Today we take a look at another cigar in Toscano Cigars’ Master Aged Series, the Toscano Master Aged 2. The Master Aged Series is a line of three cigars that was introduced in 2022. The differentiating factor is that the Master Aged Series involves using an extended aging and maturation process for each of the cigars in the series. Following rolling of the cigars, they are aged in a special maturation cell dedicated specifically to the Master Aged Series. Starting with the fifth day of maturation, an “affinatore” (refiner) checks the humidity and temperature of the product daily. This is done for a period of 360 days and by monitoring the temperature and humidity, the goal is to deliver a better-performing cigar.
While the cigars of the Master Aged Series undergo an extended maturation process, the tobaccos used in the cigars also have an extended drying and fire-curing process compared to other Toscano Cigars. One other thing that is unique with the Master Aged Series is while most Toscano Cigars can be stored without humification, it is recommended that humidification be used for the Master Aged blends. This is because the Master Aged process involves maintaining a more consistent temperature and humidity.
Without further ado, let’s turn our attention to the Toscano Master Aged 2 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
This cigar features a Kentucky tobacco wrapper from Tennessee where it is fire-cured for 30 days. This wrapper covers a blend of Italian and U.S. Kentucky tobaccos.
Wrapper: Tennessee-grown Kentucky Fire Cured
Filler: Italiam-grown Kentucky Fire Cured, U.S.-grown Kentucky Fire Cured
Country of Origin: Italy
Factory: Manifatture Sigaro Toscano S.p.A.
The Toscano Master Aged 2 is offered in one size – 6 1/3 x 43. This cigar features a similar conical shape to that which most Toscano cigars are known for. The cigars are offered in 30-count boxes. All three of the Master Aged blends are offered in the same size and box counts.
The Tennessee wrapper of the Toscano Master Aged 2 had a roasted coffee bean color to it. There was some oil on the surface of the wrapper. As with many Toscano cigars, the Master Aged 2 was on the veiny side and had a very rugged look to it. This ruggedness gave the cigar quite a bit of charm.
Another unique feature found on Toscano Cigars is that they are designed to be smoked in half or as a whole unit. Personally, I still have not yet been able to get over the hump of cutting a cigar in half, so as I have smoked and assessed all Toscano Cigars, I smoked the Master Aged 2 as a whole cigar.
Even though the Toscano Master Aged 2 is pre-cut, I gave a slight straight cut to it anyway to give the smoking area a little more width. As for the pre-light draw, the Toscano Master Aged 2 delivered notes of coffee, campfire, cedar, and a touch of barbecue sweetness. While there was a lot happening on the pre-light draw, it just didn’t have me doing handstands with excitement. At this point, it was time to toast the footer of the Toscano Master Aged 2 and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Toscano Master Aged 2 opened up with notes of coffee, classic wood, cedar, and a touch of barbecue sauce flavor. Early on the coffee and wood notes moved into the forefront. The wood notes very much had a campfire flair to them. Meanwhile, the cedar and barbecue notes settled into the background. On the retro-hale there was an additional layer of wood notes.
Throughout the first third of the Toscano Master Aged 2, the coffee and wood notes alternated in intensity. Some black pepper notes emerged on the tongue. The black pepper also joined the wood notes on the retro-hale. As the cigar experience progressed into the second third, the coffee and wood continued to be the primary notes alternating in intensity. The pepper notes remained in the background and increased in intensity. There were still some residual cedar notes, but the barbecue sweetness slowly dissipated.
The final third saw the wood and pepper notes take over. The coffee notes receded and joined the cedar notes in the background. There still was a campfire quality to the wood notes, and there was some harshness. This is the way the Toscano Master Aged 2 came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
While the Toscano Master Aged didn’t have the prettiest burn, it wasn’t a bad burn. This was a burn that did require multiple touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path and straight burn line. The number of touch-ups needed was still more than I prefer. The resulting ash was on the firm side. This ash had a dark gray color with some black spots. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn maintained ideal levels.
While normally I prefer a little resistance on the draw, the Toscano Master Aged 2 had a draw tighter than I prefer. As a result, this was a bit tougher to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The strength and body levels of the Toscano Master Aged 2 started out medium. Throughout the smoking experience, there was an increase in the intensity levels of both attributes. While the strength and body levels at the conclusion of the smoking experience were more intense than at the start, both the strength and body remained in the medium range of the spectrum.
In terms of strength versus body, the strength maintained a slight edge throughout the smoking experience.
Banding and Packaging Notes
The banding and packaging of the Toscano Master Aged 2 is consistent with the whole Toscano Master Aged Series. I like the band found on the center of the cigar, and I like how the “1”, “2”, or “3” is boldly displayed. The 30-count boxes work well for me. I think the two rows of 15 that are packaged in the boxes work well for retailers.
The Toscano Master Aged 2 delivered some of the qualities that I don’t enjoy from a fire-cured cigar – namely the campfire and wood notes. While the draw wasn’t terrible, it still made the smoking experience more difficult. The Master Aged 2’s sibling, the Toscano Master Aged 3 had some softer and smoother qualities which I think makes it a better cigar and better selection in the series. On the other hand, the Master Aged 2 lacked this smoothness. In the end, the Master Aged 2 is probably a cigar you would want to try a sample of first. As for myself, I’d probably reach for a Master Aged 3 first given the opportunity.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Wood, Cedar, Campfire, Barbecue, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
News: Toscano Master Aged Series to be Showcased at 2022 PCA Trade Show
Brand Reference: Toscano
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop