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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first Casa Torano and I must say I'm very pleased. Just about every Torano cigar is a winner and at least this first sample suggests that the Casas are right up there with the best Torano makes. I'll post the results of a couple of other samples in the next few months to this thread.

Specs
Casa Torano Churchill
7X48

Wrapper: Ec-CT shade
Binder: Nic.
Filler: Hon., Nic. Central and S. American Tobaccos

Appearance: If you like pretty packaging, Casa Torano's got your number. 25 of the most evenly color matched cigars I've ever seen are housed in a thick dress box depicting a gorgeous tobacco field on the vista. It's rare to see a box of cigars this uniform. The wrapper is pretty much the same color as manila paper and looks nearly as smooth. There's a light satin like sheen of oils on this sample, some light viening and absolutely no blemishes.

Construction: The cigar seems surpisingly light. It's rolled very firmly, especially considering it's light heft, and evenly with no discernable soft spots or knots. An ample double cap tops off the cigar. A look at the foot shows an even roll with a delectable swirl of black tobacco working its way to the center. It cuts easily but with a few stray bits of tobacco. A preliminary pull reveals the draw is tighter than I expected, given its weight, and slightly tighter than I usually like. The burn is fairly even and corrects itself fairly well. The light grey ash is very solid with no flakes.

Taste: The prelight aroma was predominantly woody, a little herbal with some spice and leather thrown in for good measure. The first lighted pull gave me a taste of spice and wood while having a smooth creamy texture. The aroma starts off great -- sweet caramel and wood -- and it only gets better as the cigar burns down. In the first third the cigar tasted fairly sweet (I'll say caramel for now) with woody and slightly herbal notes. The texture of the smoke is very smooth and rich, like cream. It doesn't produce gobs of smoke but what smoke there is delivers gobs of flavor. As the cigar moved toward the middle the flavor settles on a very solid woody core while retaining the smoothness and picking up some spicy edge. Moving into the final third I noticed the faintest hint of dark cherry. The toasty caramel aspect of the smoke became more prominent. Wood flavors remained most prominent, the spice picked up a bit more and the creamy aspect diminished. Some very slight hints of leather came out at the nub. Strength: mild-med drifting to a solid med. To summarize flavor: "cedar milkshake".

Verdict: Fantastic cigar! Torano has made yet another extremely enjoyable cigar. I was a little concerned after reading some reviews elsewhere mentioning problems with the wrapper unraveling. This was not an issue with my sample. CA said the churchills lacked depth but whatever ... it tasted pretty damned good to me. My overall impression is that this is a refined, elegant smoke with a good amount of flavor. I suspect it would match well with champagne/bubbly. I'll bet I'll be smoking one for New Years. It's got a great roomnote and it's not terribly smoky so it's a good candidate for indoor smoking.

If you're not afraid of a mild-med cigar that's long on style and (fairly) short on price, I highly recommend the Casa Torano Churchill.
 

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Re: Casa Torano Churchill -- 12/12/04

Perhaps one of the best reviews I have read in a long time..Thank you! I plan on getting a few of these as soon as I can find some. I love the Exodus Silver, so I am sure this is another quality product. Enjoy em...Sounds like a great smoke!

Brett
 

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Re: Casa Torano Churchill -- 12/12/04

Nice review Eichen. I bought a box of the Churchills from Serious when they had their special last month. I smoked one of these just a few nights ago and wrote up a review, but have not posted yet. My sample was not a good experience though. Hopefully this was just one bad stick and the other 24 will live up to my expectations. Instead of waiting, I think I'll go ahead and smoke one this weekend and see if it was just one bad cigar. Anyway, here are my thoughts from saturday night:

Nice medium brown wrapper, a few veins, nicely capped. Slightly soft, but sprang back from squeezes. I punched it to keep the draw from being too loose. Pre light draw was a little plain and tasted grassy. Toasted the foot and lit her up (her??). Initial taste was sharp and a good bit harsh. Fortunately, I stopped by the liquor store on the way home to find Woodridge Reserve bourbon on sale for $22, so that smoothed the harshness a bit.

For the first inch, the taste was the same, grass, wood and harsh. Not a good start. As it burned further, the harshness smoothed out a bit and was replaced with just a hint of spice and an occasional taste of something sweet, sort of like caramel, but it was a fleeting taste. The second third was about the same, but most of the harshness was gone. Really nothing to taste but wood and grass and something I can't quite put my finger on, but I know I don't like it. Kind of reminded me of burning trash. For the last third, well I couldn't tell you. I walked away from it. Just not enjoying this one.

