Cigar Aficionado Top 25 Cigars of 2016 - #22 - Rated 92
Henry Clay Stalk Cut Toro is the latest cigar from the infamous Grupo de Maestros in the Dominican Republic under the Henry Clay name. Once a brand that seemed fizzled out and cast by the wayside, Henry Clay was reestablished, so to speak, by Tatuaje front man Pete Johnson with the release of Henry Clay Tattoo. The response was fantastic, so in turn, yet another new brand was brought about, and that brand is Stalk Cut. So what makes Stalk Cut tobacco so unique anyway? Well, when harvested, the tobacco is cut down at the stalk, rather than at the leaves, and the entire thing is brought to the aging house. The reason for this is that with the stalk still intact, the leaves will continue to draw nutrients throughout the aging process, meaning more flavor and a LOT more strength. On top of that, Henry Clay Stalk Cut uses nothing but vintage tobaccos, including a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, a Dominican Piloto binder, and a gorgeous, dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The finished package is so amazing that it earned a 92-rating spot on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2016.
Henry Clay Stalk Cut is beautifully constructed and dripping with oils. A firm, yet plenteous draw provides dense clouds of thick blue smoke. As for flavor, there’s no shortage. The beginning is a powerful blast of Nicaraguan pepper, quickly followed by an earthy array of raw tobacco and leather. Throughout the experience, the vintage assortment of high-end tobaccos shows their colors, evolving from savory to sweet, but spicy all the way through. Coffee, cocoa, cinnamon, and creamy vanilla linger in the background before the sweet, nutty, powerful finish. It is easy to see how Stalk Cut garnered such attention on its way to a 92-rating.
Henry Clay Stalk Cut is a phenomenal creation aimed at sophisticated palates. Beginners should look elsewhere, but as for experienced connoisseurs, Stalk Cut makes a great choice. The 6 x 54 Toro burns slow and cool, allowing for a couple of good hours of immense relaxation. Full-bodied, full-flavored, and deeply complex, Henry Clay Stalk Cut pairs well with strong libations such as single malt scotch and cognac. It makes a fantastic nightcap, especially after a hearty meal. Similar cigars may include Herrera Esteli Norteno and Roma Craft Intemperance BA XXI. For something different, something special, or just a great cigar to celebrate the weekend, Henry Clay Stalk Cut Toro makes a fantastic choice.