Torano Vault D-042 – Robusto

The Torano Vault D-042 was one of two new cigars launched by Torano Family Cigars at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show. The D-042 marks what is termed the second of the “Blends from the Vault” – following up 2011’s Torano Vault A-008. The story of the “Blends from the Vault” series is pretty well documented. Company president Charlie Torano’s father Carlos started a cigar blend book that logged all of the blends since 1982 worked on by company.  This book is literally kept under lock and key in a safety deposit box (i.e. “Vault”). The purpose of this series was to revisit some of these blends, tweak them, and see if they can come to reality.  This is what was done with 2011’s A-008 and this is what was done with the D-042.  Torano Family Cigars has been pretty consistent in terms of releasing quality blends over the past few years, and the D-042 is no exception.  I recently had a chance to smoke the D-042.  The D-042 blend is one that holds its own and delivers a quality smoking experience.

When the cigar was announced, Charlie Torano story for how this blend came to be:

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.”

Let’s take a closer look at the Torano Vault D-042 and see what this cigar brings to the table:

Blend Profile

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Pennsylvania, Nicaragua

Vitolas Available

The cigar is available in four sizes.  The cigars will be packaged in cedar-lined boxes of 20 with the exception of the BFC vitola which will be packaged in boxes of 18.

BFC: 6 x 60
Robusto: 5 x 52
Toro: 6 x 50
Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52Appearance

For this cigar experience, I opted to go with the robusto vitola.  The D-042 robusto’s Ecuadorian Habano wrapper has a milk chocolate color.  It also has an oily complexion to it.  There are some visible veins and the wrapper seams are well hidden.

The band has a red, gold, and black. The use of red on the band has given this cigar the nickname the “red vault” or “vault red”.  The cigar features the text “VAULT” in black font on a red background.  Above that in small black font is the text “Blends from the”.  To the left of that text is is a gold colored crown surrounded by a circle.  To the right is a gold and black shield enclosed in a circle.  The upper portion of the band features a gold colored key surrounded by gold adornments and black trim.  The lower part of the band has thick gold stripe.  It features a black Torano Family shield with the text “TORAÑO” in large black font.  To the left is the text “HAND MADE” in black font while to the right is the text “HECHO A MANO” – also in black font.   There is also black trim along the lower portion of the band.

There is also a red colored footer band featuring the text “D-042” in a handwritten-styled black font.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting up my Torano Vault D-042 Robusto, I opted to use a straight cut to remove the cap.  I then moved on to the pre-light draw phase.  The dry draw notes were on the bolder side as I got notes of earth, pepper, and citrus.  Overall I was quite pleased with the pre-light draw from this cigar.  At this point, I was ready to remove the fort band from my D-042, light up this cigar, and see what the smoking phase would deliver.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Torano Vault D-042 provided a shot of pepper to start.  The pepper receded and was joined by some notes of earth and citrus.  I could also detect the pepper on the retro-hale as well and it was definitely sharper through the nasal passages.

Around the five percent mark, the earth notes became primary.  The citrus and pepper notes receded into the background.  The pepper had a slight lingering effect on the tongue (as Charlie Torano said above), but was still more prominent on the retro-hale.  I also detected the emergence of some chocolate notes in the background.

In the second half, I definitely noticed an increase in both the pepper and chocolate notes  Both flavors would make their way into the forefront from time to time, but the earth notes still remained a constant as a primary flavor.  The citrus notes provided some sweetness in the background – without delivering an acidic taste.  This is the way the flavor profile held until the end.  I did not find the D-042 to be harsh at the end.  The resulting nub was on the firm and cool side.

Burn and Draw

On each smoke I had, the burn line of the Torano Vault D-042 tended to be on the jagged side. While it did not tunnel or canoe,  it still seemed like it needed some touch-ups to keep it straight. The ash was a little more on the looser side than I preferred.  The ash was mostly white in color with some darker streaks mixed into it.  The burn temperature was ideal.  I did find the Torano Vault D-042 Robusto to burn on the slow side, but this didn’t have any negative impacts in terms of flavor.

Burn of the Torano Vault D-042

From a draw perspective, I found the Torano Vault D-042 to perform ideally.  There was a touch of resistance on the draw – which is something that I like.  This made for an enjoyable smoking experience.

Strength and Body

When the Torano Vault D-042 was announced, I got the perception that this was going to be a stronger, more-fuller offering by Torano Family Cigars.  In general, Torano is better known for medium/medium+ cigars in terms of strength and body.  While it still might have a touch more strength and body than most Torano cigars, I still found the Torano Vault D-042 to be a medium strength and medium-bodied offering.   I don’t think this is a negative – as I found that this worked well for this particular blend.  In terms of strength versus body, both attributes balance each other well with neither attribute overshadowing the other.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I did consider this to be a solid offering to the Torano Family Cigars portfolio.   I felt the D-042 delivered some very good flavors.  The burn was more of a nuisance, but there was not a point where ever wanted to put this cigar down.  When I smoke the first Torano Vault – the A-008, I noted how that cigar had some Dominican qualities even though there was no Dominican tobacco. To me, the D-042 had more Nicaraguan qualities (and it does have Nicaraguan tobacco), so I found the two Vault cigars can complement each other very nicely.  While I would still put 2011’s A-008 blend a notch higher (it was our #27 Cigar of the Year),  the D-042 is still a nice smoke.  This is a cigar I’d recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast.  As for myself, this is a worthy of a five pack – and one that I would smoke again.


Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium
Finish: Good
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
Score: 89


Source: Purchased
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 74
Stogie Feed: Torano Vault D-042 Robusto