A Light Dark Horse (Affinity Toro by Sindicaro)

2015-11-24 09.26.49Tuesday morning.  We sat down to catch up on a couple of episodes of the Flash and Arrow because we’re a bunch of fans of nerd TV.  Naturally I figured that the hour and a half of TV watching time would provide me with an opportunity to smoke a good cigar for review, so to the humidor I went.  I prefer a lighter cigar in the morning, but currently my options are somewhat limited in terms of the lighter cigars available. Not connected to anything else, buried in the bottom of my humidor, was the Affinity Toro, created by Sindicaro.

I’ve never heard of Sindicaro.  I don’t even remember where I got this cigar.  I think it’s the last of my mild-bodied sampler from Pipes & Cigars (which they’re not even offering anymore). Or maybe it was a promotional thing, or a gift from a friend. I guess that’s probably why I buried it in the bottom of my humidor and left it until there were few other options. I tried to scroll back through the archives of the reviews I’ve done here at Smoking Jacket Magazine to find what it was connected to, but no luck.   It seems I have to take this one entirely on its own merits; which is probably the way that things should be done anyway.

2015-11-24 09.27.16The Affinity is billed as a medium-bodied cigar.  It’s sized at a 54 ring gauge and it’s six inches long.  I was greeted with the scent of coffee, leather and wood, and just touch of nutmeg when I removed the wrapper.  It was a hard pack, but not hard enough I wasn’t willing to punch the cleverly-constructed double cap with my handy bullet punch; I figured I could cut it later if necessary.  As you can see by the photo it’s got a matte Colorado Claro wrapper with clearly wrapped leaves and some veins.  That wrapper is a Connecticut seed wrapper grown in Ecuador.  It features a Nicaraguan binder that covers a rich blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos.  There was a light nutmeg essence left on my lips at the pre-light draw.

The first few draws, and the first third, were a pure delight.  It was sweet, buttery, and tasty, featuring elements of nutmeg, cedar and oak. It reminded me distinctly of the La Perla Black Pearl; which remains one of my favourite cigar flavour profiles ever.  This is exactly what I want in a morning cigar; light and spicy flavours that whet the palate and improve the appetite. I reaped the benefits of this lovely beginning for a good 45 minutes, and it left a lovely cylindrical white ash that made maybe an inch before falling off.  The Affinity stayed lit after it lost its ash too; a nice change of pace from what I’ve been smoking lately.

2015-11-24 09.28.15I found the second third to be, if anything, sweeter and more pleasant than the first; which again is an exception to my personal rule of belief in what I call “second third bitterness.”  It was filled with nutmeg and cedar and light elements of clover.  Truly refreshing!  That second third lasted about half an hour before it changed character again just a bit.  I puffed away at it steadily while watching my TV shows, enjoying the experience.

By the time I reached the final third, the draw had become a little challenging, but I persisted anyway without cutting for fear that it would ruin the delicious flavour.  Now we were back to the joys of that first third again; and strangely, it actually managed to almost perfectly recreate the flavour profile of the first third! It didn’t go out once until I’d smoked it to a nub, which finally happened 45 minutes later; which, again, is a wonderful change of pace as of late. To be fair, near the end the draw was beginning to become quite challenging and it had degenerated from a perfectly straight light to an angular slice, but I think it was well worth the trade.

2015-11-24 09.27.03Well, what a dark horse this turned out to be!  I regret burying this secret gem in the bottom of my humidor for so long.  And what’s worse is that I still have no idea where I got it, even after this review, because I’ve searched all my usual sources and you can’t even find it in their inventory.  I guess it wasn’t as popular as some other cigars, and in this lady’s perspective, that’s a shame.

So I’d like to rate this little baby at:

4 stars

And the only place I can find to get it currently is Corona Cigar, where you can get it in a variety of options, ranging from the single at $7.00 USD (for the Toro size; a Corona starts at $6.00 USD) to a box of twenty-one for $131.35 USD (ranging upwards to a box of churchills for $137.95 USD).  So I guess you’d better get them while you can!

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