Jim's C&D Toscano Maestro Reviews.

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JimInks

Sultan of Smoke
Aug 31, 2012
61,679
574,205
These blends go on sale January 30 at 6 pm. EST. They are not limited editions.

C&D Toscano Maestro Allegro:
The Kentucky and Tennessee dark fired Kentucky provide a lot of smoke, spice, earth, wood, sweet mesquite, floralness, toast, vegetative grass, some herbs, moderate bitter sourness, nuts, peat ,and very light vinegar as the lead components. The smoky, woody, earthy, leathery, floral, herbal, vegetative, mildly spicy, sweet Cyprian Latakia is a secondary supporter. The stoved and unstoved red Virginias offer mild tangy dark fruit, tart and tangy citrus, earth, wood, bread, sugar, grass, floralness, mild stewed dark fruit and light spice. They are right behind the Latakia in terms of effect, and their most obvious aspect is the fruit. In order of importance are the mildly applied caramel, vanilla and maple toppings. They subtly soften the experience with their sweetness. The strength is just past the center of medium to strong. The taste is a couple of steps past that mark. The nic-hit is a notch below the overall strength level. There’s no chance of bite or harshness. Has a few small rough edges. Well balanced and nuanced, it burns cool, and clean at a reasonable rate with a very consistent spicy, smoky, floral, sweet and sour, nutty, savory rich flavor that extends to pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note has a little pungency. Barely leaves any dampness in the bowl. Requires an average number of relights. Not an all day smoke, but it’s a tad closer to that than the other two in the series. Four stars out of four.
©Jim Amash 2024.

C&D Toscano Maestro Concerto:
The toasty Kentucky and Tennessee dark fired Kentucky produce a wealth of smoke, spice, earth, wood, sweet mesquite, floralness, vegetative grass, some herbs, moderate bitter sourness, nuts, peat, and very light vinegar. They take a small lead. The 31 Farms perique provides plenty of spice, earth, wood, dried, sour and mildly sweet plums, figs, toast, and a few raisins with some floralness. It gives full support. The smoky, leathery Cyprian Latakia offers a fair amount of earth, wood, floralness, herbs, vegetation, mild spice and sweetness in a secondary support role. The strength is a step past TR’s strong rating. The nic-hit is a notch behind that mark. The taste is very filling. It won’t bite or get harsh, but it does have a light roughness. Well balanced and deeply rich with a little complexity, it burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a very consistent zesty, savory, spicy, smoky, mesquite and dried fruit, sour, floral, herbal, moderate campfire flavor that extends to the exceptionally long lasting pleasant after taste. The room note is very pungent. Barely leaves any dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Certainly not an all day smoke, but it is repeatable. Unless you’re the hearty type, I don’t recommend a big bowl. It’s the strongest of the three in the series. Four stars out of four.
©Jim Amash 2024.

C&D Toscano Maestro Sinfonia:

The very smoky, spicy Kentucky and Tennessee dark fired Kentucky provide an abundance of earth, wood, sweet mesquite, floralness, toast, vegetative grass, some herbs, moderate bitter sourness, nuts, peat, and very light vinegar as the lead components. The aspects of the leathery Cyprian Latakia are smoke, earth, wood, floralness, herbs, vegetation, mild spice and sweetness in a secondary support role. The unstoved and mildly more obvious stoved red Virginias produce plenty of stewed tangy ripe dark fruit, tart and tangy citrus, ripe darker fruit, earth, wood, bread, grass, some sugar, floralness, light spice, and a touch of vinegar. They are a slot behind the Latakia. The strength and nic-hit are strong. The taste is full. No chance of bite or harshness. Sports a few very small rough notes. The mildly moist broken flakes do not need any dry time nor did I do that for this review. It burns cool, clean and a tad slow with a mostly consistent smoky, spicy, tangy fruity, mesquite sweet, floral, moderately sour campfire, very savory rich flavor that extends to the pleasantly lasting after taste. The room note is rather pungent. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires a few more than an average number of relights. Not an all day smoke, but it is repeatable. I recommend a small to medium wide bowl. Four stars out of four.
©Jim Amash 2024.
 

karam

Lifer
Feb 2, 2019
2,428
9,235
Basel, Switzerland
Why on earth would someone stick one strong condimental leaf (Latakia) with another strong condimental leaf (DFK)?

On paper all three sound great but I just don't trust C&D. Could be willing to give these a try if it wasn't for the Lat.
 

Wyomingpiper

Lurker
Aug 1, 2021
25
44
42
Wyoming
Wow Jim, you just made me want to try all 3, because they all seem to be in my wheelhouse.

I have a quick question regarding the 4 star reviews.
I know you give your ratings based on what the competition is producing in the same genre, and not personal tastes.

Would you consider these blends to have quite a few competitors, in their genres and they are just as good as the best, or are they kind of on their own, and just top notch blends.

Thanks a lot for your hard work, and if you choose to reply I will be thankful, but no hard feelings either way.

I should probably start saving some money for these anyway.
Good day to you!
 
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JimInks

Sultan of Smoke
Aug 31, 2012
61,679
574,205
Wow Jim, you just made me want to try all 3, because they all seem to be in my wheelhouse.

I have a quick question regarding the 4 star reviews.
I know you give your ratings based on what the competition is producing in the same genre, and not personal tastes.

Would you consider these blends to have quite a few competitors, in their genres and they are just as good as the best, or are they kind of on their own, and just top notch blends.

Thanks a lot for your hard work, and if you choose to reply I will be thankful, but no hard feelings either way.

I should probably start saving some money for these anyway.
Good day to you!
That is a good question. I consider them to be in their own genre because no other blends use these particular DFKs as these do. Here's a little extra info for you: I spent a bit of intensive time over three days smoking them. I wanted my reviews out before the official release so people could make up their own minds whether or not to they were something they wanted. I was mildly surprised that I did not burn out on DFK during that time. That was a good sign of good blending to me, especially considering that all of them have plenty of strength and depth of flavor.
 

Wyomingpiper

Lurker
Aug 1, 2021
25
44
42
Wyoming
That is a good question. I consider them to be in their own genre because no other blends use these particular DFKs as these do. Here's a little extra info for you: I spent a bit of intensive time over three days smoking them. I wanted my reviews out before the official release so people could make up their own minds whether or not to they were something they wanted. I was mildly surprised that I did not burn out on DFK during that time. That was a good sign of good blending to me, especially considering that all of them have plenty of strength and depth of flavor.
Thanks a lot for your reply. It's helpful.