Cigarians Magazine

Toscano! Making difference

Zizuzi2000 March 3, 2013 Cigarian News
Terry and I

Time by time, Cigarians are posting pictures of Toscano’s cigars and I notice that these italian goodies are flicking the interest of some of you. So, why not? Try to share a bit of knowledge in our beloved magazine.OriginaleMe and Toscano

(Toscano Originale and me and Toscano)

Toscano is not a palliative of a cigar. It’s the Italian Cigar and we are proud and jealous to have it. So jealous that we keep the secret of 200 years of manufacture and we believe that the know how is passed only through generation by generation and verbally.

Toscano is kinds of life style, I met several Italian who “can” smoke only Toscano, also if sometime they don’t disregard some alternative Cuban cigs like Partagas (the serie D, more precisely) and few of those that are know as “rude” and “machos”.

The stick could be always dropped in the mouth of the aficionado, it doesn’t need to be smoked all at once and often it’s resting in “off” and would be relighted time by time.

So! The best for cowboy movies and Clint Eastwood performances ;)

The myth of Toscano was born on 1815. The legend is saying that a 200 years ago a sudden rainstorm had wetted some kentucky’s tobacco  that was stored in one barnyard. Both The humidity and the hot weather had caused fermentation processes that forced the owners to use this tobaccos as filler for cheap cigars.

For safe the costs, the cigars were produced without binders.

The success came immediately and the people nicely called the brand “Toscano”… And the story had began.

Reproducing and controlling the fermentation of the leaves by using direct fire (burning kind of woods in proper pools and inside stock rooms) and wetting the leaves are accelerating the processes of readiness of tobacco and are giving the unique taste of Toscano.

The Kentucky is a very valuable tobacco, cultivated also in Italy since XIX siècle. The cultivation process is very long and in each step is requiring particular cares. The seed of tobacco is very small (a gram is containing about 10.000 seeds) thus it would be sown in seedbeds properly prepared and carefully protected until the seedling would by transplanted in field after 50/60 days from the sow.

The transplanted seedling would stay in the field about 100-120 days before of the leafs would be completely harvested. The leafs are ready when they reach the green “bottle” colour tendency yellow-green with fragile and crunchy structure; only at this stage the leafs would be collected one by one, pierced and piled in strings that will be hanged in proper hangers located in apposite rooms. Here is playing the main role the “curators”, the person in charge for improving the goodness of tobacco with the ancient technique of care the tobacco with direct fire. During fabrication any steps are carefully followed and studied to guarantee a perfect cigar with best quality.

Only few Toscanos are totally hand made while the others can be considered machine-made even if the mechanical process is very limited to the rolling and wrap-up.

The Toscano Vitolas that are closer to the antique tradition of making are Antico, Originale and Classico.

Last summer I was glad to have a guest my friend Terry who is representing Manufacture Toscano. He gifted me a special hand-rolled Toscano, almost 10″, a bit more then “Moro”, with an unique taste profile, one-off. I did smoke it “ammezzato” (halves, divided in two), that is common practice of smoking Toscano: ammezzato, unless you want smoke it “alla Maremmana” (full length, as the cow boys of Maremma’s land are smoking).Terry and ISuper Toscano

(Terry Nesti and I – the Super Toscano gifted by Terry)

The last but not the least, Toscano should be preserved in humidor at humidity around 68% and temperature around 20-23°C (70°F) but I know people leave this cig in the fridge and others leave it whiteout any precautions. I do suggest to keep them in humidor.

Here below, the characteristics of the vitolas taken from various books and articles spread in Italy. I hope you can enjoy the unique tastes of Toscano.

Cheers.

Toscano presidenteToscano del Presidente

(Toscano Del Presidente)

Toscano sigari                          Moro

(from left to right: Antica Riserva – Il Moro – Originale)

  • Extra vecchio

It is made by machine using Italian Kentucky tobaccos for wrapper and filler. In the filler it is present also the scraps from American Kentucky’s tobacco.

This cigar has been realised on 1953 and produced in both Italian manufacturers of Lucca and Cava dei Tirreni.

Seasoning of 9 months

 Intensity: 3 out of 5

Taste:  bitter and tasty

Flavour: herbs and spicy pepper

Pairing of:  wines, the red the white and for meditation, distilled alcohol (grappa), beers and liquor (bitter)

 

  • Antico

Perfect combustion, this cigar is considered the “real” Toscano. Very strong and with flavours very pronounced it has also a very tight draw. It is the most “difficult” stogie within the Toscanos, only for expert smokers.

The born of this cigar (released on 1973) is coming 200 years after of the famous accident that was originating the story of Toscano.

The Antico Toscano is containing the story and the Tradition of working tobaccos.

The wrapper is Kentucky Tobaccos from North America while for the filler is used the scraper from wrapper plus the Italian Kentucky Tobaccos.

