Sometimes cigars just fall through the cracks. You can put a stick in your humidor, pile more on top of it, and … well, out of sight out of mind. That’s what happened with The Brick, a product from the Toraño operation that is now part of General Cigar Co. It arrived a year or so ago and kind of got lost in the shuffle. Until now, that is. It’s a medium-bodied, budget-friendly stick that has been on the market for a while, and it deserves a look, however belated.
CIGAR STATS: The Brick features the sharp angles of the box press, with an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper around Honduran binder and Honduran and Nicaraguan filler leaves. It is offered in three sizes: BFC (6 x 60), Churchill (7 x 56), Robusto (5½ x 56), and Torpedo (6½ x 54). It retails for about $5 a stick. I smoked the Robusto for this review.
APPEARANCE: Any box-pressed cigar appeals to this smoker, and The Brick is no exception. Its chocolate-brown wrapper contains little oil and is on the thin side, another appealing factor in these quarters. It also has a nice springy feel to the touch.
THE SMOKE: The Brick exudes a classic, rich tobacco aroma before the match, and that only intensifies once it is lit. After the initial blast of pepper, the flavor quickly morphs into a pleasing blend of wood (cedar) and coffee, mostly. Later on, one can detect some floral notes, but the wood remains the dominant factor. Perhaps the best aspect of the smoke, aside from the aroma, is that the taste never gets bitter or harsh in the late going. In addition, the draw is consistently smooth, and the burn line is fairly sharp.
THE VERDICT: The Brick offers the always-pleasing combination of an affordable, flavorful smoke in the 90-minute range. Your best bet these days is to find it online. If you can, it’s worth snagging, and not letting it fall out of sight. – Brian Coyne