The Marrero Fuerte is one of five lines of cigars produced by Marrero Cigars. The company was founded by Joel Vazquez Marrero in 2014. To produce his cigars, Marrero works with the Tabacos de Costa Rica factory located in Costa Rica. The name Fuerte translates to “strong” and the Marrero Fuerte is intended to be one of the bolder offerings offered by Marrero Cigars. There are five sizes in the Marrero Fuerte that are a mix of parejo and box-pressed offerings. Today we take a closer look at the Marrero Fuerte Gran Toro BP, a box-pressed offering that made its introduction into the line early in 2016.
Tabacos de Costa Rica is quietly becoming a factory on the rise. Over the past few years, releases from Bombay Tobak and LH Cigars have landed on the Cigar Coop Cigar of the Year Countdown. Brands such as Atabey, Byron, Brun del Ré, Xiphos and Cuba Rica have also come out of this factory. As for Marrero Cigars, in addition to the Marrero Fuerte, the other lines include Marrero Bellartes, Marrero Flor de Nino, Marrero Tesero Mio, and Marrero Tico.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Marrero Fuerte Gran Toro BPO and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The blend to the Marrero Fuerte is a multi-national one. In addition to the Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro, the blend also features tobaccos from Peru, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Filler: Peruvian, Nicaraguan, Dominican
Country of Origin: Costa Rica (Tabacos de Costa Rica)
The Marrero Fuerte is offered in five sizes – each available in 20-count boxes
Petite Corona: 5 x 40
Gran Robusto BP: 5 1/2 X 54
Gran Toro BP: 6 1/2 x 54
Torpedo 1/2 6 x 54
6 x 60: 6 x 60
The Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper of the Marrero Fuerte has a roasted coffee bean color. The wrapper also has a slight amount of mottling on the surface. There was a nice oily sheen on the surface of the wrapper. This is a smooth wrapper with any visible wrapper seams and visible veins on the thin side. As for the box press, this is one that has sharper edges than a typical Cuban press.
The band to the Marrero Fuerte has a white background. The front of the band has a shield-like design with an image of a knight with the Costa Rican landscape in the background. Toward the top of the shield is the text “MARRERO” in gold arranged in a curved fashion. Toward the lower part of the band is a dark-colored ribbon design with the text “FUERTE” in white font. The shield is also gold trim with a crown on top. The remainder of the band had mostly gold and gray design elements. On the left side of the band is the text “COSTA RICA” while the right side has the text “PURA VIDA” – both in dark font. The far right of the band has the text “MARRERO CIGARS” in landscape mode in dark font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I commenced the cigar experience of the Marrero Fuerte Gran Toro with a straight cut. After removing the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw of the cigar delivered cocoa, cherry, and dusty notes along with a creamy texture. Overall I considered this to be a very good pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up my Marrero Fuerte Gran Toro and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The start of the Marrero Fuerte Gran Toro delivered a mix of cocoa cherry, wood, and black pepper. The cocoa and cherry notes moved to the forefront during the early stages. There was a nice creamy texture that kept the overall flavor profile smooth. Meanwhile, the wood and black pepper notes were in the background, but the pepper was more prominent on the retro-hale.
As the Marrero Fuerte Gran Toro moved into the second third, the cocoa notes transitioned to more of a classic coffee note. The cherry notes were also present in the forefront, but shed some of its sweetness. The creamy component also started to diminish. In the background, I still picked up wood and pepper notes. By the midway point, the coffee notes took over as the dominant flavor of the cigar. It was also around this point where the herbal notes started to increase.
The last third of the Marrero Fuerte Gran Toro saw the herbal notes join the coffee in the forefront. By this point, the creaminess had dissipated. The cherry and pepper notes were still present. There was also a slight amount of bitterness present in the background. This is the way the Marrero Fuerte Gran Toro cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
While the burn of the Marrero Fuerte Gran Toro BP maintained a relatively straight path, I did find this cigar needed a few extra touch-ups along the way. Meanwhile, the resulting ash was skewed toward the firm side. This ash was silvery-gray with some dark spots mixed in. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
I assessed the draw to be excellent. The Marrero Fuerte Gran Toro BP performed with the ideal amount of resistance and openness – especially for a box-press, which sometimes are skewed a little too open for me.
Strength and Body
I did find the name Fuerte appropriate for this cigar. The Marrero Fuerte Gran Toro BP started out medium to full in terms of strength and body. Both the strength and body increase at a linear rate. I did find the body increased a little more rapidly than the strength and by the second half, the Marrero Fuerte Gran Toro BP was in full territory. Meanwhile, the strength comes very close to full by the very end of the cigar. This is one of those cigars where I felt the strength increase after I put the cigar down.
In terms of strength versus body, I gave a slight edge to the body.
This is the second of the five blends I have had from Marrero Cigars and once again I am impressed. When I think about cigars from Tabacos de Costa Rica, I normally don’t think about cigars that get past the medium threshold. However, the Marrero Fuerte is one that is going to deliver a bolder experience. At the same time, there was a very nice amount of complexity and balance among the flavors. I also found the overall profile meshed well with the box-pressed format. Given this cigar is $8.00, it is one that provides nice value. Since this is a bolder experience, it’s a cigar I’d recommend for a more experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, the Marrero Fuerte BP is one that I would smoke again and seek out some of the other sizes. It’s worthy of buying multiples to have in your humidor.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Cocoa, Cherry, Wood, Pepper, Cream
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium to High
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Value: Buy Multiples
Source: Marrero Cigars
Brand Reference: Marrero Cigars
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop