Legend has it that in 1815 a large pile of tobacco was left outside a factory on a hot summer day when a sudden rainstorm soaked the entire lot. A small fortune was lost — or so they thought. Instead of discarding the leaves it was decided to salvage what they could and make some cheap cigars, but as it dried the tobacco started to ferment and the strong flavor turned out to be just right for the local palate and thus the Toscano was born.
Did this really happen? Even Sigaro Toscano tells the tale with a bit of a wink, but there’s nothing wrong with a good cigar and a good story. The company officially forms in 1818 and even becomes a symbol of Italian independence while seen in the hand of Giuseppe Garibaldi. Once a state monopoly, and now a private company, Sigaro Toscano is the largest producer of cigars in Italy.
The most premium cigar n their portfolio, Il Moro, is now available for the first time in the United States. And it may look a little unusual to the average smoker: hand-rolled, 9-inches long and with a 46 ring gauge, it has a freestyle lumpy look that lets you know this is something unique.
The high quality cured and aged leaves for the wrapper are from the United States and the long-filler is Kentucky seed tabacco grown in both North America and Italy. The long fermentation and aging gives the cigar a powerful flavor with notes of dried fruit and aromatic wood. It can be smoked from either end, or split in half and shared as two cigars.
While Sigaro Toscano uses machines to produce some of their lines, Il Moro are all hand rolled, a position historically filled by women at the company — the skilled roller can produce up to 520 cigars per day. Il Moro is a limited release — only a few thousand are made and only 100 of those will be available in the United States. It’s the 2019 edition that is now being sold and will retail for $80.