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 Originally made as the Toraño family’s house blend, smoked by the family when at the factories, there was a time that you couldn’t buy this cigar.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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Carlos Toraño Noventa Santiago Monday, Jun 30 2008 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Habano Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaraguan – Pueblo Nuevo, Esteli, Jalapa and Condega
Size: Robusto 5.0″ x 50 ring

The Toraño Noventa was created to celebrate 90 years of cigar heritage in the Toraño family. In 1916 the patriarch of the family, Don Santiago Toraño made the move from Spain to Cuba to begin his career in the cigar industry. Eventually his three sons joined him in the family business as the Toraños became of of the largest tobacco growers in Cuba. Like a lot of cigar and tobacco families in Cuba, they had to leave after the revolution when Castro nationalized the tobacco industry. The family moved their business to the Dominican Republic and eventually Carlos Jr. moved it again to Nicaragua where it now thrives. I recommend checking out the full story on their website.

The Noventa is made with 5 year old tobacco from the family farms. The cigars are then aged some more before being sent to market, but I could not find any information on how long that additional aging may be. The Santiago is a beautiful cigar wrapped in an oily light brown Habano leaf that looks like it was cut from a piece of expensive leather. It is well filled with not hint of any rib veins in the filler. On the surface everything about this cigar says “top-shelf”, including the price tag. Besides carrying the Anniversary moniker, it also carries the anniversary price point around $11 a stick.

The Santiago is refined and smooth right from the start. Medium bodied, but mild in strength, it delivers strong notes of nuts and leather with occasional flashes vanilla. The bluish smoke is a little thin but is still delivers plenty of flavor. It has a wonderful aroma that is surprisingly very sweet. It is unique because there is no sweetness to speak of in the flavors but it is very prominent in the aroma. About half way through this cigar starts to behave like you’d expect a Nicaraguan Puro to behave. I starts to pick up delivering a bit of spice that replaces cream and nuts I tasted at the start. The spice mixes nicely with a woody core and it starts to develop a bit of strength that was missing in the beginning. The last third was more spice with strong notes of cedar and wood. This cigar ended up packing a decent little punch after starting off a bit mild.

This was a very good cigar worthy of being an Anniversary edition smoke. Construction was excellent with a perfect draw and a razor sharp burn. It had decent complexity with refined, identifiable flavors. It starts off a bit mild but picks up nicely turning into a solid medium bodied smoke with a good buzz factor without being overly powerful robust. This cigar is a must try for any fan of Nicaraguan tobacco.

Get yours at CigarsDirect.com:  Carlos Toraño Noventa Santiago

Rating – B+

Carlos Toraño Virtuoso Crescendo 6.5×54 Monday, Feb 20 2006 

Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan and Panamanian long fillers
Size: Crescendo 6.5″x54 ring

I recently tried the Virtuoso Crescendo. A beautiful cigar, well constructed with an oily wrapper, dark chocolate in color. The head cut nicely, and there were no rib veins visible in the filler. There were two surprising things about this cigar. It’s a rather large ring gauge, yet it lit very easily and the burn remained nice and even throughout the smoke. In my experience, lighting the larger gauged cigars can be tricky, and the burn usually goes crooked at some point during the smoke. That wasn’t the case here. The flavor was very consistent the whole way, peppery, with hints of leather and wood. The finish was long and spicy. The cigar created lots of thick creamy smoke. This was a very bold cigar, and I found it to be stronger than your typical Toraño. It had a pretty decent buzz factor, something the other Toraño lines I’ve tried have been missing.

This cigar is a definite must try. This may be Toraño’s best stick yet.

Carlos Toraño Exodus 1959 5.0×52 Saturday, Nov 19 2005 

Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Habano 2000
Filler: Dominican, Honduran, Mexican, Nicaraguan, and Costa Rican long fillers
Size: Robusto 5″x52 ring

Yesterday was a great day for cigars. I got to smoke two. This Toraño after lunch and an Oliva Master Blend (the original)after work. This cigar starts off spicy but it soon mellows out and developes hints of chocolate behind a strong tobacco flavor. This was a nice medium bodied smoke of medium strength. The burn went a little crooked on me but I was able to correct it without too much effort. I thought this was a good cigar, but I have tried the Toraño Exodus Silver, Cameroon 1916, and the Signature, all of which I like better than this Toraño so I probably won’t smoke another one of these again.

