When Zeus hid fire from mortals to punish them for a cruel trick they had played on him, Prometheus came to the rescue with a flaming fennel-stalk. The modern Prometheus would probably choose something a little more reliable, like a flint ignition lighter from the company bearing his name. (I think Prometheus would prefer flint ignition to electronic piezo. He’s been bound to a rock for eternity and I expect his taste is rather conservative.)
But as we all know, Prometheus has branched out — not only has he brought us fire, but he has become a purveyor of fine cigars too. It all began in 2004 with the appropriately named God of Fire, a limited edition cigar in two styles, one blended by Carlos and the other by Carlito Fuente.
In 2010 Prometheus added another blend, this time to celebrate the city of Los Angeles, California. The release of Angelenos was accompanied by the expected selection of Angelenos-branded accoutrement: a carbon-fiber humidor ($1600), bone china ashtray ($69.95), cutters, cases, and of course, lighters. (All very classy items, by the way.) But having only recently graduated from a rusty coffee can to a proper ashtray, the cigar is what primarily interests me.
Like the God of Fire line, Angelenos are manufactured by Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia. The data on the blend is a bit shrouded, which is typical for Fuente, but we have been graced with the following: the wrapper is from Ecuador (Connecticut seed is my guess) and the binder and filler are Dominican. Five sizes are in production:
- Robusto – 5 1/4 x 50
- Double Robusto – 5 3/4 x 52
- Toro – 6 x 50
- Lonsdale – 6 1/4 x 44
- Gran Toro – 6 1/2 x 54
The Angelenos Gran Toro is a fine looking cigar with a smooth claro shade wrapper and a flat head. The cap looks a bit mashed at the crown, but it cuts cleanly and resolves any aesthetic objections by dropping quietly into the ashtray. The roll is solid and the cigar burns beautifully. My only concern is that the wrapper leaf is extremely delicate. I live in the desert, so I battle humidity issues on a daily basis, but even so it seems that there is frequently a trade-off involved with super-premium wrapper leaf: the complexity and sophistication of the leaf is often accompanied by extreme fragility. This one cracked almost as soon as I touched flame to foot, but at least it didn’t fall apart.
Overall construction: Good.
The elegance of the wrapper and the band are a good indication of the character of this cigar. The smoke is mild but flavorful and the aroma is sophisticated. Sweet spices on the nose combine with a touch of salt and a dry tannic flavor to produce a balanced and well-rounded taste.
The smoke texture (what I call body) is medium to full — which complements the mild flavor very nicely. Slightly green woody flavors come to the fore in the mid-section, accented by minerals and nuts.
The aroma is the highlight of this cigar. It continues to be sweet throughout the duration of the cigar, but it’s increasingly floral as time goes by.
The Angelenos Gran Toro is a fine example of how a mild cigar can be subtle and sophisticated yet still very substantial.
This cigar reminded me of Ashton’s Vintage Cabinet line, but it has a little more character. It also carries an Ashton-like price tag — around 11 USD per stick. If your standards are just a bit lower you could be almost as satisfied with an Oliva Connecticut Reserve and walk away five bucks in the black, but if you have the scratch and love the sophistication of a fine wrapper leaf, Angelenos may be calling your name.