Those who come into our Shady Grove shop on fall Sundays know that I'm a die-hard Packers fan, so it pains me to write a positive review of a cigar named after a man who caused so much frustration while coaching the Bears, but I promise not to let my football allegiance color this review.
The Throwback features a rich, reddish brown corojo maduro wrapper that is taken from the fifth priming of the tobacco plant. Fifth priming leaves are usually used for binder, rather than wrapper tobacco because their flavor is so intense, and they tend to be smaller leaves than traditional wrapper leaf. Using such a wrapper promises a full flavored and powerful enough smoke to match the reputation of the Throwback's namesake.
The filler blend of the cigar is a mixture of Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Honduran tobacco. When I examined the blend of tobaccos visible in the foot of the cigar, as well as after cutting, I was struck by how different the tobaccos used in the blend looked from one another. Some leaves were fine and thin, while
others were dark and coarse. I had never seen such a variety of leaves used in a blend, which led me to wonder how consistently they would burn.
The pre-light draw reveals tremendous layering of flavors and spice, which is followed up in the first few puffs with a spice that overwhelms the palate. These flavors smooth out over the course of the smoke, revealing some cedar and leather buried in the copious amounts of thick, heavy smoke. The power and
richness of the smoke doesn't dissipate at all throughout the smoke, but it never gives way to harshness or bitterness, even toward the end of the cigar.
It takes some effort to appreciate the complexity of the blend through the immediately apparent spice, but with some focus, the character of the many different types of tobacco reveals itself over the course of the smoke. Anyone who appreciates full-bodied cigars should pick up one of these while they can in
order to experience what a cigar that balances power and flavor can be.
The construction is consistent, and the burn is even throughout, which is quite a feat considering the variety of tobaccos used in this blend. The ash initially split somewhat, but held firm for about an inch and a half before needing to be tapped off. The need for touching up and relighting was minimal, which allows you to focus on the rich and complex flavors.
Coach Ditka is legendary for his hard-nosed, uncompromising style, and attention to details in all aspects of the game. The Throwback perfectly encapsulates the power and quality that allowed his Chicago Bears to deliver some punishing defeats to my Packers over the years. Thankfully, smoking this cigar is much more enjoyable than watching those games.