We have seen many cigar companies and brands celebrate 25th, 50th, 100th, and even more recently 180th anniversaries. However, when it comes to a company celebrating a 200-year milestone, the only one that has come to mind is Toscano. Based in Italy, Toscano cigars are known for their rustic, fire-cured blends. In 2018, the Toscano brand celebrated its 200th anniversary and the Toscano Duecento was released to commemorate the milestone. Two years later and the Toscano Duecento made its way to the U.S. market. Today we take a closer look at the Toscano Duecento.
Most Toscano Cigars have a few things in common. First, they incorporate fire-cured tobacco (mostly from the U.S. or Italy); second, the cigars are not rolled with a binder and finally, there are known for their conical perfecto shape. The Duecento incorporates all of these things. The one difference is the cigar comes in a much larger format than many Toscano Cigars have come in the past.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Toscano Duecento and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
Toscano Duecento features a U.S. fire-cured Kentucky-seed wrapper grown in Tennessee over fillers consisting of Italian and U.S. fire-cured Kentucky-seed tobaccos. As with the majority of Toscano cigars, there is no binder used in the blend. Production is handled at Toscano’s Lucca factory in Italy.
Wrapper: Fire-Cured Kentucky (Tennessee)
Filler: Italian Fire-Cured Kentucky, U.S. Fired-Cured Kentucky
Country of Origin: Italy
Factory: Manifatture Sigaro Toscano Lucca
The Toscano Duecento measures 7 3/4 x 46. As mentioned, it’s a larger format of Toscano’s signature conical perfecto design. The cigars are presented in 20-count boxes.
For many years, Toscano Cigars have been sold in soft-box five-packs. Recently, the trend is toward 20-count boxes, including the Duecento and the Nobile releases.
The Fire-Cured wrapper of the Toscano Duecento had a roasted coffee bean wrapper. There was some mottling on the surface of the wrapper. This was a classic Toscano rustic-style look. It was a veiny wrapper that was quite bumpy. At the same time, the wrapper seams were hard to see. There was a slight curvature to the cigar. The cigar is tapered on both ends.
The band of the Toscano Duecento was gray with gold font. On the center of the band is the text “Duecento” in script. The text “1818” and “2018” is above and below the “Duecento text.” Near the top center of the band is the text “TOSCANO.” There was gold trim near the top and bottom of the band.
Since the Toscano Duecento is pre-cut, there is no cut required. Some opt to cut the perfecto in half, and the cigar can be smoked at either end. In this case, I remain consistent with the way I have assessed Toscano Cigars and have kept the Toscano Duecento whole. The cold draw had a slight campfire note that I often get from fire-cured tobacco as well as earth notes. I’m not a fan of campfire notes, so this pre-light draw was not satisfying to me. At this point, it was time to light up the Toscano Duecento and see what the smoking experience would bring to the table.
The Toscano Duecento opened up with notes of sweet barbecue sauce, black pepper, earth, wood, and some residual campfire notes. Early on the earth notes became primary and were soon joined by the wood notes. The black pepper and campfire notes settled in the background. The sweet barbecue sauce floated between the forefront and background. On the retro-hale, there was an additional layer of barbecue and pepper notes. Later in the first third, the wood notes joined the earth in the forefront.
During the second third of the Toscano Duecento, the wood notes slowly eclipsed the earth notes as primary. The barbecue sauce flavors settled in the background and morphed into more of a citrus sweetness. Meanwhile, the pepper notes increased in the background and there still was a residual campfire note present.
The final third saw the pepper notes move into the forefront with the wood. In the background were earth, citrus, and some campfire notes. This is the way the Toscano Duecento came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Toscano Duecento performed extremely well. It maintained a straight burn path and had a straight burn line. The ash wasn’t overly firm, but wasn’t loose nor flaky either. This was an ash that was silver-gray in color. Both the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
Normally I prefer a little resistance on the draw, but the draw for the Toscano Duecento was a little snugger than I prefer. This wasn’t a case where the cigar went out and required a re-light, but I had to work hard to derive the flavors.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Toscano Duecento starts out medium. While there was a slight increase in the body throughout the smoking experience, there was a more pronounced increase in strength. By the second half, the strength moved into the medium to full range. Throughout the smoking experience, the strength maintained a slight edge over the body.
When it comes to many fire-cured cigars, I find that some will score well with flavor, but ultimately lose points for balance and complexity. The case of the Toscano Duecento was the opposite. This was a cigar that I found scored better in the complexity department, but did wow me in terms of flavor. I’m not sure whether to attribute this to the bigger size of this Toscano Cigar or not. This cigar also carries a suggested retail price of $11.00, and while that does not factor into our numerical store, it does factor into our value rating. In the end, this is probably a cigar you might want to want to try first before committing to a purchase.
Key Flavors: Earth Wood, Barbecue Sauce, Citrus, Campfire, Black Pepper
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop