Cigar Reviews

Carlos Torano Signature Collection

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Today I’m reaching for a brand that we don’t see too much of here on Casas Fumando considering the amount of lines they actually have. I don’t think there’s any particular reason for it, they are just cigars that Tony and I both seem to rarely get a hold of. For the most part, the ones I do get come in samplers or as parts of bombs or trades. I try to keep notes on cigars like these so that after I’ve had a few I can put together a full review on them. Today’s cigar comes to me courtesy of our trusty reader Jeff(a.k.a. jjo) in a super secret bomb that he surprised me with. Thanks again Jeff!

The brand I’m referring to is of course Carlos Torano. In fact, there’s only one other review up on our site from a Torano line and it’s the Carlos Torano Casa Torano that I reviewed back in March 2011, almost a whole year ago. Today’s line I’ll be reviewing is the Carlos Torano Signature Collection in the Toro vitola.

This particular blend seems to be hailed by a few retailer websites as the best blend in their inventory, so it will have some big shoes to fill in this review. The interesting mix of fillers and binder leaves is a curious one, and on paper it sounds very tasty. The blend seems to have been first released back in 2000 and according to the official website, Torano.com, it comes in 5 vitolas ranging from a Perfecto up to a Churchill.

It’s interesting to see that for a cigar that’s been available for 12 years there isn’t much history or interesting news on it. The basic word is that it sells well and is a top performer in the Torano brand. The factory that makes this particular cigar is located in Honduras and is rolled completely by hand. I haven’t had one in awhile but we’ll see how close my older notes hold up to today’s experience…

Cigar: Carlos Torano Signature Collection
Drink: Lake of Bays Brewing Company Mocha Porter
Vitola: Toro (6 x 50)
Wrapper: Sun Grown Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican Cubano Ligero & Nicaraguan Habano Ligero
Price: About $7.50
Burn Time: About 1.5 hours

Construction:
• The wrapper on this cigar looks like it got beat with a meat tenderizer, it’s got bumps and dents and even looks a bit crooked
• The wrapper looks to be a very dark and consistent chocolate color, almost too dark and consistent, perhaps a bit of dye was used here?
• Despite the rugged nature and shape of the wrapper, there are very few large veins here but the wrapper definitely has a sandpaper type of feel to it
• The single cap has a slightly rough application to it which fits in with the rest of the cigar
• The foot looks very well packed and the entire length of the cigar has a fair bit of firmness to it

Burn:
• Toasting was nice and slow and resulted in a evenly glowing foot after about 30 seconds
• We’re off to a good start with some razor sharp burn through the first inch or so
• No problems as I pass the halfway mark, the burn is moving along at a very nice pace
• When I don’t have much to say in this section it’s a good thing, damn near perfect burn right to the end

Smoke & Ash:
• Each draw is giving me a good amount of smoke with very little effort
• Even though it’s pumping out lots of smoke on the draw, the resting smoke is actually fairly moderate and not overpowering at all
• Ash looks to have a nice pattern of medium gray and some dark, almost black striping
• The ash is lasting just over an inch before it shows some signs of weakness and I tap it off
• No flaking on this ash, it’s clean and tight

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper doesn’t have too much aroma but I do get a faint hint of sweet tobacco
• The foot tells a very different story giving off tons of barnyard aromas
• The pre-light draw reveals lots of woodsy and earthy notes with a touch of the barnyard flavors thrown in there
• Initial flavors are some mild woodsiness with a touch of sweetness and a slightly creamy, yet dry, finish
• Within the first inch, I get a nice introduction of some subtle cooking spices, somewhere in the white pepper range
• The body has started off fairly mild so far with a small bite on the retrohale and a barely detectable woodsy finish
• The flavors are continuing to develop nicely as we hit the halfway mark, some more woodsiness, a bit of leather, earthiness and still a touch of those spices is lingering
• As I move into the last third the body as barely reached medium and I’m starting to get some sweetness added to the mix, maybe like a coffee with sugar type of flavor
• A lot of the flavors seemed to fade into a woodsy and leather mix near the last 1.5 inches, not bad but not as interesting as they were

Final Thoughts:
If you’ve been following some of my posts here or even on Facebook (Like us Please! 🙂 ) and Twitter, I think you’ll find I’ve historically not been a huge fan of the Carlos Torano lines. I’ve never found any of them to be bad but just not exactly the profile I would gravitate towards. I think we found a slight exception to that rule today. Although this cigar didn’t knock me off my socks, I did find it to be a nice relaxing and enjoyable cigar. The burn was nice, the flavors were varied and enjoyable and it never tried to go out on me. I was a bit surprised that the body was a lot weaker than expected, the ligero didn’t pack the punch I was preparing for but I’m fine with that. The last bit of the cigar did go a little bland but it wasn’t off putting or bitter, just bland. My only real gripe is the price. I know, I sound like a broken record here but if I’m forking out almost $8 for a cigar it should be a very good cigar, not just a “good” cigar. Having said that, I did see them on sale for some more attractive prices so if you can find them on sale I’d say they are worth a try.

