KILO Toro – Cigar Review
Last year, our very own Barry Stein released Kilo; cigar that he had been working on for quite some time. He was looking for something that would fit his palate, a cigar with strength and balance. So while Barry originally worked with La Aurora on the blend he turned to Noel Rojas to complete the project, which was ultimately rolled at the Aromas de Jalapa factory in Esteli, Nicaragua and distributed by United Cigar.
And although I work directly with Barry, I’m not writing this review to stay on his good side.
What am I smoking?
Cigar Review: Kilo Toro
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Aromas de Jalapa
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo 2006
Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero (3 Varietals)
Length: 6 Inches
Ring Gauge: 50
Packaging & Design
KILO has a very fitting package design consistent with the name; the boxes they come in are in the shape and color of gold bars. Not only that, but they give off a “Breaking Bad” vibe with the image of the chemical composition of gold stamped into both sides of the lid. Kilo boxes are filled with 18 cigars (marked as 18KT) in both the toro and robust size.
This is quite an aesthetically pleasing cigar. It has a medium-brown shaded wrapper, showing minimal seems and veins. The matte black and gold band really pop against the color of the cigar. Not only does it look good, but it feels good in the hand. Weighty and solid. The foot also gives off huge notes of aged tobacco and cedar when sniffed. The caps are meticulously placed, which were cut clean when introduced to the blades of my cutter.
HOLY PEPPER BOMB, BATMAN! Right after lighting, this cigar doesn’t waste any time in letting you know its gonna be a heavy hitter. Flavors of black pepper, cayenne spice, cedar and bakers chocolate envelop my palate. Kilo is off to a solid start with killer flavor that is medium-plus in body, and builds quickly to full only after an inch or so.
Into the halfway point, flavors of leather and earth begin to show up and the pepper gets a bit more subtle. There is a great natural sweetness along with those flavors, balancing the spiciness of the smoke. Now, I’m no stranger to a cigar with strength; as I frequently enjoy Kilo and other strong cigars . However, this is something different. I’ll touch upon why in my final thoughts.
Finishing up on this cigar now, and let me tell ya, it took me for a ride. Not only did it have superb flavor, but I feel glued to my chair in a state of total relaxation. Behind its strength lies nuances of raisins, black pepper, cedar wood and bright well-aged tobacco. This was a very enjoyable and flavorful blend that kept me entertained throughout the entire hour and forty-five minutes I was smoking it.
I’d now like to revisit why I said this cigar was “different”. Kilo uses a filler only composed by three varieties of Nicaraguan ligero. As some of you know, the ligero section of the tobacco plant is at the very top; it is the section that gets the most sun, nutrients, which in turn gives it the most flavor and strength. Typically, ligero leaves are used sparingly in the middle of a blend to aid with power and taste, but it also aids in slowing the burn of the cigar to properly combust the surrounding tobaccos. Because of that, blending a cigar using a lot of ligero can sometimes cause major burn issues.
But not this one.
Kilo’s construction was razor sharp the whole way down. I’m impressed with this because of the way ligero usually acts while burning. A good cigar to me is one that not only tastes good, but performs just as good as it tastes. And even though this cigar is a powerhouse, the flavors are easily detected. Barry, in my opinion, hit a home run with this cigar. I can certainly appreciate the time it took to create this blend from seed to smoke.