After reading the ad for these, how this was the blend the Toranos smoked at their plantation, I was really looking forward to this smoke, hoping it would be something like the 1916 with a little more kick. It's not. Maybe I just got a bad stick? I hope so, because I want to like these (since I have 24 more!). I'll give them a few months and try another.

GoatLocker
 

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What would Skeeter do?
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Re: Casa Torano Churchill -- 12/12/04

Great review Eichen! Makes me want to call up & order a box. Tried to give you ring gauge for this, but the powers that be won't let me give you any more just yet.
 

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Re: Casa Torano Churchill -- 12/12/04

One thing i think you can always count on with a Torano is that it will be expertly crafted. i have yet to come across a poorly constructed Torano, and this one appears no different. Thanks for the review. I think i'll pick one up on the way home today.

_________
rm
 

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Re: Casa Torano Churchill -- 12/12/04

Oustanding review Eichen,gonna check the local shop for them this weekend and pick up some to try.

Thanks
 

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Re: Casa Torano Churchill -- 12/12/04

I have tried a fiver of the torp size. I found it mild to mild/medium with a pleasing taste and excellent burn. The sticks were a tad soft, but I expect time to heal that problem.

I'm hoping to score a box from the W for Xmas. If not, let ODO take over. I happen to think they are worth a try.

K
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Casa Torano Churchill -- 12/12/04

Thanks for the compliments, folks. I'm glad you enjoyed my review (part one of three or so). I enjoy posting reviews more than anything else. I took a break for a few weeks (to see if I could still do it) and this was the first cigar I picked out to celebrate my sucess in an econ final.

GOAT LOCKER -- Wow, I couldn't have imagined an experience so different from mine! When the experience turns out like yours did, the only thing to do is walk away.

The only Torano cigar (that I've smoked) that never really did it for me was the Reserva Selecta nats -- and I admit I haven't given them a fair shake. I've had a few flukes from Torano but they were very isolated. I can only hope that was the case with yours. I rolled the dice on a box myself. I figured it was a fair gamble considering most of the reviews I'd seen were positive, that it came from Torano and that I'm always in the market for a mild stick.

I will report my observations in this thread with the next one I smoke. The contrast between your experience and mine demonstrate why a review based on one cigar may not accurately represent the rest. I hope your next one is better.

So did you get any fresh rolled Toranos with the Serious Torano sale? Just curious. I was very tempted to buy during that sale.

Is the consensus that they're shipping wet? Hopefully that's the issue.

.........................................................

And now.... Beer time!
 

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Re: Casa Torano Churchill -- 12/12/04

Eichen said:
GOAT LOCKER -- Wow, I couldn't have imagined an experience so different from mine! When the experience turns out like yours did, the only thing to do is walk away.
I was pretty surprized too. Hopefully it was a bad stick and the rest will be great. I'll report back here after my next one.

Eichen said:
So did you get any fresh rolled Toranos with the Serious Torano sale? Just curious. I was very tempted to buy during that sale.

Is the consensus that they're shipping wet? Hopefully that's the issue.
I didn't ask for any fresh rolled, but it's possible that's what I got. They didn't seem wet, but I did think it tasted young. Time will tell.

GoatLocker
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Casa Torano Churchill -- 12/12/04

Had my third of the box today: the first smoke of the new year. 1/1/05.

Construction and appearance remained much the same as the first reviewed sample. The ash on this and another Casa Churchill I've burned since the first review cigar had the slightest tendency to have a little flaking on the outside of the ash but overall it's firm and near-white as the previously reviewed sample.

Taste: I think I picked out a new aroma in the prelight: tea or something between tea and grass along with the other aromas I mentioned already. I compared the aroma of the cigar to a cup of tea I had sitting nearby and a component of both seemed remarkably similar.

First third: The cigar is at its grassiest in the first third. Wood seems the most prominant however. The creamy characteristic and a hint of caramel remain background at this point. Same enjoyable lit aroma.

Second third: The smooth creaminess reaches its peak in the second third but wood/tea/grass/veg seem to make up the core flavor here. Sweetness is noticible but remains in the background.

Final third: I picked up a sweet dry-fruit like note (raisin?) that combined with the wood/veg core flavor. It stayed smooth, somewhat buttery with some mild spice (not like pepper -- more along the lines of maybe a (this is stretching) ginger or nutmeg or something like that).

Flavor impression as best as I can determine (greatest --> least): Wood -- grass/veg/tea/ -- smooth creaminess -- caramel and later, sweet dry fruit with some light spice. Perhaps some more rest will bring greater definition to the wood-veg flavor. I still find it a very enjoyable cigar.

This probably would pair up pretty well with tea. I had my last sample after drinking a pot of Ceylon. It's worth a try.

I'm looking forward to GOAT LOCKER's impressions of the Casas once he revisits them.
 

