The Torano Salutem was one of two new blends launched by Torano Family Cigars at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show. The Salutem follows up the release of the Torano Master Maduro that had be launched prior to the trade show. With the Salutem, the big”first” by Torano is the incorporation of Cameroon tobacco into the filler. Torano is well known for using Cameroon on the wrapper for its Carlos Torano 1916 Cameroon, but the Salutem marks the first time of Torano using it as a filler. I have recently had an opportunity to smoke the Torano Salutem – and definitely found a cigar with a unique flavor profile and impeccable construction.
The name Salutem has latin origins, and that plays into the theme of this particular cigar. According to the press release for the Salutem:
Salutem, which is actually a Latin term used when extending a friendly greeting… 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.
Let’s break down the Torano Salutem and see what this cigar brings to the table:
In addition to the Cameroon filler, there is also a mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco in the filler. Nicaraguan tobaacco from Jalapa is also used for the binder. The wrapper used is one that has been the story of 2012 – Ecuadorian Habano.
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Binder: Jalapa (Nicaraguan)
Filler: Cameroon, Dominican Corojo, Esteli (Nicaraguan)
The Salutem is currently being launched in four frontmarks:
BFC: 6 1/8 x 60
Piramide: 6 1/8 x 52
Robusto: 5 x 52
Toro: 5 5/8 x 55
For this cigar experience, I went with the Robusto vitola of the Torano Salutem. The cigar’s Ecuadorian Habano wrapper has a medium brown color to it. The wrapper’s complexion can best be described as slightly oily. There are some visible wrapper seams and visible veins, but I would not describe this wrapper as being very “veiny”. There is a nice sweet cedary aroma from the foot of the cigar.
Ever since Torano rebranded the company as Torano Family Cigars in 2010, there has been considerable attention given to detail of the bands and packaging (much of this work comes from their creative team that we talked to at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show). The Salutem is no exception to this. With the Salutem, the band has a Roman/Latin feel to it. The color scheme of the band is brown and silver. The brown color almost blends right in with the wrapper’s color. The upper portion of the band has a brown background. It also has a silver Roman-like plate design with the text “Salutem” in a Roman-like font. The lower portion of the band has a silver background. The Torano shield sits on top of the background. Under that shield is the text “TORANO” in brown font. To the lower left of the band is the text “manu facta” (Latin for “made by hand”) in small brown font. To the lower right of the band is the text “hand made” in small brown font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the Torano Salutem, I went with a straight cut into the cap of the cigar. I then proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes treated me to a mix of cedar spice and natural tobacco sweetness. As I progressed with the dry draw, there were times the spice had a black pepper flavor to it. Overall I considered this a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to toast the foot of the Salutem and see what this cigar would have in store.
The start of the Torano Salutem provided a mix of pepper and leather notes to start. The leather notes quickly changed to more of a nut flavor. The start was definitely on the peppery side. For the most part the pepper and nut notes were the primary flavors throughout the first five percent of the smoking experience.
Between the five and ten percent, some sugar cane notes emerged in the background. I inferred that the Cameroon filler was now coming into play providing the sweet flavors. These notes nicely balanced the nut and pepper notes that were still in forefront. As the cigar progressed through the first third, the sugar cane changed to a more traditional natural tobacco sweetness. By the second third of the smoking experience, the natural tobacco sweetness became primary along with the nut and pepper flavors.
Late in the second third, some oak notes surfaced. Eventually the oak displaced the nut flavors. The natural tobacco sweetness also greatly diminished. The result was that the pepper and oak notes were left standing toward the close of the Salutem. The spice resulted in a little bit of harshness toward the end. The resulting nub was from a construction standpoint was ideal as it was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall the Torano Salutem is a well-constructed cigar – and this is reflected in the burn and draw characteristics of this cigar. The burn of the Salutem scores highly. The burn remained very sharp from start to finish requiring minimal touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color. The ash remained relatively firm with only some minor flaking along the way. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw equally scores high. The Salutem had no draw issues on each of the samples that I smoked. Overall, this was a very enjoyable cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Torano Salutem provided more of a nicotine kick then I had expected. For the first half of the cigar experience, I assessed the Salutem to be medium to full strength. In the second half, I felt the strength actually moved into the full strength spectrum. It isn’t the most overwhelming full strength cigar, but it still had enough kick to be full strength.
The flavor notes had some nice depth to them as well. The flavors started out medium to full-bodied, and by the second half, the flavors also progressed to full-bodied. The strength and body of this cigar maintain a solid equilibrium creating a nice balance between the attributes.
From a flavor standpoint, the Torano Salutem is going to produce some good flavors. The flavor profile was more of the classic no-frills variety. In other words, it isn’t going to do anything revolutionary, but it isn’t going to produce a bad flavor profile. The Salutem will also offer a well-constructed product. I definitely would steer this to the experienced cigar enthusiast – particularly those who like a classic flavor profile. I would also steer a novice cigar enthusiast looking to graduate to something stronger and more full as this cigar will not overwhelm them. This cigar doesn’t quite fit my flavor profile, but from time to time I can see this as a nice change of pace cigar. Still it is a cigar I would recommend as I do think this can fit other people’s flavor profile.
Strength: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were both purchased and provided as a sample. The purchased cigars were purchased from Outman Cigars in Greenville, South Carolina. The samples were provided by Torano Family Cigars. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this review.