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Casa Turrent closed out 2017 not by celebrating that year, but with the release of a cigar named for the year 1880, which pays tribute to the year the Turrent family entered the tobacco growing business.

As would be fitting for the release, it is made primarily with Mexican tobacco grown by the Turrents, with a San Andrés wrapper, criollo 98 binder, and fillers of a 2007 crop Negro San Andrés, along with Mexican criollo 98 and a bit of Nicaraguan criollo 98.

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“I believe this is our best blend ever,” Alejandro Turrent told halfwheel.

The 1880 is being released in a single, 6 1/2 x 54 toro vitola, which comes in 10-count boxes. The cigars are made at Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos S.A. de C.V., Casa Turrent’s factory, and retail for approximately $16.

Casa Turrent has been shipping small amounts to retailers over the past few months, but will have a much more widespread release right before the end of the year.

While the line doesn’t use the Serie prefix, it builds on a trio of cigars that celebrate notable years in the Turrent family’s history. The Serie 1901 honors the birth year of company president Alejandro Turrent’s grandfather, Serie 1942 is named for the birth year of Turrent’s father, and Serie 1973 is named for Turrent’s birth year.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Casa Turrent 1880
  • Country of Origin: Mexico
  • Factory: Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos S.A. de C.V.
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
  • Binder: Mexico (Criollo 98)
  • Filler: Mexico (Criollo 98) & Nicaragua (Criollo 98)
  • Length: 6 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Toro
  • MSRP: $16 (Boxes of 10, $160)
  • Release Date: December 2017
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The Casa Turrent 1880 is a beefy, nearly rock solid cigar that feels like it’s either been stuffed with tobacco or is using some rather heavy leaves, judging by its weight in my hand. The wrapper is a gorgeous dark chocolate brown, rich with tooth and minimal with veins, while the seams are nearly invisible. The foot has a light chocolate syrup lead note, some woods behind that, an occasional soy or teriyaki sauce note, and a bit of light pepper on the finish, the combination of which is rather enjoyable. The cold draw is a bit richer with its offering, as it’s more chocolate brownie than syrup, much less pepper and almost no wood, though the soy/teriyaki note reappears in certain samples. Air flow is good on all three samples, coming in just on the firm side of perfect.

It opens on the chocolate brownie note that I found on the cold draw but complements it with damp tree bark and more of the tangy sauce note. Sweet and chewy, the cigar offers only a suggestion at pepper across the palate with a touch more through the nose, though one sample bucks that trend and is more forthcoming. Consider me a bit surprised by how relatively mild the cigar is out of the gate but I am certainly enjoying its balance and lush profile as some pours slowly off the foot. While I’m by no means rushing through the first cigar, it seems like the burn line is in no rush either, and each of my puffs moves it only incrementally. When the first clump of ash comes off, the smoke is still thick in the mouth and mild on the palate, though I’m getting a bit of edge from the chocolate, and it’s not long before some earthiness joins the foundational flavors. I also find my mind being led to vanilla ice cream, though while it’s not a leading note, I get that same kind of complementary note that I’d get by putting some on a slice of warm apple pie. The burn, albeit slow, has been otherwise quite good so far.

After an enjoyable first third, the Casa Turrent 1880 makes an uneventful transition into its second portion, riding a bit more of the cool ice cream flavor before adding some black pepper to the profile, followed not long after by slightly damp firewood. There’s white pepper for the nose that stands almost completely on its own, yet isn’t as potent as other experiences I’ve had with the sensation. Through the midway point, the cigar stays around the medium level across the board, while the flavor has picked up some rocky and slightly peppery earth, which masks the chocolate sweetness but doesn’t push it out of the picture. It’s a profile that the cigar holds onto for some time, finally pushing it up a tick in vibrance and strength as the final third approaches. The burn line continues to creep along, taking almost two hours to get to this point on the first sample, while the second and third are quicker at about an hour and 20 minutes, aided by a bit quicker smoking rate.

The final third starts with just a bit more pepper, but given its sparse appearances so far, it’s quickly noticeable. The chocolate sweetness is now largely gone though hardly forgotten, and remnants of the brownie seem to come through in the much smoother and thicker earth notes, which have all but shed any rocky edges. After a quick respite, the cigar perks up with white pepper and minerals on the tongue before turning meaty by way of some burnt ends of steak entering. The profile continues to quickly evolve, as some blackberry sweetness enters the aroma, with pepper accenting juiciness quite well, though it’s here that one sample begins to get a bit sour and rough, though never goes completely off the rails. The newfound strength of the cigar makes each puff a bit more of a physical undertaking, as while the draw has been fine to this point it now feels just a touch tighter, and with each one comes a more full flavored amount of smoke. There’s a bit more char to the flavor in its final inch, yet the immense flavor makes it hard to put down, and as such gets smoked slowly and methodically to its finger-burning conclusion.

Final Notes

  • Without knocking the bands of the Casa Turrent Serie line, there is a certain simplicity that I really like about the bands on the 1880, plus the color scheme seems to work well with the wrapper’s dark shade.
  • I visited the Casa Turrent operations in November 2016 and they have a unique way of pressing the cigar molds, which you can see here.
  • The third sample had a bit more of a raw finish at points, something I didn’t experience at all in the first two thirds and which both surprised me and cost the cigar some points.
  • The burnt ends note in the final third immediately made me think of a happy hour dish I enjoy at a Phoenix, Ariz. restaurant called Durant’s. It’s made of the ends of steaks and appropriately called “Durant’s Debris.”
  • The secondary band caught my eye as it says “by Alejandro Turrent” on the right side. After an era of every cigar company having a face and personality attached to it, I’m intrigued to see if Casa Turrent makes a more concerted effort with that this year. Alejandro and his father are both featured in company advertisements and recent releases have celebrated the birth years of individuals, yet I still feel like most consumers wouldn’t know who he is or what his family has accomplished in the world of Mexican tobacco.
  • For a blend list that could inspire strength, the cigar is fairly restrained with the nicotine. It’s there but not overpowering, and far from being enough to entertain the idea of another cigar.
  • Casa Turrent produces a cigar called Macarena, and you’re welcome for that ear worm.
  • Final smoking time was two hours and 30 minutes on average.
  • The cigars for this review were provided by Casa Turrent.
90 Overall Score

Say the words Mexican San Andrés tobacco and you've got my attention and with the Turrent family stepping into the world of producing their own branded cigars instead of just growing tobaccos for others, I've been very intrigued. Alejandro Turrent called this the company's best blend yet, and after three samples I'm inclined to agree with him. The cigar goes heavy on Mexican tobacco and the result is favorable, particularly because it blends both traditional San Andrés Negro and criollo 98 to show more than just what has become some of the more common flavors that have been found in other Mexican-wrapped cigars. The cigar offers multiple spins on a common core of flavors, balances sweetness with strength, and almost never gets unpleasant. When my biggest knock on a cigar is its size, that says something, and while I'd love a bit smaller vitola, it won't stop me from smoking more of these.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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