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Re: Casa Torano Churchill -- 12/12/04

Eichen said:
I'm looking forward to GOAT LOCKER's impressions of the Casas once he revisits them.
I smoked my second Casa about a week after my first post, and while it was better than the first, it still tasted a little bad. Tonite, I smoked a third and these are my impressions.

I had daddy duty tonite and had to drive my daughter to the Y for gymnastics. I grabbed a Casa, dropped her off and stopped by starbucks for a cup of coffee to accompany it. This stick was very similar in construction to the first, but firmer.

I used the built in punch on the lighter and found the draw a little tight, but good enough. Pre-light draw had flavors of grass and wood. Toasted the foot and lit it. No harshness this time, just a mild taste of grass and wood. Ash was almost white and burn was pretty much perfect. Things were looking up.

I decided to to make a run to bevmo to pick up some rum and started driving. The first third was was a little too mild, but the flavor was nice. I ran in and picked up a couple bottles and was back in the truck in just a coup[le minutes. Cigar was still lit :) . During the second third, the intensity of the flavors picked up a bit with some vegetal tastes and a hint of sweetness in the background.

I got home at about the half way point and switched to one of the rums I just bought, Zaya Gran Reserva 12 year old. Nice compliment to the slight sweetness of the cigar. Not sure if the cigar's sweetness picked up some more, or if it was just the rum. Also, a little spice showed up.

With a little less than 1/3rd remaining, I began to taste the same unpleasant flavor of the first cigar. After tasting it on 3 pulls, I left the cigar.

Overall, it was a pleasant smoke, though a bit too mild for the first 1/2 hour or so. I have to wonder if these were just sick when I got them. Each one I smoke is better than the last. The bad taste was acrid, but not ammonia and there was not ammonia smell. I think I'll let them sit another month before I smoke another.

I'm still wondering if these were fresh rolled at Serious Cigars. The box had a Carlos Torano humidipak in it, is this standard for Toranos?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Casa Torano Churchill -- 12/12/04

AFAIK, the Casas are the only ones with the humidipack. I haven't bought a box of Toranos before the Casas for several months so I can't say if the rest have them. Any Toranosaurs out there know?

I appreciate your honest appraisal of the cigar. While I think that my Casas are smoking fairly well right now, I'm begining to think that they might benefit from some nap time. I'll bet these will improve given 6 mo to a year.

Right now enjoying a 3 y.o. Fuente 858 nat -- and it's still good!
E
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Casa Torano Churchill -- 12/12/04

Updated 12/18/05

Mild doesn't have to be a cuss word. These cigars showed a good deal of promise when I first opened the box that I received in late November or early December 2004 but occasionally showed some characteristics suggesting that the box needed some rest. This latest sample (smoked 18 Dec 05) surpassed my predictions of what this box would become a year ago. These cigars are ready to rock and are sure to be my choice for a milder special occasion or summer cigar.

Appearance: The straw colored wrapper shows little in the way of oil but this cigar (as expected from Torano) is well-rolled, even sided with very few veins or visible flaws.

Construction: The roll at the foot appeared somewhat loose; at the cut end of the head, the roll is dense and well-executed offering the perfect amount of resistance in the draw. The ample double cap is always a welcome sight for those who'd prefer not to break a sweat trying not to cut off too much. The ash was of medium density, white in color with a slight tendency to flake at the outermost layer. As always with Torano products the burn was excellent, although not always razor even. The burn will self-correct obviating any need for touch-ups when somewhat uneven.

Taste/Aroma: The unlit aroma along the wrapper exhibits the characteristic caramel sweetness of Connecticut Shade with hints of resinous softwood and/or freshly pulped underbrush (hack at some underbrush with a machete and you'll get the idea) and some very slight wisps of mustiness. The foot smelled predominantly of wood with maybe some earth. An unlit draw suggested woodiness and some vegetal (underbrush) notes.

Upon lighting I noted wood, spice and a touch of caramel sweetness. In the first third, flavors settled into an interesting balance of sweet, spicy and tannic (wood) flavors with hints of underbrush and very faint suggestions of earth. As the cigar approached the middle third, toasty-bread like notes appeared in the background, the spice and vegetation became more ephemeral while the sweetness maintained its presence along with wood. In the final third, woody flavors gradually took on a more resinous quality (like pine or cedar).

This light, fresh-tasting Churchill has a somewhat dry texture (I'm thinking along the lines of a drier white wine or tea), a mild-medium body and strength. I consider this an "elegant" cigar. It's something that won't be too overpowering as an indoor smoke in the winter while providing a flavorful smoking experience from the start.

With one year of box-rest, I recommend them highly without qualification.
 
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