Carlos Torano Signature Collection
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
• 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
• 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
• 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
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.
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.