Toscano cigars – the legend, the facts, the pleasure
TOSCANO cigars may come as a surprise to the ones unfamiliarised with the cigar world and as a great pleasure for the ones who knows its qualities. Among the one who appreciate their flavor were Garibaldi, King Vittorio Emanuele II, Puccini, Verdi and nowadays Francis Coppola and Clint Eastwood.
The legend said that in Florence, in August 1818 a shower came unexpectedly and wetted the Kentucky tobacco leaves left outside for drying in the open. The wet tobacco started to ferment in the summer heat and, instead of throwing them away, it was decided to use the fermented tobacco to produce cigars and to sell it in Florence. It gained immediate popularity among the Florentines and as a result it became a regular production.
The tobacco used for the cigars it is a high-quality fermented Kentucky tobacco which is cultivated in various regions of Italy The key to the manufacturing process, which has remained largely the same over the last 200 years, lies in fermentation.
The TOSCANO cigars are made of tobacco which is dark fired cured, before undergoing a fermentation process that can last from 30 to 50 days, and is fundamental to the manufacture of the TOSCANO cigar. Once this process is complete, the cigars are prepared and wrapped by hand or by machine, according to their natural shapes before being sent to the warehouse for maturation. Traditionally, they are not smoked as a whole, but cut in the middle. They are considered dry cigars or cheroots which means they could not have to be stored in a humidor. It is very much different from the Caribbean cigars which will dry up and crack if not stored in a humidor.
TOSCANO cigars remained popular for one main reason: their unmistakable rich aroma which comes from the specific manufacturing process; they are strong, intense cigars. Typically, the aromas and scents released when smoked are full, intense and savoury. The varieties could be characterized by strength, sweetness and flavour. For example: ExtraVecchio is strong and determined, Garibaldi uses Kentucky leaves with higher sugar content and has a sweet, gentle and vigorous aroma, suitable for beginner smokers and TOSCANO cigars are for the most demanding smokers, made by the expert Sigaraie (women who are manufacturing cigars) with the best selections of Kentucky tobaccos.
Name /Year of production /Ageing
Toscano 1930 /6 months
Toscanello 1948 /4 months
ExtraVecchio 1953 /9 months
Antico 1973 /12 months
Garibaldi 1982 /6 months
Originale 1985 /12 months
Antica riserva 1992 /12 months
Moro 2000 /12 months
Del Presidente 2006 12 months
Photo: Marta Buso