Reading Time: < 1 minute Crowned Heads Cigars plans to release the first regular production addition to their bestselling Mil Días range next month. Named Topes, the new vitola will also be the largest ring gauge to-date in the brand. Read all about it here.
#nowsmoking: Havana Q Double Toro
#NowSmoking: Quorum Havana Q Double Toro Cigar Review
Havana Q Cigar Review – Double Toro
Factory: Tabacalera J.C. Newman PESNA – Estelí, Nicaragua
Size: 6” x 54
Wrapper: Ecuador Havana Seed
Binder & Filler: Nicaraguan (mixed)
Presented in pouches of 20 cigars and 5-packs (both @$2.59)
The Havana Q Back Story
J.C. Newman has created a new value brand with a Cubanesque twist. It’s called Havana Q, and the question this new value cigar line is asking is: Did you ever wonder what makes Cuban tobacco so rich and ﬂavorful? According to the press release, “Whatever the reason, you can now experience the taste of Cuba with Havana Q.”
That’s a pretty tall statement, especially for a $3.00, everyday cigar. But lest we not forget, this cigar is made by J.C. Newman in Nicaragua. Moreover, their Quorum main line is the #1-selling bundle cigar out of Nicaragua, and they hope Havana Q will be just as successful.
The first difference between Havana Q and its mainline Quorum cousins is that Q comes in a variety of larger ring-gauges. The demand for larger rings has grown substantially in recent years, so Havana Q is aimed at those smokers, as well.
Putting the “Havana” in the Q
Now, here’s where that “Cubanesque” part comes in. Handmade at J.C. Newman’s PESNA factory in Estelí, Havana Q is rolled with genuine Havana-seed wrapper grown by the Oliva family in Ecuador. But not just anywhere in Ecuador. This wrapper was grown in Ecuador’s famed Guayas region, renowned for growing some of the world’s best tobacco. They say that the terroir in this particular area is comparable to the famed Vinales Valley in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province. As a result, it appears that this wrapper has similar flavor attributes found in the Cuban variety.
As for the Havana Q’s binder and filler, it’s a mixed blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos.
Drew Newman notes: “We wanted to bring the essence of Cuba to consumers without breaking the bank. With larger sizes and convenient humi-bag packaging, all varieties of smokers will find something they like in Havana Q.”
Havana Q is rolled in the following shapes, and comes in convenient, resealable Humidor bags of 20:
The Basics At a Glance
Construction: Very good. The cigar feels a little light in the hand and a little dry. But it’s nicely rolled, and the triple seam cap clipped neatly. The wrapper also has a nice sweet grass smell to it.
Cold Draw: Nutty and sweet
Toasting and light: Very easy; just right.
Base flavors: Nuts, cedar, sweet-spicy tobacco
Retrohale: Light pepper
Burn & Ash: Excellent. The cigar burns arrow–straight with a firm grey ash that reveals a nicely shaped cone when tapped.
This cigar opens kind of mellow with a nutty flavor. It takes a little while to get going but about the 3/4-inch mark the flavors start to develop. Essentially, the flavors are mainly a nice, nutty mix of cedar with a bit of underlying sweet spice. The ash was pretty impressive, too. Hanging on for about an inch per tap, it exposed a nicely shaped cone. So far, the cigar is very good, very relaxing, but it could use a little more body and strength.
Similar to the first third, my Havana Q Double Toro also put out a pretty impressive amount of smoke. The flavors are still mostly nutty and woodsy with that underlying sweet-spiciness. Also at this stage, the body has moved into the medium zone and it’s definitely picked up a little strength too. As for it having an essence of Cuba part, the wrapper does add a light floral note to the mix and the aroma. There’s also a light dusting of herbs. So, in that sense, there is a hint of Havana in this Toro.
What can I pair with this cigar besides coffee?
Our resident whiskey expert suggested Elijah Craig Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Small Batch. 94 proof, this Bourbon has notes of warm spice and a subtle smoke flavor that will nicely complement this mostly nutty-woody cigar. I can also see this cigar going well with a beer, but something lighter than an IPA, which could roll right over this cigar.
(Find more cigar and drink pairing combinations here.)
One of the most impressive things about this cigar was its remarkable ash, so the cigar is pretty well put together. The nutty flavors have increased, while the cedar and sweet spice move into the wings. In those last couple of inches, the smoke got a little charry. There was one nice little surprise, though—espresso, but the sweetness had fled the scene. I got well more than three-quarters of this cigar, leaving just under two inches in the ashtray.
First things first. For the money, as everyday smokes go, the Havana Q Double Toro is a pretty darn good deal. It’s also higher in quality to similar bundle cigars in its class. As for the cigar itself, I liked its nutty–sweet-spicy profile, excellent burn, and medium body. I even liked the little floral note with its promise of Cuba. So, in the end you’ve got yourself a good everyday smoke that doesn’t ask anything of you. Light up and enjoy—case closed.
For n00bs, it’s a good starter as far as cost, strength and flavor go, so if you’re learning the ropes, have a good time. On the other hand, if you’re more of a full-time, full-flavor smoker, the Havana Q probably isn’t going to get much of a rise out of you. Then again, if you’re an explorer, you’ll probably want to get a taste of that wrapper, so follow your nose.
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