August 27, 2012

Review Torano Salutem

Today's review is for one of the new offerings from Torano Family Cigars, which was recently launched at IPCPR 2012. From what I've been told by a dear friend who works for the company, Salutem has been in the works for a long time.

Some quotes from the official Press Release: Salutem is packaged in a unique 12 count box. The cigar is dressed in a beautiful Habano Ecuador wrapper, complemented by a binder from Jalapa, Nicaragua and completed with filler tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Cameroon. While ToraƱo blends have featured tobacco from Cameroon in the past, this is the first time Cameroon has been a component of the filler, giving Salutem a distinctive, rich cocoa flavor.

Salutem is inspired by the character and strong will of those who overcome great challenges and adversity. Salutem represents a celebration of life and raises a toast to all those who live life to the fullest.

Vitola: Robusto
Length: 5
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Cameroon
Price: $?
Smoking Location: My back deck
Beverage: water


My Salutem had a nice elegant looking light/medium brown wrapper. There were a few veins but they didn't take away from the overall smooth texture of the leaf. I'm not totally sold on the design of the band, but I do like the chosen color scheme. The pre-lit aroma consisted of a raisin aroma mixing in with some black pepper. The cigar actually made me sneeze, so I knew there was some power in there. The cap clipped without issue and the cold draw tasted of red wine and black cherries -- an interesting taste for sure.

First Third
The foot of my Salutem lit easily and started off with a bang of flavors. The front of the profile had a lot of the black cherry notes I picked up on the cold draw, and the finish had a spicy white pepper flavor. The black cherry was very strong and this is the first non-Illusione brand stick I have had that from. Good company to be in, for my personal tastes. The smoke was a little airy and not very dense, but that didn't take away from the strong flavor. I did have to correct the burn once, but after that, the cigar burned straight. The nicotine level was a solid medium.

Second Third
The second third of my Salutem had some additions to the flavor profile both on the front and the finish. The front still had the solid black cherry flavor, but now a salty taste had also started up. That might sound off-putting, but it was unique and actually very tasty. The finish was a bit more of a challenge for me to distinguish. The white pepper was still there, but there was something else that I couldn't put my finger on. The best I could describe it as was a generic nut flavor. Maybe closest to walnuts? I wasn't really sure. The nicotine level moved up a bit during my second third and fell in the lower end of full.

Final Third and Final Thoughts 
The final third of my Salutem saw the black cherry flavor dissipate into more of a burnt sugar sweetness on the front end. The spicy finish also backed off and now tasted of black coffee. Burnt sugar and coffee, a nice finish to almost anything. I smoked this stick down to the nub and it never got hot nor had any other construction issues. The nicotine level stayed in the lower full range.

Final thoughts on the Torano Salutem? In the last few years Torano has been really stepping up their game. The Salutem is another large step forward and, for me, I'll make the bold statment that it is the best thing they are currently putting on the market (taking over the Vault, which I said the same thing about last year.) The flavors were strong and well balanced from front to finish. Keep the momentum going Charlie and crew. 

Would I buy it again? Yes.

Would I buy a box? It's only a 12 count box, so for sure box worthy.