Maturation and seasoning is 12 months long. Made by machine is produced in Lucca (Tuscany).

Intensity: 5 out of 5

Taste: intensively bitter

Flavour: woods and peppery

Pairing of:  red wine, distilled alcohol (grappa) and coffee

  •  Garibaldi

This cigar is dedicated to one of extraordinary heroes of Italian story but also to one of main estimator of Toscano Cigars. The idea of Garibaldi’s cigar was given by a famous   Man of letters, of Theatre and cinema: Mario Soldati.

Once it was possible to buy Toscano only with permission given by State Authority (monopoly)  and directly from Manufacturers of Lucca (Toscany) and Cava dei Tirreni (Campania), and Mario Soldati was one of the elected consumers.

He noted that the cigars that were coming from Cava dei Tirreni had brighter colour, less strong but more sweet taste. That’s because at Cava they were using Kentucky’s tobaccos cultivated in both Tuscany and Campania, and thanks to the different lands and climates they had produced goods with different tastes.

Soldati was preferring the cigars made with Campania’s Tobacco, therefore he suggested and obtained the cigars made only with Campania’s kentucky tobacco as alternative of classic cigar from Tuscany.

Toscano Garibaldi was released for the first time on 1982, the year of the centenary of the death of the “hero of two world” (Garbaldi) and thus the brand was taking its name.

It is made by roller-machine but under care of wiser wrapper ladies who have the duty to orientate the nerves parallel to the cigar axe.

The taste of Garibaldi is particularly intense and rich of sweet aroma typical of Kentucky’s tobacco; national Kentucky’s tobacco taken in the area of Benevento (Campania’s city) is utilised for both binder and filler. The tobacco is matured and seasoned for about 6 months.

The Garibaldi are sold in a box with the portrait of the hero of two world. They Are looking rude and don’t have any bands.

Intensity: 1 out of 5

Taste: a bit sweet and tasty

Flavour: wood and leather

Pairing of: red wine, white and structured wine, beer

  •  Soldati

It is a cigar of new generation dedicated to Mario Soldati (see above) who was a lover of Toscano cigars.

This cigar is limited production.

They are made with selected Italian tobaccos that are coming from the reserved cultivated areas. These are used for both binder and filler. This tobacco is providing smooth and soft character to the cigar.

The process of make it has been improved to obtain a cigar more refined, light, with good burn and able to highlight the typical aroma of fermented Kentucky.

Soldati is on production since 2002

Intensity: 2 out of 5

Taste: a bit sweet and tasty

Flavour: walnuts and almonds, hits of dry fruits.

Pairing of: wine for meditation, “bollicine” (sparkling wine, champagne), artisanal beer, beer

  • Modigliani

Modigliani is made by machine. Binder and filler by Italian’s Kentucky tobacco.

The drying is done at site where tobacco is cultivated. For drying are burned also woods coming from fruit threes.

The fermentation is double and the seasoning is 6 months.

The taste is smooth, intense and aromatic.

The Modigliani is produced since 2010 when the legal archives of Amedeo Modigliani was transferred from France to Italy.

The Modigliani, together with Garibaldi and Soldati is part of the series “sigari d’autore” which boxes of colour of green, white and red are together a tribute to Italian flag.

Intensity: 2 out of 5

Taste: a bit sweet

Flavour: fruity, herbs, malt, aromatic woods

Pairing of:  “bollicine” (sparkling wine, champagne), artisanal beer, liquor bitter, tea, coffee

  • Originale

Originale has all the secrets, knowledges and values that had generated the myth of Toscano.

It is made in Manufacture of Lucca following manual methods used since 1818.

It’s a persisting cigar characterised by rich and intense aroma, excellent flavour and right power.

The tobacco is only Kentucky and for binder are selected the best leafs coming from North America. The “sigaraia” (cigar’s lady) cuts the leaf following the nerve, wets the piece with maize starch glue and after filling by Kentucky’s tobacco cultivated in Italy (fermented shag) she quickly wraps and gives the biconic form to the cigar.

Thereafter, it start the maturation and seasoning that would be completed after of 12 months under frequent human controls.

Toscano Originale has the three colours band (Italian flag) with the portrait of Grand Duke Leopoldo.

This cigar is unique and doesn’t hide its character genuine and natural able to provide a full taste with typical aroma and aftertaste clean and sober. The ash is compacted with grey-pearl tones of colour.

Intensity: 5 out of 5

Taste: slightly bitter, tasty

Flavour: woods, roasted toasted essences

Pairing of:  wine for meditation, distilled alcohol (grappa)

  • Antica Riserva

 

Made in Lucca manufacture since 1992 this cigar has an intense aroma and a smooth and pleasant taste.

It is made by machine. The binder is Kentucky t. from north America while the filler is national kentucky t. plus the scrapes of the binders.

During preparation any steps are carefully followed and studied to guarantee a perfect cigar with best quality for Toscano Antica Riserva.

