Like most cigars, there is a colorful story behind the “Blends from the Vault” series in the Toraño family lineup. Company president Charlie Toraño’s father, Carlos kept a diary of ‘secret’ blends that dates back to 1982, which the company secures in a locked ‘Vault’. This D-042 is a follow up to the highly acclaimed A-008 and was one of two new cigars launched by Toraño Family Cigars at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show.
From the company’s website:
According to President Charlie Toraño, “My father and I discovered a rare Pennsylvania leaf, while on a 1998 tobacco trip. Extensive experimentation revealed it to be an excellent enhancement to the filler tobaccos in Blend D-042 which we recorded in the blend book in 2004. The Pennsylvania tobacco’s flavor perfectly balanced the Nicaraguan filler combination. The original blend had a Sumatra Ecuadorian wrapper which was a popular choice at the time and widely available. In making some small adjustments to the original blend, we added a Habano Ecuadorian wrapper and the result was impressive. Blend D-042 is a powerful smoke, but with long and lingering sweet spice notes, it is very rounded and flavorful. It’s a fitting addition to our Vault line, complementing our runaway top-seller and widely distributed Vault Blend A-008.”
I met D-042, nicknamed ‘Red Vault’, at a Toraño family gathering hosted by the Brown Stone Bar & Grill in Metuchen, NJ. Upon the arrival of each party guest, he/she was immediately hooked up with three sisters from the Toraño family to schmooze with throughout the evening. It was an extremely tough decision but I chose ‘Red Vault’ as my mistress for the night.
It was her fine Robusto frame (5 x 52) and seductive earthy, spicy/sweet scent that lured me in. She was an extremely attractive dame dressed in a stunning oily, chocolate brown Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that was a bit toothy with near invisible seams. She wore an intricate, highly detailed red, gold and black band that made a bold statement against her rich, dark complexion. She also wore a simple, yet classy foot band with her name tattooed in a sexy handwriting-styled font. Her binder was Nicaraguan Habano while her fillers were also Nicaraguan (Esteli, Jalapa) blended with Pennsylvania tobacco (the secret ingredient). Her construction was firm and well-packed.
I moseyed on up to the bar with my gorgeous gal in hand to pick up a Grey Goose martini to join us for wild ménage a trois. While waiting for the ‘Goose’ I firmly grabbed my gal, clipped her cap and gently massaged her foot with my lightation device. She must not have liked my early advances because my initial few puffs were a bit rough. I was hit with an abundance of sharp pepper. So I laid her down for a bit to let her warm up and get used to being with an alpha male. This must have done the trick because she calmed down quite a bit and mellowed out. As the first third of our evening progressed she was a much more pleasant sweet treat. She started to offer me earthy, sweet tobacco flavors with much less spice and a hint of nuttiness in the background. She was turning out to be a nice spicy/sweet lady. As the first third of our tryst started to wind down, I started to taste hints of chocolate and wood in her profile.
Her draw was damn-near perfect and her burn was slow but slightly uneven. Her ash was white but not as firm as most other well-constructed sticks that I have kept company with lately. However, this man doesn’t always like a firm ash. Depending on the gal, sometimes a nice loose ash is more fun to work with. Her smoke output was plentiful. She let out screams of thick, creamy smoke after each one of my tender kisses that permeated the garden with aromatic plumes of bliss.
I am so grateful to the Toraño family for dipping into their blending vault to construct this irresistible gal who continued to impress me as I moved down her body and progressed into the second third of her tight Robusto frame. At this point I was starting to get a little buzz as her strength, coupled with my martini, started to sneak up on me. Earlier in the evening I would have said she was of solid medium strength but now she was starting to ramp up a bit. Yet she remained smooth and well balanced – free of the harshness that often accompanies a bold cigar. She was giving me a nice mix of flavors. The flavors from the first third remained but the pepper started to increase a bit and the chocolate and earth flavors started to get a little bolder as well. Her smoke was definitely creamy and her finish was rich, creamy and long lasting. It lingered nicely on the palate in between puffs to remind me of her unforgiving kisses.
Our evening started to wind down as I was now into the final third of our tryst. Her body definitely inched up pretty close to becoming a full body/full strength gal. Her burn and draw was still very good. All the above mentioned flavors remained but she started to add slight leather and rich tobacco flavors to her profile. She is quite a complex lady who knows how to please a man. Her cool burn allowed me to smoke her down until my fingers burned – a nubber for sure.
‘Red Vault’, as she has become known as, was a solid smoke that was very complex and smooth. She delivered a quality smoking experience that offered a well-balanced flavor profile that is rich, bold and extremely tasty. Her construction was great, her smoke output was plentiful and her burn line was not a problem while remaining cool throughout. I definitely recommend this cigar for most smokers, however just be weary of her sneaky strength that definitely ramps up as the night goes on.
Made by Toraño Family Cigars
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Habano Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaraguan – Esteli & Jalapa
Strength: Medium+ – Full
Price: $7.20 USD