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Cigars: El Centurion Limited Edition Toria

José “Pepin” Garcia’s history in the cigar world has been well-documented, but here are the cliff-notes for the unaware. Garcia was a noted cigar roller in Cuba before he left for Miami and opened his El Rey de Los Habanos factory in the early 2000s. He saw his first mainstream success with Tatuaje, which he produced for Pete Johnson. Shortly thereafter, with the help of his son, Jaime, the My Father Cigars factory was opened in Esteli, Nicaragua, and many new cigars were launched alongside Garcia’s core lines. Now My Father Cigars is responsible for some of the best cigars being produced, such as much of the Tatuaje portfolio, Flor de las Antillas, My Father and My Father Le Bijou 1922, as well as being the factory where Ortega’s new Cubao is being produced.

In 2007, Garcia put out a now-mythical small production cigar called El Centurion, which was his first ever limited release cigar. The cigar was reportedly Garcia’s personal blend, and production was limited to only 2,550 boxes (51,000 cigars). The cigar didn’t stay on shelves long before selling out. At the time, once the El Centurion was sold out, it was gone forever, except for the brief appearance in late 2007 of an El Centurion lancero as part of a sampler pack. Only 4,000 total Lanceros were produced.

Fast forward to 2013 and My Father Cigars has rereleased El Centurion with a tweaked blend to commemorate their 10th Anniversary. The cigar features a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper with a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan Corojo ‘99, Criollo ‘98 and Sancti Spiritus filler tobaccos. The regular production El Centurion comes in 4 sizes: the Belicoso (5 1/2 x 54), Robusto (5 3/4 x 50), Toro (6 1/4 x 52), and the Toro Grande (6 1/2 x 58).

Atlantic Cigar, however, is one of 3 retailers to receive a special, limited release size of the El Centurion, called the Toria, which is a corona gorda that measures 5 5/8 x 46. I tried the limited Toria size for this review.

 Appearance:

The El Centurion Toria sports a darker Nicaraguan wrapper that is fairly rustic looking with plenty of tooth, though the veins are minimal. This corona gorda has a comfortable feel in the hand. It isn’t too long, too wide, too short, etc. The cigar feel well-packed, but not tight, and is finished with a triple-seam cap.

Tasting:

Before lighting up the cigar, it provides smells of fermented tobacco, coffee and dried fruit. The cold draw has flavors of spice, pepper, raisins and hints of earth.

1st Third:

There was very little spice on light, but some peppery spice gradually built in the first few puffs. The El Centurion Toria started medium-bodied, and the first third of the cigar featured flavors of pepper, hints of earth, spice and leather.

2nd Third:

The cigar stayed medium-bodied throughout the middle. Some hickory and salt, sort of a barbeque taste, developed and was complemented by interesting sweet flavors such as dried cherry and toffee. The draw gave a little resistance, but it wasn’t at all tight and there was plenty of smoke production. The ash was bright white and clung nicely to the cigar. Some pepper returned heading into the final parts of the cigar.



Final Third:

The El Centurion Toria finished medium-bodied. Flavors of leather, a little pepper, and some mineral notes were featured. These merged slightly into a light woodiness, earth and licorice. When I thought the cigar was done evolving, I let it cool a little and a nice light creamy chocolate flavor appeared at the very end.

Overall:

The El Centurion Toria is definitely a “Pepin” cigar. The flavors were very reminiscent of the Series JJ or Series JJ Maduro with the Nicaraguan leather and earthiness. There were some interesting twists, like the lack of a pepper bomb to start the cigar, which many people find is a trademark of My Father cigars, and the appearance of hickory, toffee and creamy chocolate at the end.

Estimated smoking time: 1 and ½ hours

Like the original El Centurion, when the Limited Edition Toria is sold out, it’s gone. If you want to check it out, you can purchase it here.

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