The cigars to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Topper Cigars didn’t ship until the end of their 126th Anniversary and when we smoked the cigar on a past episode of The Cigar Authority I was instantly enamored. 2023 marks the 127th Anniversary of the company and I recently caught up with Chris Topper who stated that there is only a very limited amount of tobacco for this specific blend and to keep it around for a while he is only offering it to a very limited amount of stores.
Cigar Review: Topper 125th Anniversary
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican, Nicaragua, Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Ring Gauge: 52
Humidimeter Reading: 63%
The Look: The cigars come in a 20 count box and are a reproduction of one of the oldest boxes in Chris Topper’s collection. It is believed the box is from 1933 and inside sits 20 cigars that are laid out in two rows of 10. There is no fancy band celebrating 125 years, although the bands on this classic Broadleaf date back to the 1960s. The wrapper is toothy and to a degree ugly which is expected from Connecticut Broadleaf. In the hand the cigar is firm with a well packed foot and a nice weight to it.
The Notes: The cold draw has a subtle molasses to it that is matched on the foot. A secondary pull reveals a hint of earth but the molasses still holds strong. After we toast the foot of the cigar the initial note we get is a rich pumpernickel fresh from the oven.
Smoking the first third sees the pumpernickel remain dominant for the first inch before it starts to pull back some with elements of Bavarian pretzels, molasses, coffee and leather. There is a sweet component that is balanced out with a subtle bitterness (think strong espresso) creating a complex flavor profile that almost reveals something new on each puff. The retrohale sees a touch of dark chocolate and pepper with the cigar having a moderately long finish.
Moving into the second third a hint of cherry cordial appears fleetingly while notes of espresso, pretzels and leather remain dominant until the half way point. It is here that cigar develops a black peppercorn encrusted steak taste to it with some strong espresso and a dark chocolate on the finish. The retrohale continues to serve up pepper while the finish if the cigar is getting longer.
The last third sees the return of a subtle pumpernickel with a dominant espresso component and some leather notes on the long finish. Occasionally nuances of caramel, dark chocolate and pretzel make an appearance on this mouthwatering delicious cigar that we reluctantly put down.
The Finish: I don’t remember how it started but at some point in time a lot of Connecticut Broadleaf became dyed. What happens is some companies take the stems from the vein removal process of the wrapper and they then soak them. This in turn creates dark water that is used to make the color of a tobacco leaf seem more uniform. Broadleaf once cured and fermented is ugly and this is an ugly cigar. The coloring of the wrapper is splotchy in spots, uneven in hue and thus it is a natural looking Broadleaf. Aesthetics aside, does it change the taste of the broadleaf? I think so to a degree, and as a result this cigar right here to me is a throwback to the greatness of Connecticut Broadleaf. It’s by far the best cigar I’ve had from Topper and it is worthy of space in your humidor.
Price: $12.59 / $224.99 (Box of 20)