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Cigar Weekly 2008 Blind Review #1

Casa Toraño Lancero Maduro

Published Monday, May 19th, 2008
Compiled by Doug McGuire (Mad Dawg)

The following description of the Casa Toraño Lancero Maduro was provided by Bruce Lewis, Brand Manager - Toraño and Dunhill Cigars:

The Casa Toraño Maduro was introduced late last year but first orders were filled in the early part of this year. It is not a limited release, but what I would refer to as an exciting new release for Toraño. In the first few months of this brand being available to the public, the response and feedback has been extremely positive. Cigar Aficionado have already awarded it two ratings in the 90's.

The cigar features a naturally fermented CT Broadleaf maduro wrapper which brings a sweet, rich flavor and aroma to this medium bodied smoke. A Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan and Dominican filler complete the blend.

As you are aware, there has been increasing interest in the Lancero size and this was one of the reasons to introduce this cigar in this size. More importantly, though, the Lancero size in this blend allows consumers to fully appreciate the rich, sweet characteristics of the maduro wrapper.

The Lancero is 7" x 38 and all sizes in the Casa Toraño Maduro line are handmade in Nicaragua.

The cigars for our blind review were graciously provided by Jon Huber, Director of Lifestyle Marketing, CAO International, Inc.
 
 

Pre-Smoke Comments

Fishin' Phil: Panatela oscuro. Veiny, nice sheen, slightly lumpy, rustic. Nice even burn, firm gray ash. Excellent draw.

flipflop: I had high hopes for this smoke as I enjoy maduros with a slightly rough wrapper and with characteristic boldness.

TommyBB: This is a pretty cigar, with its dark, Maduro wrapper. It's not smooth and silky, but it's a quality wrapper, with prominent, but not overly rough veining. I wouldn't describe it as veiny, but it's not a soft Connecticut-shade, either. This slim panatela with it's pig tail at the head entices the smoker who appreciates such touches.

ronin: A nice looking dark brown almost maduro looking cigar. Even roll with no tight spots felt. My samples were a bit oily looking. Clipped the head. Nice clean clip. Pre smoke draw was easy. Using a soft flame, I lit it. A nice even burn. Took to lighting very well with no hot spots.

SLR: Nice looking maduro cigar, some veins evident, dense looking maduro wrapper.  Draw was perfect.  Burn was even with good ash structure.  The only thing I did not like was the smell of the wrapper.  It had too much "barn yard" odor that was a bit too much.

Elk Twin: Here piggy, piggy. The pigtail on the cap was the most distinctive feature of this long, dark lancero. Fresh! Obviously freshly rolled cigar was springy between the fingers and just smelled young and herbaceous. The wrapper was very dark oscuro and quite oily. Fairly prominent veins and a cap that was laquered on. The pre-light draw was resistant and the flavors dense and green-tasting.

Smoke Comments

Fishin' Phil: Not very complex. Earthy & dark chocolate overtones.

flipflop: See Summary.

TommyBB: This was quite the enjoyable smoke. Sample one was just rich enough and satisfying. It was quite flavorful, but it did not overwhelm me in any way. This makes for a very pleasant smoking experience.

ronin: A nice even balanced smoke. Medium body with a touch of sweetness.  No bitterness was exhibited by this cigar. As I smoked further down, the light sweetness became more evident. Not to the point of being annoying but more of a nice surprise. Nice even burn with no touch ups needed.

SLR: The cigar started out rather full with a wine like characteristic on the flavor profile. It had earthy, fruity tobacco flavors, a bit leathery on the finish.  It was one dimensional in that the flavor profile stayed the same from beginning to end.  It was a bit rough tasting at first but did smooth out a bit on the second half revealing more wine like tobacco flavors. 

Elk Twin: First puffs revealed a strong blend. Full-flavored with a dark, sappy overtone. The finish was oily and long, bitter on the tongue. Very little smoke came from this cigar and each time I picked it up it was like starting over. 5 or 6 puffs to get it going. As the cigar burned I was able to feel a few knots in the filler that might have contributed to its stingy draw and reluctance to provide smoke. The second half of the cigar also developed a bit more sweetness and spice, but these flavors continued to be drowned out by the heavy Honduran-tasting spine. Towards the end the ammonia came out and the flavor soured. Perhaps some dry boxing might help.

 

Summary Comments

Fishin' Phil: While the construction was good, the flavor was mediocre. This would make a decent fishing cigar, but not exactly a special occasion cigar.

flipflop: The first cigar was so bad, I was reticent to light up the second. Perhaps the first was just a "dog rocket" amongst the batch. The second cigar was better, though not one I would buy. It just didn't have the character and richness I look for in a smoke. I'd consider it a "yard gar." The ratings in this review reflect the second cigar.

TommyBB: I really liked this cigar. It's one of the better offerings I've had in a quite a while. It was a nice experience beginning with the panatela shape and the pigtail which focuses the smokers' interest. A fine draw for such a long, thin cigar brought generous smoke and ample flavor. The ash tended to flake a bit earlier than some cigars, but it's not something that matters to this cigar.

ronin: Overall, a very nice cigar. I was very happy with the construction, burn and taste of this cigar. A good all day smoke. Especially in the morning with coffee which this cigar pairs very well with. It would be interesting to age of box of these for about a year. I believe that this would evolve to a really excellent smoke.

 

SLR: This cigar was well constructed with a nice looking maduro wrapper.  A bit course looking but this is typical with a maduro wrapper.  Fans of maduro cigars will like this cigar since its flavor strengths are fruity and earthy that is common with maduro cigars.

Elk Twin: The overall impression was of a bottom-heavy blend, too reliant on ligero and rushed out the door. Aging might sand away some of the greenness and allow some character to develop but today it's all brawn.

Scores

Reviewer

Appearance and
Construction
(0-5)

Burn
(0-5)

Draw
(0-5)

Aroma
(0-5)

Flavor
(0-10)

Taste and
Aftertaste
(0-10)

Overall
Quality
(0-10)

Total
(0-50)

Fishin' Phil

3

4

5

3

5

5

6

31

flipflop

3

3

4

2

4

5

4

25

TommyBB

5

4

5

4

8

8

8

42

ronin

4

4

4

4

7

7

8

38

SLR

4

4

5

2

5

5

6

31

Elk Twin

3

3

3

4

5

5

5

28

Averages

3.67

3.67

4.33

3.17

5.67

5.83

6.17

33.40

To achieve the final score we throw out the high and low total scores then average the
remaining scores. For more details please refer to the Review Methods page



Review Results

Final Score: 32.0 out of 50 - 3 1/2 Stars - Above Average

 


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