One afternoon as I was perusing the shelves in the cigar shop I noticed an unfamiliar brand: Cuban Stock. With all of the “Cuban” appellations assigned to brands on American shelves it’s hard to tell one from another, but it was a nice looking stick. I was expecting to learn that this was a new blend made by an established cigar company, but the clerk at the desk told me that it is an independent brand.
After a little research, I found that “Cuban Stock” is owned by Crown David, which is a name that sounds vaguely familar from a long time ago. It turns out that Crown David changed its working name to take advantage of the product recognition that Cuban Stock, their premier line, has received over the years. I think I prefer “Crown David.” There should be more cigars with Biblical themes.
The Crown David factory was established in 1995 in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The Cuban Stock portfolio includes over a dozen different blends, including the “Chubbys” line, one of the first 60-ring cigars on the market. The Royal Selection employs Dominican binder and filler which has been aged for six years in wine barrels, and it is covered with a leaf from Ecuador. Habano? Sumatra? Who knows, but it looks sun grown and carefully processed.
- Churchill – 7.25 x 52
- Torpedo – 6.25 x 52
- Toro – 6 x 50
- Robusto – 5 x50
- RS 660 – 6 x 60
- Long Perfecto – 7 x 48
- Short Perfecto – 4.5 x 48
As I peel off the foot band of this toro I suddenly realize that I may have bitten off more than I can chew when I chose this vitola. This is a slugger of a stogie. The wrapper is a ruddy and attractive colorado maduro with fine veins. The cigar is square pressed, which might make it look even larger than it is, but it fits well in the hand, and is less of a gobstopper than I expected. The roll (or do I say the press?) is solid, and the draw is fine. The cap is functional and shears off nicely.
Unfortunately, the cigar does not produce as much smoke as I had hoped or expected from a cigar of such hefty dimensions. It burns well, but I found myself pulling twice or thrice on occasion to generate a reasonably sized cloud of smoke. This in turn caused the cinder to overheat a little, though that didn’t seem to affect the taste. Nevertheless, I found the cigar a bit laborious to smoke.
Overall Construction: Good
The difficulty I had with the smoke volume carried over to the flavor of the cigar, but it didn’t affect the aroma, which is rich and expressive. Leather and cedar are the major components, with hints of pepper and cinnamon appearing at various points.
The smoke is quite smooth, and the flavors are consistent but not terribly interesting. I would expect a cigar this big to offer flavor transitions along the way, but the flavors on the palate are simple and, well, a little boring. A little dry wood, a touch of leather. After 60 minutes of pulling and working this stick, tedium set in. Were it not for the hope that change would arrive at any moment (don’t forget to vote, my fellow Americans) I would have tired of this toro at the half.
At around $6 USD the price for this cigar is reasonable, but if I have the opportunity to smoke the Royal Selection again I will choose a smaller size. The toro is a nice looking cigar with a fantastic aroma, but the flavors were simple and one dimensional. It’s not a bad cigar by any stretch, but I expect more depth from a cigar that takes an hour or more to smoke.
Final Score: 84