Cigar Review: Terroir by Chinnock Cellars Cigars

Cigar Review: Terroir by Chinnock Cellars Cigars

Chinnock Cellars Cigars
Country: USA (Miami)
Wrapper: Ecuador (Deflorada)
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Size: 6” x 52
Strength: medium
Price: $11.00

Overall Rating: 8.9

There are many similarities between the cigar and wine industries. Both are dominated by several major companies, but there is a culture of boutique brands within those industries. Terroir (the land the plant is grown in) plays a huge part in the eventual final product in both. The list goes on and on. So, it strikes me as odd that, before now, a winemaker never started a boutique cigar company. When winemaker Brian Chinnock started up Chinnock Cellars Cigars, he managed to create the perfect cigar to pair with a glass of red wine. The Terroir was blended by Willy Herrera and rolled at El Titan de Bronze in Miami, which accounts for its high quality and great flavor. The really interesting thing about the Chinnock Terroir is a cigar that is pretty good on its own, but when paired with a good red wine it becomes a great cigar.

Pre-Light: The Chinnock Cellars Terroir has one of the best looking bands in cigar history. A soft pewter band with raised print gives this cigar a classy European look. Once removed from the cigar the back of the band can be removed and used as a sticker. This impressive band really stands out against the oatmeal colored wrapper with few noticeable seams.

A wrapper aroma of barnyard hay and oak barrels is easily noticeable. From the unlit foot a sweat dried fruit and natural tobacco scent can be detected. The cold draw is smooth and easy letting through an odd almost vegetable taste.

Burn: The draw is on the Chinnock Terroir is perfect, as I’d expect from a cigar rolled at El Titan de Bronze. This is a cigar that produces a good deal of flavorful smoke. The burn is even throughout the cigar, and it holds it’s light gray ash extremely well.

Flavor: The Chinnock Cellars Pewter Band Terroir begins with flavors of oak, hay and hints of italian spice. On the retrohale the spice really begins to develop. About an inch into the Terroir there is a slight green grape flavor that joins oak, hay, cream of wheat and and mild cedar. The spice is still present, but backs off just a bit at the transition to the second third of the cigar. A creaminess dominates the second third of the Terroir with flavors of honey, graham cracker, oak, cedar dominating. Some fruity plum notes begin to take shape at the transition to the final third of the cigar. The final third finishes with oak, graham cracker, and hay flavors being the most noticeable.

Overall: There is something odd about the Chinnock Cellars Terroir; when had on its own it is a good cigar, but when paired with a glass of red wine the Chinnock becomes a great cigar. (I’d raise the Overall Rating to a 9.2 when paired with a glass of fine red wine such as Lancaster.) I had some friends that didn’t understand why I kept raving about this cigar until I bought them all a glass of wine at our local cigar bar, then every one of them agreed that it was as good as I told them. The flavors really come out and develop when the cigar is properly paired. Personally, I have several Terroirs sitting at the bottom of my humidor for those times when I plan on opening a really good bottle of wine. I’m a big fan of the Chinnock Cellars Cigars and the man behind them, and look forward to seeing way is next for the boutique brand. Because it comes in 10 count boxes, the Terroir is a great cigar to give as a gift to the cigar enthusiast who is also connoisseur of fine wines.

Pairing: My personal favorite pairing with the Chinnock Terroir is a glass of 2005 Lancaster. Any red wine will serve to bring out the flavors of this cigar, but a meritage or merlot tend to really compliment the Terroir nicely. Some pairings I’ve enjoyed are the Rubicon Estate Inglenook Cask 2005, Opus One 2007, Baldacci Four Sons Fraternity 2009 and Fess Parker 2010 Crockett.

On a side note: The limited edition pewter banded Chinnock Cellars Terroir is actually the second cigar from Chinnock Cellars Cigars to bear that name. Originally, there was a version that was released with a more traditional double band and was packaged in the now often sought after (but completely sold out) “barrel box” that resembled a wine barrel. The original was a completely different blend.

Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)

Cigars for this review provided by Brian Chinnock, owner of Chinnock Cellars Cigars. No request for review was made. Although Brian’s generosity is appreciated it does not affect the review of this cigar. At ToastedFoot we remain committed to bringing you high quality impartial reviews.