Sunday, August 10, 2008

ITC 10th Anniversary (toro)

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Back in early February of this year I purchased a Rocky Patel toro sampler of eight cigars which contained even amounts of Rocky Patel Decade toros and ITC 10th Anniversary toros. Since then, the Rocky Patel Decade cigars have gotten a lot of positive reviews from Cigar Aficianado. The torpedo size especially received a whopping 95 points in the latest Cigar Insider, which is their on-line cigar magazine that you have to pay a fee to subscribe to. While I did try the RP Decade cigars, I decided to hold off trying any of the ITC 10th Anniversary's because of the lackluster reviews I've read concerning them. Specifically The Stogie Review and The Stogie Guys perception of the robusto version of this cigar.


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Yesterday, I had my first ITC 10th Anniversary toro because it seemed to be calling my name from out of one of my table top humidors. (By the way, I would highly recommend investing in an electronic humidifier for your humidors to replace the annoying humidifying manual units that come with the humidors. Since doing that, my cigars have been very happy and look to be in very good condition.) So anyways, the cigar looks wonderful. The color of the Nicaraguan Habano wrapper looks like a rich light tan (brown) leather and the double bands which adorn the cigar match the color beautifully. It's a golden brown band and creamy yellow color which adds a nice elegant touch to the cigar. The wrapper has some medium veining throughout and is neatly rolled with no obvious flaws. The cap is a neat two seam job which clips easily with a dual blade guillotine cutter. The cigar feels nice and firm as if packed with tobacco. Ligero is visible from both open ends.


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The beautiful construction lends itself well to near perfect burn qualities for this cigar. The burn line was mostly even and sharp and the ash beautifully compact and held together well. I purposefully ashed after the one inch mark and it left a nice perfect cherry red cone each time. As far as draw goes, my concerns for a slow draw during pre-light testing proved to be unfounded when It drew perfectly when lit.


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The initial flavors were nice. I picked up some floral notes which quickly transitioned to a nice buttery coffee flavor which left some sweetness on my lips. There was also a nice warm spicy character to the finish. The flavor was smooth and balanced in the first part of the cigar and in the medium range. Somewhere near the mid-point of the cigar I tasted some bitterness. I personally don't mind bitter flavors as long as it's in harmony with other more pleasant flavors, like coffee. In fact I would recommend this cigar with a cup of joe as it seemed to really compliment the cigar. The ITC maintained a nice aged cedar and leather profile in the second half of the cigar while still showing the presence of butterscotch. The finish was bitter but not horrible if smoked with the right beverage.


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This may be one of the first cigars I've smoked where the first half was better than the last half. While I wasn't offended by it's bitterness down the stretch, others would probably be turned off by it. So I doubt this would be the first cigar I would offer to a friend. I'm sure that I would buy this cigar again because I like having a variety of flavors in my humidor. I would get bored if all of my smokes had the same flavor profiles. I also liked the elegant look of this cigar. From the color right down to the perfect burn profile it was a pleasure handling the cigar. The cigar bands came off easily and did not marr the wrapper in any way. I bought my sampler box for $60.95 for eight cigars (4 of each) on-line, which works out to about just under eight dollars a stick. I would buy again surprisingly more for smoking performance over flavor, even though I also found the flavors to be balanced and tasty in the first half and adequate but bitter on the finish in the second half.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great review! I had a very similar experience with the same cigar, I'd never before had one that was better in the first half than the second... All in all a decent smoke with some interesting flavours, but the bitter finish was rather disappointing in my opinion.