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Old 05-23-2023, 08:18 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,568
Carlos TorañO Virtuoso

These are about 5 years old, maybe 6. A gift from my daughter. I'm not really an NC smoker but with prices on the island through the roof I am trying to find something I like. I do have a few on hand in in the coming weeks will review them all.

Ok so we start off taking this out of the cellophane. It's a beast of a cigar. 6.5 x54. It has a dark Nicaraguan Colorado Oscuro shade wrapper. It's a well made cigar. No soft spots and what veins there are are fairly unobtrusive.
Construction quality and appearance I give it a 9.

1st draw I got more than a hint of pepper on the preflight. Then it was gone so not sure what that was about but that was 1st impression.
Bit tough to get lit at 1st but once lit it stayed lit and is burning very well just about 1 1/2" in. At 1 inch the ash fell off. Onto my keyboard too so I wasn't to happy about it but it didn't crumble into light ash anyway so it cleaned up easily.
Flavor thus far has been fairly mild. More earth than anything else. Maybe a slight espresso note in there as well. No pepper or spice at all. Aroma is nice as well.
I'm not even a third of the way in and am asking myself what I got myself into. The volume of smoke has been decent thus far but is definitely picking up the further in I smoke it. Still,very smooth earthy flavors

Finally reach that 1/3 point and I knock off the 2nd " of ash on my own rather than wait for it to mess on my keyboard again.
Burn is still excellent as is the volume of smoke. So far no flavor profile changes. just rich earthy tobacco with a slight cocoa or expresso note as well.

At the 1/2 way mark, still not much change in flavor profile. Volume of smoke is slightly higher and maybe a little more cocoa is coming through. Also a slight mineral note on the pallet overall. Not unpleasant and might even call it a pinch of pepper.

So Just about down to the last 1/3 and for about the last inch or so the earthy component has taken on a slightly sweet note to it.

Ok I now finished. I realize I stopped reviewing on a blow by blow basis but that's because this thing turned into something really amazing to me.
This last 3rd and finish had a little more pepper to it but not much until the very end. There was also a little salty note that appeared, dare I say similar to a cuban? Holy cow did this finish strong. Slight tingling on the lips and a nice strong tobacco aftertaste.
The whole way through you could tell this was very good tobacco. The 1st half just had a one dimensional earthy flavor to it and to be honest it was good but not something I would seek out. However, that last 3rd turned into something spectacular. Keep in mind this is coming from someone who has been a cuban smoker for the last 23 years. Other than a couple of Fuente Hemingway series, I really haven't had a non cuban in probably 22 years. I really did not expect this.
So, high quality tobacco all the way through, great construction, spectacular burn and after 5 or 6 years, they obviously age ok. Would I go out and buy more? Just because of the finish I would if they were affordable and I could actually find them. I did see some other lines but the virtuoso I did not find. (Yea I went and looked after this finish. )

I hate to put a number score on it because I really have nothing to compare it to in many many years other than Cubans which isn't a fair comparison. It is very good though. Full bodied for sure and it packs a bit of a kick on the finish.

If anyone has experience with the other lines of Carlos Toraño I am all ears.
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