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Out of the three IPCPR trades shows that have passed in my time here with BCP, I’m pretty sure 2012 had the most big-name new releases yet. We’ve seriously got a ton of awesome new products on the horizon, as well as pre-release samples of a slew of new cigars for review. Now that the smoke has cleared a bit from all the news and announcements, I figured I’d break out the first new review: the Carlos Toraño Salutem. The Salutem, one of three new Toraño releases from this years show in Orlando, is comprised of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Jalapa Valley binder, and fillers from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Cameroon. For today’s test smoke I whipped out the Robusto Extra (5×52).
The Salutem wore a thick, oily Habano wrapper with a slick silver and brown band. The cigar had a nice, clean look to it and construction appeared to be up to par. Pre-light draws were woody and wide-open, and I got straight to the toasting.
The stick lit up to an intro of bold pepper with a nutty finish. Notes of cedar and a lingering spice followed soon after, along with a hint of caramel sweetness. The smoke itself was pouring out super-dense and thick through one of the easiest draws I’ve ever experienced. Although this stogie is billed as medium-bodied, it came across a little stronger than I had expected and I paced myself accordingly for the rest of the smoke.
By the time I burned into the 2nd third the spice had cooled off a bit and the sweetness had become more apparent. The “base” flavors of the cigar were of leather and smoky cedar, and I had accumulated a thick dirty-grey ash. Eventually the sweetness morphed into more of a dried fruit taste and a strong earthy note began to permeate the profile.
Just as I reached the final third of the cigar I decided to do a quick purge to see how it would affect the flavors. Post-purge notes of earth, cedar, hay, malty sweetness, and rich tobacco tasted crisp and clean. The burn-line remained perfectly straight, as it had been since I first lit up, and the Salutem remained robust and well-balanced. This stogie continued to spew huge plumes of chewy and tasty smoke until I finally set the nub down.
The Toraño Salutem definitely stood out from any Toraño cigar I had tasted previously. The flavors were layered and interesting without being overly complex, and the draw was effortless, to the point where I had to hold back the strength of my puffs. This thing was smokin’ like a damn chimney! I think some of the cool sweetness I tasted can be attributed to the inclusion of Cameroon filler tobaccos, which is something you just don’t see very often. The Salutem’s unique blend of spicy and earthy tobaccos really hit the spot, and I’m guessing it would pair quite nicely with a cup of dark roast coffee. For this go-around I’m giving the Toraño Salutem a solid grade of B+, and I’ll be anxiously awaiting the chance to sample the other new Toraño stogies making their debut this fall.
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