Don Chico Ecuador Toro. Or Don Chico Habano Toro as the cigar is called on the American market. But due to copyright legislation, non-Cuban cigar companies are not allowed to use Habano in their name outside the USA. Where most brands change Habano in Sun Grown, Barreda chose to replace it with Ecuador for their Don Chico line. The Don Chico line is a tribute to the 1st generation Barreda in the tobacco industry, Francisco Barreda. And the 3rd generation named this line in his honor. The line is also available in a Maduro version.
Ecuador on the secondary ring comes from the country where the Habano wrapper is grown, Ecuador. The binder comes from the South East Asian country of Indonesia. The filler comes from Nicaragua. The Barreda factory is located in Esteli and was founded in 2013. This 6×52 Toro is one of the three sizes available. The others are a 5×50 Robusto and a 6×60 Chairman. Stephanie Huete, sales & marketing manager for Barreda cigars, gave us a sample at the Intertabac trade show.
Name: Don Chico Ecuador
Factory: Tabacalera Barreda
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Price: € 7,50 (Germany)
Cutter: Xikar X2
Lighter: single flame
Smoke conditions: indoors with ventilator
Smoke time: three hours twenty minutes
Sponsored by Barreda cigars
The cigar looks good. A Colorado to Colorado Maduro colored wrapper, smooth and oily. With a cloth foot ring, and two rings. The top ring is beige with brown and shows a drawing of Don Chico. The secondary ring just says Ecuador. The ring colors match the foot ring, and even though they look simple, it actually works for this cigar. That’s because the colors are well chosen. The shape of the cigar is flawless. And the aroma is strong. Barnyard with a strong cocoa powder smell. The cigar feels well constructed.
The cold draw is a bit tight. It’s sweet, cane sugar and sultanas. After lighting, the cigar gives coffee, leather, hay, and a pinch of salt. The mouthfeel is thick, like butter. The cigar gets more sweetness, more leather. The total lack of pepper is surprising in the first inch, but then it shows up, smooth yet pronounced. The cigar turns to cedar with sweetness. To balance it out, there’s a nice citrus acidity. The cigar gets more wood and leather. In the final third, the cigar gets peppery.
The draw is a bit tight, it feels like the smoke is a bit greasy. The burn is nice and straight tough. And the ash is very light, almost white. The smoke is decent, in thickness and volume. The cigar is medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored. The smoke time is three hours and twenty minutes.
Strength: medium-full to full