Bite Size Review: Casa Turrent Serie 1942
Living in south Texas, it’s ironic that I’ve spent almost my entire life in such close proximity to the border with Mexico, traveled throughout the country numerous times and yet have not tried a single cigar produced by a Mexican cigar maker. As of today, guess I can check that box. Of course I am familiar with the famous Te-Amo brand, but with so many amazing products hitting the shelves over the past few years, sadly it’s easy to overlook them and many others. It’s almost a disservice to a family that has been growing tobacco since shortly after the US Civil War.
The Turrent family began growing tobacco in Mexico in 1880 and began producing their first cigars back in the sixties. Alberto Turrent is responsible for the Te-Amo brand which is not a huge secret. What many don’t know is that his San Andrés maduro leaf grown outside of Veracrúz finds it’s way into many of the San Andrés-shod cigars marketed and sold here in the US. Turrent has since sold his Te-Amo brand to Altadis, but his son, Alejandro, has become more of a fixture in the family business creating new lines that honor his family’s heritage.
The Turrents may have sold off their entire cigar portfolio, but this allowed them to retool and not only grow the tobacco and produce their own cigars but set up and control their own distribution. The new crop of Turrent cigars, Casa Turrent, are produced at the Turrent family factory, Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos S.A. de C.V.. Launched in 2016, the younger Turrent brought three new lines to market including the Serie 1901, the Serie 1973 and the Serie 1942, the latter to honor the birth of his father, Alberto.
The Serie 1942 was intentionally blended to be bolder and fuller bodied which is why Nicaraguan tobaccos are employed as fillers along with plenty of the Turrent’s famous San Andrés leaf. The rustic look and feel of the toothy skin is what you would expect from San Andrés Maduro leaf. Sporting a nice triple cap and a seamless roll, the matte finish and gingerbread hue complete the package. Aromas are not particularly strong or unique as the wrapper offers an uninspiring nose-full of barnyard notes and cocoa powder emanates from the foot. The draw is nicely open but with only a mild tobacco flavor.
Initial impressions feature a nice sweet and savory palette of walnuts, cream and black peppercorn leaving a light spice on the tongue. The draw is spicy and the crisp finish is toasty. Caramel notes dominate the retro with occasional whiffs of graham cracker. Wood notes add to the finish, but it becomes more apparent there is an underlying botanical – almost vegetal – core to the profile. It’s not unpleasant, but not very complementary to the palette. This subsides in transitions where the body and intensity creep up on you flashing more spice and a nice consistency behind a woody core and a fusion of nuttiness, residual caramel and coffee notes.
Combustion of this cigar is superb, highlighted by a near perfect burn, great smoke production and a strong ash. If you’re a heavy puffer, the gran robusto will abide as she likes to be smoked. If you’re a box press fan, you might be disappointed as it is far more rounded than pressed. There’s no question that the Turrent’s have construction and consistency down, but the blend is a little unsettling.
There were intermittent notes of hemp on the draw and an uncharacteristic vegetal essence to the first third of the cigar, which in and of itself is not a negative, just not a harmonic part of the blend. Could have been a weird leaf. Personally, I think there are a number of cigars featuring San Andrés tobaccos that provide a more enjoyable experience and at a price point equal to or less than the Serie 1942, but it’s consistency is worth keeping a few around. – In Fumo Pax!
Recommendation: 5 Packer
Did you Know: The Turrent family is the largest cigar tobacco producer in Mexico and makers of the famous Te-Amo cigar brand.
- Profile: Med-Full
- Vitola: Gran Robusto [Box Pressed]
- Length / Ring Gauge: 5.75″ x 52
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Mexico
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
- Binder: Mexican San Andrés Criollo
- Filler: Mexican San Andrés Criollo, San Andrés Negro, Nicaraguan
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $9.50 [Box $190]
- Humidor Age: 12 mo.
- Box: 20
- Other Vitolas: Robusto [5.25″x50], Torpedo (5.5″x50]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 0:58
Construction: More of a Spanish or Demi Press; nice triple cap; gingerbread coloring; matte finish; seamless; few veins; toothy; spongy throughout; excellent smoke producer; holds strong, 1″ ash.
- Wrapper – Barnyard
- Foot – Cocoa powder
- Cold Draw – N/A
- Initial: Spicy draw; sweet and savory profile of walnuts, cream, black peppercorn on retro; botanical/vegetal core; hints of graham cracker; crisp, toasty finish adding wood notes late; more caramel notes on retro late; medium bodied.
- Transition: Woody core with a little more spice; hemp notes on draw; finish remains toasty and woody, but with added coffee bean notes; intro of nutty nuances; some residual caramel; warm character; becomes more spicy.
- Transition: Heavy espresso center with increased spice; robust and fuller bodied; chocolatey essence balanced with notes of charred hickory; intense.
Balance: Very good
Touch ups: N/A
Weaknesses: Initial botanical, almost vegetal profile muddies complexity.
Recommendation: 5 Packer
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]