Carlos Toraño Signature 6.0×50 Saturday, Oct 15 2005 

Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Sun-grown Brazilian Maduro
Filler: Piloto Cubano long filler
Size: Toro 6”x50 ring

This is my first attempt at an in depth review of a cigar. I really enjoyed doing it. I was amazed by the changes in the cigar and how the smoke developed as it progressed. I never took the time to do this before and I think it has given me a new, deeper appreciation for cigars.

Appearance:
The presentation of this cigar is very classy. It is dual banded with an off white Carlos Torano band with a copper border. The second band has the same color scheme with Carlos Torano’s autograph in copper. The foot is wrapped in cedar. It has a gorgeous dark brown maduro wrapper that is oily and slightly toothy. The wrapper has very small veins throughout. It appears very well constructed, firm with no soft spots. No veins were visible in the foot. The cap was slightly puckered and it clipped perfectly. No veins were visible in the head.

Pre Light:
This cigar has a nice cedar aroma almost certainly due to the cedar wrap on the foot. It had a medium draw and a woody/cedar taste. Again, I attribute this to the cedar wrap it was packaged in. I also detected a subtle spiciness.

Flavor:
1st third-
It lit perfectly and easily with lots of thick white smoke. It was spicy during the light. It had an easy to medium draw. After it was lit I immediately tasted lots of cedar and a peppery spiciness. The smoke left a smoky, woody taste on the palate between puffs. The ash is very nice, white with lines and speck of dark grey. This cigar was smooth and mellow right from the start and the smoke was cool. In the beginning the burn was as close to a straight line as is probably possible. The ash maintained its shape nicely and was not flaky at all. The smoke off the foot held together a long time as if it was almost solid. The smoke I exhaled was the same, very slow to diffuse. About an inch in the spiciness mellowed and the cedar flavor took over along with an undertone I found hard to identify. It was slightly sweet almost like toasted bread…? The smoky aftertaste went away as well. As the smoke progressed it got even smoother. The burn wasn’t as straight but it was still even. The ash close to the burn remained white but the ash near the tip took on a brown tint. The cap held its shape and firmness thru the first third. I still haven’t tapped the ash off at this point.
2nd third-
Cedar still dominates the flavor but a citrus undertone developed. It still had a subtle sweetness to it. The smoke from the foot was still a creamy white but the smoke from the draw took on a beige tint. The different colors of the smoke made an interesting contrast as I watched it dance thru the air. The ash was still holding and was almost three inches long when I finally tapped it. It broke off rather then fell off. Probably could have waited longer to ash. The cedar flavor began to mellow and the spiciness returned. This appeared to have happened once I got past the part of the cigar that was wrapped in cedar. In the beginning I would have said this smoke was on the mild side, but it got stronger as I got further in. As I neared the end of the second third of the cigar I noticed a coffee like bitterness mixed with a peppery flavor. The subtle sweetness I detected early was gone. It was still very smooth but stronger now, less mellow. I noticed small gaps in the ash now and it was slightly flaky on the edges. The burn became slightly uneven but corrected it self quickly. Two thirds of the way thru and the cap were still firm and round. This is a very well made cigar.
Last third-
Entering the last third of this cigar I still have only ashed once. The ash was again over two inches long when I tapped it. It came off easier this time. The peppery flavor increased in strength and dominated the smoke at this point. I detected occasional hint of wood and earth. The cigar was stronger now, less smooth but still not harsh.. Since the burn corrected itself earlier it remained perfect. The smoke lost it beige tint but was still a different shade of white than the smoke from the foot. The cigar finished with a strong peppery flavor with noticeable earthy undertones. I smoked it to the nub. I never had to make a third tap of the ash. In the last third the ash was once again solid and not at all flaky.

Overall Impressions:
This was a very enjoyable medium bodied, medium strength cigar. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is very well constructed and beautiful to look at. This is definitely a favorite and would recommend this cigar to anyone who has enjoyed a premium cigar before. This probably not a good first time smoke for a person new to cigars.

Carlos Toraño 1916 Cameroon 6.5×54 Monday, Oct 10 2005 

Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran long fillers
Size: Torpedo 6.5″x54 ring

I enjoyed this full flavored cigar. I found it to be slightly spicy with woody/cedar like flavors. It was very smooth with a medium draw. I smoked this cigar with a glass of Glenfiddich Single malt scotch. I thought the scotch enhanced the flavors of the cigar. It was especially noticeable on the first puff after taking a sip of scotch. The cigar burned perfectly and had a nice firm ash that wouldn’t let go. I had about an inch and a half of ash and tried to tap it off an it would not fall. It was a very well made cigar. The Cameroon wrapper was beautiful. This is a great after dinner smoke and I will probably buy this cigar again.

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