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Case Study CS/03 Toro

Case Study CS 03 Toro 1November 27th, 2017

Size of cigar: 6 inches by 50 ring gauge

Until recently, The Ventura Cigar Company (of Ventura, California) had produced ten lines of cigars. Then along came the Case Study line (a prodigious effort), which comprises, in fact, twenty-six different lines. The different blends utilized represent homages to architects of twenty-six famous post-war Los Angeles-area homes. These houses, which have been featured in numerous films, were designed by renowned architects in a minimalist, modernist aesthetic.

The Case Study cigars are blended by twenty-six different and secret masters. Each of the lines is composed of three or four vitolas. The Case Study CS/03 line includes a Robusto, a Toro and a Salomon. Previously, I have had the privilege of reviewing samples from the first and second lines (on this site). This particular review focuses on the Case Study CS/03 Toro.

My CS/03 was typical for the Toro format, measuring in at 6 inches and a 50 ring gauge. The San Andrés Maduro wrapper leaf appeared chocolate brown, and was smooth but for a couple of rough spots and a prominent vein – no big deal. The cigar was ruggedly handsome. I’d love to tell you what the binder and filler are for the CS/03, but that’s still a Case Study secret.

Case Study CS 03 Toro 2

My sample was mostly firm with one soft spot at the foot, and the double cap had been deftly applied. The cold smell was sweet and fruity with a touch of funk. I used a punch for the cut and a cedar splint to light her. The CS/03 proved tough to get burning, the initial draw being tight and the smoke quite thin. I had to use a guillotine cut at the half-inch point to open the draw.

The mid-gray ash seemed loose and flaky with ill-defined segments, while the burn was even, slow and cool. The cigar required puffing up frequently to keep it going. Total smoking time was an hour and fourteen minutes.

The opening third of the cigar came across as earthy and woody. There was no spice and only a hint of leather. I also noted a papery and slightly astringent quality.

Case Study CS 03 Toro 3

In the middle portion, the draw opened up somewhat. As the cigar began to burn better, pepper did indeed show up. It was particularly noticeable on the retro-hale. There was also some fruitiness and a bit of a tang to go along with the earth, wood and leather.

On the back end of the Case Study CS/03 Toro, when the flow opened fully, the flavors became reasonably intense. A bit of a metallic taste subsequently showed up, announcing the impending end about ten minutes before I put the cigar down. My final flavor impressions were of earth, wood, pepper and a touch of leather.

Case Study CS 03 Toro 4

I couldn’t help but wonder what the other sizes in the line might taste like. As to the power and body of the cigar, initially they seemed weak, although they did increase towards the finish. Perhaps this was due to the diminished draw early on. Still, I’d say the CS/03 was just on the mild side of medium, and not really that rich.

Here’s how I rated the Case Study CS/03 Toro using the Cigar Weekly scale:

Pre-light: 9.0 (if it were a woman, you’d appreciate her looks)
Light: 8.9 (a bit of a task)
Draw: 8.8 (took a little work on the first half)
Construction: 8.7 (needs work in my humble opinion)
Flavor: 8.9 (she wasn’t bold enough – not my type)
Power: 8.8 (mid-range – not included in the average)
Average: 8.86 (not that bad, not that good)

The Case Study CS/03 Toro is a medium-bodied, moderately tasty cigar with some construction issues. I am hesitant to disparage a cigar after only a single session, but my one sample wasn’t that great. In contrast, the Case Study CS/01 and CS/02 samples I’d tried had been just fine. I felt the CS/03 let me down. Perhaps it just didn’t suit my tastes.

If you’re curious to see whether or not you agree with my assessment, the Ventura Cigar Company website has a list of nation-wide retailers. The CS/03 Toro lists on-line for $11.34.