"If you like strong cigars, you’ll definitely love this one. This particular cigar is made to satisfy the discerning smoker who enjoys bold and strong flavors...", boasts Enrique Sánchez Icaza, the man behind Nicaraguan-based Global Premium Cigars, makers of the 1502 Cigars. Given my personal preference for strong, robust, fuller-bodied smokes, I was happy to receive the one sample from Gary Griffith of House of Emilio, distributors of 1502 Cigars.
The 1502 Black Gold Toro is a great looking box-pressed cigar with a dark maduro wrapper with a very nice oily sheen. The wrapper has barely visible seams due to the number of veins running through the leaf. The wrapper extends and partially covers the foot - referred to as the cigar lock by Sánchez, it "protects the wrapper from a beating or from breaking" and allows you "to light the cigar from the outside to the inside, like a cigar should be lit." Once clipped, the cigar is very easy to light, and the burn is solid - it remains relatively even throughout the smoke.
The cigar starts as a mild-bodied smoke with mellow, yet pungent, barnyard earthiness with floral notes. There is some very mild black pepper that's only evident during retrohale. Some coffee flavor with hints of cocoa and cinnamon-like spiciness are introduced during the second third of the smoke. The final third becomes a bit fuller in body and in strength, as the coffee flavor becomes much more robust, the smoke becomes much more earthy in nature, and the floral notes are lost. In addition, the black pepper becomes more dominant as the smoke progresses. Interestingly, there is one subtle flavor note of anise that remains constant from start to finish - which was difficult to discern initially, until I determined that the flavor is much like anisette. The cigar has a nice finish that lingers for a good while after the smoke.
Overall, though not as strong or full-bodied as I expected, the 1502 Black Gold Toro is a good smoke - quite enjoyable. The notes of anise that kept presenting itself made for a very interesting smoke.