Carlos Toraño Casa Toraño Toro Tuesday, Oct 28 2008 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua and a family blend of Central & South American Tobaccos
Size: Toro 6.10″ x 50 ring

Thanks to my friends at CigarsDirect.com, I am smoking a Casa Toraño today. Originally made as the Toraño family’s house blend, smoked by the family when at the factories, there was a time that you couldn’t buy this cigar. To get one you would have to attend a Toraño event where they were fresh rolled for the events attendees. The cigar was so well received by those lucky enough to smoke one that they decided to put this cigar into regular production. That is the story of how the Casa Toraño cigar came to be.

Sporting a silky smooth shade grown wrapper the Casa Toraño is a handsome looking cigar. Typical of a Toraño cigar, the construction is excellent.  Well filled with a perfect draw, it burns evenly and produces a nicely formed firm ash.  From the first draw the Casa Toraño is smooth and creamy.  It has a woody core complimented by nuts and leathery notes.  There is a subtle sweet undertone and has a slightly bitter, leathery finish.  It is very mild at first but builds in body and strength as the smoke progresses.  You really need to take your time with this cigar.  I found that if you rush it, it can begin to burn hot and get a little bitter but if you take your time it rewards you with a smooth flavorful experience.  Its flavors are consistent and enjoyable from start to finish.  This cigar seems to be tailor made to enjoy with a morning cup of coffee.  I have had some good luck with mild cigars lately.  I had soured a bit on mild smokes for a while but the last few I have had have been very good and have warmed me to them again.  The Casa Toraño is one of the best I’ve smoked yet and can definitely see me smoking more of these, especially when I reach for a morning smoke.

You can get your Carlos Toraño Casa Toraños at CigarsDirect.com

Rating – B+

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Box Purchase: The Frank by Tatuaje Friday, Oct 24 2008 

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As many of you have probably heard, Tatuaje has a limited release cigar this Halloween and for several Halloweens going forward.  Of course, being the Tatuaje homer that I am, I had to have a box.  This year Pete Johnson brings us the first of his Tatuaje Monster Series of cigars.  The 2008 version is a Double Corona called The Frank.  From what I understand, this is the regular Brown Label Tatuaje Taino blend but with a Broadleaf Wrapper instead of the usual Corojo.  It sports a green band and comes in a Coffin box of 13 cigars.  Only 13 retailers each year will get these cigars and each year the retailers are chosen by a lottery.  This year my local, Empire Cigars was lucky enough to be chosen.  Here is the details regarding the Monster series from the Tatuaje website:

Today on the 13th of October we are announcing the “unlucky” 13 retailers that will be getting the first release of the Tatuaje Monster Series – The Frank (7 5/8 x 49 – Box Pressed).

Gloucester Street Cigar Co. – Boston, MA 617-424-1000
L.J. Peretti – Boston, MA – 617-482-0218
Sabor Havana Cigars – Miami, FL – 305-436-8860
W.Curits Draper – Washington DC – 202-638-2555
Empire Cigars – Raleigh, NC – 919-870-0081
J. Barbara Tobacconist – Garden City, NY – 516-284-7806
Cigar Shop & More – Addison, TX – 972-661-9136
Up Down Tobacco – Chicago, IL – 312-337-8505
Havana Manor – Longmont, CO – 303-776-2332
Ambassador Fine Cigars – Scottsdale, AZ – 480-905-1000
Azucar Cigar Lounge – Corona, CA – 951-734-9714
The Big Easy – Studio City, CA – 818-762-3279
Mission Pipe Shop – San Jose, CA – 408-293-5144

Suggested Retail is $13 per stick. 13 cigars to a box… $169 Suggested Retail before any state or local tobacco taxes.
Each retailer listed will get a small allocation of the first edition.
Customers should not call any other retailers inquiring. These will be the only stores to get them this year.

Cheers,

Tatuaje Monster Series releasing October 31st in 13 locations.
First size will be ‘The Frank’ – a Double Corona box press. 666 boxes will be created.
Thirteen of the top 100 retailers will be selected via a lottery to receive an allotment of 50 boxes each.

Here are a few more pictures of my latest acquisition. Click for enlarged views…

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The Twisted Stogie – Culebras Thursday, Oct 23 2008 

I have always been intrigued by the Culebra Cigars.  They are a unique sight, 3 small cigars twisted together.  I always wondered what the point was.  What is the history behind this style of cigar?  I came across this short video with James Suckling and David Savona of Cigar Aficionado.  In it they talk about the history of the Culebra while enjoying the new Partagas Culebras. Click Twisted Cigars to watch the video.

Most Culebras are meant to be taken apart and each stick smoked individually.  I have seen one example however of a Culebras that is made to be smoked as one cigar.  It is rolled in such a way that it allows you to smoke all three cigars at once.  It is made by Don Francisco Cigars in East Brunswick NJ.  Here is a photo:

Note how the tips of all three cigars are bound together. This will allow you to smoke them simultaneously or if you’d rather smoke one at a time all you have to do is remove that binding on each end.

Out Sick Wednesday, Oct 15 2008 

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I am sure it is obvious by now that I have been MIA with the posts on the blog.  Work and home life are in their busiest seasons right now severely limiting my opportunities to sit and enjoy a smoke.  On top of that, I am an allergy sufferer and we are now in the midst of a change of seasons.  As my fellow allergy sufferers can probably attest to, a change of seasons reeks havoc on the sinuses and my respiratory system has not been right for the past week.  To make matters worse, now I have a sinus infection.

To make a long story short, although it looks as if I have disappeared, I am in fact still around and I plan to get back to posting reviews as soon as my time and my sinuses allow.

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