#nowsmoking Espinosa’s Laranja sequel: read our quick review and tasting notes in this Laranja Reserva Escuro Cigar Review, and see why this heavy-hitter is humidor-worthy…
2019 CA Report: 10 Top Toro Cigars Under $10
Cigar Advisor 10 Under 10: Top Toro Cigars Under $10
The premium handmade Toro cigar: about midway in length between a Robusto and a Churchill, it’s one of the most popular cigar shapes offering a long, pleasurable smoke, plenty of flavor, and very often, good value. For this list, I’ve aimed the spotlight at 10 Toros that offer quality construction, great taste, and individually sell for less than $10. If you’re already a Toro smoker, or scouting around for your first, you’ll find some new cigars, proven bestsellers, and even a few dark horses. – G.K.
Aganorsa Leaf Connecticut Toro ($7.50*)
Size: 6″ x 52, box-pressed Strength: Medium-plus Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Shade Binder & Filler: Nicaragua
The latest creation from one of the hottest boutique cigar companies in the business. The Aganorsa Leaf Connecticut Toro boasts a silky, blonde Connecticut Shade wrapper from Ecuador which caps a rich-tasting, Aganorsa leaf core. Beautifully handcrafted and box-pressed with slightly rounded corners, the smoke issues a creamy, well-balanced brew of earth, oak, and sweet spices on a long and slightly peppery finish. Another excellent example of the more strident “Connecticuts” now on the market, and offered at a very reasonable price. If you’re fond of prime Connecticut wrapper, this cigar is a must-try.
Alec Bradley Nica Puro Toro ($8.50*)
Size: 6″ x 52 Strength: Medium-plus Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo Binder & Filler: Nicaragua
Arguably, one of the most flavorful cigars in the Alec Bradley stable – and there are many. Intimidatingly dark, the Alec Bradley Nica Puro Toro is anything but bullish on the palate. This all-Nicaraguan-leaf blend offers a dense, chewy smoke brimming with earth, cedar, leather, coffee bean, and a hearty helping of sweet spices on a long, luxurious finish. The smoke is exceptionally creamy while maintaining its complex, medium to medium-plus profile right down to the nub. One of the best Nicaraguan puros you’ll find at this price, too.
Charter Oak Toro Maduro ($5.50*)
Size: 6″ x 52 Strength: Medium Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf Binder: Nicaraguan Habano Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí and Jalapa)
Some of the finest U.S. Connecticut-grown wrapper comes from Nick Melillo’s Foundation Cigar Company, and this Broadleaf-clad Charter Oak Toro is one of the best-tasting examples out there for well under $10. Blended with Nicaraguan core tobaccos grown on A.J. Fernandez’s farms, the cold draw serves-up enticing pre-light flavors of nuts and cocoa. Once lit, the tobaccos issue a harmonious, medium-bodied mix of nuts, leather, and cocoa that segue to notes of espresso and dark chocolate in the latter stages. A delectably rich, satisfying smoke that defies its modest sticker price.
Crowned Heads Luminosa Toro ($8.50*)
Size: 6½” x 52 Strength: Medium Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Shade Binder & Filler: Undisclosed
The Crowned Heads Luminosa Toro has Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s autograph on it, and at little more than eight bucks cigar, this blend checks all the high mark boxes. The core tobaccos are not revealed, but the cigar is well-built, and the Connecticut-seed wrapper is gorgeous. A citrusy tang opens the medium-bodied show along with cedar, roasted nuts, earth, and sweet spice. Later, the roasted nuts and sweet spice become more evident as coffee notes are revealed and some tanginess fades. Retrohaling offers a healthy dose of pepper, yet it’s not a peppery cigar. For the price, this Toro is a real catch.
La Gloria Cubana RF No.21 ($8.77*)
Size: 6″ x 50 Strength: Full Wrapper: Habano (Ecuador) Binder: Habano (Connecticut) Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
This dark, handsome-looking devil made exclusively for Famous Smoke Shop by La Gloria Cubana is tailor-made for lovers of big, chewy, spicy cigars. Highlighted by a spicy Ecuador-grown Habano wrapper, the RF No.21 opens with a shot of black pepper over the bow, then rounds out to a creamy, well-balanced mix of earth and sweet notes of cedar and oak. Moving along, a ribbon of pepper bubbles up to the surface, fades, then returns at various intervals, giving this Toro a pleasing complexity. Fans of the mainline La Gloria Serie R cigars and similar blends will find this affordably-priced selection right in their wheelhouse.
