Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Short Robusto 4.75″ x 60 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

Cigar Aficionado named the Casa Magna Colorado #1 on their Top 25 Cigars of 2008 (specifically the robusto).  They did so with a very controversial explanation, stating that the price point of the cigar played a large role in its selection due to the state of the economy. That sparked off a ton of impassioned debate across the cigar smoker world about what should or should not factor into proclaiming a cigar as the #1 cigar of the year.  Where ever you come down on that debate, the general consensus seems to be that the Casa Magna is a decent to very good cigar that carries a reasonable price tag.  Somehow I have managed to fail to get around to trying the Casa Magna up til this point, but today I fired up the beefy Torito to see what I think of this much debated #1 cigar of 2008.

There has been a ton of stuff written on this line of cigars given the hype and controversy that surrounded it earlier this year.  There are lots of places that detail the specifics of the cigar and its makers so I am going to save myself the trouble of rehashing it all here.  You’ve probably already have read all about it, and if not you’ll find the information is easy to locate with a quick google search.  So no more fluff, on to the review…

This short fat robusto is a handsome specimen.  Girthy yet elegant looking in its ornate band and oily rosado colored wrapper.  It’s like a football player in formal wear.  The cap is a little sloppy but that isn’t uncommon in my experience when dealing with these huge ring gauges so we can forgive it.  The filler looks like it is littered with several thick rib veins, another pitfall of a 58+ ring gauge.  it takes a lot of tobacco to create a cigar this thick and I guess you can’t be too picky when trying to get that much tobacco in it.  Hopefully it will not adversely effect the cigar.

The draw is very good and the burn surprisingly even for such a thick cigar.  It burns slow and cool which is certainly a plus.  The flavors seem a bit muted and hard to pick out.  I got notes of white pepper and some musty earthiness and a slight oakiness at times.  It was a fairly smooth smoke, creamy at times but not very dynamic.  I think perhaps that this blend does a lot better in a smaller vitola, but that is just a guess on my part.  It seems to me that some of its complexity and at the very least the core of its flavors get diluted and lost in the abundance of tobacco crammed into this monster.  This cigar intrigued me enough to want to try a more traditional size like the corona.  The Torito however leaves a little to be desired.  Besides, a 60 ring gauge is just so awkward to smoke and that doesn’t help any either.  It is a decent smoke though and those that enjoy big beefy cigar will probably enjoy the Torito.

Rating – B

Some other takes on the Casa Magna: