Flor de Selva Year of the Rat Toro. A few years back, Davidoff started with an annual limited edition based on the Chinese zodiac calendar. And several companies followed, including Maya Selva for her Flor de Selva brand. We know of at least 7 companies that release cigars based on the Chinese zodiac calendar now. But being born in the year of the rat, married to someone with Chinese heritage and living in South East Asia, this year is special. That’s why I will be reviewing several ‘Year of the Rat’ cigars this year.
The Flor de Selva Year of the Rat is a 6×52 Toro. It retails for 19 euro in Germany, Europe’s largest cigar market. The cigar is made from tobaccos from Honduras and Nicaragua. The wrapper comes from Honduras. The binder is Nicaraguan. And the filler contains tobacco from both countries.
The cigar has two rings. The simple faded yellow and greenish Flor de Selva ring. But the foot ring sets the cigar apart from the rest of the Flor de Selva lines. It’s red, the Chinese color of prosperity. And it combines the image of the rat with Mayan hieroglyphics, merging Honduran and Chinese cultures together in this cigar. The wrapper is Colorado colored, with a sharp thin vein on the side. It isn’t the best looking cigar out there, but it’s also not the worst looking cigar. The construction feels great. The nose is nice. A warm aroma of hay and wood, medium strong.
The cold draw is nice, with a nice tobacco flavor. After lighting it’s a mellow and sweet coffee with soil flavor. There is some toast and a nice mix of gingerbread spices as well. The flavors are mellow, smooth and well balanced. There’s a slow evolution to cedar with the spices, toast, and sweetness. The aftertaste has a hint of white pepper. The sweetness is pure honey. The mouthfeel is creamy. Slowly the pepper gains more strength but the honey toast with cedar remains the base flavor for the cigar. In the second third, leather shows up and it’s a beautiful combination with the growing white pepper, toast, spices, and honey. In the final third, the cigar gets stronger, with more pepper, leather, and wood. The toast is dissolving, just like the honey. And the balance starts to disappear as well. And then the sweetness returns. The cigar now has a flavor profile of pepper, sweetness, and cedar with leather.
The draw is phenomenal. The light gray ash is a bit flaky. The burn is straight as an arrow. The smoke is good in volume but could be a bit thicker for a higher score. This is a medium-bodied, full-flavored cigar. The balance was spot on in the first two thirds, with a silky smooth flavor profile. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? It’s expensive but I wouldn’t mind a few more