One look at this week’s cigar and you’ll know why I picked it for a review. I’m a bit of a sucker for a cool looking cigar. And short of a culebra, it’s hard to find a cigar that looks cooler than a barber pole. And this week’s cigar isn’t just any barber pole. The Indian Tabac Split Decision Quad Toro is barber pole to the fourth power.
So unlike many cigars I’ve reviewed, there’s no real story behind this selection. This one was all about looks. I was sitting at work bored one day, when suddenly this flashy bit of Las Vegas in tobacco form appeared on my computer screen. It was almost like a mini-midlife crisis thing. With me as the 40-something guy, and the Quad Toro as the hot, blonde 20-something coed. And now the question is, will I wake up the next morning with regrets or will I be drafting up a pre-nup with a big smile on my face. Let’s check it out and see.
Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Habano, Connecticut, Broadleaf Maduro, Candela
Binder: Nicaragua (?)
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Of course the first thing that jumps out at you about this cigar is the four separate wrappers. Of the wrappers, undoubtedly the most eye catching is the bright green candela wrapper. As rare as barber pole cigars, a barber pole with a candela wrapper has got to be the most unusual. Examining the wrappers more closely I found that the lighter Connecticut and candela leaves actually are a bit discolored from the underlying veins, giving the cigar the appearance of being a dirty. (Not Christina Aguilera “Dirrty”, however.)
This cigar had as many blemishes as a teenager
I also noticed that in numerous locations on all the cigars smoked for this review, that the wrappers had been damaged. In some cases, one wrapper had almost been torn through, in others, just a hole. The lighter wrappers also seemed particularly likely to be traced with small spidery veins and discoloration.
I found the cigar to be somewhat soft to the touch, but not inconsistent, and not soft enough to raise concerns about the draw. After noticing a somewhat pungent barnyard aroma on the wrapper, I clipped the cap with my Xikar scissors and took a cold taste. I tasted a faint vegetal molasses flavor.
The burn on this cigar was pretty erratic. Right out of the gate, I had a major trouble one cigar with the habano and candela wrappers. They simply weren’t at all interested in burning, which caused a very lopsided burn line. Touching it up only seemed to make the problem worse, causing a somewhat flaky ash to begin glooming like a crazy gray flower. The burn settled down a little bit as the cigar progressed, but remained uneven and the ash continued to be flaky.
This picture still gives me nightmares
While the burn was nothing to write home about, the draw was pretty good throughout.
The cigar opened up with an interesting flavor that I can only describe as walnut and cedar. It could be the candela portion of the wrapper, but the cigar quickly settled into a creamy slightly sweet vegetal flavor in the first third. At one point I the cigar almost tasted like marshmallow, but with a component to the taste that I couldn’t identify. The only thing that comes to mind is those little sandwich cookies with the green mint filling.
As the second third began, I got a very distinct flavor of cut grass. And then for a brief time the cigar was syrupy and faintly like caramel, before settling back into creamy vegetal flavor. The grass flavor that appeared prominently at the beginning of the third lingered subtly in the finish. I also noticed an unpleasantly sharp, but short pocket of spice in this third.
The final third began with that grassy flavor again before settling into a creamy earth flavor. Then suddenly, I was hit with an incredibly bitter flavor. It was around this time that I noticed my throat was starting to get really raw. I took that as a solid cue that this cigar was done.
I can understand the price tag on this cigar. Rolling a cigar with four wrappers has got to take a lot of time and a lot of skill. In that respect, the price is somewhat justified. On the other hand, it’s had to drop ten bucks on a cigar with so many burn and cosmetic issues.
While the flavors the cigar produced initially were promising, the irritation the cigar caused in my throat were enough to negate them. Jerry had mentioned picking up some of these, so I asked him about it so I could be sure I wasn’t crazy. He said, and I quote that “…its like the equivalent to drinking Milawukee’s Best aka The Beast”. The interesting thing is that he’s only had this problem with this Quad, not the Double or the Triple wraps in the Split Decision line. And heck, I haven’t even gotten to the crummy burn.
So the answer to the question of regrets or pre-nup? Nothin’ but regrets man.
Liked It: No
Buy It Again: No, I’ve learned my lesson.
Recommend It: As a novelty only.
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn. (Apologies for the smaller than usual Tower of Burn. I was experimenting, and it didn’t work out as hoped.)