Carlos Toraño Virtuoso

9-17-12 been in humidor since 6-8-12

Carlos Toraño Virtuoso Baton (Lancero 7.5 x 38)

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun-grown Pueblo Nuevo

Binder: Honduras

Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran, Panamanian.

Blender: Carlos and Charlie Toraño

 

The Toraño family, like many tobacco families, has roots in Cuba. They used to live in the Pinar del Rio region, considered the best growing region in Cuba. When the Cuban revolution forced the family from their home and business they started to farm in basically every other major country that produces tobacco in Central America. Many of these farms are producing tobacco leaves strictly for the family to use in their own name brand

 

This is exactly what is happening in the Carlos Toraño Virtuoso. The wrapper leaf is sun-grown in the Pueblo Nuevo region of Nicaragua on a Toraño farm. This is the first Toraño grown sun-grown wrapper to ever appear on an Carlos Toraño cigar. The farm is located (heading north) about two thirds of the way from Estali, Nicaragua to Danli, Honduras. This is Tobacco country.

 

Apparently, they have done something right. In 2006 this blend got an 89 (the Encore size) in Cigar Aficionado and an 89 (the Crescendo size) from Cigar Insider. Today I will look at the Baton. This cigar is 3/16th of an inch smaller than the next smallest ring in the line and was not an original release size. Not every blend does well in a smaller ring format. Since this was not initially intended to be small ring, how will this turn out? We’re going to find out.

 

When I take the cigar out of the cellophane the first thing I notice is how yellowed it is. Since this cigar was a gift from a Cigar.com forum member (thanks webmost), I have no idea how much actual age is on it. All I know is that it has been my humidor since 6-8-12. the next thing I notice is that this is a fairly ugly looking cigar. The wrapper looks thick and beat up. In a way this does not surprise me because it is a sun-grown wrapper. This extra sun produces thicker heartier leaves. There is quite a bit of color variation on the wrapper as well. The foot is very dark in comparison to the head. The pigtail cap is slightly off center. I doubt that this will make any difference. The band is the standard Virtuoso band but it looks like it was cut down to fit the lancero size; and by “cut down” I mean, it looks like it was ripped by hand to fit on the lancero. The edges are not clean cut. They are jagged.

The wrapper feels wavy and rough in the hand. An oily impression is on the on the fingers as well. This cigar produces a dusty smell with hints of barnyard. A sour note is left in the mouth when the cap is licked before the cut. I cut with my Xi2 Double guillotine. When drawn upon, this cigar has a very rich sweet tobacco taste to it that is almost licorice in nature. There is a hint at spice as well. I feel that this spice is from when my tongue touched the filler leaf. The draw is a bit on the firm side.

 

I light with my Bugatti B-1 torch lighter. The first few puffs are woody and/or nutty. I cant quite place it because it is fairly light. Through he nose there is a mushroom like taste. It is much dryer than mushroom. It reminds me of smelling dehydrated mushrooms, maybe it could be called “dry musk”. The finish, that lasts long after the smoke is pushed out, has a coffee note to it.

As the cigar starts to open up I can see that it is woody more than nutty. There is very

little spice early on.

 

 

The beginning of the middle third has a bit sharper taste. The flavors are the same just more prominent. The cigar is very well balanced but there are few developments. The only thing that has changed is that there is a soft spice developing early in the flavor and a little through the nose. This spice does not make it to the finish. As the middle third continues, the spice becomes more and more dominant and the wood flavor slowly picks up a bit of the “woody-spice” that I usually associate with Nicaraguan tobacco. This is very light but I can definitely taste it.

 

The final third is quite a bit warmer in tone. There is more spice through the nose, more sharp wood flavors in the initial flavor and the finish is a stronger coffee-like note. The power of this cigar is medium. The Virtuoso line is supposed to be the strongest of the Toraño line, but this cigar is not a very strong cigar at all. In a way this does not surprise me. When rolling a lancero the stronger ligero leaf is usually the leaf that is cut down on first to make it burn correctly, and keep it in balance. In this case it is a very good thing. The cigar is balanced very well. The only complaint I have is that it is not as complex as other Toraño blends that I have had. It is balanced, but it could be more interesting.

 

The cigar ends much like this.

Burn to the nub.

Time: 1 hour 40 min.

 

Burn: 10

Draw: 9

Taste: 8

Aftertaste: 8

Construction: 9

Balance: 10

Feel: 8

Overall: 8.9 of 10

 

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~ by kuzi16 on September 17, 2012.

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