Maturation and seasoning time is about 12 months.

Antica Riserva has a grey band with a medallion in which there  is refiguring the portrait of Venere of Botticelli (Venus of Botticelli)

Intensity: 5 out of 5

Taste: a bit sweet and tasty

Flavour: woods, dry fruits, and roasted toasted essences

Pairing of:  wine for meditation, distilled alcohol (grappa), “bollicine” (sparkling wine, champagne), artisanal beer

  • Toscano del Presidente

Last exceptional news of Toscano brand is “Toscano del Presidente”.

Hand made in very limited numbers and prepared by specialised “sigaraie” (cigar ladies) at Manufacture of Lucca.

Made only with high quality Kentucky, the Toscano del Presidente is seasoning for 12 months by following the same ancient process that were used during XIX siècle.

The smoking is very balanced and is evoking all the care, dedication and patience that the “sigaraie” had put for its preparation. From the appearance this cigar is revealing the particular character: high personality remarked from the shapes always different. A noble and persisting aroma that is coming out with strong mindedness .

As a good wine, it has to be tasted with slowness and it will release a consistent and matured broad taste buds. Particularly loved by expert, the Toscano del Presidente is dedicated to who can appreciate the intense and rounded taste.

BEFORE SMOKING IT IS SUGGESTED TO PRESERVE THIS CIGAR SOME DAYS IN THE HUMIDOR for getting the best results.

This precious cigar has been reserved for the Italian high institutional persons.

The cigars are coming “ammezzati” (halves) with an accompanying paper signed by the “sigaraia” who made it.

Intensity: 5 out of 5

Taste: with bitter and tasty hits

Flavour: woods, malt, toasted and roasted essences

Pairing of: distilled alcohol (grappa), coffee

  •  Toscano Millenium

The Millenium is the most exclusive Toscanos and it is characterised by intense and rich aroma as well as full body taste, aromatic and generous. The strength is balanced and its ash is resulting compacted and grey-pearl colour.

It is released since 1999 and its production is very very limited.

It is totally hand made in Lucca and after of long period of refining and selections.

Also the seeds are passionately selected by proper experts.

Kentucky tobacco from North America for the binder and national Kentucky tobacco plus the scrapes of binder are used for filler.

Maximum care and attention is dedicated to the leaves along all their life and during the process for seasoning and drying that is done by direct burn of fine woody essences inside  the traditional room of care.

The process for making this cigar is bringing us backward of two hundred years and the sigaraie should passed a minimum two years of training before of starting this particular production. A good sigaraia must knows how to wet, wrap and produce a perfect cigar in term of shape and size.

This cigar is aged minimum 12 months at 20° C temperature.

Its flagrance is unique and this cigar is for the special events.

Intensity: 5 out of 5

Taste: slightly bitter and a bit tasty

Flavour: woods, leather, toasted and roasted essences

Pairing of: wine for meditation, distilled alcohol (grappa)

  • il Moro

Il Moro is a Toscano with exceptional quality: sophisticated, refined and incomparable quality. A cigar became extraordinary also for its dimension of 23cm (9inches).

Hand made with Kentucky tobacco from North America cared with direct fire for binder while the filler is national Kentucky tobacco.

The choice of the leaf is very selective and only the best seasoned and dark brown colour would be utilised.

It’s also necessary that the leaves are undamaged, healthy, elastics and with gentle and uniform tissue as well as the secondary nerves shall be less prominent in order to get a best wrapping of the filler. The selected leaves for binder would be wetted and then made free from the central spine and patches separated by left and right sides.

The filler is selected for taste and burn characteristics.

Il Moro is made in Lucca and it is in production since 1999 in limited number and available only during Christmas time

It is a rare piece for collection, very intense and strong taste that is increased by forced fermentation and long time of ageing. Each cigar is sold individually and inside a precious woody art-crafted box.

Intensity: 4 out of 5

Taste: with bitter hits and slightly tasty

Flavour: woods, leather, dry fruits

Pairing of: wine for meditation, distilled alcohol (grappa), “bollicine” (sparkling wine, champagne)

ENJOY TOSCANO!

Roberto

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About The Author

Italian aficionado!

9 Comments

  1. Ryan S March 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Fantastic Review! I am so very grateful to be introduced to so many of these unique, and fine cigars. I wish for the rest of my smoking days to always include the very special aromas and tastes of the great Toscano!

  2. Burak March 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing this amazing information with us Roberto. I was always curious about Toscano and i realised that i know nothing about this. This is definitely a different culture more than a smoke.

    • Zizuzi2000 March 5, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      You got it!

  3. Blak Smyth March 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Nice right up on an unfamiliar brand, very uducational.

  4. Joseph March 7, 2013 at 2:32 am

    I loved reading this Roberto, Thank you so much for sharing. I cannot wait to try more of these like Ry said.

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