The Toraño Hogshead may have an interesting name, but the name actually makes perfect sense. Besides evoking the image of an actual hog’s head with an apple in its mouth being served at your next medieval-style feast, the term hogshead refers to a large wooden barrel that was used to store tobacco or alcohol, and to make transporting these items easier back in the colonial times. Since transporting items back in that era took days or even months, this also allowed for the items in the barrel to marry and age. The Toraño Hogshead is exactly as the name implies: a rich handmade that is perfectly balanced with tons of flavor. It features a thick and oily Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, a Sumatra binder, and a three-country blend of Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Pennsylvanian filler leaves. This medium to full-bodied smoke offers complex and balanced flavors of pepper, coffee, and earth. An excellent rustic cigar, try pairing it with an IPA, such as Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop IPA.
The Nicaraguan cigar industry originated when Cuban cigar makers escaped the revolution and re-established their livelihood in Nicaragua with Cuban-seed tobacco. Blessed with dark, rich soil, their new home was ideal for tobacco cultivation and Nicaragua quickly became known for cigars that rivaled Cuban quality. Unfortunately, revolution and war came to Nicaragua in the 1980s and devastated the industry, but it’s rebounded dramatically and is once again producing tobacco considered by many to be the finest in the world.
The Esteli Valley is in many ways the heart of Nicaraguan production and is known for its very powerful and spicy tobacco. The Jalapa Valley produces arguably the finest tobacco in the country: somewhat sweeter and less intense than Esteli, but extremely complex. The tobacco of the Condega Valley is often described as a blend of the other two regions.
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