Bite Size Review: Patoro Gran Añejo Reserva No. 4 Toro
After an unintended heavy dose of Nicaraguan cigar reviews in January’s opening weeks, we’ve got a Dominican on deck and it’s a relatively new player, at least here in the US. Swiss-based Patoro Cigars has been around since 2001, largely in the European market, but didn’t cross the pond until 2014. The cigars definitely got our attention once I learned of Patoro’s connections to icons Davidoff and Reyes Tobacco. The brand with a short name and a simple band featuring a lone star has certainly made waves within the US market.
Patoro Cigars is the vision of cigar industry veteran, Patrik Martin, who spent his cigar boom days with Oettinger Davidoff as Swiss product manager for brands like AVO and Griffin. Having been around top-shelf brands like Davidoff, Martin desired a brand that focused on flavor, maximized enjoyment, and one that didn’t shy away from quality. One of Martin’s first goals was to secure the tobaccos and services of the famed Reyes family in the Dominican Republic. The inaugural line that launched Patoro in 2001 was the Gran Añejo Reserva (GAR).
While the GAR was Patoro’s first blend, the Serie P was the first to make landfall here in the US. The GAR was originally blended as a Dominican puro, but the blend was tweaked for the US market and was reshod with an Ecuadorian wrapper. Tobaccos are reportedly aged a minimum of 3 years and it is reported on Patoro’s site that their focus is on Seco and Ligero leaves. Originally classified as a mild-to-medium bodied smoke, the tweaked US blend led Cigar Aficionado to characterize it as medium-full in its lone review in 2017 (Toro was rated an 88).
Now flanked by 6 sibling lines, Martin claims the GAR is his favorite blend during a 2018 interview with Industrial Cigar Co. At first glance, at least, we can see why. The GAR’s oily, marbled, rustic hue is gawkworthy. It’s uniform firmness and minimal veins add to it’s allure. The cap is a little wonky and the seams may be distinct, but you quickly forget petty imperfections once you get wind of the GAR’s aromas: A dominant honeysuckle from the wrapper and an earthy cocoa from the foot. The draw is effortless and there’s a fig essence left on the palate.
First impressions are enticing as I’m flooded with a nutty disposition and a wave of toasted oats. Complexity features hints of black pepper, cream and leather balanced with a spicy, woody finish. Notes of puffed rice are apparent after the profile settles as warm roasted coffee adds to the finish. Transitions feature a peek-a-boo with spice as body and intensity climb. More savory, woodier foundations prevail as are intonations of leather, caramel, oak and baked bread notes. The draws remain savory and woody as more robust notes of charred wood and espresso dominate.
The complexity and balance are on the mark and the palette never becomes harsh or dry, but look out for that ligero spice kick. Combustion is near flawless and our GAR never got hot. She’s a generous smoke producer and holds a solid 1” ash. The body and strength is definitely more medium to full and it’s well balanced. Dripping with good looks, flavor and value, another facet the GAR shares with Davidoff is its pricing, but like many Davidoff blends, the price is well worth admission. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: The star on the band symbolizes the 5 positive emotions felt during the tasting of each Patoro cigar: joy, serenity, inspiration, awe and satisfaction.
- Profile: Medium
- Vitola: Toro
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6.0″ x 50
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian (US release)
- Binder: Dominican
- Filler: Dominican
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $16.55 [Box $331]
- Humidor Age: 8 mo.
- Box: 20
- Other Vitolas: Gordito [4″x58], Robusto [5″x50], Churchill [7.5″ x50] (US Only)
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:33
Construction: Funky cap; firm, solid throughout; distinct seams; marbled, bourbon color; oily; minimal veins; holds 1+” ash; good smoke producer.
- Wrapper – Honeysuckle, barnyard
- Foot – Earth, cocoa
- Cold Draw – Figgy
- Initial: Profile thick with toasted oats; leather, cream, black pepper and wood notes on retro; hints of puffed rice; spicy finish of coffee bean; smooth & well-balanced; spice on tongue, but dissipates at times; light citrus on draw; settles into savory leathery character; notes of baked bread late.
- Transition: Warm character; woody nucleus that finishes with dark roast coffee and toast; spice returns and ratchets upward; residual puffed rice and leather along with caramel notes on retro; more body with some oakyness added; savory draw of wood and leather; cedar tang joins finish.
- Transition: Spice is next level; overly woody with dominant notes of cedar and charred oak; hints of baked bread; heavy espresso laden finish; doesn;t become harsh or dry.
Touch ups: N/A
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]