Big Papi Toro by David Ortiz. A name that will probably not ring a bell for cigar enthusiasts outside of countries where baseball is a big sport. But David Ortiz is a baseball hall of fame star with the nickname Big Papi. He’s Dominican and a lover of the leaf. Whenever he was in the Dominican Republic, he was often hanging out at Tabacalera El Artista after being introduced to the Rodriguez family. Smoking cigars at the factory one day the idea came up of a Big Papi cigar and that’s when things start to happen.
The Big Papi Toro is a 6×54 Toro. It comes with an Ecuadorian Habano Claro wrapper. The binder is Dominican grown Criollo 98. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Tabacalera El Artista makes the cigars in a collaboration with the former Boston Red Sox star. There is also a 7×60 version with the name The Slugger. That’s another reference to his baseball days, where Ortiz was a hard-hitter aka a slugger. And the most famous baseball bat is the Louisville Slugger.
The cigar looks impressive, thicker than the ring 54 it is. The wrapper has an even color with a few sharp veins. It is slightly oily with a perfect triple cap. The ring is red and white, a tribute to the Boston Red Sox where David Ortiz played for so long. And his classic pose is on the ring as well. The foot ring is red cloth. The construction feels good. The cigar has a medium-strong stable aroma.
The cold draw is fine with a flavor that comes close to a cinnamon roll with some pepper. Once lit there is some sweetness, leather, spice but mostly dark roast coffee. Strong and bitter, but acceptable bitter. The first flavors fade away to a wood and nut flavor. Cedar gets stronger with a hint of honey. Yet there is a lack of balance and a little harshness in the flavor. The second third starts with wood, nuts, leather, and pepper. Slowly more sweetness, pepper, and spice take over. Wood and leather are the main flavors, with pepper as support. The mouthfeel is a bit dry. The final third has some soil with a hefty dose of pepper. There is still a little unbalance in the cigar.
The draw is fine. The ash is white and dense. One big white cone, not even layers with ash. The cigar gives a good amount of smoke. The burn is good. The cigar has a little unbalance and a little harshness. It almost tasted like the cigar was a bit too dry, even though it’s stored in 67% humidity. The smoke time of this medium-full bodied, medium flavored cigar is two hours and fifteen minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? I like El Artista cigars but this one isn’t my favorite