Talk about a cigar I never thought I would purchase. Don Tomas may have been an industry giant at one point in time, but in the 10+ years I’ve been enjoying cigars, ‘The Don’ has remained pretty quiet. Maybe it’s the band that reads ‘Don Tomas’ or is it ‘Don’t Omas?’ My subconscious has always replied, ‘Ok, ok, I won’t.’ Until two weeks ago anyway, when I was offered one Don Tomas Clasico free of charge and prepared to step into uncharted waters.
The wrapper looks a bit marbled and it’s a thinner leaf than most of the newer Habano-seed wrappers on the market. With a gentle squeeze, the cigar felt firm to the touch with no soft spots. The cold draw was perfect and I knew at the very least this cigar would burn properly. At these early stages of my experience with Don Tomas Clasico, I was still a skeptic.
Flavor & Body
Upon first light, I’m hit with notes of hay, cedar, and leather. It’s rich, it’s delicious, and the finish is light and clean. It’s immediately apparent that the tobaccos inside have had some serious age on them, and that is a good thing. As I get about halfway in, the blends sweetness begins to shine which adds a nice balance into the mix. With each puff, the cigar gets creamier and the flavors are melding together well. Here I am, completely confused, and borderline upset. My intuition has deceived me; Don Tomas Clasico is a wonderful medium-bodied blend. It has plenty of subtle flavors without all the strength.
Smoke & Burn
This cigar was built to burn well and it shows. What I mean – today’s full-bodied blends are so loaded with thick ligero leaves that you need to either re-light them frequency, draw on them constantly until they burn too hot, or smoke the cigar on the dry side. Don Tomas requires none of that. The thinner Habano-seed wrapper burns razor-sharp along with the rest of the tobaccos. The ligero center of the fillers keeps the cigar lit even when you set it down for a minute. This allows the cigar to burn cool and evenly, and the flavor really shines as a result. The ash is white and a little flaky, but it doesn’t detract from the experience one bit.
I like Don Tomas Clasico. Enough to purchase a whole box in fact. Is it my favorite blend of all time? No. Have I started thinking about replacing my morning Connecticut with Don Tomas to accompany my coffee? Yes, absolutely. In an industry dominated by extremes (the mellowest or the strongest), it’s rather difficult to pin point a good medium-bodied blend that you can rely on. Don Tomas makes quick work of filling that need. Clean, crisp, balanced, and highly flavorful, that is Don Tomas Clasico.
OVERALL SCORE: 90/100
This cigar was rated Cigar Aficionado Best Bargain in 2006 and now I know why. If you goal is strength then you’ll probably want to sit this round out. If you are a looking for a hearty, medium-bodied no-nonsense blend at a fair price, take a look at Don Tomas Clasico. Pick up a single or 5-pack and let me know what you think.