In July, I reviewed the Garofalo Toro but as it is the eve of Thanksgiving I wanted to review a cigar that I could tie into the holiday. I am not a fan of Thanksgiving having lost my father on the holiday many years ago. Less than a year ago my mom passed away and I left the city that I love, Miami. Not a day goes past that I don’t miss some special people in the magic city but that doesn’t mean I have a lot to be thankful for.
After a bit of a detour, I wound calling David Garofalo at the suggestion of a really good friend. After a brief phone conversation David told me to come on up to New Hampshire. When I arrived he gave me the greatest cigar I have ever smoked to date, Atabey. We got to talking and he had a list of pros and cons, and surprisingly the pros outweighed the cons. A week later I was working for Two Guys Smoke Shop handing their social media and working on the radio show as well as taking over the day-to-day operations of The Cigar Authority website.
23 weeks later and I am sure my con list has grown (I’m an opinionated New Yorker after all) but the fit feels right and despite a pending snow storm that is expected to bring up to a foot of snow, I feel at home in New Hampshire. That is why I have chosen to smoke today and review the Garofalo which is perhaps only the second cigar in the industry to be named after a retailer. The other cigar, Zino Davidoff.
So, thank you David Garofalo for believing in my ability and giving me a place to call home. Now let’s hope I still like the cigar and it scores well.
Size: Churchill (7 x 50)
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Filler: Nicaragua (Esteli & Jalapa)
The Look: The Connecticut shade wrapper that adorns this cigar made by Perdomo has a nice sheen to it, and there are some thin veins present. There is also a fair amount of oils visible on the butterscotch color Ecuador grown wrapper. The band which is bronze and black over white has a styling looking G in the center with the name Garofalo underneath. The cigar has a near seamless roll with a hefty weight and well packed foot.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Garofalo has some dark chocolate notes with a hint of molasses present as well. The sweetness of the cold draw is matched by the bouquet of similar notes off the foot. Once the cigar is lit, there is a touch of pepper through the nose that quickly fades away with some warm butter notes that develop and embrace the palate.
As we work into the first third of the Garofalo the butter notes slowly fade as a nuttiness takes hold of the cigar. In the background there is some earth notes as well and a slight pepper on the finish as well as through the nose.
As the second third of the Garofalo some of the sweetness of the cold draw begins to show itself again but the focal point remains nutty. There is the development of a sweet bakers spice that struggles to take hold and teases the palate.
In the last third of the Garofalo the baking spices hold with some dark chocolate notes that tantalize the palate creating an exquisite smoking experience.
The Burn: The cigar is produced at the Perdomo factory so you know it’s going to draw well as they draw test each and every cigar. The burn line was thin and razor-sharp. The ash dropped at a quarter of an inch into the smoke, but it held afterwards for more than an inch at a time. There was adequate smoke production and the stick stayed lit from start to finish.
The Finish: A great morning cigar for those who like to gradually progress during the day. The notes are easy to identify and it fills the desire for a morning cigar. Between the Toro and the Churchill I found the Churchill to have more definable notes and characteristics that make this an easy choice to start the day. There is talk about making a Maduro version and I eagerly await to see how that progresses.