Charatan Robusto: Good cigar in great company
The story of Charatan cigars starts back in 1863 and as part of the third birthday celebrations of Cigar Club LDN, members were treated to a detailed account of this fascinating story that takes tobacco from small shop in Mansell Street, London, to the brand being the one of the best selling New World cigar brands in the UK.
Scott Vines, Ricardo Carioni and John Strange from Tor Imports were kind enough to share their Sunday afternoon with Cigar Club LDN as several of us savoured a Charatan cigar. My choice was the Charatan Robusto, a coffee coloured, well packed cigar that tickled my nose with lightly floral aromas.
Lighting up my cigar I listened as Scott talked about how by the late 1990s, Dunhill tobacco had built Charatan cigars to be the best selling Nicaraguan cigars in the UK. By 2017, British American tobacco decided to pull out of the cigar business leaving the door open to Tor Imports to buy the brand, lock stock and barrel. It occurred to me that my first encounter with Charatan cigars was way back in 2010 when I picked up a tubed Churchill. Since then, they have always had a place in my humidor.
My first draws on the cigar were full of latte coffee and a light pot pourri with a hint of ginger sprinkled in – flavours that were reassuringly familiar. Settling back to enjoy the cigar, I listened to Scott talk about how he secretly moved production of Charatan cigars from the Scandinavian Tobacco factory to the Joya de Nicaragua factory. No-one, myself included, noticed anything different in the cigars during this year which is a credit to how carefully these cigars were crafted.
As I was reaching the middle third of the robusto, notes of citrus Turkish Delight started to entice me away from conversation about the rebranding that started in 2021. A lot of thought and history has gone into the design of the new band and packaging. Looking at the band on my cigar it did look a little bit bland and reminiscent of Davidoff cigars. The new branding however uses the blue and white from both the Scottish and Nicaraguan flags whilst retaining the iconic unicorn. The silver comes from the grey granite outcrops that Tor Imports shares its name with.
Conversation moved on to both the past and future of Tor Imports as well as Cigar Club LDN as I smoked my way through the middle third. The flavour got a little more earthy whilst retaining its lightness and creamy, smooth smoke. Notes of leather, chestnuts and liquorice started to develop. These gently segued into a light pine with a scrunch of pepper and dark coffee – not the best pairing for the dregs of my now cold cup of tea.
This was a cigar that I remembered smoking in a vitola from the brand that was new to me. It was a lovely light cigar that I would be happy to smoke at any time of the day with a cup of coffee or a cocktail, on my own or in company.
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Charatan Robusto Cigar Details
Charatan Robusto Review Summary
As soon as I started my cigar smoking ritual I recognised this cigar. It is an easy cigar to smoke at any time of the day
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