If you have followed the cigar industry from a global perspective, the name Arnold André is one you are quite familiar with. Based in Germany and founded in 1817, Arnold André is best known as Germany’s largest machine-made cigar manufacturer. Over the years, Arnold André has also handled European distribution for well-known premium cigar brands such as Davidoff and Joya de Nicaragua. What many people may not know is that Arnold André has also been producing cigars out of the factory it acquired for over a decade. As the start of 2022 began, word came that United Cigars had secured the rights to four of Arnold André’s lines. It’s a significant move given Arnold André’s presence in the global market. Today, we take a look at the Terra Nova Dark Fire Kentucky line in the Toro size.
There were two brands with two blends each that were a part of the distribution deal between Arnold André and United Cigars:
- Montosa Natural
- Montosa Maduro
- Terra Nova Araperique
- Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky
Terra Nova is quite an interesting brand. The Araperique blend involves aging tobaccos under high pressure in whiskey barrels. As the name indicates, the Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky utilizes Fire-Cured tobacco. One other noteworthy item is that the Arnold André brands being distributed by United Cigars have a value-price range. The Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky Toro is priced at $8.40.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky is a multi-national blend. The blend is highlighted by the Dark Fired Kentucky tobacco that is a part of the filler. As mentioned, production comes from Arnold André’s factory in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder Bahia, Sumatra
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Brazilian, Dark Fired Kentucky
County of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Arnold André Dominicana S.R.L.
The Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky is offered in five sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes.
Short Robusto: 3 7/8 x 54
Robusto: 4 7/8 x 50
Toro: 5 7/8 x 54
Belicoso: 6 1/4 x 50
Churchill: 6 3/4 x 50
The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper had a light brown color to it. There wasn’t much in the way of oil on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper itself had a slightly weathered look to it. In addition, there were some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams.
Before lighting the Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky Toro, a straight cut was used to remove the cap of the cigar. Once the cap of the cigar was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered notes of cream, pepper, and a slight amount of smoky notes. Overall the pre-light draw was a satisfactory experience. At this point, it was time to toast up the foot of the Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky Toro and see what the smoking experience would deliver.
The Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky Toro started out with an assortment of flavors including notes of earth, black pepper, cream, tangy barbecue, and smoky notes. Early on, the earth notes were primary and were supported by the other flavors. As the cigar moved through the first third, notes of cedar emerged in the forefront with the earth notes. Meanwhile, on the retro-hale, there were additional pepper and classic wood notes.
During the second third, the combination of cedar and earth remained. In the background, the pepper, barbecue, and smoky notes complemented the primary notes. By this point, the creamy notes had dissipated. Throughout the second third, there was an increase in the pepper component on both the tongue and retro-hale.
The final third saw an increase in the smoky notes. While the earth and cedar still were primary, the smoky and pepper notes were now the most prominent secondary notes. The tangy barbecue notes now were greatly diminished. This is the way the Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Overall the burn of the Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky performed quite well. This cigar maintained a straight burn path and had a straight burn line. While some touch-ups were required along the way, these were not excessive and the burn remained low maintenance. The resulting ash wasn’t overly firm, but it wasn’t loose or flaky either. This is an ash that was silver-gray. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
Overall this was a draw that was quite open. It almost borderlines on what I consider to be a loose draw. I found myself having to puff on the Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky Toro at a controlled rate. In the end, I didn’t think smoking at a controlled pace was a bad thing with this cigar.
Strength and Body
The Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky Toro started out as a medium-strength, medium-bodied cigar. As the cigar experience progressed, there was a slight increase in the intensity levels of both attributes. In the end, while there was more intensity at the end of the cigar, both the strength and body remained in the medium range of the spectrum. In terms of strength versus body, the body maintained a slight edge throughout the smoking experience.
Banding and Packaging Notes
The bands to the Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky were white paper bands with some red accents. The red accents were a nice touch to the band. I did find these bands a little difficult to remove during the smoking experience. This cigar has a delicate wrapper, so a little more attention to band removal was necessary.
I’ve found many fire-cured blends to be polarizing, but the ones that have made the best impression on me are those where the fire-cured note doesn’t overpower the blend. In the case of the Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky Toro, the fire-cured tobacco is more of a complementary flavor instead of a primary flavor. Coming in at a respectable 88 points, this cigar produced a flavorful smoke with a nice amount of complexity at a very fair price. It’s a cigar I would recommend to any cigar enthusiast to smoke – even those who are not fans of fire-cured tobacco. As for myself, this is a cigar I would buy and smoke again.
Key Flavors: Earth, Cedar, Wood, Cream, Barbecue, Pepper, Smoky Notes
Complexity: Medium Plus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop