San Lotano Bull Toro – Cigar Review
A.J. Fernandez produces the San Lotano brand of cigars that includes Connecticut, Habano, and Maduro lines as well as the Oval Series in Habano and Maduro. Late in 2013, they released the Mayimbe that we reviewed here. The Bull is the new release for 2014 from A. J. Fernandez in the San Lotano Family of cigars. The Bull features an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper and is considered a full bodied release from A.J. Fernandez. The Bull is being released in three sizes, Robusto (5×54), Torpedo (6½x54), and Toro (6×54). We are reviewing the Toro today.
Size: 6 x 54
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Strength: Medium (Close to Medium to Full towards the end)
Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
Construction and Appearance: The Bull Toro comes in boxes of ten and has a cedar sleeve on the bottom third of the cigar. The band is the same as the other San Lotano lines with San Lotano in gold on a hunter green background. The cedar sleeve has an outline of a bull with horns in black and a black foot band distinguishing this cigar as the Bull. It is a soft box-press with an adequate, but not generous cap and attractive medium, chocolaty brown finish. The wrapper has a soft sheen that appears oily and is very attractive. The color is very uniform with a couple of noticeable water spots. The cigar is firm with no soft spots and the dark ligero leaf is centered when viewing the foot of the cigar.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the San Lotano Bull Toro has notes of cedar (which isn’t surprising due to the cedar sleeve) and is mildly spicy with a hint of sweetness. The foot has a pleasant mustiness with notes of cedar, earth, and a hint of molasses. To prepare smoking the San Lotano Bull Toro, I opt for a slight straight cut. There are flavors of spice, cedar, and earth with a hint of the molasses on the pre-light draw.
Smoking Characteristics: The San Lotano Bull Toro fires up with a very smooth blend of spice, earth, cedar, and a bold spiciness which lingers on the palate. The first few draws also have a warm creaminess which lingers with the pronounced spice. The draw offers a nice resistance and the body of smoke is adequate but not substantial. The flavor profile is woody with cedar and oak notes without the sweetness noted on the foot before lighting. These cedar notes dominate during the first inch along with the notable spiciness. The flavor and strength in the first third is in the high end of the medium range. The ash holds firmly until the two-inch point.
Into the second third of the San Lotano Bull Toro, the blend remains very smooth and the flavors intensify. The cedar is still the dominant flavor along with the mild spice, earth, a mineral note and a smooth finish after each draw. The construction holds up very well, the ash holds firmly, but with a slight uneven burn and some flaking of ash. During this third, a molasses note emerges in the profile and compliments the continued spiciness. The strength in this third moves into the medium to full range, with a nice buzz setting in.
During the final third of the San Lotano Bull Toro, the rich blend of flavors continue. The flavors continue to intensify but they do not overwhelm. The profile has a pronounced complexity and is truly satisfying. The construction continues to stand up well, the burn remains sharp and the ash holds firmly well past the inch point with an even burn. The strength increases to the full range in this third, building to a wonderful finish without becoming sour. A retrohale produces a floral note mixed with an intensity that is overwhelmingly smooth for a cigar of this strength. The molasses notes continue to keep the profile from becoming too overwhelming as the full strength of this cigar is readily apparent. The draw remains optimal and the smoke production has increased and is very satisfying. I smoke the San Lotano Bull Toro to the nub which remains flavorful and firm.
Conclusion: The San Lotano Bull Toro is a great full-bodied cigar with great balance and flavor. There is no distinctive note that dominates the flavor profile, although woody and smooth best describe the experience. It is a very strong cigar, even more so than the San Lotano Oval, which is definitely full bodied. The introduction of Sumatra wrapper to the San Lotano line is a logical extension and this cigar is a great fit to the other styles produced by A. J. Fernandez. If you enjoy the other San Lotano cigars, this one is a must try. I’ll be smoking this one again.