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Blue Collar Town With A White Collar Cigar

Blue Collar Town With A White Collar Cigar

By Pierre Rogers February 12, 2018

On todays adventure I decided to give the Davidoff Winston Churchill “The Late Hour” Toro a spin, and I smoked this cigar at Castro’s Backroom in Manchester New Hampshire.  

Manchester is a sleepy industrial town in southern New Hampshire. Once a thriving textiles city some 100 years ago the town has struggled a bit to keep its footing. Manchester actual had quite a cigar history with RJ Sullivan Cigar factory rolling the 7-20-4 brand of cigars in a large brick building in the center of the town. 

I wandered down Elm Street in the brutal cold New England winter and took shelter in Castro’s BackRoom Cigar Shop.This is a classic blue collar cigar lounge and shop.The front room is filled with old barber shop chairs for folks to sit in while enjoying a cigar with the game on in the background. The walls are covered with cigar pictures and vintage advertising however the lounge give you the feeling they put those pictures up when they were new. A handful of magazines are lazily placed around the shop and I found a Playboy Magazine from 1981 on the top of the stack. This shop has been frozen in time. The humidor however is large, well lit and overstocked. I found a tremendous selection of all the staples and couple handfuls of more boutique brands as well.Two things of note that I loved about this place. Number one: NO cigarette smoking allowed…Second: the humidity in the large walk in humidor was just right. That can be a tough thing to accomplish in a dry New England winter climate.Towards the back of the lounge is a full service bar with modest selection of scotch, bourbon and other treats.TV’s are scattered around and provide a comfy spot to watch the game. I will say that the ventilation is Castros Backroom is sub par at best. I am an experienced smoker and yet I found that cigar smoke was so think and dense throughout that my eyes burned and the oder on my clothes the next day was overwhelming. Should I return to this establishment I would take note that if there are more then a small handful of smokers in the lounge I would strongly think differently about staying. 

After spending 20 minutes or so browsing the humidor I settled on a Davidoff Winston Churchill “The Late Hour” Toro. This cigar measures in at a somewhat husky 6 x 54 and the wrapper is much darker then any other Davidoff line. What makes this cigar so interesting is what its made out of. This cigar uses scotch barrels to age a Nicaraguan tobacco for roughly 6 months prior to be rolled. This cigar also uses Dominican, Ecuadorian and Mexican tobacco’s.  

Settling into a well worn chair, I choose a simple straight cut and and proceeded to toast and light my cigar. The pre-light draw suggested sweeties with tons of cedar. Post light the first third of the cigar was compelling and rich on the front. However the back-end of the flavor was a bit flat. Not bad in anyway but what I can describe as a hollow flavor. The flavor was building so I thought little of it. Smoke production was fairly average for a cigar of this ring gauge.The cigar wrapper was toothy, dark and oily and thus I expected a chewy texture to the smoke. 

Middle third the cigar’s strength began to wane and level out. A warm, rich espresso creme come on up front. As the flavor profile rolled off to an emptiness that was uninspiring. I don’t want to over-state my thoughts on this cigar, this cigar isn’t bad, despite what my thoughts may appear.  Its linear, flat and a bit boring. Couple of costive points to highlight. The cigar is beautiful with near perfect construction that we have grown to expect from Davidoff. The draw is textbook perfect with just a slight “pull” to the cigar. 

Finally, third the strength has started to pick up as has the heat. I have had to work harder to manage the heat downwards as to not burn the cigar and create an acrid taste. The smoke production has picked up as the heat has increased.This is an interesting problem as more cigar manufactures create darker and oily wrappers managing heat becomes more difficult. Coming into the home stretch the flavor has been turned up with hits of white pepper, more cedar and coco bean. 

Just to recap, The Davidoff Winston Churchill “The Late Hour” Toro lacked depth and complexity. While note a bad cigar by any means I found that right after the cigar I wanted to smoke something satisfying.  Castro’s Backroom is a perfect spot to mingle with the salt of the earth in worn thin furniture catching the Red Sox’s game. Be warned when you leave the cigar, odor on your person will be so strong your dog wont even like you! 


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