Duran Signature Line Rio Toa | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habana Criollo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaragua and other Latin American tobaccos
Size: 5 x 52 Robusto “Rio Toa”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $9.00
Humidor time: 2 months
Number of cigars smoked prior to review: 1


Today we take a look at the Duran Signature Line Rio Toa.

From the Duran Cigars web site:
“The Roberto Duran cigar combines the best quality tobacco fillers from Nicaragua and the Latin American region with our super-premium Habana Criollo Colorado wrapper, produced in our plantation in Ecuador. We are very proud about the superiority of this wrapper in terms of texture, sweetness and the famous Colorado Color.

“The blend has been carefully balanced to perfection by the team of tobacco experts at Nicatabaco factory in Esteli, resulting in a very enjoyable medium to strong and progressive flavor experience that you won’t forget.

“Each cigar is hand-rolled by experienced rollers, who only specialize in a particular size. The cigars are then carefully checked for quality and age in our “escaparate” (our climate controlled cedar room) for months until they’ve aged long enough to bring out the excellent taste for you to enjoy.”

Puntica 4 3/8 x 46 $6.00
Rio Toa 5 x 52 $9.00
La Punta 6 x 54 $9.45
Tainos 6 x 56 $9.90
Cacique Guama 6 x 60 $10.80
Salomon 7 1/4 x 57 $22.60

A rustic cigar with a huge amount of tree trunk sized veins.
Seams are invisible. The wrapper is an oily, milk chocolate/penny color. A fine sand paper finish of toothiness.
The triple cap is a bit sloppy.
The stick is solid but with a proper amount of give when squeezed.

From the shaft, I smell faint aromas of fruity sweetness, spice, floral notes, cream, chocolate, cedar, vanilla, and caramel.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell dark cocoa with marshmallows, red pepper, cedar, floral notes, caramel, espresso, vanilla, and tropical fruit.

The cold draw presents flavors of coffee, chocolate, cream, red pepper, graham cracker, cinnamon, cedar, and salted caramel.

The draw is clean.

First puffs bring red pepper, caramel, chocolate, dried fruit, vanilla, graham cracker, creaminess, cinnamon, and cedar to the bare table.
And with each puff after those, the flavors build upon each other.

Strength is barely medium body.

There is a green quality to the stick. Oh no. Old school. Flavors dissipate like a light switch was flipped.
The bottom drops out of the strength quotient.
What just happened?

Is this a crap cigar or does it need 6 months of humidor time before Punxsutawney Duran comes out of its hole in Gobbler’s Knob?

I seem to have had the same issue with the previous Duran blends I reviewed. They take forever to mature. I was hoping 2 months would be enough. Now I’m confused.

Oh no. I checked other reviews. There are a grand total of 2 written reviews. That’s it. And they were a year ago. Two reviews. Both gave the cigar a 90.

So what am I missing? The reviews don’t describe humidor time.

The Duran Signature Line Rio Toa just turned off the lights and sent the customers home.

This has become a very bland cigar. Flavors crawled back into their shell leaving nothing but a tad bit of pepper, cream, and chocolate.
Strength keeps reducing until it is mild.

The Duran Signature Line Rio Toa was released 2-1/2 years ago. Prices have dropped since then. But they keep on producing them.
Sonovabitch. I had hoped I might have a contender here. No way.

I don’t even want to finish the cigar.

Clearly, two months is not even close to the blend’s requirements. I believe I mentioned this in my other Duran reviews.
Flavors disappear into the nimbus clouds. All that is left now is barnyard.

Smoke time is 25 minutes.
Blecch. I don’t even want to exert myself by taking photos. Why bother?

I had a decent story I wrote that I haven’t published before. Not gonna do it. Not going to waste a good anecdote on this cigar.

I don’t even taste the blender’s intent…or any potential for that matter.
What did those other two reviewers do that I didn’t?

I gave the Neya F8 Ligero Typhoon a 93 one year and one week ago.
I gave the Neya Classic Cañonazo a 92 one year ago.

Clearly, I prefer the Neya blends from Duran Cigars than I do the Roberto Duran Signature Line.
The Duran Cigars web site says this is a medium/full blend. I can’t yank it from the mild strength basement.

I’m halfway through it. Nothing.

OK. A reader didn’t send it to me. Before doing my research on it, I bid for a 5 pack on Cbid. I got the 5 pack for $3.40 per stick. I was ecstatic. Clearly, word of mouth is out on this stick and no one really bothered to bid.

Flavors perk up a scoche in the second half but for a cigar that originally went for $10 a pop in box pricing, this is a joke.

Now I’m wondering if these are cigars that have set around in a Duran warehouse? They aren’t dried out but they are flavorless. Typical symptom of too young or too old.

Flavors are so minimal that I can see no reason to waste any more of my time, or yours.

Now I could publish this review and piss off a lot of people. Or I can just forget about it…and scrap the whole review.
But then that’s now what you pay me for. (Wait, I get paid?)

Maybe this blend was great in 2015. If the cigar can go for a little over $3, then I don’t think you are seeing a whole lot of sales from the online stores.


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5 replies

  1. No Mas!

    : – )

  2. I just smoked one of these earlier today. I thought it was good for a mild/medium cigar. The draw was nice and it burned pretty even. It didn’t have that “earthy-leathered-coffee” sensation. It tasted more like eating a lightly buttered slice of toasted bread after sniffing a line of sweet n low mixed with sawdust. In the second half, there was an added flavor that made me think of freebasing tapioca pudding and chugging a pint of English breakfast tea. And by chugging, I mean like using a beer bong. I’d probably rate it 88.

  3. Can’t wait your top 25!

  4. Now…that’s funny! You should be writing my reviews instead of me, Aaron.

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