Review: Toraño Single Region Serie Jalapa Robusto (Prerelease)
[Editor's Note: This is a review of a Prerelease cigar that was released at the IPCPR Show in New Orleans two weeks ago and collected and given to me by the amazing "Smoker X". Most of the time, we in the blog community are only given one sample of any cigar that is released at the show, and so most of the reviews in this section are rated using that one sample. However, unlike preproduction reviews, the prerelease cigars that are given out are almost always rolled at the exact same time as the eventual Regular release of the same stick, so the only difference between a Prerelease cigar and a Regular Production cigar is a little bit of age. ~ ed.]
For those of you that don’t know, this year at the annual IPCPR Show in New Orleans, Carlos Toraño introduced the first release in its Single Region Series, the dubbed the “Jalapa”. The basic idea is that each cigar in the series, a different one released every year, will contain tobacco that is grown only on farms in a very specific region of the country; so in this case, the Jalapa region in Nicaragua.
The official Press Release says it thusly:
The concept highlights the different characteristics of tobaccos grown on individual farms in various regions in the world’s best tobacco-producing countries. Each Serie will feature a blend that is created entirely from tobaccos grown on one carefully selected farm in one particular region. The blend’s flavor and aroma will reflect the influence of the region’s soil, weather and topography.
The Carlos Toraño Single Region Jalapa will be released in boxes of 25, and will be available in three different vitolas, priced from $6.50-6.95 each:
- Robusto (5 x 52)
- Toro Grande (6 x 54)
- Churchill (7 x 50)
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
The cigar itself (I smoked the Robusto for this review) is a nice looking stick, with a reddish brown wrapper that is quite firm when squeezed…The wrapper has an interesting breadish scent, along with some cinnamon which made me think immediately of cinnamon cookies. The band is fairly boring looking, just Red on White for the main band (“Single Region”) and White on Red for the second band (“Serie Jalapa”). The predraw brought fairly normal flavors of tobacco and small amounts of pepper.
The dominant flavors in this cigar were leather, chocolate, a sweetness that I could not identify, perhaps maple, a bit of pepper and perhaps some cinnamon on the retrohale. There was some slight spice in the beginning of the smoke, but that quickly faded into the background, never to return.
The flavors did not change much at all from start to finish, and I did get bored with it fairly quickly, although I still nubbed it, of course.
- This is an interesting idea for a cigar, a stick that contains tobacco that is grown only on farms in a very specific region of the country, but as I was smoking it, I was thinking that perhaps the fact that all of the tobacco came from the same area is one of the reasons that the cigar was lacking in complexity.
- The draw was a bit tight for the whole cigar, but not bad enough to pitch it. The burn was wonderful, and I never had to touch it up once.
- The Final Smoking Time was 1 Hour and 15 Minutes.
The Bottom Line: I don’t know what I was expecting from this cigar, but what I got was just a fairly basic, boring, monotonous blend of Nicaraguan tobacco flavors. Throw in the lack of any significant spice or pepper and the tight draw, and what you have is a VERY middle of the pack cigar. To be fair, the burn was excellent, and the price on these is an advantage, at just under $7 each, but with so many new and better blends being released for about the same price, I will not be wasting any more time on this cigar.
Final Score: 80