The Griffin’s Maduro Toro

The Griffin\'s Maduro ToroI’ve really been looking forward to this review, as it will mark the first ever “The Griffin’s” cigar I’ve ever smoked. But before we get into the details of the cigar, I thought it will be interesting to get to the bottom of the cigar’s unusual name. The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it? I’ve been wondering for a while now, why “The Griffin’s” and not just Griffin, I wondered.

Well, even a very thorough search of the web didn’t net much in the way of history about this cigar. But I did read somewhere online a while back that The Griffin’s was originally a house blend of a European club named “The Griffin”. Rumor spread of how great a cigar it was and the rest is history. And you know that has to be true, because I read it online, right? The one fact that’s indisputable is that The Griffin’s is made by Davidoff of Geneva, and it’s chock full of choice tobacco from the Cibao region of the Dominican Republic.

But before I get into the review, I have to thank Jim from Blue Havana II for providing me with the cigars for this review. He runs a great shop with more cigars than you can shake a draw poker at, and probably has more cigar events than any other shop I know of. If you live in the Atlanta area, it’s well worth your time to stop by and enjoy a smoke in his nicely furnished lounge. And if you don’t, send Jim an email. He just might be able to help you out with that hard to find cigar.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 1/4 x 52
Wrapper: Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: ~$8.80

The Griffin\'s Maduor Toro Foot

Nicely packed.

The Pre-Smoke
It’ll be honest, it took me a little while to figure out just which vitola this cigar was. It’s a toro, but it has a head that makes it looks like it might be a belicoso. Rest assured though, there is no Griffin’s belicoso. With that initial mystery of the cigar solved, I began my inspection. Right off the bat I noticed something that made me very happy. The fairly straight forward white band was nicely loose on the cigar. Not loose enough that it would fall off, but loose enough to make remove incredibly easy. Without having even taken a cold taste yet, I was developing warm, fuzzy feelings for the cigar.

As I checked out the wrapper, I noticed a couple of superficial holes in the wrapper of one of the cigars, and large veins in both. The wrapper itself was a rustic, mottled-looking maduro color, alternating between black and dark brown shades. The wrapper had the scent of a pile of freshly raked leaves. It’s interesting how scent can form strong ties to memories, because this aroma almost gave me a flash back.

The Burn
The story here is a bit different between the two cigars I smoked for this review. There clearly was a flawed cigar and a normal one, and the difference first presented itself in the burn. The flawed cigar initially had a draw that was a little too tight in the beginning, and actually produced some tar toward the end of the first third. After wiping and reclipping, the draw opened up and the tar went into remission until the final third. I also noticed this stick had a flakier ash than the second unflawed cigar.

There isn’t too much to say about the unflawed cigar. No tar, no draw issues, solid white ash and a good burn line. It was exactly what you would expect from a good cigar.

The Flavor
Based on what you already know about the burn, you suspect that the flavors differed in the cigars I smoked. You’re absolutely right. The funny thing is that I actually enjoyed the flavors in the flawed cigar more than the normal burning one. When the tar wasn’t present, that is.

The flawed cigar was had more of a mild but rich cocoa and coffee that was slightly sweet in the first third, while I found the normal cigar to have more earthy and rich tobacco flavors with a little bit of creaminess. In both cigars, I was impressed with how cool and smooth the smoke was.

The second third remained cool but unfortunately the flawed cigar developed it’s first bubbles of tar which were not pleasant before returning to the rich cocoa flavors that were present in the first third. The normal cigar took on a savory, almost beef jerky flavor which was actually pretty enjoyable. Some of the same cocoa elements were present in this third also.

The final third was moved up into the medium fullness range and I got a bit of chocolate, some sweetness and a faint bit of coconut. The flawed cigar had a reappearance of the tar flavor (but no visible tar), followed by the a savory fuller flavor.

The Price
For a cigar produced by Davidoff, I was a little surprised that this cigar comes in well under the $10 mark. I don’t have any complaints about the price, but I think it’s just high enough to put it in that one-a-week range for most people.

The Verdict
In spite of the flaws of the one cigar, I enjoyed The Griffin’s Toro Maduro. I wouldn’t say it’s a very complex or varied cigar. Right up front you’ll have a good feeling for whether or not you’ll enjoy the cigar, because it remains pretty constant throughout. Fortunately for me, I enjoyed the flavors, both times. I also really enjoyed the coolness of the smoke for the first two thirds. For some reason that aspect of the experience really stood out. Because of the overall mildness, I’d recommend this as a good cigar to pair with your morning coffee.

Of course, thanks again to Jim of Blue Havana II for the great cigars. And thanks also to Steve Dickinson, the area Davidoff rep for keeping us all entertained at the recent Davidoff event. Even if you don’t smoke any of Davidoff’s cigars, it’s worth dropping in at an event just to talk with Steve.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Maybe
Recommend It: Yes

UPDATE 4/30/08:
The Tower of Burn
At a cigar event this past weekend, Jim walked up to me, and said, where’s my Tower of Burn? After sputtering a bit, and feeling a bit embarrassed, I had to admit that I had just been a little lazy on this review. I thought I could skate by with a nice picture of the ashtray afterward, but no dice. Apparently, the Tower of Burn is incredibly popular, I’ve been contacted by several people who specifically mention it as a favorite feature! Well, I feel bad depriving you of it for so long, so here it is, my trademark Tower of Burn. Enjoy!

The Griffin\'s Maduro

The Griffin\'s Maduro Toro

The Griffin\'s Maduro Toro

The Griffin\'s Maduro Toro

The Griffin\'s Maduro Toro

The Griffin\'s Maduro Toro

The Griffin\'s Maduro Toro

The Griffin\'s Maduro Toro

The Griffin\'s Maduro Toro

The Griffin\'s Maduro Toro

The Griffin\'s Maduro Toro In Ashes

Nice ash!

What Others Are Saying
You know, I’ve been forgetting recently to link to other reviews of the cigar. Not this time. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of reviews of this cigar out there.

Cigar Review Index
And be sure to check out my complete index of cigar reviews! (Guaranteed to be at least 75% up to date!)

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  1. Joe(capnpfff) said,

    April 19, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Nice review Brian. I had the natural in a robusto size a while back. It was a decent smoke. I remember it being a little on the mild side. It would probably be a good morning smoke with a nice cup of coffee.

  2. Brian said,

    April 20, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks Joe,
    My thoughts exactly, a bit mild but good. A fine companion to that morning cup.

  3. Cigar Jack said,

    April 23, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Man you gotta try the Fuerte I think it is the best of the The Griffin’s.

  4. Brian said,

    April 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Cigar Jack,
    Depending on how things work out, that might be the next one I review for this blog or maybe Stogie Review. I picked up a couple of those at the same time as these. These cigars just happened to be the ones that Jim was nice enough to give me to review. (Hopefully by the time I get to them, this nasty grass pollen will have cleared up a bit…)

  5. April 25, 2008 at 6:42 am

    I like The Griffin’s and Jesse’s right – try the Fuerte. Very nice review.

  6. Brian said,

    April 27, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks Cigar Inspector, I will make a point to check it out!

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