United Cigar Group – Garofalo
Owned by David Garofalo, proprietor of Two Guys Smoke Shop in New Hampshire, United Cigar Group oversees a diverse portfolio of cigar ranging from valued-priced to ultra premium. Brands owned by United Cigar include include Fleur de la Reine, Garofalo, La Gianna, and United Cigar. Additionally, they manage the U.S. distribution for Selected Tobaccos, the company responsible for the Atabey, Byron, and Bandolero. If it was not for being a regular listener of The Cigar Authority, United Cigar would have been completely foreign to me as I assume it is for many of our readers. As an introduction to the company, I will be reviewing the Garofalo by United Cigar.
The Garofalo is produced at the Perdomo factory in Esteli, Nicaragua in four vitolas: Robusto (5 by 50), Torpedo (5 by 54), Toro (6 by 52) and Churchill (7 by 50). According to the company’s website:
Not since Zino Davidoff has there been a cigar named after a cigar retailer and David Garofalo does it now with sincere humility. As he says, “I have spent more than half my life in the cigar business, and I am going to give launching my own cigar a try.”
Garofalo Cigars are handmade in Esteli Nicaragua at the Perdomo factory, using a proprietary blend of Nicaraguan fillers from the Jalapa Valley for its natural sweetness and from Esteli for its strength and character, later aged for four full years. The wrapper is from Ecuador, using seed from USA Connecticut, grown to a beautiful golden color.
The finished cigar has been sitting in aging rooms for a minimum of six full months to marry the blend until it has reached optimum flavor. The flavor is rich and rewarding while elegant and refined.
Samples Provided by United Cigar Group
Size: 5 by 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa & Esteli)
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 20 Minutes
The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper is consistent in its light tan, almost gold appearance. A few stitch-like veins, wrapper seams, and bumps can be easily seen against the light wrapper. A lot more aroma than expected is found on the wrapper leaf with notes of brown sugar, sweet-grass, cedar, and a faint pungency.
Brown sugar, chocolate, cedar, and spice are found on the unlit foot of the cigar. A very free draw present itself after a quick cut of the double cap. Big, rich notes of clove and cedar are found and some spice is felt on my lips and back of the throat as I take a dry draw of the Garofalo.
Taking my first few puffs of the Garofalo, much fuller flavors than anticipated greet my palate. There are flavors of rich woodsy notes, earth, sweetness, and grassy notes. There is a spice hit at the back of my throat that lingers for some time. The finish is of black pepper and bubble gum that has lost all of its sweetness. A mostly even eyeliner burn is leaving behind a light gray ash that if fairly firm.
The core flavors of woodsy notes and sweetness are holding strong with some toasted-bread notes and butter joining the mix. The smoke production of the Garofalo is impressive. The smoke is thick coating all areas of the mouth. Deeper notes of earth and mild black coffee arrive halfway through the second third but are not dominating the other flavors. A unique saltines adds another level of complexity. The Garofalo continues to perform exceptionally.
Upon removing the band with ease, I begin my final leg of the cigar. Front and center in the profile are toasted notes of cedar and butter. The sweetness has been pushed back but still perceivable. The retrohale is extremely enjoyable with the rich cedar and pepper. Just as I begin considering putting the cigar to rest, a peanut butter flavor holds my attention for another 10 minutes.
As I have mentioned in past reviews, I rarely smoke Connecticut shade cigars. While there are few exceptions, the flavors profile just does not suit me. Well, the Garofalo by United Cigar is another cigar to add to my exceptions list. Everything about this cigar works for me. Solid performance, full flavors, and a complex profile. For a price under $7, this is an easy buy in my opinion. I recommend you make your way over to Two Guys Smoke Shop’s online store (2guyscigars.com) and grab yourself a handful.