Here's an in depth look at the fantastic Kafie 1901 Sumatra Toro Bello, starting with the basic details;
Vitola: Toro Bello
Size: 54 x 6”
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Binder:
Honduran Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Many people will see the name Sumatra and just assume Indonesian which may or not be a good thing. Ecuador has become one of the best countries to grow tobacco and has been doing so since the 1950’s. The Los Rios province is highly regarded as the most fertile region of Ecuador. Back in 1967, it is claimed that Jose Aray (he owned several large plots of land in Los Rios) crossbred Cubano and Sumatra plants and developed Ecuadorian Sumatra. Many Cuban migrant farmers worked in Ecuador to supplement their income by growing different crops there. The demand for Ecuadorian tobacco was given a great boost by the Cuban trade embargo which Kennedy signed in 1962. What is so special about Ecuador? The soil is the key. Like the amazing rich red soil of Pinar del Rio in Cuba, the quality and nutrients in the soil in Ecuador is unparalleled. The country has 32 active volcanoes, 32! Nicaragua has 19, Honduras 9 and Dominican Republic 5. Volcanic ash and other nutrients from the volcanoes equals organic fertiliser, which means the soil is extraordinarily rich in minerals and exceptionally good for growing everything, especially tobacco.
Ecuador has a long growing season from May to January and an average of 500 hours of sunshine a year, add to that continuous cloud cover (a natural sun filter), tobacco plants just grow better here. They produce taller plants with oilier and more flexible leaves. They are renown for Ecuador Connecticut, Ecuador Habano and Ecuador Sumatra wrappers. Ecuador is all about wrapper and binders. Ecuadorian Sumatra wrappers are best chosen from the upper and mid priming’s of the tobacco plant. These leaves are known for rich flavours and aromas with woody and peppery notes.
Back to the Kafie 1901 Sumatra Toro Bello. The wrapper has been aged for 4 years. Let’s just take a second to think about that. In Cuba, 12-18 months is the average time for all the tobacco to be matured on standard current production cigars. Limited Edition cigars have tobacco aged for 24 months. Reserva cigars have tobacco aged for 36 months. Gran Reserva cigars have tobacco aged for 60 months. You will notice that it is rare for people to say that New World cigars taste fresh or have ammonia, there’s your answer. The tobacco from the New World on average is aged 3-5 years. Even more amazing is finding cigars that have 10- year-old plus tobacco at fair prices! The Kafie 1901 Sumatra was the 3rd line released by Dr. Gaby Kafie in 2015 and has received plenty of reviews. What I like about Dr. Gaby’s principles is that he’s sourcing the best tobacco he can from Central America and rolling great cigars. He doesn’t own cigar plantations for this reason. He’s focused on maturing the raw materials correctly and producing. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should. It makes a good regular smoke at competitive price point.
Try it for yourself here