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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Torano Vault Gold VLE100
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Nathan (nwb)
86
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Vendor sponsored Geek Critique.  Up for review this time is the Carlos Torano Vault Gold VLE100.  There are only 100 boxes of 9 cigars, so this is truly a micro-release.  We are truly very fortunate to be able to get a set of these for review as they were only available as an event cigar as a part of the "Blends From the Vault Tour".  This is the third installment of a special series of blends that Carlos Torano Sr. had kept in his personal blend book.  This critique has been generously sponsored by Torano Cigars.  A special thanks goes out to Carlos Torano Cigars for making this one happen and to Brad (Vroomp) for providing the sticks!

Length:
6
Ring Gauge:
60
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Secret
Binder:
Secret
Wrapper:
Secret
Color:
Maduro
Strength:
Medium
Shape:
Toro Gordo

This cigar was enjoyed with water.

Pre-Light: 19 Points of 10 Possible

This is a very visually appealing box-pressed behemoth of a cigar.  The wrapper leaf is milk chocolate brown and slightly mottled.  There are no major veins, and it feels silky smooth to the touch.  Only a very slight sheen of oil is present.  The solid gold embossed band is one of the highest quality I've ever seen, and it contrasts well with the color of the wrapper.  Construction is extremely good, with a cleanly applied cap and firm bunch along the entire length of the cigar.  Despite its size, it is fairly light and feels good in hand.  The prelight aroma smells of barnyard with a slightly sweet note, and the cold draw tastes of well aged tobacco.

Light & Burn: 12 Points of 15 Possible

The cigar cut cleanly with my Palio, and it lit easily with my torch.  The burn line started off razor straight and remained so through two inches.  However, it then became wavy.  Within the next inch, it self corrected to the point where I didn't have to do any touch-ups, but it remained slightly wavy through the nub.  The salt and pepper ash was very firm, holding up to two inches at a time.  Each draw allowed for a perfect amount of dense, rich smoke, and no relights were required.  Surprisingly, although the ring gauge is quite large, the total burn time was only about an hour and a half.

Construction: 27 Points of 30 Possible

The draw started off extremely loose, but after the first two draws, it became perfect with a slight resistance.  As mentioned on the prelight, the cap, wrapper, and bunch were all expertly done.  The only drawbacks were the burn line, which was wavy for the majority of the cigar, and the burn time, which was very short given the size of the cigar.

Flavor: 28 Points of 45 Possible

First Third - The cigar opens up with an earthy core and cayenne pepper spice on the finish.  Although it was boderline harsh, the profile mellows considerably after about half an inch.  From there, earth and leather dominate, and the overall flavor is extremely smooth.  There is a touch of pepper on the finish, just enough to keep it interesting.  Toward the end of this third, there was a note of citrus on the finish, something I probably would have missed had I not been concentrating for the critique.  The overall body is medium-full.

2/3 - More earth and leather dominate this third, and the pepper all but disappears.  The finish is remarkably clean and short, with a flavor that I couldn't quite place.  At points, it is almost acidic, but not to the point where it detracts from the overall flavor.  There was little complexity or transition into this third.

3/3 - The peppery spice returns in the last third, but the core flavors remain much the same.  By the time I reached the nub, the body had transitioned to full.  There was also quite a bit of nicotine, something I realized when I stood up.

Summary

Overall, was this a good cigar?  Yes.  Was it a great cigar?  No.  Although the core flavor was nice, there was little in the way of complexity or transition to the flavors.  Construction was good, with the exception of the wavy burn line.  Given the exclusivity of this particular cigar, the expectation is construction would be flawless.  Given the 5 country blend, the expectation is the flavor would be more complex.  Unfortunately, it loses points on both.



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