Carlos Toraño Reserva Selecta Cigar Review

From Carlos Toraño’s website:

Lovingly and painstakingly developed by Carlos Toraño, the Reserva Selecta is crafted much like a vintage estate wine,with the most refined tobacco grown in the lush Esteli Valley in Nicaragua and the Valley of Jamastran in Honduras. Packed with soft cool smoke, the Reserva Selecta is mild- to medium bodied with notes of sweet cream and cedar. All cigars are wrapped in cedar and encased in crystal tubes to preserve freshness. Packed in boxes of 20 or 5-count gift boxes, all tobaccos are aged three to five years.

The wrapper is very light and it has a light sheen of oils. It is packed nicely and the construction is above average. The veins that are there are not very pronounced and the discolorations are minor.

Cigar Stats
Length: 6 1/4″
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder: Indonesian
Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua
Price: $10.20

Hero Torch!

The first flavor that hits me is, obviously, wood. I don’t think I would describe it as cedar but, rather, spruce or a Christmas tree. That is the flavor I get when I exhale out my nose. When I inhale the flavor is more akin to a forest fire. To be fair, it is not that bad, it’s more like the aftermath of a forest fire, charred wood. It’s not totally un-enjoyable but it isn’t exactly a plus either.

Between the one and two inch mark that charred wood flavor migrates from being a minor annoyance to being a pain. The charred wood gets stronger and does start to take away from the rich wood flavor, which I still get on the exhale. A couple other flavors that are barely perceptible are vanilla and peppermint.

A weak ash, an uneven burn and a good draw sum up the fundamentals of the Carlos Toraño Reserva Selecta Torpedo. Any good thoughts about this cigar I had before I lit it were snuffed out by that harsh, charred wood flavor. It’s a mild bodied cigar that has a lot of promise. It would have been a very good cigar if not for that harshness. Too bad.

84 points

Carlos Torano Virtuoso Short Cigar Review

Pre-Smoke: Good looking cigar without too many imperfections. It is tightly packed. I have smoked a couple of these in recent weeks in the car and while doing work and they have been solid cigars, just nothing special. I am smoking the Encore vitola (4 3/4″ x 52) for this review.

Smoke: Good draw, the burn is a little uneven and this is a medium bodied cigar. Not a lot of flavor to speak of. Some spice and cocoa but they are all just loitering in the background. Really, the main thing I am getting from this cigar is just smoke.

After-Smoke: If you are looking for a cigar that doesn’t have much flavor but is fundamentally sound (it draws and burns well enough) then this is the cigar for you. If you are looking for a cigar that has a complex mix of strong flavors then you should look elsewhere.

2 points

Price Range for all Virtuoso cigars: $4.00 – $6.50

Carlos Torano Virtuoso Page

Camacho Select Short Cigar Review

Pre-Smoke: This is part of the upper echelon of the Camacho lines; ultra premium is its designation. According to the Camacho Select page this cigar comes in five different vitolas with the binder/filler tobaccos hailing from Honduras and the wrapper picked in Cameroon.

This cigar has a couple of raised veins but, other than that, it looks perfectly fine. Not overly oily and the wrapper feels fuzzy, like velvet. Packed nicely. I’m smoking the robusto vitola.

Smoke: The flavors start out meaty and leathery. There is also a smokiness about this cigar that works out really well with the meatiness. After an inch or so a charcoal flavor begins to dominate.

It is a medium bodied cigar with a good draw. The burn is not even though.

After-Smoke: It was not that impressive of a cigar. The flavors are alright but any chance of me liking it a lot was dashed by the uneven burn and the charcoal flavors that came on too strong.

3 points

Price Range: $6.00 to $8.50

Graycliff 1666 Pirate Cigar Review

What is a man to do who has created the first five star restaurant in the Caribbean and has one of the world’s largest wine collections? He obviously creates his own high priced (dare I say overpriced?) cigar! It comes with a lot of exotic tobaccos, a maduro wrapper and the guy credited with the creation of the Cuban Cohiba as its maker. What could go wrong?

Just looking at it I have to admit that it looks good. It’s oily, packed firmly and the wrapper is just awesome, I am a sucker for maduro wrappers. It isn’t in the least bit veiny but the wrapper is a little rough to the touch.

Cigar Stats
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Jaltepec maduro
Binder: Ecuador Sumatra
Filler: Peru, Columbia, Brazil and Mexico
Price: $14.50

Church Torch!

It starts off nicely. There is this floral and grassy flavor at first. Maybe a little bit stronger than medium bodied but not much stronger than that. I am also getting a little hint of coconut with this cigar. The draw is pretty good but the draw is not even.

Very creamy smoke. Weird cigar though. Yeah, sure, it’s refined and all that good stuff that you would expect from such a lofty upbringing. But there’s just something missing from it. There is no real complexity to it; no intrigue. Solid cigar? Sure. But at this price you would expect something much better.

Light and airy is how I would describe this cigar. There isn’t any bight to it and, well, it’s kind of a boring cigar after the halfway point. Instead of this cigar you can buy so many different cigars for a lot less money that are much better.

87 points

CAO “The Sopranos” Edition Associate Cigar Review

From CAO: “Dark, compelling and rich with character, this smokin’ hot escape is riddled with decadence and forcefully pleases the palate with notes of straight coffee beans, cocoa and a smattering of black cherry. Tread lightly and enjoy the badness. Capiche?” They peg it as a full bodied smoke.

In the past I gave this cigar 90 points. Here’s what I thought about this one.

Perfectly constructed wrapper save for one minor bulge. Wrapper does feel a bit dry. Drinking Cherry Coke and water.

Cigar Stats
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Brazil
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Columbia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Price: $10.50

Mafia Light!

Good draw with deep flavors. Chocolate flavors. Earthy as well. There is a slight bitterness to it. Tastes like cocoa. Not burning evenly.

Cigar is making me thirsty. I really do like these flavors. The draw is not as good as I would like but it’s not a major distraction. With a slight pull I am getting enough smoke. There is also this licorice-like flavor.

To fully appreciate the nuanced flavors of this cigar you will need to retrohale it. If you just get the smoke in your mouth you will miss most of he great flavors. So blow the smoke out of your nose and you will get those flavors loud and clear.

For example, if you don’t retrohale you will probably miss the chocolate notes. You need to retrohale this cigar!

Full bodied. The main flavor I get is chocolate throughout. The burn is uneven throughout though. But there are no bad notes to report.

91 points