Reading Time: 3 minutes “I’ve been a fan of Honduran cigars for a long time,” says Gary in his review of the El Rey Del Mundo Shade Grown Toro with its Talanga Valley Connecticut wrapper. Watch now to see if this puro was a King rank smoke or just another serf.
2020 CA REPORT: 10 Top After Dinner Cigars
CA Recommends: 10 of the Best After Dinner Cigars
Introducing the After Dinner Cigar
The workday is history. Dinner has ended. And so, you head for your favorite chair and set a course for tranquility with a good cigar and a drink. For those who have not yet made this practice an habitual activity, a question arises: Does my after dinner cigar have to a pricey primo? Of course not. Yet, odds are whether you smoke it alone or with friends, it will be a favorite and quite possibly higher in quality than your everyday cigars.
The 10 after dinner cigars presented in this column do several things. For one, they represent some of the best blends from their respective brands. Secondly, a number of these vitolas stand out from the pack in one way or another, which we’ll discuss below. Speaking for myself, I feel an after dinner cigar should be a long, leisurely smoke; so every vitola here is rolled to a wide ring size, and most fall into that ever-shifting “Toro” format. And as far as cost goes, they fall into a fairly broad range of prices.
As you read each description, I’ve tried to point out what makes each of these cigars a gem in its own way.
Alec Bradley Tempus Centuria
Wrapper: Honduran Trojés
Pairing suggestion: The Macallan 18 Years
At some point during their lifetime, a number of cigar makers produce a cigar that takes them from Triple A to The Show. Such is the case with the Alec Bradley Tempus Centuria. Since it’s release in 2008, this Churchill has received two 94 (“classic”) rating scores. The key to its success is the dark, oily Honduran Trojés wrapper, which Alec Bradley has also used on some other blends. It’s an extraordinary leaf: Alan Rubin, himself, said that the Trojés wrapper “delivered flavors and complexities I had never experienced before.” And when it melds with the core of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos, it’s indescribable, especially in the 7×49 format. Dark, earthy, and oozing incessantly with caramelized flavors, the Tempus Centuria is a rich, complex smoke tailor-made for quality time.
Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Dbl. Robusto
Strength: Medium – Full
Wrapper: African Cameroon
Pairing suggestion: Havana Club Añejo 15 Años Gran Reserva
If you watched the Cigar Advisor review of the Don Carlos Personal Reserve Robusto, you got an idea of the skill and the pride that goes into Arturo Fuente Don Carlos cigars. It’s like, every cigar has to be perfect – so nothing less than stellar leaf is used to blend these legendary cigars. From the vintage, Dominican estate-grown tobaccos to the toothy Cameroon wrappers, the Don Carlos Double Robusto packs plenty of relaxing down time. In other words, if you like the Robusto, the Double Robusto’s fleshier dimensions gracefully extend the pleasure. Perfectly balanced and creamy, the smoke reveals a medley of sweet cedar and spices throughout. And if you’re one who’s a little put-off by African Cameroon wrapper, odds are you‘ve probably never had a Don Carlos—until now, of course.
Cohiba Black Supremo
Strength: Medium – Full
Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf
Pairing suggestion: Maker’s Mark
Since General Cigar began making their Cohiba Red Dot cigars in the Dominican Republic, the line has seen a number of unique blends. One of their first iterations was Cohiba Black. Released in 2006, Black was the first Red Dot line to sport a U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Cured to a rich, oily luster, the ebony-colored wrapper encases Dominican and Mexican tobaccos aged three years in palm tercios. Now, enter the Supremo. This 54-ringer serves-up a creamy cocktail of sweet tobacco, leather, cedar, cocoa, and espresso. The smoke is rich, dense and balanced throughout, while the last act swaps out the sweeter elements for more coffee effect. Despite its imposing figure and Fifth Avenue price, the Cohiba Black Supremo offers a real palate pleaser to smokers of every experience.
E.P. Carrillo Selección Oscuro Piramides Royale
Size: 6x52 Figurado
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Pairing suggestion: Remy Martin Coupe Shanghai
Ernesto Perez-Carrillo needs no introduction. He is, without a doubt, among the most talented and highly respected blenders in the biz. From his Cigar Boom La Gloria Cubanas, to his myriad successes at E.P. Carrillo, Ernesto continues to come up with some amazing cigars. His E.P. Carrillo Selección Oscuro line is one of them. Let’s take this Piramides Royale, which has had the privilege of earning a 94 rating: the blend starts with a leathery San Andrés maduro wrapper that caps an Ecuador binder and Nicaraguan long-fillers. Once lit, this figurado has an inertia all its own. Notes of cedar, leather and peppery spice lead-off of this well-balanced banquet. Later, nuanced flavors of raisins, nuts, cocoa, and dried fruit are sucked into the flavor pool. It’s all one, big harmonious flavor experience with a Hollywood ending.
Florida Sun Grown Limited Press
Size: 6x54 (trunk pressed)
Strength: Medium – Full
Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf
Pairing suggestion: Bulleit Bourbon
Drew Estate has taken on some interesting projects over the years, but the Florida Sun Grown is among the most ambitious. The star of the blend is high-priming, estate-grown, Cuban Corojo ’99 seed tobacco grown in Clermont, Florida. Using it along with Nicaraguan long-fillers bound in Honduran Criollo, Willy Herrera finished the cigars in Brazilian Mata Fina wrappers. What makes the FSG Limited Press so unique is, it’s the only size that’s box-pressed—AND, it bares a dark, U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The cigar gets off a sweet and chocolatey start with a cedary finish. Peppery spice, earthy notes, and sweet spices meet in the middle for a very rich, balanced, and complex smoke. Additionally, trading the Mata Fina for the Broadleaf gives the Limited Press a totally different dynamic in terms of its sweetness. And besides being an excellent after dinner treat, it’s one of those cigars that every avid tobacco lover should taste.
