At the end of 2020, Cigar Coop named the Toro size of The American by J.C. Newman Cigar Company as our #1 Cigar of the Year. While The American was the resurrection of an old brand owned by J.C. Newman Cigar Company, in a lot of ways this was a groundbreaking cigar. It would be a cigar that paid homage U.S. cigar making. Not only would it feature all U.S. tobacco, but everything about the cigar would be American-made, including the boxes, the box hinges, the labels, and even the molds. The cigar would also be made at J.C. Newman’s El Reloj factory in Ybor City, Florida. It was also groundbreaking because the wrapper used on it was grown at Jeff Borysiewicz’s farm in Clermont, Florida. In 2021, a line extension was done to The American in the form of a Double Robusto. The Double Robusto size features a slightly modified blend that is on the bolder side. Today we take a closer look at The American in the Double Robusto size.
The El Reloj factory has been primarily used for machine-made cigars. With the launch of The American, it also marked the return of hand-rolled cigars to the Ybor City factory. The company has plans to produce more cigars out of El Reloj, including plans for another line called Angel Cuestra. At the same time, there is very limited staff at this factory, and as a result, there is a limit on the hand-rolled products coming out of El Reloj, and thus a limited amount of The American cigars.
Without further ado, let’s break down The American Double Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the Florida-grown wrapper, the remainder of the blend consists of a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and fillers consisting of Pennsylvania and Connecticut Habano tobacco. The American Double Robusto uses the same tobacco components. The one difference that has been disclosed is that there is an extra leaf of Pennsylvania ligero that is included in the blend.
Wrapper Florida Sun Grown (Clermont, FL)
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf (South Windsor, CT)
Filler: Pennsylvania Type 41, (Lancaster, PA) and Connecticut Habano (South Windsor, CT)
Country of Origin: United States
Factory: J.C. Newman El Reloj
The tweaked blend used for The American Double Robusto is specific to the Double Robusto size. The Double Robusto is a 5 1/2 x 56. It is the thickest ring gauge of The American line, and it facilitated adding the extra ligero that issued in this blend.
For reference purposes, the other sizes in The American line are listed:
Double Robusto: 5 1/2 x 56
Robusto: 4 1/2 x 50
Toro: 6 x 54
Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52
Churchill: 7 x 47
The Florida Sun Grown wrapper of The American Double Robusto has the signature cinnamon tint that is present across the other offerings under The American line. There is some oil and some mottling on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper also has some thin visible veins and some thin visible wrapper seams.
The band has mostly a red, white, blue, and gold color scheme. The front of the band is shaped like a shield with four compartments consisting (clockwise) of an American Eagle, Cuban flag, tobacco plant, and red and white stripes. The top of the shield has the text “The AMERICAN” in white font. The left side of the band has the text “TAMPA FLA.” in white font on a blue stripe. The right side had the text “J.C. NEWMAN” – also in white font on a blue stripe.
Prior to lighting up The American Double Robusto, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered notes of wood, cedar, and touches of cream and fruit. Overall this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to toast up the footer of The American Double Robusto and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The American Double Robusto had a short blast of black pepper. Once the pepper receded, notes of wood, mixed fruit, and emerged with the black pepper. The wood and fruit notes moved into the forefront with the earth notes settling into the black pepper. As the cigar moved through the first third, there was a slight metallic note as well as a slight graham cracker note that surfaced in the background. There were extra layers of fruit sweetness and black pepper that were present on the retro-hale.
During the second third of The American Double Robusto, the earth notes increased in intensity while the wood and fruit sweetness diminished. Around the midway point the earth joined the wood notes while the fruit went into the background with the pepper notes. It was also around the midway point where the mixed fruit notes took on a citric quality. The metallic and graham cracker notes weren’t much of a factor at this point.
There wasn’t much of a change in the final third. The earth and wood notes remained primary while the pepper and citrus notes rounded out the flavor profile. This is the way The American Double Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
At times there was a slight amount of meandering of the burn path of The American Double Robusto. There also was some occasional jaggedness on the burn line. Both of these were remedied with touch-ups. This cigar required more touch-ups than I prefer. The resulting ash had a mostly light gray color. This ash started out firm, but became a little looser as the cigar experience progressed. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to The American Double Robusto was skewed toward the open side. This didn’t cause any adverse effects other than the fact that I just prefer a little more resistance on the draw.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, The American Double Robusto was a medium strength, medium-bodied cigar. When I assessed The American Toro, I also assessed it medium for strength and body. At the same time, the Double Robusto was still on the bolder side. The Toro ranked a 5 out of 10 for strength and body, while the Double Robusto came in at a 6.5.
There wasn’t much in the way of variance for the strength and body as the cigar remained in that “6.5” range for strength and body from start to finish. Both the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
When it comes to The American line, I have found each of the vitolas to bring its own unique characteristics to what it delivers flavor-wise. Given the Double Robusto is a tweaked blend, it shares some of the core flavor characteristics of the other lines, but also smoked the most differently. As mentioned the Double Robusto is bolder, but not significantly bolder. I also found the Double Robusto offered a little more in the way of complexity. However, the Toro is a much more elegant and refined cigar. In the end, at 90 points, the Double Robusto earns a Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence. At the same time, The American Toro is still a cigar that is at a higher level and it’s why that vitola earned 2020 Cigar of the Year. Still the Double Robusto is a cigar that I would recommend to any cigar enthusiast. While my preference is the Toro, I still would buy the Double Robusto from time time and smoke it again.
Key Flavors: Wood, Earth, Mixed Fruit, Citrus, Black Pepper, Graham Cracker, Metallic Notes
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Value: Buy One
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop