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Carlos Torano Casa Torano

The Torano family has a rich history in making cigars.  They date back to 1916 with four generations of cigar rollers and tobacco farmers.  They’ve grown tobacco in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras, and have quite a story behind it all.  Quality has been a mainstay of Torano cigars, along with a mild to medium body and gentler flavors.  The Casa Torano line holds true to that, and was meant as their house blend that could be enjoyed by the family and employees for a daily smoke.  It’s wrapped in Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut shade wrapper, bound with Torano’s own Nicaraguan grown leaf, and filled with a blend of Torano’s own blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan, and other South American tobaccos.

The appearance is quite nice, with a light caramel brown leaf that looks soft and smooth.  There are mild veins along the wrapper, which are the only hints that it’s a tobacco leaf wrapping the cigar.  It has a satin texture: very soft and smooth, fingertips just gliding over the leaf.  It has no soft spots, sun spots, cracks, or imperfections.  The Casa Torano holds up to Torano’s reputation of quality and craftsmanship.  The band is attractive as well, the gold and earth tone colors matching the wrapper quite well.  I finish my inspection by gently bringing the foot of the cigar up to my nose and take in its scent.  It’s sweet and earthy, mixing with a floral note.  Hints of oak mix in with the scent, and it gives a very pleasant image of mother planting flowers on the wooden deck outside in the spring.

I slowly toast the foot of the cigar and cut the cap, getting enough resistance to confirm that there’s a good amount of tobacco packed into the cigar.  I take the first few puffs and am hit with a cacophonous mix of flavors.  There are sweet spices, earth, red pepper, cream, and cherry.   The flavors bang and clang against each other for the first inch or so before finally settling out to where I can taste each of them and really get a feel for the flavor profile.  I start noticing the sweet spices and red pepper at the beginning, moving into an earthy tone and sweet cream.  It’s awkward, though, in how the flavors butt against each other, and they don’t seem to flow smoothly.  Even more unfortunate is how the aftertaste is bitter and green, like live wood is being burned.

I try knocking the ash and purging the cigar to see if it clears the bitterness, and get some results from it.  The same flavor profile continues, though now I’m picking up a cherry note as well.  I can actually taste cherries mixing with the earthy tone that makes up the body of the cigar, and it carries into the finish.  Again, it seems awkward for me, and I’m not a fan of how it came together.  I’m even less of a fan of how the green bitter aftertaste is coming again after a few puffs, and would last until I finally set the cigar down.  Overall I wasn’t impressed with the cigar’s flavor profile and found it to be disharmonious and strange.  It just didn’t come together well for me, and the bitterness was very unpleasant.

I have nothing but good things to say about the cigar’s construction and appearance.  They were both top notch and showed high quality and craftsmanship, but the tobacco blend wasn’t something I enjoyed, which is the most important part of a cigar.  Given the chance, I wouldn’t buy another one of these cigars again.  While I’ve enjoyed Torano’s cigars before, this particular line wasn’t to my liking.  For the price, around $5 per cigar, I’d rather spend an extra dollar or two and get a Torano Reserva Selecta or something from Arturo Fuente.  If you do want to try one of these, I suggest a smaller vitola first to see how you feel about it, and then decide from there.