El Viejo Continente Mare Nostrum Toro: Beautifully light and full of flavour
Sometimes I need a lighter smoke of an evening. When this happens I want something that still has plenty of flavour and keeps me interested from start to finish. The cigar that I chose for this particular occasion was the Mare Nostrum Serie 1 Toro from El Viejo Continente. Having smoked and enjoyed both their Classic Robustom and the Maduro Lancero, I was confident that this cigar would not disappoint me.
The foot of the cigar was wrapped with a lovely blue ribbon and had the trademark burning ember around the main band. I opted for my favoured v-cut and took a good long cold draw on the cigar. The flavour was light and clean with hints of nuts. Without any further ado, I grabbed my lighter and lit up.
My first draws gave me mouthfuls of delicious smoke, which did not diminish as I smoked through the cigar. It felt very light in my mouth and tasted of fresh hay at the end of summer. The smoke was also very clean in texture, leaving no coating or residue in my mouth to taint the flavour of the Mare Nostrum.
I chose a Mexican Espresso Martini for the cigars opening salvo, and it was a lovely pairing. The smokiness from the tequila and Patron XO Coffee Liqueur brought out a wonderful flavour of fresh roasted peanuts. What I loved most at this point in the cigar was the smooth creaminess of the flavour.
As I reached the middle of the cigar, the flavour started to change so I polished off my cocktail and decided what my next drink was going to be. The peanuts had been replaced by more of a pistachio flavour, and if it was possible, the El Viejo Continente Mare Nostrum tasted even creamier than it had in the first half. A subtle sweetness of toffee also started to creep in, so I reached for a sniffer glass and poured myself a small measure of Bulleit Bourbon to play off the sweetness and deepen the flavour.
The final third was the most complex part of the cigar. The flavours kept ebbing and flowing with each one having its moment in the spot light. The first one that hit me was a wonderfully rich, but still light, cashew nut butter. This segued beautifully into honey and toast. At this point I decided on my third and final drink for this cigar – Glayva. This honey whisky liqueur perfectly complemented the sweeter flavours of the Mare Nostrum. Smoking the cigar right down to the nub there wasn’t even a hint of harshness or fire in the flavour, even as the ember around the foot started to burn my lips.
This is a really good cigar for the morning or someone new to cigar smoking. If you like a light, yet flavoursome cigar, this is the one for you. The range of vitolas available in this blend mean that you can stay with it for as long as you like, although not all of them are available everywhere.
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El Viejo Continente Mare Nostrum 1 Cigar Details
- Vitola: Toro
- Length: 5½”
- Ring Gauge: 56
- Smoke Time: 1h 30
- Source: El Viejo Continente
El Viejo Continente Mare Nostrum Serie 1 Review Summary
This is a lovely, light-to-medium bodied cigar with a good range of creamy, nutty flavours. Personally I’d smoke this in the morning or before lunch, but whenever you smoke it you shouldn’t be disappointed.
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