The summer has been absolutely crazy, from May until last weekend I have spent most of the summer prepping for charity events, among other odds and ends (not to mention changing jobs). Certainly there have been good beers, bourbon, and cigars mixed in from time to time, but unfortunately no too many of note. October has also been unseasonably warm here in this part of Ohio, but with the temperatures finally below 70F, it was time to find a patio, a dark beer, and a good stogie.
The Blind Man’s Bluff Toro, 6.0″ x 52 (complements of Cigars City), is produced by Caldwell Cigar Co. Blind Man’s Bluff also happens to me made at the same factory as Camacho and AKA cigars in Danli, Honduras. The blend is Honduran Criollo leaf as both the binder and part of the filler. Dominican San Vicente makes up the additional filler and the wrapper is Ecuadorian Habano.
The cigar is single banded, and somewhat subdued and unremarkable at a glance, with only the man in the bowler hat with his eyes scratched out. The sides of the band are marked with “We Own the Night”, apparently the Caldwell tagline, and “Blind Man’s Bluff” in bold type. I actually like subtlety (at times), but the banding is certainly in stark contrast to the Ava Maria.
Out of the other cigars stashed in my humidor, Blind Man’s Bluff feels about medium weight in the hand, and the stick was little spongier than I expected it to be. The wrapper is relatively dark; I was surprised by the rich color considering this was supposed to be a “medium” smoke. The smell of the tobacco was excellent, earthy, and I would almost say medium to full-bodied pre-light scents. I was very anxious to get it lit, it’s been a while since I had a good smoke and thus far it definitely appeared in line with my palate.
Once cut you could really see the veins in the fillers on the cut line. The draw was very smooth, with more rich tobacco smell.
It took me an extra match to get lit evenly, but the draw was very easy. The first third was obviously the earthy tobacco notes I expected, but I soon noticed an obvious peppery taste, something I have only recently picked up on in other cigars. The amount of smoke was actually medium to heavy at times, with mostly grey-white ash, but with a few dark hints. As it burned further into the first third, I almost detected a fruity black cherry note, but it soon faded. The ash did not hold on too well in the first third, maybe an inch, but the flavor was very consistent.
Fall had finally settled in, the sun set behind the trees at 6:30 down by the river as I finished up the first third. The music at the bar next door paused for a moment and I could hear the crisp sound of the tobacco leaves burning with each puff. I love that sound; despite the fact that the jukebox tunes next door were agreeable. The heat began to build some as I crossed the halfway point, and again the ash fell off the stick. The mild peppery flavor seemed equally consistent in the second third, milder perhaps, possibly a little “nutty”; although it could be because I haven’t smoked much as of late.
I had a tough time detecting more than a rich tobacco scent early, but I was able to detect some woody, almost “cedar” notes entering the last third. I still didn’t detect any hint of nicotine, I suppose that smokers with less tolerance will appreciate that. I had to correct the burn line again in the last third but the ash held together much better than the first half. I’m not entirely sure if it was because it started to get cold as the sun went down and it neared 7 PM, but I could really feel the cigar start to get hot in the final third. It started to get softer as it burned down through the last section; obviously it loosens and expands with heat, but the wrapper did not crack, unlike other cigars I’ve had. In that last moments I actually thought I was done, but I couldn’t put it down until I was on the verge of burning my fingers. At which point, I finally detected a mild nicotine buzz in the last few puffs.
The first half goes pretty fast, but the burn slows toward the end. Overall, the burn line was a bit uneven and needed correcting, but not a deal breaker, just somewhat surprising considering the smooth draw. As I mentioned, I actually like a slightly “tougher” draw than most, (even though I find it effects the burn), but even with the straight cut, this draw actually suited me just fine.
I definitely enjoyed the first third and last third the most, I typically find that cigars get bolder as they burn, but in this case there was a lot of flavor right after the initial light, very mild through the middle, then bolder in the last third as I would expect. Others have commented about flavors like earthy tones (freshly tilled soil?), leather and even coffee. I agree with some earth notes, but I really never detected coffee, maybe a tiny hint of cocoa, it just didn’t seem dark enough for coffee to me. Others have also suggested “oaky” notes, I suppose that’s also possible and I just missed it. Ultimately I feel that the light peppery flavor was most consistent throughout.
Total smoke time just over an hour. This cigar actually was actually a really good fit for my personal taste, the consistency throughout just can’t be ignored. While Drew Estate cigars are my typical go-to (usually Undercrown, maybe a Liga), I could definitely see myself keeping one of these in the humidor, at around $8 each, it’s just a good medium cigar.