Bite Size Review: Mombacho Cosecha 2014 Toro
Another day, another Nicaraguan beauty. We really didn’t plan it this way. It just, well, happened. You could say Mombacho Cigars are Nicaraguan boutique artisans whose DNA lies in the art of blending and an almost fanatical belief that cigars are as much a way to bring like-minded people together as a means of study and reflection. Visit their website and you will notice the obvious references to wine and a hint of luxury, subtle clues to the methods of Mombacho’s madness. Popular lines like their Liga Maestro and the annual Cosecha series are the manifestations of their mantra and why, we believe, their wares stand above many others.
It’s also fair to say that master blender, Claudio Sgroi, is the engine powering Mombacho’s creativity and the Cosecha series, which began in 2012, is a project near and dear to his heart. In fact, our first Mombacho review was a shake down of the Cosecha 2013 and we were not frugal with our praise. I seem to recall going so far as to even say, “[Cosecha 2013] is one the best Nicaraguan cigars I’ve ever smoked.” A year later, almost to the day, I stand by that statement.
So, when the limited-run Cosecha 2014 was released last year, we grabbed a handful like a tense mob of bridesmaids diving for the bride’s bouquet. This in spite of the fact that the price more than doubled from the reasonable $9.75 cost of the Cosecha 2013 to just over $20 for the 2014. While Sgroi and Mombacho may have hit one out of the park with the 2013, the question, and challenge, then is would they be able repeat the feat with an equally ravishing blend that would correspondingly justify a doubling of price? We’re about to find out.
I cannot emphasize this fact enough: this has to be one of the oiliest and one of the most delectable-looking cigars I’ve ever laid eyes on. I mean oily to the point of appearing physically wet. It literally made my mouth water ogling the greasy glaze of the chocolate bar-like Jalapa wrapper. Past that, like its predecessors the toro features a flag-topped cap atop a firm, lumpy, veiny Nicaraguan puro. A healthy dose of milk chocolate and leather aromas from the wrapper adds to this ambrosia. There’s more of a minty essence to the chocolate at the foot and an unremarkable dollop of raisins coats the palate as the cold draw is spot on.
The opening profile doesn’t disappoint. Swirling around an oaky nucelus are intonations of carmel corn, espresso and hints of cinnamon. The optimal draw is rife with pie crust notes and the hearty finish of black pepper and chocolate is a perfect balance to the confectionery-like profile. There’s a light spice that lingers and hints of semi-sweet, toasted oats adds to the draw. The finish morphs into a languishing dark roast coffee while the profile settles into a leathery, oaky core surrounded by notes of coffee bean and cocoa. Transitions are equally tasty and dominated by a pervasive oak and cedar core mixed with notes of dark chocolate, sweet espresso and toast.
I didn’t have to cut the cap since plucking the flag off enabled a near-perfect draw. Cosecha 2014 hits its stride in every department until it becomes dry in the last third and combustion issues raise their ugly snout. A temporary burn hole appeared above the char early, but it, and the ash, foretold a roll that was bunched unevenly to one side which later caused some ugly burn issues. The dryness is forgivable as it remains tasty and enjoyable, but the burn was a bit of a pain and a tad disappointing.
Despite the price point and construction issues, I still think 2014 is boxworthy because 1) this is the first Mombacho with which I’ve experienced construction issues 2) the aesthetics and flavor palette are uniquely delicious and 3) they’re only available in boxes of 10. As I write this, Mombacho is just mere weeks away from debuting the Cosecha 2015, and while it appears pricing is going up – again – by over $8 to $28.65 a piece, we’ll be there… hiding behind the ice sculpture. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: The word “cosecha” is Spanish for “harvest” and as the name Cosecha 2014 implies, all tobaccos used to make the cigar are from a single 2014 harvest.
- Profile: Med-Full
- Vitola: Toro
- Length / Ring: 6.0″ X 52
- Purchased: Online
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan (Jalapa, 2014)
- Binder: Nicaraguan (Jalapa, 2014)
- Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa & Condega, 2014)
- Production: Casa Favilli
- Blade: N/A
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $20.85 [Box $208.50]
- Humidor Age: 7.5 mo.
- Box: 10
- Other Vitolas: N/A
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:46
Construction: Oily to the point of appearing wet; visible seams; lumpy; veiny; chooclate bar appearance; mostly solid, but with spongy head; flag cap; good smoke producer; holds 1″ ash.
- Wrapper – Leather, milk chocolate
- Foot – Mint chocolate
- Cold Draw – Raisins
- Initial: Oak core; notes of carmelcorn and espresso on retro; hints of pie crust and cinnamon, especially on draw; light spice; finish of black pepper and a chocolatey essence; semi-sweet draw of dark fruit; hardy bit of toasted oat intonations; finish settles into a dominant dark roasted coffee; settles into leathery, oaky profile complemented by notes of coffee bean cocoa; salted caramel residue on palate.
- Transition: Maintains woody nucleus highlighted by an oaky core, but with a tang of cedar; dominant dark chocolate intonations; finished creamy with a latte essence; more body and spice; oaky draw; smoky disposition;
- Transition: Becomes dry; coffee bean remnants on palate; pervasive cedar and oak notes dominate; still spicy and enjoyable; full strength; full bore black coffee finish with hints of toast.
Touch ups: N/A
Combustion: Good, mostly even; temp “burn hole” develops above char; filler bunched to one side late causing poor burn.
Weaknesses: Questionable roll resulting in poor combustion at times; becomes dry late
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]