60 Ring Cigars: Big n’ Beefy Are “In”
By Gary Korb
First, it was skinny Lanceros that offered more wrapper flavor.
Now it’s long, wide-ring cigars that offer more filler flavors.
The 6″ x 60 format is called a “Double Toro” or “Grand Toro” due to their mostly six-inch length and extra wide diameter. If you think these 60 ring cigars are big, you should have seen the Galaxia from Perdomo’s original Cuban Parejo series. Rolled to 10″ x 100 ring, Perdomo was also one of the first brands to market an all extra-wide-ring edition. Big cigars would rear their chubby heads occasionally as manufacturers like Rocky Patel, Oliva, and CAO began adding Grand Toros to some of their lines. Then, in 2006, Alec Bradley Cigars launched their MAXX line which had two Grand Toros: “The Freak” at 6 3/8″ x 60 and “The Vice” at 6 1/2″ x 62. More recently, Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real has added a 6 x 60 “Magnum,” and E.P.C. Cigars has the “El Decano” in their New Wave Connecticut series.
One of the reasons for this big fat cigar trend is, extra-large cigars provide more tobacco and smoking time for the money. Plus, some cigar smokers believe big cigars are stronger, though this is not necessarily the case; for as one manufacturer told me, “Large ring cigars offer a large volume of smoke, thus increasing the flavor profile.” If there’s any one advantage at all to smoking a Gran Toro, it’s that the blenders are able to experiment with more types of filler tobaccos, which translates to producing more complex cigars.
Some wrapper attributes that make a difference in flavor
Cigars are sorted in the factory by color. The reason for this is so when you open the box, each cigar’s wrapper is virtually the same shade, which makes the cigars more appealing to your eye. But there are a couple of other things about the wrapper you may find interesting: If the wrapper is darker, thicker, or has more noticeable seams, the cigar will be somewhat stronger – but more so in flavor, than in potency.
CAO’s Double Toro sports two American-grown wrapper leaves: a Connecticut shade leaf pinstripe-spirals around a broadleaf wrapper in this marvelously creamy, complex and ultra-smooth cigar. Nicaragua, Italy and the DR contribute fillers, all of which are bound in a Brazilian binder leaf.
Famous Nicaraguan Selection 3000 Grande Robusto
Among the best-selling cigars in the private label lineup, due to its heady, full-flavored array of dark tobacco flavors. Extra points to the 3000 Series for fine construction and reasonable price – believe it or not, the top-notch flavor of these 60 ring cigars comes at you from a bundle. A worthy buy, for a full-flavored everyday smoke.
Gran Habano Corojo #5 Imperiales
A rich-tasting Corojo wrapper rounds out this full-bodied cigar that’s creamy, well-balanced and lusciously complex. The Nicaraguan/Costa Rican longfillers inside give it a long earthy finish, seamlessly rolled in the dark and oily Nicaraguan wrapper.
Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Gran Consul
Even though it’s on the stubbier side of the spectrum, this 60 RG smoke is a favorite of the full-bodied crowd. It’s a throwback to the ’70s era Joya blend that smokes extra-rich, from a hearty handful of all-Nicaraguan leaf. A powerhouse of dark, earthy and woody flavors.
La Floridita Limited Edition Magnum
A dark, zesty Barzilian Mata Fina maduro wrapper caps this bold, aromatic and earthy smoke. The mix is comprised of 4 nations’ worth of tobaccos – the result is a refined, medium-full cigar that’s laced with sweet n’ spicy complexities. And a sensible price tag, to boot.
Alec Bradley The MAXX Freak
Big n’ beefy, yes – though a little more manageable than its even-bigger counterpart the SuperFreak, this Alec Bradley satisfies when you’re in search of chunky, full-flavored cigars smokes. This Freak hits on all cylinders with a salvo of creamy, earthy, non-stop caramelized flavors from a 5-nation blend, clad in dark Habano.
Nub Cameroon 466BPT
Nub cigars have long been the center of discussion about whether or not they’d qualify as “short smokes”; the Cameroon 466BPT puts the debate to rest, as this jawbreaker (it’s over 1″ wide, well beyond a 60 ring) cigar is well-packed and brimming with naturally sweet and creamy goodness – and easily lasts an hour or more.
Oliva Cain F 660
Cain raised the bar on strength and body, by its heavy reliance on putting the most potent, flavorful primings in the mix. Made with over 80% ligero, this full-bodied masterpiece actually smokes very smooth – not harsh – and dense with flavor.
Olor Fuerte Magnum
Chock full of caramelized flavors that feature coffee, nutmeg and toffee; and there’s more of them, in this Magnum size. Olor is a 5-nation blend clad in a dark natural Habano wrapper that now supplies well over 90 minutes of rich tobacco taste, at 6×60.
Perdomo Cuban Parejo Epicure
Perdomo was the brand that set the standard for larger ring cigars. And among the first 60 ring cigars to be introduced, the Cuban Parejo is loaded with dark, spicy and semi-sweet Nicaraguan tobacco flavors on a long finish.
Rocky Patel Rosado Sixty
Saint Luis Rey Serie G No. 6
A hearty, full-bodied cigar, this 60RG edition of the Serie G burns well and blooms into a rich, earthy smoke. Notes of cocoa, coffee and savory spices abound from the Honduran and Nicaraguan longfillers inside.