Pairings:
I don’t find too many bottles from the Lake of Bays Brewing Company at my local store but when I saw this one recently I decided to give it a try. The brewery is located about 2.5hours north of the city of Toronto in a place called Muskoka. You might have heard of Mukoka before, it’s a pretty popular escape to a cabin or cottage on some beautiful lakes and forested areas where a lot of celebrities actually own cottages. Todays offering is their Mocha Porter. I was expecting a bit more chocolate in this brew but for the most part it’s more like a coffee porter. Lots of smooth and tasty coffee flavors without any bitterness and very little malt. There is a touch of chocolate in there but not much. It actually paired very nicely with the Carlos Torano Signature Collection since the brew wasn’t too bold and complimented the flavors nicely.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he’s not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

10 Comments

  1. Dan

    February 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Nice review DT. I’ve never seen that brew before..sounds good! Is it common for those brazilian maduros to look so “rugged”?

    • Dalamscius

      February 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks Dan. The brewery is pretty small so it seems pretty hard to find it in stores. If you’re ever up in the Muskoka area you could always pass by.
      And good point on the Brazilian Maduro, now that you mentioned it the vast majority of them do seem to be pretty rugged. I’m sure there are exceptions to that rule but it’s an interesting point.

  2. jjo

    February 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Great review, Daniel. I actually like the robusto vitola, as it seems to deliver more consistent and concentrated flavor. I agree with you on the price, but they pop up on Cigar Monster on occasion for a really good price. I haven’t had any of Torano’s new releases, but I think the Exodus 59 Years and the Master are great cigars.

    Sounds like a great pairing. I’ll have to track down some coffee porter to keep around.

    • Dalamscius

      February 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Thanks again for sending this one along Jeff. And I agree, the prices you can find on them when they are on sale make them worth the cost for sure.

      Coffee Porter is a must to keep around! lol

      • jjo

        February 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

        My pleasure, man! I actually meant to say that I like the robusto “a little more”. Don’t want to give the impression that I don’t like the toro. 😉

  3. Jake

    February 2, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    GJ,AU (Great job, as usual) – This is one of the few Torano lines I have yet to try. Now you’ve made me want to seek out one or two next time I’m in town and get a chance to visit the B&M. I’m kind of the same way with most of the Torano lines. It’s not that they’re bad by any means, they just don’t seem to flip my skirt. Like they’re missing something, maybe?

    • Dalamscius

      February 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      Jake, for the sake of everyone that is near you when you smoke a Torano I’m defintiely glad they don’t “flip your skirt”! haha

      But ya, I see where you’re coming from, just missing that little something to set them a step above the rest. Let us know your thoughts when you get a chance to try one! I’m curious to see if you think it’s one of the better Torano’s you’ve tried. And keep your skirt down at all times please and thanks!

  4. Tadd

    February 5, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Yeah I am with you…. The Torano lines never really excites me… Kind of like the Alec Bradley stuff…. I have a Torano in my box, that I just keep pushing aside…. Not sure why.. Might need to fire it up soon… Thanks for the reviewski….

  5. Zen Cigar

    June 15, 2013 at 4:25 am

    I’ve tried this line several times and I really want to like it but I just haven’t been able to. Will the Toro I recently smoked change my mind?

    This cigar has a particularly oily reddish wrapper that is very firm to the touch. It looks good enough…

    The pre-light draw is nice and easy. After I light it, I am enveloped in a cloud of smoke. The cigar yields a nice big ash. I love a nice big ash. Plus the burn is dead even. So the construction seems good enough…

    Here’s were I’ve been tripped up before, flavor and taste. This Toro tastes leathery and woody. There is also an undercurrent of earth throughout. But there is sourness on the finish I just can’t get past. Normally I would give the cigar the benefit of the doubt and chock it up to youth. But after trying this cigar several times, I think it’s just in the blend and not a youth issue.

    So in summary, the cigar looks great and is rolled well, I just can’t really get into the flavor of these cigars. The Signatures are very popular cigars though, so I know a lot of people like them, just not me.

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    December 10, 2013 at 10:40 am

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