribute.
The draw performed outstanding on the Flor de Selva Connecticut Toro. It had a touch of resistance to it – which is something I like on a draw. There was also a nice amount of smoke production from this cigar. I think the heavier pack of the tobacco worked in favor here.
Strength and Body
While the blends vary from size to size in the Flor de Selva Connecticut line, I’ve found most of the vitolas I have smoked to fall into the mild to medium range in terms of strength. The Connecticut Toro holds true to form as it also delivered a mild to medium strength smoke. As for the body, I found there was a nice amount of depth for a Connecticut Shade cigar. I found the body of the Flor de Selva Connecticut Toro started out medium-bodied and it progressed medium to full-bodied by the second half. I found the Toro to offer more in body than the other vitolas of the line I have smoked.
In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had the edge throughout the smoke of the Connecticut Toro – especially in the second half. I found the edge to be significant, and while normally I don’t mind a cigar body over strength, I do think this cigar could have benefitted from a little more strength.
Overall I have found the Flor de Selva line in both the Connecticut and the Maduro lines. The Connecticut Toro is a fine addition to the line. I think the both the size and the fact that this is a little fuller cigar in terms of body make this an attractive offering for the U.S. market. In addition, this is a cigar that has a flavor profile that can easily diffentiate itself from the crowded Connecticut Shade market. This is a cigar that I would recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast looking for a milder cigar in strength, but something that is not mild in body. This is also a great cigar for a novice looking to graduate to a cigar that offers more in body. As for myself, this is cigar I would easily smoke again, and it’s worthy of a box split.
Strength: Mild to Medium
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
News: Flor de Selva Toro Connecticut and Maduro to Launch at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
Stogie Geeks Episode: Episode 114
Stogie Feed: n/a