Cigar Review: The “Nick” Toro, by LH Cigars, Masterfully Blends a Unique Cigar Experience

Spurred by suggestions from his retailers, Master Blender Nick Syris came out with the “Nick” Toro .The  Toro is very similar to his “Nick and Jim” blend that he did with “Island” Jim Robinson. It uses the same wrapper, which happens to be Nick’s favorite, a  Ecuadorian Vuelta Abajo Seed and just different proportions of filler found in the Nick and Jim. Nick finds it slightly humorous when he walks into a humidor and sees the Nick Toro sitting next to the Nick and Jim as they are very, very similar to one another. 

Never having had a Nick and Jim, as my local B&M seems to always be sold out, I was happy to find out this bit of information after having already smoked two of the Nick Toro cigar. I knew that I loved the LH Claro, so I was excited to light up more from Nick Syris. Would it be just as good? I didn’t have to wait long for my answer. 

OVERVIEW

VITOLA:   Toro
SIZE:   6″ x 54

ORIGIN:   Costa Rica
FACTORY:   Tabacos de Costa Rica

WRAPPER:   Ecuadorian Vuelta Abajo Seed
BINDER:   Nicaraguan
FILLER:   Peruvian, Brazilian Matta Fina, Nicaraguan, Ecuadorian

STRENGTH:   Medium – Medium+

SOURCE:   
[source]

ENVIRONMENT

WHERE:   
By the pool

WHEN:   
May 6

DRINKS:   
Maxwell House K Cup

WEATHER:   
77° and 24% Humidity

WHAT’S ON:   
Sweet Georgia Sunshine

PRODUCTION

RELEASE TYPE  Regular Production

ORIGINALLY RELEASE DATE  2020

TOTAL PRODUCTION
Typical Box Size:     Boxes of 20
Production Totals:  Unknown

VITOLA BREAKDOWN
o  Toro  (6″ x 54)
Panzone (figuardo)  (6″ x 64 )
Nick Jr  (4 1/4″ x 64)
Longsdale  (6″ x 64)

BAND DESIGN

The band is based off the same band for the Nick and Jim P.B.E (Pre-Band Edition). The story goes that they were having a hard time getting bands printed, along with some legal issues about the planned name. Nick found a font that looked like it was done on an old typewriter. The look stuck for the Nick and Jim after the P.B.E. took off and Jim Robinson said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 

The band is as understated as possible. To say the least, it is less than eye-catching. Though, to be fair, these types of understated bands tend to catch my eye more and more as it suggests that the cigar can stand on its own without a fancy band. 

PRE-LIGHT OBSERVATIONS

CONSTRUCTION
The wrapper is dark and toothy. I can almost feel the oil as I run my fingers up and down the wrapper. Several veins run through the cigar. I follow the seam from the foot to the shoulder. It’s a beautifully constructed cigar with no hard or soft spots. The cap looks to be expertly applied. 

AROMA
The aroma of sweet tobacco mixes with notes of chocolate and spice. I try to pick out a few, but can’t distinguish them. Suffice it to say, it is very aromatic. My mouth begins to water.

COLD DRAW
The cold draw reveals a similar experience to the aroma. A salty/sweet mix of tobacco, chocolate, and spices reminiscent of Asian cuisine, persuade me to light the Nick as fast as I can. The draw itself is a bit snug for my personal taste, but does not seem like it will pose a problem. 

SMOKING EXPERIENCE

LIGHT & DRAW
Cut:  Straight Cut
Fire:  Xikar Tactical 1
The draw loosens up almost immediately as my taste buds are inundated with the sharp bite of pepper. The cigar lights effortlessly and begins it’s journey but burning straight 

SMOKE
A good amount of smoke is produced from the first light. It is satisfying and creamy. The creaminess clings to my palate and delivers the flavors evenly.

FIRST THIRD
>> Soy Sauce, Wood, Pepper

 A bit of pepper immediately bites at me but it is far from overwhelming. A sweet woody note comes forward as the the pepper holds strong on the retrohale. The salty/sweet mix is there, but elusive on the palate. An almost grassy flavor subtley weaves in and out a strong note of baking spice. The Nick’s first few puffs have been a journey all to themselves. There is a soy sauce-like saltiness and a  baking spice that begins to attack my senses. The Nick is bold and full from the start. There is a stiff breeze and the burn line shows it, as it is far from razor sharp. No matter. The Nick cares not for such things. The smoke is thick and creamy on my palate. The salty and spicy notes tingle on my palate. Black pepper reigns on the retrohale, complimenting and accentuating the savory flavors. The wood note is only noticeable as it is the last thing that lingers on the palate. The ash is white with streaks of black and grey racing through it. It begins to flake, ever so slightly. The flavors of the Nick are amazing, so far. I am impressed with the savory-ness of this cigar. There is a tanginess that shows up. Not quite citrus and not quite herbal. Somewhere in-between.

SECOND THIRD
>> Cashews, Baking Spices, Milk Chocolate

Cashews and white pepper to start. The retrohale is a mix of baking spices and white pepper. The tangy and salty notes are helped by the addition of nuts in the flavor profile. The ash has split, but each half holds its shape as it falls to the ashtray. The wind continues to make a straight burn impossible. Spicy cedar becomes the new dominant flavor. There is still white pepper on the retrohale, but there is an earthiness creeping in, too. Milk chocolate and nuts make the perfect juxtaposition to the white pepper.

FINAL THIRD
>> Campfire, Red Pepper, Mushroom

The creamy smoke has been constant throughout. The burn line has been consistently not straight.  The ash has not been overly flakey, despite splitting in the second third. Campfire, salt and sweet cream begin the final third. The saltiness has been constant throughout. There is a sweetness that wraps around each third, teasing you as you enjoy the spice and pepper. Nuts, mushroom and sweet cream come through near the end, as red pepper blasts through the retrohale. The ash and burn line of the final third have been perfect. I have learned to allow a cigar time to correct itself and the Nick is the perfect example of that.

RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS

FLAVOR PROGRESSION
The Nick is more savory than sweet. It walks the line of being bold and full-flavored while still being a medium plus profile. Is it a dessert cigar or the perfect afternoon cigar? Honestly, it’s somewhere in the middle for me. The flavors lend themselves to either an afternoon spent enjoying the journey or a nightcap after a long day.

BURN EXPERIENCE
The burn did not become razor sharp until the last third. Now, whether that’s due to the slight breeze or construction could be debated. The ash did split in half in the second third and was a bit flakey, but it didn’t seem to have an effect on how the Nick smoked. 

RATING BREAKDOWN
0.70 / 0.80 … Craft & Aesthetic
0.40 / 0.50 … Pre-Light Caracteristics
0.48 / 0.50 … Lighting Process
7.00 / 7.70 … Smoking Experience
0.50 / 0.50 … Personal Enjoyment

COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES

THE NICK IS A SALTY AND SAVORY EXPERIENCE.

The LH Cigars Nick is a cigar experience that begins with a bang and only lets up slightly by the end. The Nick is a meaty experience that almost tastes like a fusion of Asian and American cuisine. It hit my palate in a way that a lot of cigars just don’t or can’t. The unique blend of flavors are a stand out for the Nick. At times, I felt like there was a lack of complexity that held the Nick back from a higher a score. The flakey ash was a nuisance and took away from the experience. Regardless, the Nick is a medium+ cigar that can (and should!) be enjoyed as a dessert or anytime cigar.

SIMPLY STOGIES RATING:  9.08 / 10.0

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