Cigars - Italy

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Toscano EastwoodPop Quiz! What cigar was made famous in America by Spaghetti Western movies? Why the cheroot of course!  Even though it is the only cigar manufactured in Italy, the Toscano has a rich history in a country known more for its wines and oils, than its cigars.

Actually, tobacco cultivation in Italy is actively promoted, and 80,000 hectares of land in Tuscany, Umbria and Campania are dedicated to the crop.  Growing areas stretch from Lucca in northern Tuscany south to San Miniato in the province of Pisa. In 1818, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand III, founded a tobacco factory that manufactured Toscano cigars. Legend has it that a bale of Kentucky tobacco leaves that had been drying in the open, was caught in an unexpected downpour of rain.  The wet tobacco started to ferment in the the summer heat.  Instead of throwing it away, the fermented tobacco was used to produce cigars to be sold in Florence. After they gained popularity, it became a regular production. Today, Toscano brand cigars are manufactured by Manifatture Sigaro Toscano SpA, located in Lucca and Cava de' Tirreni.

Toscano cigars are stong with a high nicotine content, and exhibit a very powerful and spicy aroma.  Traditionally the cigars are not smoked as a whole, but cut in the middle.  One reason may be that they are so strong, smoking an entire cigar is not possible.  Also, they are considered dry cigars or cheroots, which means they do not have to be stored in a humidor. (No wonder Clint Eastwood always had one under his serape!)


The Tobacco and the Process

The tobacco used in manufacturing Toscano cigars is a derived hybrid of the North American Kentucky tobacco.  Kentucky tobacco prefers deep, fresh, fertile soils, rich in organic substrate.  After harvesting, the leaves are dipped in water and then fermented in special containers while wet.  The leaves are then cured with direct fire, using special wood, and smoked slowly, allowing the smoke to permeate the cells of the tobacco leaves. After curing and drying, they may be stored for further ripening up to twelve months.

Assembling the Toscano, no binder is used.  Once the wrappers are cut and glued, the filling is wrapped in them. The Toscano Originale are traditionally made by hand, all the other varieties are manufactured by machine. The shape, called a double-truncated cone, is similar to a slim figurado, pointed at both ends and wider in the middle. Handrolling is accomplished without any forms or molds, completely freehand. There is also variation in the amount of wrapper vs filler, making each cigar unique.

Toscano logo

There is only one Toscano, though they produce numerous varieties. As mentioned above Manifatture Sigaro Toscano SpA has been producing Toscano cigars for over 200 years. Once a local product, their cigar is now distributed in 77 countries worldwide, selling over 200 million cigars.

The Toscano Originale is their hand rolled cigar and utilizes an American wrapper from plantations in Kentucky and Tennessee, and a filler blended from Italian and North American leaves.  Smoked whole, the cigar has a more complete and gradual evolution of flavor with a spicy taste and smoky aroma. 


According to the manufacturer, the Toscano Antico which uses similar tobaccos has been paired successfully with Cocktails, Brandy and Fortified Wine. The Toscano Classico pairs well with Belgian Ale, Spirits and Red Wine.

Other Varieties

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 Toscano Originale


Toscano Classico


Toscano Antico

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Toscanello Anice


Toscanello Caffe'


Toscanello Vaniglia

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Toscanello Cioccolato


Toscanello Grappa


For more information about Toscano Cigars go to the manufacturer's website at:


* See each specific malt and cigar tasting note page for individual pairing recommendations.  Flavor bars on each page serve as a quick visual key to tasting.