Certified Tobacconist’s Review: Carlos Torano 1916 Cameroon RobustoAuthor: Marty Klausmeier | Filed under: Cigar Reviews
Brand/Line: Carlos Toraño 1916 Cameroon
Purchase date: 5/1/2011
Smoke date: 7/9/2011
Vitola: Corona Gorda
Size: 5 ½” x 52
Purchase price: $104.95/box of 25 || $25.95/5-pack || singles not available from Mike’s Cigars
Packaging: Cellophane wrapped singles
Country of Origin: Estelí, Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaraguan Havana-seed
Filler blend: Honduras, Nicaragua
Manufacturer: Latin Cigars de Nicaragua y Toraño Cigars
Blender: (see “Discussion” below)
Distributor: Toraño Cigars
Appearance: Peeking through between the ½ length cedar wrap and the attractive gold on green, double bands of the Carlos Toraño 1916 Cameroon robusto is a nice, colorado shade Cameroon wrapper. The wrapper shows prominent tooth and a nice reddish hue when viewed closely. A quick look at the foot reveals a balanced blend of light, medium, and dark tobacco leaves in the filler. From a strictly aesthetic perspective this is a beautifully presented cigar.
Construction: After removing the cedar wrap, examination of the cigar reveals a solidly constructed cigar with no soft spots or tight feeling areas. The size of the cigar along with its weight give this robusto a solid “in the hand” feel.
Cut and light: I made my cut using a cutter and was rewarded with a perfectly removed cap. The cold draw on the 1916 Cameroon was easy, without feeling loose and had a distinct aroma of sweet spice, just the way a good Cameroon wrapper should taste. Toasting the foot of the cigar with a single-jet torch lighter produced fine, blue wisps of smoke that had a pleasant, woody aroma. The cigar proceeded to light perfectly.
The Smoke: The first puffs from this cigar were pleasantly mild, with a hint of that classic Cameroon “sweet, spiciness.” This cigar opened mild with mild aromas in the nose and a short, sweet finish. Sweet, woody flavors accompanied the mild bodied yet thick smoke, which when taken all together as a whole produced a cigar with a mild and sweet beginning that didn’t overpower the senses at the outset.
As the cigar progressed toward the half-way point the burn continued perfectly straight. While the cigar maintained its mild overall body, the woody aromas were joined by a mild spice. The mild flavors from the opening third were replaced with a more solid woody flavor with a light sweetness and spice. The finish developed a slight saltiness that balanced the sweet and spicy flavors nicely.
As I approached the secondary band, the burn continued to be perfect. The Toraño 1916 developed a more medium body while the aromas of wood and spice continued to intensify. The predominantly woody flavors were joined by a subtle, peppery taste, which complemented each other well. The finish in the final third was much longer than at the opening and featured rich and woody flavors, with a tang and a slight saltiness. These combined resulted in a very mouthwatering end to each puff.
Smoke time: 55 minutes
Discussion: According to a contact at Toraño Family Cigar Company, the Carlos Toraño 1916 Cameroon line was created as a family effort to celebrate the year the Toraño family began in the cigar business, with Carlos Toraño, Sr. doing the blending, . I would have to say that the Toraños have paid their respects to history in exemplary fashion.
I remember reading somewhere that, “Cameroon wrappers don’t improve with age, so the flavors of the cigars will never change…” Well, I can truthfully say that simply is not true. Take as a case in point the Carlos Toraño 1916 Cameroon Robusto reviewed here.
For this review, I purchased three 1916 Cameroon robustos and three 1916 Cameroon Churchill’s. These cigars were stored in a well-seasoned humidor that held between 68-70% rH and 68-71 degrees Fahrenheit. I smoked the cigars for this review over the period of two months with the final cigar smoked being used for the notes for this review.
I smoked the first of the three cigars seven days after purchase. While the cigar was very good, the flavors just seemed a little flat. The cigar also felt a little wet. The second cigar was smoked three weeks after the first, or four weeks after purchase. This cigar was very different from the first. In terms of flavors, the woody, spicy tastes were beginning to exert themselves and the cigar was a more medium body. The final cigar was the best of the bunch.
Over the period of two month and one week, the Carlos Toraño 1916 Cameroon robusto most certainly improved. Thinking about the cigars and how they smoked when compared, I can honestly attribute a good deal of the difference in the way the cigars smoked to over humidification. I purchased these cigars at a local tobacconist who runs 3 large aerosolizing humidifiers in his walk-in at all times. Depending on the proximity of your purchase to one of these mist spewing leviathans, your cigars can wind up rather moist. I firmly believe that the two month and change allowed the cigars to progressively regain their equilibrium and redistribute the moisture throughout the full thickness of the cigar.
If the changes can’t be blamed on over humidification, the argument that Cameroon wrappers don’t improve with age is flawed, as either way, the three cigars I smoked most certainly improved from “um, good,” to “I like this” to, “damned good cigar
Why I like this cigar:
I’m a very visual person and the presentation of the Carlos Toraño 1916 Cameroon is simply elegant. A deep green background set off by the graceful gold lettering and adornments on both the band and the secondary band is a very nice touch on this cigar. The cedar wrap from foot past mid-point on the cigar complete what is one of the best packaged cigars for the price on the market today. Well, I think so.
When I was searching for cigars with Cameroon wrappers to review, the Carlos Toraño 1916 Cameroon stood out visually from every other cigar, and luckily, this carried over to the cigar itself.
The Carlos Toraño Cameroon 1916 is a beautiful cigar wrapped with a toothy Cameroon wrapper that compliments the blend throughout the length of the smoke. The 1916 managed a smooth transition from an initially mild, Cameroon experience to a medium-bodied, blend with outstanding Cameroon flavors and aromas accompanied by a varying finish that was never harsh or bitter.
The Toraño Cameroon 1916 would be an ideal after dinner cigar for the smoker that has graduated from Macanudo and other mild blends and is ready to pursue something with more flavor and complexity. For the seasoned smoker, the Carlos Toraño 1916 Cameroon robusto would make an interesting cigar to pair with a nice, smooth whiskey and a good book.
Marty Klausmeier, CCT
Certified Consumer Tobacconist
Managing Editor, CigarCaptain.com