GTO Pain Killer Corojo | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Dominican Corojo
Binder: Dominican Grown Cuban Seed (Proprietary)
Filler: Dominican Ligero (Proprietary)
Size: 6 x 54 “Box Pressed”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $7.99 MSRP

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Today we take a look at the GTO Pain Killer Corojo.
Oscar Rodriguez, owner of GTO Cigars, sent me a sample of each blend they produce. Including the new Hypnotic.
I should note that I got a scare when I took a look at the cigar sent to me by GTO. I thought, at first, there was this giant crack running down the length of the front of the cigar. Wrong. It is merely a tree trunk sized vein.

BACKGROUND:
Factory: Tabacalera GTO Dominicana.
Owner: Oscar Rodriguez.
Regular production.

From Oscar Rodriguez:
“Same blend as the Figurado just different complexity. We are strictly a B& M sale. A couple online stores:
Burns Tobacconist Chattanooga
Havana Dreamin Montgomery
Cigars & More 280 Birmingham Al
The only ones selling it over the phone is BURNS. They may have them online now.”

They don’t. Only blend Burn’s sells is the Gold. For some reason, the only online stores selling GTO are selling the Gold blend.

From the GTO Cigars web site:
“Our Family has been planting, nurturing and carefully cultivating first-generation Cuban seed tobacco (called Dominican Piloto Cubano) on their farm within the fertile soil of the Valle del Cibao in the Dominican Republic for some 57 years. In 2010, after after learning the craft well from his father and other family members involved in the cigar tobacco growing and manufactoring business (who offered him more than 80 years of cumulative experience in the planting, growing and cultivating of cigar tobacco), Oscar launched Tabacalera GTO Dominicana and his GTO brand of premium cigars.

“GTO Cigars is a small batch, boutique cigar manufacturer who meticulously scrutinizes each cigar leaving our factory at Tabacalera GTO Dominicana. We control every step of the cigar manufacturing process, from the planting of “Piloto Cubano” seeds in the fertile soil of the Valle del Cibao; to selecting, growing and then cultivating the tobacco plants; to the fermentation and aging of the tobacco leaves. Our rollers are some of the most experienced in the Dominican Republic. We produce a small line of exquisitely made premium cigars and craft them in small batches. What we ultimately produce are premium cigars meeting our high standards. We create cigars with a passion and expertise that spans a long lineage of cigar tobacco growers and manufacturers.”

DESCRIPTION:
The bright shiny red double cigar bands enhance the reddish hue of the russet brown wrapper. It is quite oily. Some seams aren’t tight and quite visible. While others are tight. A lot of veins.
A clean looking double cap. Silky smooth to the touch.
The cigar has a nice soft box press.
The writing on the main cigar band has the GTO logo and beneath that, it says: “Legendary Classic Premium Cigar 1956.”

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SIZES AND PRICING:
Toro 6 x 54 Box Pressed $7.99 MSRP
Figurado 6.5 x 54 $8.99 MSRP
Cigars are sold mainly to B & M’s. I couldn’t find an online store carrying the entire GTO line of cigars.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell strong spice and cinnamon, cedar, cream, and floral notes.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell red hot pepper, cinnamon, cream, floral notes, very rich tobacco notes, cedar, and a touch of Worcestershire sauce.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, cream, chocolate, cinnamon, smokiness, lemon citrus, cedar, and those very nice earth tones.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is pretty good.
First flavors out of the gate: Chocolate, creaminess, red pepper, coffee, caramel, BBQ smokiness, sweetness, fruity, dried fruit, and cedar.
Das ist sehr gut!

A ton of smoke fills the room with the smallest puffs.
Charlotte leaves for work and on comes “Clapton Unplugged.” Yeah, baby.
Strength is medium body.

The GTO Pain Killer Corojo has a nice gentle beginning. With the word “Corojo” attached to the name, I expected a bigger fireworks show. But so far, the blend is doing just fine. Rodriguez sent me a 4 or 5 stick sampler pack on November 12. So, the cigars have gotten a full month of humidor time.

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The GTO Pain Killer Corojo is very creamy and the citrus turns into orange instead of lemon. I’m reminded of that Orange Creamsicle. The challenge on a hot summer day was to snarf the thing down before the orange ice came apart and the ice cream melted down your arm.

Very pleasant blend. But not a knock out blend. I’ve smoked, and reviewed, some killer blends in this price range in the last couple weeks and so far, the GTO Pain Killer Corojo is not quite there…yet. There is plenty of time to see resurrection.

What I’m talking about is that there are great $8-$9 cigars: LFD Coronado, Vivalo Serie Exclusivo, Ezra Zion Bee’s Knee’s, Drew Estate Undercrown Shade, and Sublimes…all came out of the gate snorting and barking like crazy mythological beasts.

The GTO Pain Killer Corojo doesn’t start with a bang. But what it does do is grow with each puff and make transitions every few puffs. While the other blends mentioned were wild and crazy, the GTO Pain Killer Corojo is dependable and polite. Nice flavors. I like the spiciness. And full of early complexity with a nice finish.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 20 minutes.
I’m having some burn issues. This is always the problem when a reviewer has only one stick for a review. You get what you get. And no backup stick for comparison. I decide to torch the foot to correct it. Mind you, this stick was stored in the same humidor I keep all of my review cigars in. It’s where I have an electric humidifier. So if I have char line issues, it is usually the fault of the roller because most of the cigars coming out of this humidor have no burn problems. Or is just a clunker that got through?

The flavor profile brightens: Spice, chocolate, creamy, coffee, malts, hickory smokiness, orange citrus, nutty, caramel, sweetness, dried fruit, and cedar.
Strength reaches medium/full.

