Reviews by Gonz

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Carlos Torano 1916 Cameroon


Sometimes I'm just a naive newbie cigar smoker. I get excited about the simplest, stupidest, things. But don't tell me I'm wrong 'cause I don't want to hear it. I'll give you an example. Perusing down at our retail store a few weeks ago, I heard some customers talking about the Carlos Torano 1916 Cameroon - oohing and aahing like school kids. "Toothy, leather Cameroon wrapper." "Tons of body." "Spicy, but sweet cocoa after taste." "Sneak-up-on-ya strength, but balanced." "Unbalanced burn to start, but ooohhh, a sparkly white even ash takes over." "Ya know, I think the Aficionado gave this cigar like a 200 rating or something." "If I had to pick 2 cigars on my deathbed, this would be one of them." Alrighty, that might be overboard. But just after they walked out, I had to walk over to the open boxes on display and see what they were talking about. The first thought that came to mind - "cool, this one has cedar wrapped around it, golly, I have to try one." Not kidding. I'm a sucker for cedar-wrapping. Wrap cedar around anything and I'll smoke it - it must make it better right? But seriously, there is something about the cedar that really does it for me - it's kinda like letting wine age in oak barrels. I love wine, and I'm a sucker for oak-aged wine, just something about it that seems to make it better. The smell of oak and I'm jones'n for wine. The smell of cedar and I'm jones'n for a fat puro. (A little hint for all you marketing majors out there.)

OK, but is it good yawl ask? You bet. This cigar has received all sorts of praise - a top 50 in 2004, a 90-rating from "the Aficionado", a clamor for this cigar that puts it constantly out-of-stock, and a price-tag of $3-$4 per stick that makes it an affordably good cigar. Those fellas at the retail shop hit the nail on the head and I could just say "ditto" to their comments, but I'll add a few brief notes. The Toranos simply don't know how to make bad cigars. The Tribute, the Exodus lines, the Signature, many of the Gurkha cigars, the list goes on and on. But, the icing on the cake is that these folks are some of the humblest, sincerest, and most dedicated makers on the planet. At every event they've been at, including our CigarFest back in May, they passed out what seemed to be an endless supply of cigars and treated every attendee like they were the only person at the event. Class, quality, and devotion to their product. So, if you haven't heard about Torano before reading this blurb, you've been in a closet, but I promise it's going to be hard to miss them well into the future.

Tightly packed with a firm draw, the cigar starts off with a fiery bang to your palate erupting with a spicy flavor at the front part of your tongue. I've rambled before about how I love tons and tons of smoke and this one produces. The puro mellows but a deep flavor profile lends an appetizing character that rumbles in the belly. The finish is full and doesn't dissipate quickly, so I recommend this cigar in the latter part of the day, preferably after dinner. A nutty, cedary aroma fills the room and lingers, yes, I am a cigar smoker, enter if you dare.

I'm about to nub this one out now, and my fingers are burning, so I could pick up another and babble on for another 20 minutes, but I'll spare you and recommend that if you try cigars for nothing other than the fact that they have a cool cedar wrapping around it, like me, pick up a Torano 1916.