Welcome back, my friends! The last cigar I reviewed was the Ventura Psyko Seven Robusto. The review garnered good results. Not too surprising, considering the Psyko Seven Cigar line received accolades from both Cigar & Spirits and Cigar Aficionado, where it scored an A- for both magazines: not bad at all. This time, I’ll be taking on the Psyko Seven Toro in order to see how it compares to its Robusto counterpart. Will the Toro live up to the Robusto’s standards? Will it perhaps even surpass them?
Form and Substance
- Vitola: Toro
- Wrapper: Mexican San Adreas
- Binder: Mexican Sumatra
- Filler: Ecuadorian Hybrid Seed, Nicaraguan Ligero, Peruvian Pelo de Oro Vera, Honduran Holancha Seco, Dominican Hybrid, Pennsylvania Ligero
- Dimensions: 6” x 48’
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Aesthetics, Construction and Feel
The Toro’s first impression differentiates little from that of the Robusto: the wrapper is quite rugged and veiny, but it is, again, so well constructed that the wrapper's seems are invisible to the unstrained eye. The Toro’s wrapper also possesses a similar degree of resilience as the Robusto’s suffering no damage or unraveling after cutting. The body is nice and cushiony, and the familiar sourdough bread cold odor is ever-present. Yep, the craftsmanship is definitely still there!
Smoke and Flavor
Like the Robusto, the draw is well-balanced from the very first puff: not too tight, not too loose. The core flavors and trends are the same as well, with the light toasty flavor dominating the first puffs before maturing into sour wood. However, the similarities to the Robusto largely end with the core flavors. The Toro has a noticeably smoother draw than the Robusto; its smoke clouds are consistently thick, requiring little maintenance puffing, and the draw also wets the palate. The burn is noticeably less even on the Toro, and the ash is more flaky as well.
The draw begins to even out around the start of the second third. The sour wood again begins to mature into sour oak. Due to the ash being noticeably more flaky on the Toro, I decide to discard it more frequently than with the Robusto, ensuring no accidents. A hint of cream sneaks its way into the mix, tempering the sour oak and helping make the draw all the smoother. The cream is soon joined by essence of sugar in the background, further tempering the sour oak and enriching the overall smoke.
The final third is where the sour oak turns into bitter oak, making the cream and the sugar’s input all the more essential to the smoke’s balance. Towards the middle, the cream eases in from the background and comes closer to the forefront, though never quite reaching it until the very end of the smoke, reigning in the bitter oak just in time to make the finish as balanced as it can be.
The Final Verdict
The Psyko Seven Toro is noticeably different from its Robusto counterpart: its burn is less consistent and prone to canoeing and its ash is less durable. Yet, its draw is also more smooth and its flavor profile is also noticeably smoother and less harsh, even though it isn’t quite as diverse. All in all, pound for pound, the Toro stands toe to toe with its Robusto counterpart, equals with different strengths. The question to ask is: “What do you value the most? If you prefer a more stable and balanced flavor and you’re okay with a less consistent burn, the Toro is the definitely the Psyko for you.
Tips for a Perfect Smoke Experience
- Thanks to its comparatively sweeter flavor profile and smoother draw, you can afford to use less caution when approaching the Toro. Just get a nice cup of coffee and you’re all set to go!