Thanks to the generosity of Jesus Fuego, this week I bring you a pre-release review of the brand new J. Fuego Sangre de Toro. With a name like Sangre de Toro (which translates to “Bull’s Blood”) and the bright red lettering that looks like it could have been slashed into the band by a blade, I had the feeling that the name was a reference bull fighting. But in truth, it has a less romantic and more practical meaning. The name is a term that is used in the factory to describe the full, rich Colorado wrapper leaf.
The Sangre de Toro will be a regular production cigar and will begin appearing in humidors around the first of April, in four sizes that will be familiar to fans of Jesus Fuego’s cigars: Corona, Robusto, Toro and Belicoso. MSRP will range from $5.75 to $6.95.
In the process of doing my homework (which was mostly interacting with the official J. Fuego Cigars twitter account) I learned that the Sangre de Toro is not their only recent development. I learned that the Natural line has been put on hold indefinitely, due to a shortage of a key component, that it, and several other blends use. Rather than cut corners, Jesus decided stop producing them until he can do so and maintain the same quality. I’m told that the Sangre de Toro was not intended to fill the void left behind by the discontinued Natural, but perhaps it will do the trick anyway.
Now lets check it out and see if Warlock of Corojo has made another winning blend or if he would have been better off using Sangre de Tigre instead. (C’mon, you know there was no way I could resist a Charlie Sheen reference.)
Size: 4 7/8 x 49
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Colorado
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo
Smoking Time: 1 1/4 hours
Source: Samples provided J. Fuego Cigars.
Price: MSRP $5.95
Though I still like the idea of some sort of matador theme with the name, I understand the practical meaning. Under the right lighting, there was a reddish tone to the rustically-colored dark brown wrapper.
By all indications, the cigars appeared to be well constructed. The closest thing to a flaw I found was a cap that was several shades lighter than the rest of the cigar, and a few thicker veins. And really, those are anything to worry about.
The most interesting thing about my pre-light inspection was the wrapper aroma. It was anything the but the customary barnyard I usually smell, instead all three sticks had a distinct pickle scent. I’m not kidding, dill and vinegar. Ok, and little compost as well. It made me wonder if someone was eating a cuban sandwich with extra pickles when they boxed these cigars up to ship.
Once again, my work in the burn department is easy. The Sangre de Toro burned very well. It was even, the draw was easy and the ash was sturdy and solid. For those concerned with the appearance of the smoke while it burns, the ash is a little darker than some, but by no means unpleasant to look at.
Before I get into the flavors, I found that one of these smokes was not like the others. One of these cigars was not the same. So for the purposes of this review game, I have discounted it, and its unusually herbal flavor profile. These cigars are pre-release samples after all, and haven’t had more than a few days of humidor rest, which may account for the differences. However, there were also similarities between it an the other sticks as well, so it was useful.
The Sangre de Toro started off with a rich wood and chocolate combination, and a faint herbal touch that was short lived. As the cigar warmed up, the spicy wood element took center stage with a mildly sweet combination of chocolate, earth and even a familiar touch of paprika spice. By the end of this third, it felt like the cigar wasn’t the only thing warming up, my entire mouth was feeling a low heat.
The mouth warming woody spice continued as the second third began, supported by chocolate and more paprika. Before long there was a noticeable increase in sweetness, and I picked up a little vanilla and caramel. Around the half way point, the wood backs off slightly, revealing a more creamy and peppery profile. Nearing the end of this third, I realized that this stick had a little kick to it.
The final third was all about white pepper, wood and earth, though I again picked up chocolate in the lengthy finish and suprisingly, even the occasional caramel note.
I’m always happy to see more competition the five to eight dollar price range. For most, money won’t be a factor in the decision process.
I’m a big fan of the majority of the Jesus Fuego’s cigars, and the Sangre de Toro is no exception. It’s a solid, rich woody smoke with a little bit of power to it that sneaks up on you. It’s also a bit of a departure from the more prominently earthy profile Jesus is known for, adding a little variety to the portfolio.
Each one I smoked seemed like an improvement on the last, so I’m really looking forward to burning some more once they’re released, and have had the luxury of a proper humidor rest. Fans of Jesus’s other cigars and full-bodied smokes in general will definitely want to be on the look out for the Sangre de Toro in shops next month.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.