Leaf By Oscar Corojo Toro ($9.50*)
Size: 6″ x 50 Strength: Medium Wrapper: Honduran Corojo Binder & Filler: Honduras
Looking at the Leaf by Oscar cigars for the first time may be confusing since, instead of cello, they’re wrapped in husky-looking tobacco leaves. Remove the leaf and you’ll discover a beautifully handcrafted cigar that imparts a considerable degree of elegance. The chewy smoke draws easily with a medium body and lots of creaminess on the palate. Earth, nuts, and some woodiness contribute to the flavor profile, but sweet spice is the primary component. It’s not surprising that Leaf by Oscar has received so many high tasting scores and a well-deserved acceptance among avid cigar smokers. Overall, a very consistent cigar that’s also worthy of its price point.
Liga Undercrown Sun Grown Gran Toro ($8.64*)
Size: 6″ x 52 Strength: Medium-plus Wrapper: Ecuador Sun Grown Sumatra Binder: Connecticut River Valley Sun Grown & stalk-cut Habano Filler: Nicaragua, plus long-aged Nueva Segovia region ligero
Created by Willy Herrera and the Undercrown blending team, the Sun Grown line is an impressive departure from the original Undercrown blend, especially with this wrapper, and has become my favorite in the Liga Undercrown series. The Gran Toro is expertly crafted, and from puff one issues a rich and creamy nuttiness accentuated by a ribbon of sweet spices that linger on the finish. Medium to medium-plus in body, the smoke is well-balanced and full of flavorful surprises. Flavors of pepper, roasted nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, sweet cream, toffee, and more, hold your interest from start to finish making this reasonably-priced Toro a very welcome and pleasant adventure.
Don Pepin Garcia Blue Original Generosos ($8.30*)
Size: 6″ x 50 Strength: Full Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo Binder & Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo & Corojo
In this business consistency is everything, so when it comes to the leading Nicaraguan handmade cigars, the original Don Pepin Garcia Blue blend continues to impress. Built on an all-Nicaraguan leaf blend of Corojo and Criollo tobaccos, the smoke is earthy and peppery out of the gate, then swiftly rounds-out to dense, creamy notes of cedar, coffee bean, dark chocolate, and sweet spice on a long finish. Working into the midsection, a citrusy tang enters the mix, but never fully breaks through the layer of dark chocolate and sweet spice. Earth and pepper are reprised in the final inches for a hearty, complex puro that can be summed-up in one word: “Classic.”
Perdomo Small Batch 2005 Sun Grown Toro Especial ($7.00*)
Size: 5½” x 54 Strength: Medium Wrapper: Sun Grown Nicaraguan Binder & Filler: Nicaragua
Just shy of the “traditional” Toro six-inch mark, this well-made selection makes up for its height by weighing in at a 54 ring. This affordably-priced puro is also a great example of Perdomo’s naturally-sweet Sun Grown wrapper. The cold draw alone offers a welcome combination of earth, leather, and brown sugar. Once lit, the cigar issues a smooth, medium-bodied smoke with caramelized flavors of light pepper, cedar, brown sugar, nutmeg, and dried fruit. This is a wonderful introduction to the Perdomo stable, and a smart choice for newer smokers interested in an all-Nicaraguan leaf cigar with just the right amount of body, strength, and flavor in a wider ring gauge.
Rocky Patel Hamlet Tabaquero Toro ($9.00*)
Size: 6″ x 52 Strength: Medium-plus Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Binder: Brazil, Mexico Filler: Nicaragua
The Hamlet Tabaquero selection was Hamlet Paredes’s introduction to the American cigar market by way of Rocky Patel. This hefty Toro calls attention to Hamlet’s masterful skills with a lusciously dark San Andrés wrapper, dual binder, and a Nicaraguan core. Opening with a smooth, yet zesty mix of earth and pepper, sweeter notes enter the mix and round-out to a well-balanced fusion of sweet spices, earthiness, and espresso—all in the first inch. The retrohale reveals a tangy citrus note as the sweet-spicy core flavors stay consistent down to the nub. Paredes has released two more cigars since Tabaquero, but like a great musician, his talents are best defined by his first release.
* Prices reflect those listed at press time, and are subject to change.
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