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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Southern Draw Cigars Rose of Sharon Toro
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Michael (StogieDad)
89
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Member sponsored Geek Critique.  This one has been generously sponsored by our member nirab (Brian).  The cigar provided for this round is the Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Toro.

Cigars commemorating specific people are nothing new in the cigar industry and Southern Draw Cigars owner Robert Holt added another to the list with a new release. The Rose of Sharon, named after his wife, Sharon Holt, is said to be the mildest offering in the company’s portfoilo so far. It incorporates a blend made up of an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos that include Dominican piloto cubano and Nicaraguan seco and visas.

She don’t know she’s beautiful. Besides the apparent beauty of The Rose of Sharon in its semi box pressed format, the release is a celebration of grace and the devotion of Sharon Holt as she continues her daily service via strong faith and daily fellowship. Much like a Rose, Sharon exemplifies our brand with her beautiful soul, humility and a ‘subtle’ boldness which has made an incredible impact on so many lives.

While all three vitolas of Rose of Sharon are packaged in 20-count boxes, the company is also selling 1,000 Petaca handmade cedar cases that hold two of the toro vitola for $25. any time of day. As my feeble minded co-worker likes to say, "you can savor the flavor all day long."


Length:
6
Ring Gauge:
52
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Dominican Republic
Nicaragua
Binder:
Nicaragua
Wrapper:
Connecticut
Ecuador
Color:
Colorado Claro
Strength:
Mild
Shape:
Toro

This cigar was enjoyed with Iced Green Tea

Pre-Light: 17 Points of 20 Possible

A hefty stick that is a little lighter than it looks.  The wrapper is a nice golden hue, without much oil, but doesn't feel dried out.  The shaft is fairly smooth with light veins and tight seams.  The cigar itself is a tad spongy, but nothing to cause concern.  The initial aroma is slightly sweet and just a familiar clean tobacco note.  Nothing heavy, but nice.  The cap does pinch a little when snipping, producing some bits of tobacco, but again, nothing too worrisome.

Light & Burn: 13 Points of 15 Possible

Overall, the burn was pretty good.  I personally love lighting a closed foot, and this one took the flame easily and started fine.  Through the first half it tilted a bit, not tunneling or running but just slanted.  At around the halfway point this evened out and it burned straight as an arrow the rest of the way.  The ash was firm and held well, bright gray, almost white in color.  Smoke production for the first three quarters was fairly thick, and waned a bit towards the end, but never required a relight or even a touch-up for that matter.  Burn time was right at 90 minutes leaving over an inch at the finish, so I would call that about average for me on a toro.

Construction: 27 Points of 30 Possible

Starting out, the draw was way to wide open.  It stayed that was for about an inch in, then finally tightening up to an acceptable level.  I was worried about it burning hot due to the start, but that never occurred.  The draw remained on the looser side of the spectrum, but nothing to concerning.  The wrapper and overall construction are pretty good.  The wrapper is not fragile or thin, and while the fill seems to be a little loose, it doesn't present an overall problem with the burn.  As mentioned, the cap did pinch a little when snipping, proving to be a tad loose.

Flavor: 32 Points of 35 Possible

This is the kind of Connecticut blend I enjoy.  Smooth and creamy with a bit more substance than your traditional Connie stick.

The start is fairly mild but creamy, with some nuttiness and cedar.  Once the draw tightened up about an inch in, the smoke started to concentrate more and provide a little more depth in the flavor.  Some light leather joins in with some very faint peppery notes, and a little graham cracker sweetness come in which is nice.  Around halfway through, there is a bit more pepper going on, but still really light, and the cedar and graham are the things I get front and center.  There is also a nice buttery flavor here, which is something I enjoy from my favorite Connies, but it only is evident in this middle part of the stick, leaving too soon.  Still very creamy and smooth.  Coming close to the final third there is a creamed coffee thing going on, and the graham and cedar are still going strong.  Around the finish at an inch and a half left or so, it is getting a bit harsh and the creaminess is subsiding to a smokier, woody flavor and I decide to let it go at that point.

I would put this in the mild/medium category.  Definitely mild to start and gets to medium, even past at the end,  But I wish it had stopped at medium before getting a bit harsh.  The complexity was subtle but there was some change going on, mostly within the same family of flavors but enough to keep it interesting for sure.

Summary

While I don't smoke a huge amount of Connecticut wrapped cigars, they are certainly in my rotation when they hit my flavor profile.  Creamy, smooth, and buttery, with some richness make for a good one, and this one delivers.  It's not perfect, but one that I would certainly smoke again, in fact I think the robusto paired with a cup of coffee in the morning would be sublime.

Overall it was a well made stick, despite a little light on the fill and very minor burn and draw issues.  And the flavor profile is quite tasty.  Not an everyday smoke for me, but something I could see reaching for on a Saturday morning before everyone was up and enjoying the heck out of it with my coffee.



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