JC Newman

January 25, 2020

Highclere Castle Victorian Toro (6 x 52)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from Cigar-coop.com website)
Highclere Castle Cigar Company, the joint venture that includes Foundation Cigar Company owner Nicholas Melillo and George Carnarvon (the 8th Earl of Carnarvon and the owner of the famed Highclere Castle Estate located in Hampshire, England) has announced its second release, the Highclere Castle Victorian.

Lord and Lady Carnarvon

Highclere Castle Victorian is meant to be reminiscent of the very first cigars imported to England during the Victorian era, which took place in England under the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901.

The blend for the Highclere Castle Victorian features a high priming Habano Ecuador wrapper over Brazilian Mata Fina, and Nicaraguan fillers of Corojo and Criollo from Jalapa, Estelí, and Ometepe. It is available in five sizes: Churchill, Toro, Corona, Robusto, and Petit Corona – each presented in 20-count boxes. As with the original Highclere Castle, production is being handled by Tabacalera AJ Fernandez.

In a press release announcing the Highclere Castle Victorian, master-blender Nicholas Melillo describes it as a “full-bodied cigar delivering notes of nougat, cedar, cinnamon, and leather. This is some of the rarest and highest quality wrapper that I have been able to source, based on 20 years of building relationships with farmers and exceptional tobacco growers.”

“Nick is arguably one of the most well-respected cigar blenders in the industry,” added Highclere Cigar co-founder, Adam von Gootkin. “Partnering with him to craft this masterpiece cigar speaks to his obsession with quality while embracing the rich history of enjoying cigars at Highclere Castle. His access to rare tobaccos and high-quality, by-hand, production capabilities has led to this historic, award-winning line of cigars that we are incredibly proud to offer to connoisseurs.”

George Carnarvon, the current 8th Earl Carnarvon, added “Highclere House was transformed into the inspirational Victorian Castle, much loved today, during a time of confidence and exploration in the world. Cigars were smoked at home by leading statesmen, such the Prime Minister Lord Salisbury, a close friend of my great, great grandfather. In fact, Queen Victoria’s, husband, Prince Albert, helped improve Anglo-French relations by smoking cigars with Napoleon III. Good food, good wine and the best cigars have been part of our weekends, entertaining friends and guests from around the world.”

Blend and Origin
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa, Estelí, and Ometepe grown Corojo and Criollo)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez

Petite Corona: 5 x 42
Robusto: 5 x 50
Corona: 5 1/2 x 46
Churchill: 7 x 48

The cigar is a beautiful reddish brown. The wrapper is very smooth and somewhat oily. The cigar has a nice feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were tangy cedar/citrus combination, quite a bit of brown sugar, caramel, quite a bit of cinnamon, light leather, nutmeg, and a light black coffee base initially. There was a nice amount of black pepper at the outset rated at 8. Nice start.

At the first third (23 minutes) the cigar is burning evenly and the ash is almost completely white and it's tight. You have a lot of citrus and cedar, brown sugar, caramel, a lot of cinnamon, increased leather, the same moderate amount of nutmeg, and a nice black coffee base. The caramel gives the cigar a high pitched sweetness. The cigar is a high grade medium bodied. The finish is light caramel and a lot of nutmeg and light leather with a nice amount of lingering black pepper. The cigar is very good. I rated the first third at 95.

Moving through the second third (53 minutes) there are still high pronounced sweet citrus notes which are now matched by the leather notes. And now the black coffee has risen. You still have nice brown sugar, caramel, and a lot of cinnamon. The cinnamon is above average in this cigar. The cigar is now full bodied. The finish is unchanged. There are plenty of sweet notes and plenty of dark notes. The cigar is actually close to balanced. The cigar is very enjoyable. I maintained the score of 95 for the second third. 

The cigar lasted 1 hour 25 minutes. In the final third the leather notes decreased somewhat. The sweetness has not decreased. It is quite noticeable. The black coffee notes are also somewhat elevated. The cigar is very full bodied. The finish is pretty much unchanged. The cigar is still very good but with the decrease in leather notes, which were very nice, I lowered the final third score to 94. I like this cigar so much I purchased a box. Very good cigar. You can purchase this or any of the other sizes of this cigar HERE.

This was another good cigar from Foundation Cigars. I would like to thank the Highclere Castle estate for the use of their videos and images in the making of the Youtube review and this blog post.

Overall Score: 94.67

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