If there is one cigar company that has made the best use of its Ambassador group, it would have to be Micallef Cigars. Micallef used input from its Ambassador group to develop its previous new release, the Micallef A and continues to rely on feedback from its Ambassadors. One thing that Micallef heard over and over from its Ambassador group is that it needed a cigar that was fuller in terms of strength and body compared to most of the medium strength and body cigars that existed in the portfolio. As a result, when it came to releasing its latest line, Micallef Cigars incorporated this feedback, and the Micallef Black line was born. Just before the PCA Trade Show, Micallef launched the Micallef Black – and at PCA, the cigar got an official launch. Today, we look closer at the Micallef Black in the Toro size.
Micallef Cigars launched back in 2017, but over the past three years, the company has made some strategic investments in procuring higher-grade tobaccos and efficiently escalating production at its factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The Micallef Black is the first new line to come to market that is a product of these efforts.
Last year, Micallef made another strategic move when it discontinued its Micallef Bold brands. Micallef Bold was a more value-priced brand in the Micallef Cigars portfolio. Micallef Black brings a product to market in the $7.00 to $8.00 range. The advantage Micallef has is while Bold was manufactured elsewhere, Micallef Black is manufactured at the Micallef factory. As a result, the company can leverage the investments made in its operation to bring a premium product.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Micallef Black Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The blend for the Micallef Black consists of a Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper over an Ecuadorian Habano binder and fillers from Nicaragua.
Wrapper: San Andrés Mexico Maduro
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
County of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Micallef Cigars S.A.
Micallef Black was launched in two sizes – Robusto and Toro. Both cigars carry a 52-ring gauge. Each is presented in 25-count boxes.
The good news is the Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper of the Micallef Black Toro is not black. Many “black” wrappers tend to be overcooked. In the case of the Micallef Black Toro, it is clear this wrapper went through a natural Maduro fermentation process. The wrapper had more of a look of a chocolate bar. There was a light sheen of oil and a slight amount of mottling on the wrapper. The surface of the wrapper had some thin, visible veins. Any visible wrapper seams were minimal.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Micallef Black Toro. Once the cap was removed, it was time to commence the pre-light draw. The cold draw was mostly notes of mocha – which I consider to be a fusion of coffee and chocolate. There were also secondary notes of cedar and hay. This cigar delivered an excellent pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to toast up the Micallef Black Toro and move on to the smoking phase.
The Micallef Black Toro opened up with more notes of mocha. The mocha notes moved into the forefront early on and had more of a slant toward the chocolate component. There was also a mineral and fruit note present. The retro-hale delivered a layer of cedar notes. As the cigar progressed through the first third, red pepper emerged on the tongue. Concurrently, the retro-hale would also morph into more of a black pepper varietal.
The second third of the Micallef Black Toro saw the mocha notes remain in the forefront. The mocha went through a shift from a chocolate slant to more of a coffee slant by the end of the second third. The fruit notes took on more citric qualities. Meanwhile, there were still some mineral notes in the more distant background.
The final third saw the mocha remain grounded in the forefront. The mocha notes now had more of a coffee slant. The pepper and fruit/citrus notes increased in intensity. As in the previous third, there still were some mineral notes in the more distant background. This is the way the Micallef Black Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Overall, the Micallef Black Toro was a well-constructed cigar, and this was reflected in each of the samples I smoked. The Micallef Black Toro required minimal touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path and relatively straight burn line. The resulting ash was silver-gray. This was an ash that was skewed toward the firmer side. The burn rate and burn temperature maintained ideal levels.
Overall, the draw also performed excellent. This draw had a touch of resistance to it – which is something that I like. At the same time, this cigar generated abundant layers of smoke.
Strength and Body
This was billed to be a fuller cigar in the Micallef portfolio. That is exactly what this cigar delivers. The cigar started out medium to full in strength and body before progressing to full strength in the second half. In terms of strength versus body, the strength had a slight edge. Don’t be fooled; the strength of this cigar will sneak up on you.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
Micallef didn’t overthink the packaging on the Micallef Black. The packaging is black and gold. At the same time, the company sticks to the cabinet box and band design it introduced a couple of years ago, utilizing the black and gold color scheme.
The back of the band pays homage to the partnership of the Micallef and Gomez-Sanchez families. The Gomez-Sanchez family blend handles the blending of Micallef Cigars. Over the past few years, Micallef has invested in factory infrastructure and tobacco sourcing to produce the Gomez-Sanchez blends.
In covering Micallef Cigars over the past few years, I knew they were making considerable efforts to improve their manufacturing and upgrade their tobacco quality. There is no doubt that when you smoke the Micallef Black Toro, it will be noticeable. The cigar also delivers on its promise of being full strength and full-bodied, yet not sacrificing flavor. Finally, one cannot dispute the fact this cigar is an incredible value for $8.00. All in all, Micallef has delivered a winner with the Micallef Black Toro. Given it’s a strong cigar, I would recommend this for a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar that I would smoke again – and it certainly garners box-worthy consideration. Coming in at 90 points, the Micallef Black Toro earns the Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence designation.
Key Flavors: Mocha (Coffee/Chocolate), Fruit, Citrus, Mineral, Pepper
Strength: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Box Worthy Consideration
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on October 30, 2023 @ 4:17 pm