Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H

Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H

One of the big stories of 2022 was the announcement that celebrity restauranteur Guy Fieri would be teaming up with Espinosa Cigars to launch the Knuckle Sandwich brand of cigars. Knuckle Sandwich Cigars is a brand produced by Espinosa Cigars and distributed by Espinosa Cigars.

Over the years, company president Erik Espinosa had developed a friendship with Fieri, who is also a cigar enthusiast. When Fieri approached Espinosa about doing a cigar, Espinosa was initially hesitant but opted to do it with the understanding that Fieri himself would support the brand. For 18 months, Fieri worked with Espinosa and Hector Alfonso Sr. on sampling potential candidates for his cigar. In the end, the Knuckle Sandwich brand was born – and it would be launched in two regular production blends – a Habano and a Maduro. Since then a third-line blend was added, the Knuckle Sandwich Connecticut, as were two limited edition cigars (Knuckle Sandwich Chef’s Special and Knuckle Sandwich 55). Today we take a closer look at the Knuckle Sandwich Maduro in the Toro H size.

When the project was launched Erik Espinosa had asked Fieri to get involved with supporting the brand once it was released. He was in attendance at the 2022 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show, the Great Smoke 2022, La Zona Palooza 2022, and has visited many retail shops over the past few months. One could easily make the case that Fieri has provided some of the deepest celebrity support of any cigar brand. It seems to have paid off because there is momentum in the brand.

For now, let’s turn our attention back to the Espinosa Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H and see what this cigar brings to the table.


Blend and Origin

The Knuckle Sandwich Maduro uses a Dark Sumatra leaf for its wrapper. The remainder of the blend utilizes Nicaraguan tobacco for the binder and filler. Production comes from AJ Fernandez’s San Lotano factory in Ocotal, Nicaragua – a factory that Espinosa uses for some of its production. The blend was developed by Hector Alfonso.

Wrapper: Dark Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: San Lotano

Vitolas Offered

The Knuckle Sandwich Maduro is offered in three box-pressed sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes. The initials used on each vitola name represent people in Fieri’s life.

Corona Gorda R: 5 5/8 x 46
Robusto J: 5 x 52
Toro H: 6 x 54


The Sumatra wrapper of the Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H had a chocolate brown color. The surface of the wrapper had some toothiness to it. Upon closer examination, some mottling could be seen on the surface. The wrapper had some visible veins and there also were some visible seams. The cigar also had a slightly soft Cuban box-press style.


Pre-Light Draw

Prior to lighting up the Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H, 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 was highlighted by a slightly naturally sweetened mocha note. Mocha is a term that I use to describe a fusion of chocolate and coffee. There also were some earth notes present. Overall this was a straightforward, but satisfying pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to take the ribbon on the footer of the Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H, toast up the cigar, and proceed with the smoking experience.

Tasting Notes

The Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H opened up with notes of mocha, red licorice, earth, minerals, and red pepper. Early on the mocha notes moved into the forefront with the licorice, minerals, and pepper settling in the background. As the cigar progressed through the first third, the red pepper crept into the forefront from time to time. Meanwhile, there was an additional layer of pepper on the retro-hale, but this was more of the black pepper varietal.

During the second third of the Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H, the mocha remained in the forefront, with the red licorice notes floating in from time to time. There was an increase in the earth and red pepper notes. Around the midway point, the earth notes entered the forefront. The red licorice continued to float in and out of the forefront. Toward the end of the second third, the mocha notes receded into the background.

By the final third, the primary notes in the forefront were the earth and pepper notes. Occasionally the red licorice notes floated into the forefront. There were notes of mocha and minerals rounding out the flavor profile. This is the way the Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.


The burn of the Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H performed excellently. It did not need a lot of touch-ups to maintain a straight burn line or straight burn path. The resulting ash was on the firm side and near white in color. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.

Burn of the Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H

Burn of the Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H


The draw to the Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H was on the open side. Normally I prefer more in the way of resistance on the draw. At the same time, there was some decent smoke production from this cigar.

Strength and Body

The Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H started out with medium to full strength and medium to full body. Along the way, there was a nominal increase of the intensity levels of both attributes. In the end, there was more strength and body at the end than at the start, but I still assessed both attributes in the medium to full range.

Both the strength and body of the Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H balanced each other out.


The Knuckle Sandwich Maduro features the same primary band that is currently found on all of the Knuckle Sandwich Cigars. This band features a black, red, and gold foil color scheme. It features Guy Fieri’s Knuckle Sandwich skull and chef’s hat logo. The band is also emblazoned with the Espinosa name and insignia. I found this primary band contrasted very nicely with the Dark Sumatra wrapper.


Final Thoughts

The Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H delivers what I would expect from the combination of Guy Fieri and Espinosa cigars -namely big bold flavors. This cigar also delivered the flavors I look for in a maduro cigar – namely mocha and sweetness. When the Knuckle Sandwich Habano and Maduro were released, there seemed to be two camps on which cigar was preferred – namely Team Habano and Team Maduro. In this case, I’m firmly in the Team Maduro camp. The Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H is a cigar that is a bit bolder, so I’m inclined to recommend it to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. At the same time, this is a cigar that is nice for a novice to graduate to something bolder. As for myself, the Knuckle Sandwich Maduro Toro H is a cigar I would buy and smoke again.


Key Flavors: Mocha (Chocolate and Coffee), Earth, Licorice, Minerals, Pepper
Burn: Excellent
Draw: Good
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good


Value: Buy One
Score: 90


News: More Details Surface on Espinosa Knuckle Sandwich
Price: $13.95
Source: Purchased
Brand Reference: Knuckle Sandwich

Photo Credits: Cigar Coop