Romeo y Julieta House of Romeo Toro
Strength: Medium – Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Pairing suggestion: Woodford Reserve Distiller Select
Here’s something unique for after dinner…the RyJ House of Romeo represents the fourth and fullest blend in Famous Smoke Shop’s exclusive “House Of” series. The line was blended by the eminent Grupo de Maestros and Tabacalera U.S.A’s Director of Product Capability, Rafael Nodal. An aromatic, four nation confab is what makes the House of Romeo Toro sing so sweetly. A lustrous Ecuador Habano wrapper sits atop rare, vintage Honduran and Dominican long-fillers bound in a Honduran Connecticut seed binder. The smoke is creamy, chewy, and layered throughout with notes of raisin, cedar, leather. Subtler flavors of earth, roasted nuts and brown sugar ride alongside, culminating in a peppery finish that’s just slightly muted. It’s not often you get a Romeo of this caliber that’s so reasonably priced and approachable to all taste preferences.
Oliva Serie V Melanio Double Toro
Size: 6x60 (box pressed)
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Pairing suggestion: Johnnie Walker Black Label
As is if Oliva Serie V cigars weren’t hot enough, they had to go ahead and make the Serie V Melanio. It’s the selection that represents the pinnacle of Oliva’s cigar blending prowess. Melanio‘s key differences are its buttery Ecuador Sumatra wrappers and box-pressed shapes. The Double Toro is the big daddy of the bunch. But despite its girth, the square shape makes it feel a bit more narrow when held. Prelight notes of bittersweet chocolate and salt surrender to base flavors of oak, myriad spices, and sweet Cuban coffee when lit. The smoke is famously creamy, balanced, and for the most part, full-bodied. There are also occasional flares of pepper, cinnamon, and molasses. By the time you reach the secondary band, the flavors are pure smokestack lighting. Just about every smoker who craves full flavored, 60 ring Nicaraguans should have this special Oliva experience, especially on a full stomach.
Padrón Dámaso No.15
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Shade
Pairing suggestion: Four Roses Small Batch
When the Padrón Dámaso selection was released in 2015, it was quite a newsmaker…this iconic cigar family – who only does Nicaraguan puros – was making a cigar with a Connecticut Shade wrapper? How scandalous! Actually, the Padrón Dámaso was made specifically to attract newer cigar smokers to the Padrón brand. And, sometimes after dinner, and maybe especially after dinner, you want a cigar with presence that’s just a little lighter in strength. The Dámaso No.15 is that cigar right down to its rich Nicaraguan core. The smoke is buttery smooth offering a sweet, toasty, and nutty entrance with a peppery splash on the finish. Flavors of leather, cedar, and baker’s chocolate ensue, while floral notes are revealed at various intervals. For cigar smokers who recognize the quality and skill that goes into every Padrón cigar, the Dámaso is a refreshing departure.
Plasencia Alma Fuerte Nestor IV Toro
Size: 6¼x54 (box pressed)
Strength: Medium-plus to Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Shade Grown Jalapa
Pairing suggestion: Flor de Caña 18 Years Rum
Here’s some advice: don’t balk at the price. The Plasencia Alma Fuerte Nestor IV is a Nobel prize-worthy feat of cigar blending and craftsmanship. Rolled in a Nicaraguan shade grown wrapper perfected by Nestor Andrés Plasencia, this box pressed beauty is a stunner from puff one. When lit, the cigar has immediate presence; caramelized flavors of cedar, oak, leather, and chocolate rush the palate. The smoke is ultra creamy (and surprisingly mellow at first), pouring out of the head like London fog. The keys to this full-flavored cigar’s balance and complexity are Plasencia’s proprietary Criollo ’98 seed tobaccos grown in Condega, Estelí, Jalapa, and Ometepe. Moreover, the specific tobaccos selected for Alma Fuerte are the crème de la crème. As the cigar shifts gears to a more medium-bodied experience you’re hit with nutmeg, cafecíto, and a whole host of sweet spices. This is one stellar smoke that should not be missed by the devoted cigar smoker, regardless of their experience.
Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve Corojo Toro
Size: 6½x52, box pressed
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
Pairing suggestion: Glenfiddich Single Malt 18 Years
The Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve selection has returned to cigar store shelves after a 10 year intermission, and mostly due to popular demand. Box-pressed, as Rocky likes, one of the best examples of this revival is the Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve Corojo Toro. Long, wide, and comfortable to hold, the flawless Honduran Corojo wrapper is dark, buttery and conceals an all Nicaraguan binder and filler core. Certainly, there’s no shortage of Rocky Patel cigars that are great after dinner, but this one is among the most luxurious. The smoke is rich, creamy, and flows effortlessly through the head, offering a full-flavored mix of cedar, nuts, leather and peppery spice. It’s a long burner, too, which also makes it an ideal after dinner constitutional. However, this vitola, although exceptionally smooth and balanced, is best suited for cigar smokers with longer resumés.
I hope you’ve found a good number of these cigars appealing, and that you’ll give them try. If you do, or already have, let me know how you liked them by leaving a comment. And as always. . .enjoy!