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Cigar Review: Bongani 658 Toro

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Cigar Review: Bongani 658 Toro

Brand: Bongani
Vitola: Toro
Filler: Africa
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Africa
Smoking time: 57 minutes
Body: Medium
Flavor: Mild to Medium
Price: $14.99

What Makes it Special

Bongani is a 3-year-old company operating out of Mozambique. They have partnered with Dominican master rollers to train their African staff, and all tobaccos and rolling is done in Africa. Previously only available in South Africa and Mozambique, they have only recently become available in the US. They use a Cameroon wrapper and African binders and fillers in this series and aged in unique Ghanian sourced Cedar.

Visual/Pre-Light Draw

Visually the wrapper is an oddly smooth Cameroon. Normally a very toothy wrapper, this one appears on the drier side of oily in actuality. The pre-light aroma is of strong but unique cedar.

First Third

Once lit a strong baking soda flavor joins the Ghanian cedar notes from prelight. A very clean and plentiful smoke is formed. The burn started off quite whonky, but then straightened out after about on centimeter. Once about an inch in the retro begins to belie a nutty flavor as well as the cedar becomes more subdued.

Second Third

In the second third a cinnamon like spice begins to form as the baking soda moves mostly to the retrohale. This along with an unexpected creaminess to the finnish is very enjoyable as the larger ring gauge begins to smoke a bit warmer than expected. Ash retention is not the best, if smoking this in a lounge be sure to roll the ash off before or around about an inch to avoid wearing ash on your shirt.

Final Third

Here this cigar is almost a cinnamon bomb if it weren’t for the strong sweet cream flavour, and nutty baking soda on the retro. This is every bit a solid Cameroon characteristic flavor combination. As the smoke heads into its warmest section at the end the baking soda is again evident and leaves a clean finnish.


This blend is well executed with good construction. While not the best Cameroon I’ve had, as an oddity from being an African puro it is something to be experienced if you enjoy variety. The baking soda could be off-putting if you’re not expecting it, however the clean mild smoke throughout is excellent. If the price were a bit lower this could make it into my usual rotation, but for now it will stay as a good change of pace when that is what I’m needing.



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