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Puros Indios Vintage Toro Staff Review

Grant T. Thompson's picture

Grant T.

I’m smoking a legendary, old-school cigar: Puros Indios Vintage in a gleaming 6 by 52 Toro. Puros Indios is no ordinary value brand. The backstory behind these basic-looking boxes and bright-green cigar bands ups the ante over the typical fare I fill my coolerdor with.

Puros Indios cigars are blended by the late, great Rolando Reyes Sr., aka Roly, a mythical figure in the world of premium cigars. Roly passed away in 2012, but his grandson, Carlos Diez, carries on his grandfather’s legacy, guaranteeing Puros Indios cigars are crafted to the same exacting standards his grandfather would have approved. Roly began making cigars in Cuba at the age of nine and left in the mid-1970s at the age of fifty-one to start over in the States, eventually making his way to Danlí, Honduras, where he established his factory with the Puros Indios and Cuba Aliados brands.

Roly was reported to roam his factory at all hours of the night inspecting the cigars on the rolling tables of every roller on his payroll. If dissatisfied with any cigars, Roly left notes at their workstations that read “ojo,” Spanish for “eye,” meaning, “I’m watching you.” For the gravest violators, he would turn a roller’s chair upside down for everyone to see when they arrived the next morning. Flagrant cigar rollers got three strikes before Roly sent them packing. As a fellow aficionado who keeps a trail cam pointed at his coolerdor, I can appreciate Roly’s attention to detail. Only the best-made cigars can come out of a guy’s factory whose rigorous tactics kept the entire rolling gallery on edge.

At the same time, he had a big heart and shared the milk and meat from the sprawling Honduran farm he operated with his workers. Roly was also a fierce critic of Cuban cigars, citing them as inferior in flavor and construction. I’m particularly psyched to review a cigar from such a colossal cigar-maker. Puros Indios Vintage cigars start at $3.99 apiece after a generous discount from your pals at Holt’s is applied. That seems pretty reasonable as big, beefy aromas of leather and mesquite meet my nostrils when I crack open a fresh box of Toros and slide the cellophane off an especially oily specimen.

The Puros Indios brand has been a value staple in premium smokeshops for decades. A seamless Ecuador wrapper hugs a sumptuous combo of long-filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Brazil, which are encased in binder tobaccos also grown in Ecuador. You can tell quality control is a focus at the Puros Indios factory because every cigar in the box looks identical, and when I cut the cap, the draw is effortless and easy.

Creamy and spicy notes of cedar and nutmeg reveal hints of wasabi-and-soy-flavored almonds. Nice, brisk streams of smoke coat my nasal cavity as I kick my feet up on my desk after I’m satisfied the foot is fully lit. Tasting notes of semisweet chocolate and Calimyrna figs accompany a firm profile of wood and ghost peppers throughout the first half of Puros Indios Vintage.

The Toro I’m smoking hits on all cylinders as a stiff ash forms at the end. Not that I would ever splurge on or possess a bottle of DOM Pérignon Champagne – my budget is simply too stingy – but if I did, I would be tempted to sip a glass with a Puros Indios Vintage in hand. All of the tobaccos in the blend are aged for an incredibly long time as Roly’s old cookbook of blends calls for. That’s why I can puff away without the faintest hint of abrasiveness buckling my tongue into a contraction.

Notes of hickory and Périgord truffles fill out this well-rounded, medium-bodied smoke over the course of the first forty minutes. And if you think my tasting notes are too flamboyant, I dare you to buy a box. I may have found the perfect bargain to bolster my supply for the season. Puros Indios is a classic brand for the coolerdor and we’ve carried them at Holt’s plenty of times over the years, but this latest batch of boxes contains some bona fide humdingers, IMHO.

A nutty and surprisingly smooth finish blesses my palate as the nub expires in my ashtray after an hour has passed. Puros Indios Vintage is a noticeable step up from the ultra-cheap bundles of Puros Indios Viejo I buy from time to time. The ring gauges stretch from 50 to 60, so there are plenty of plump options to shop if you’re looking for fatter cigars for an affordable price. But buy a box today before the closeout canaries clear our warehouse shelves.

This is the official “Last Call” for Puros Indios cigars blended by the late, great Rolando Reyes Sr. The parent company of Oliva, J. Cortes N.V., recently acquired the Puros Indios and Cuba Aliados brands and has plans to re-blend and manufacture them in alternative production facilities. Don’t miss your last chance to score original Puros Indios cigars from the final chapter the legendary Roly Reyes, friends.

Until next time, long ashes to you!


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