5third

The GTO Pain Killer Corojo is an excellent tasting blend. But I think there are plenty of clones out there. (This is where Rodriguez takes me off his Christmas card list). There is something about the GTO Pain Killer Corojo that makes it taste like a million other $7-$8 cigars. It doesn’t have the “It Factor.” There is nothing inherently its own. I could go down a long list of cigar blends that taste just like the GTO Pain Killer Corojo. Now I have other blends in that sampler box I haven’t reviewed yet: Gold, Double Capa, and the Hypnotic. The Gold is, I believe the newest release. I check and I am correct.
So maybe I will do the GTO Gold next.

The GTO Pain Killer Corojo ambles along at a very pleasant pace with very nice flavors. No changes. Transitions are not quick to happen any longer.

If you go to “The Katman’s List of 156 Great Cigars in the $5.00-$8.00 Range,” you will find cigars every bit as good as the GTO Pain Killer Corojo.
I hate to burn a bridge here because I know what will happen next after the GTO folks read this. But if I don’t tell the truth, then I’m not the Katman.

The issue here is that the GTO Pain Killer Corojo doesn’t stand out from the crowd. It blends in, so to speak.
The halfway point is here. Smoke time is 30 minutes. I’m having minor burn issues.

But then something happens. The GTO Pain Killer Corojo pushes the pedal to the metal. The flavors take off. Everything explodes. Finally! I had all but given up on this blend.
It’s a bummer that it took half a cigar to get to this point but then maybe it needs more than a month of humidor time.

6half

Big, bold flavors of red pepper, dark chocolate, espresso, creaminess, graham cracker, berry preserves, hickory smokiness, caramel, orange zest, lots of malt, vanilla, roasted nuts, and cedar.
We’re no longer dry humping; we are in congress.

The char line issues are a real annoyance. The burn line is in constant flux.
But at least the cigar has found its center.

If I had smoked the GTO Pain Killer Corojo today and had a few more to play with, I would have waited another month before reviewing it.
I reviewed the Pain Killer Maduro and there are some similarities. It took a while to take off. I had some burn issues. But, clearly, I liked it a lot. So, of the two blends, I prefer the Maduro.

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The GTO Pain Killer Corojo is making some major transitions now. It is kicking ass and taking names. I love it. Now why couldn’t it have started out this way? I betcha a dollar that the GTO Pain Killer Corojo is more of an old school blend needing months of humidor time in order to find the blender’s intent. Again, this the problem with having only one cigar to review. I have to guess when I think it is time to review. And I never…never…go back and change what I’ve already written. As I’ve said before, my review is the first draft. It’s done in real time while I smoke the cigar. So you get first reactions to the cigar. It’s how it should be.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is 50 minutes.
The GTO Pain Killer Corojo has certainly been a real roller coaster ride. The burn issues and the late start of the flavor profile kicking into gear will affect my rating.
Strength remains at medium/full.

Flavors are bold and delicious. Very complex. Long finish and nice balance.

I’m on the fence of recommending it. I had one stick and from that one stick I have to make a determination. This is very hard to do. Oscar noodged me yesterday asking about the reviews. So I agreed to review the first one today. I do believe that was a mistake. Either the GTO Pain Killer Corojo needs more humidor time or this is just how it is. I do have a precedent with the Pain Killer Maduro taking more than a third of the cigar before it kicked in.

8third

This reads as old school and a lot of humidor time needed. I told Oscar that because I had only one stick, I was hesitant to review it. And he seemed to have understood. But I got no input whether I was right or not.

If the GTO Pain Killer Corojo used the last half as a jumping off point at the start of the cigar and then transitioned constantly, I would rate this cigar very highly. It feels like the GTO Pain Killer Corojo is just getting started but now I have only less than 1-1/2” to go.

I’m not going to rate the cigar as I don’t think it is fair. I am in the dark. I read in one review of the GTO Pain Killer Corojo that the writer preferred the Corojo to the Maduro. So that gives me pause. And the trouble is that there are only two reviews of this cigar. One doesn’t count as it contains, maybe, 300 words. I don’t take those 7 paragraph reviews seriously.

Man, this blend tastes good. A bummer.

As this cigar is aimed at B & M’s. The Retailer Page on the GTO web site shows the cigars being sold in only 6 states.
Well, Oscar, I know you aren’t going to be happy with this review. I’m sorry.

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6 replies

  1. Great review. Shows that even in the face of pressure–nice guy sending you one of his sticks to review, you are able to maintain your controlling purpose: review cigars objectively.

    Not as easy as many readers would think and there are plenty of online reviewers who I suspect wouldn’t be so honest.

    Thank again for the daily reviews.

    B from Utah

  2. “We’re no longer dry humping; we are in congress.”

    Great work as always.

    I have a hard time with late developing blends as I get lulled into sleep by the monotony or generic nature of the blend. Then my palate doesn’t know what to make of the quality once it shows up. I can’t explain it well enough , but it’s as if Im unable to enjoy it as I would a korker from the get go.

  3. They can’t be too upset at you for being honest. At least you didn’t say it tasted like cat turds.

    G outta milwaukee

  4. Great review, Kat, I am not disappointed but in fact elated. And I still have a childish grin as I read your review. All my cigars are created by me and as the blender I like to start slow,it is my method, then finish strong. Each smoke for me is a journey of complexity of flavor always changing. If you have the time to enjoy a smoke, this one will lead you thru many facets. I do not believe in powerful smokes as they do nothing good for you, but amp you up and in time destroy your palate. Kat I will send you a few more of these so can do a more rounded tasting. Time in the humidor for my cigars is not needed, they have already been aged 2 yrs and rested for 6 months.
    Please continue to perform tastings and evaluations. Your honesty can only make me better. You are a master in the art and I respect your smoking intellect.
    Smooth Draws Brother.