Gran Toro- 6×54
Tasting notes: On the body, aside from light cocoa and fermented tobacco, there is hardly any scent. On the foot, it’s more of the same with some vinegar tartness added. The cold draw, however, has an array of flavors from vegetal to creamy cashew and an earthy umami. Based on the prelight notes, I’m not expecting much when I light, but then I’m hit with a BOOM! It’s a blast of bread, black pepper, chocolate, and charcoal wrapped in a sweet creamy smoke! It’s deep and dark, almost a sarsaparilla-like root. I may be crazy but the sweetness and the darkness sort of remind me of dark chocolate-covered cherry or dark chocolate and Welch’s grape jelly. There’s also some leather, cocoa, charred wood, raisins, and black pepper on the finish. The dark sweetness then transitions into dates, roasted nuts, dark chocolate, and slight black pepper. VERY reminiscent of a Padron! This thing is outrageous. There’s an under-layer of dark herbs, a sweet sensation on the tongue reminding me of dark brandy, black pepper, leather, and dried fruits. Later in the second third, sweet and salty floral notes appear, more prune-like dried fruits, cocoa, leather, espresso, and then salty peanuts. Near the final third, everything starts to meld together in a good way. The berries are becoming more muted but the sweetness is still there-almost like a freeze-dried berry. Cocoa notes are still prevalent along with the charred wood/charcoal. It ends with some savory flavors, like salted peanuts and herbs with a slight sweetness and light white pepper. The last few puffs are super bready, making for a perfectly rounded experience.
Pairing notes: Starbucks dark roast coffee or espresso. Sarsaparilla or root beer. Adult root beer. Dark Chocolate. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Peanut butter pretzels. Chocolate stout beers. Cognac. Rye bourbon. After eating lamb chops. After a chocolate pie. With white chocolate nibs for balance. Shout out @blackbirdcigar on the gram!