Every once in a while, i receive something truly special to smoke. Yesterday was such a day — a fresh box of Carlos Torano Exodus 1959 torpedos arrived on my desk. I’ve heard and read so much about the Torano brand of cigars, the anticipation of lighting one up ate at me the whole day! When i finally had a chance to smoke one late last night, i was certainly not disappointed. This is a MAGNIFICENT cigar.

This cigar commemorates the exodus of expert Cuban cigar familiies and their impact on the cigar industry after the nationalization of all tobacco farms and factories by the cuban government in 1959. The Toranos were one of those families. Its a very rare cigar in Malaysia — you probably won’t find it retailing anywhere within our shores. For the life of me, i don’t understand why: its far superior in every way to most Cuban cigars more than twice its price.

(Image lost) Nicely packed away in a fantastic cedar box

The pinch test was excellent. Firmly soft and leathery under the fingers, this cigar, even after a 10 day journey from its point of sale, had a coat of oily sheen. The rare Honduran Habano wrapper was in fine form — veinless and unblemished in its dark natural tones.

(Image lost) Note the outstanding wrapper

The scent test did not fail to inspire either. Devilishly fresh and sharp to the nose, the tobacco’s cedary hints promised a large dose of something special to come when smoked. Pressing my nose into its foot, and inhaling deeply is an experience all in itself. Only one other cigar i’ve smoked comes close to matching the pleasure of its scent: the HDM Epicure No. 2 (my personal favourite).

This cigar offered no fuss when it came time to light it up. The first draws were a tad bit weak in terms of volume and taste. But it didn’t take long to draw this shy beauty into the open. And that’s when the taste blast really takes off! Let there be no mistake about this cigar: the filler is 5-nation blend with tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica and i can promise you this blend provides a taste experience unlike any other. Remarkable! Very prominent dark chocolate tones surround this medium-bodied presentation. Gets decidedly spicier towards the end (Nicaraguan filler kicking in?), and this is exactly how i like my cigars: a change of character throughout the length of the cigar.

(Image lost) Marble gray ash – a mark of the Habano seed wrapper

This cigar’s single weakness is that it tends to burn a bit erratically in the first third. Ash is rendered slightly flaky, and some mild tunneling is apparent. But its a minor irritant — the cigar, just as any good cigar should, rights itself quite well in the last half and provides an even ride all the way to the stub.

(Image lost) Good till the last draw – it was sad to put down

Verdict: This is almost the PERFECT cigar; its certainly the best cigar i’ve had in a very, very long time. Tastewise, construction-wise — this is a top notch cigar for your ringgit. The complexity in taste is remarkable and this is owed to the unique 5-nation blend. A definite “Must Try”. Very Highly Recommended.