|Charlie Torano Captiva Robusto|
At the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show, Torano Family Cigars showcased a cigar called the Charlie Torano Captiva. As the name indicates, it was intended to be an eponymous cigar for then company president Charlie Torano. Plans were to release the cigar post IPCPR, but then things changed when it was announced that General Cigar had acquired the brands of Torano Family Cigars. As a part of this acquisition, Charlie Torano did not come on board with General full-time. With the Torano portfolio transitioning into General, the release of the cigar was deferred. Recently the cigar has made its way to some retailers. Today, we take a look at the Charlie Torano Captiva in the Robusto format. Overall, I found this to be a very traditional cigar, and one that definitely lacked the wow factor.
The Charlie Torano Captiva not only has Charlie Torano’s name on it, but it also has the name of one of Torano’s favorite places – Captiva. This is an island that is located off the coast of Southwestern Florida. With Charlie not coming on board with General, I’m still curious as to what the plan will be to market this cigar as well as with the brand as a whole. However, for now, we look at the cigar and see how it stands on its own merit.
For this assessment, we defer to our Pre-Review format. The reason is that we are basing this assessment on pre-release cigars provided by Torano Family Cigars when they still existed as a company. At some point, we will revisit this cigar and provide an assessment rating and score.
The Charlie Torano Captiva features an Ecuadorian wrapper. According to Torano Family Cigars, the fillers were specifically selected by Charlie Torano.
Binder: Not disclosed
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
The Captiva has been launched in four sizes.
Robusto: 5 x 52
Toro: 6 x 50
BFC: 6 x 60
Churchill: 7 x 47
The Ecuadorian wrapper of the Charlie Torano Captiva Robusto has a woody, medium-brown color. When the cigar was announced, it was said to be an oily wrapper, but I found the wrapper had more of a light coating of oil. There were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams, but overall I found the Charlie Torano Captiva Robusto to be on the smooth side.
The band to the Charlie Torano Captiva has a nautical theme to it. The band features a white oval-shaped background with light gray (sea-like) ripples and a light gray stingray. Overlaying the background and images is the text “CAPTIVA” in large nautical blue font. Above that is the text “CHARLIE TORAÑO” in smaller nautical blue font. There is a blue, white, and aqua colored frame surrounding the oval. At the top of the frame is a small blue and gold anchor. At the bottom is what was the green, gold, and black Torano Family Cigars shield. There is white background on the left and right of the band. Sitting in the middle that background is a row of blue “radar” like designs. There is gold trim, with gold dotted and dashed lines above and below the radar design patterns. The band itself also has gold trim.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Charlie Torano Captiva Robusto, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut. Once I removed the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw did provide several flavor nuances including notes of generic wood, cedar, natural tobacco, and floral. Overall I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. At this point I was ready to light up the Charlie Torano Captiva and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Charlie Torano Captiva Robusto delivered notes of natural tobacco, floral, and a secondary white pepper note. Throughout the smoke, pepper had a definite lingering effect on the tongue – and could also be detected on the retro-hale.
During the first third, the natural tobacco notes became primary and delivered some sweetness. There also was a generic wood note that accompanied the natural tobacco. Meanwhile both the white pepper and floral notes were secondary. There was a slight alternating pattern between the wood and natural tobacco, but overall this flavor pattern remained for the duration of the first two thirds.
During the last third, I found the white pepper joined the wood notes in the forefront. The floral and natural tobacco notes remained secondary. This is the way the flavor profile came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall I would classify the burn of the Charlie Torano Captiva Robusto as “good”, but it could have been better. While the burn path remained straight, the burn line itself was jagged and irregular and did require multiple touch-ups. The resulting ash was slightly loose with a charcoal gray in color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Charlie Torano Captiva Robusto – Burn|
The draw was a low maintenance one. It was not too tight, nor too loose. This made it easy to derive flavors from.
Strength and Body
Most of the cigars that came from Torano Family Cigars tended to fall into the medium strength category, therefore it did not surprise me that the Charlie Torano Captiva started out as medium in strength. The strength did increase and by the last third, it had progressed into medium to full. Meanwhile the body also started out medium and by the second half, it had progressed to medium to full. For most of the cigar experience, the strength and body of this cigar balanced each other nicely.
Late in 2013, Torano Family Cigars released what I considered to be one of its best releases to date – the Torano Exodus 1959 Finite 2013. Since the Captiva was (for all practical purposes) the encore to the Finite and because it carried Charlie Torano’s name, I had high expectations. Unfortunately this was not the case. This wasn’t a bad cigar, but as I stated up front, it lacked some “wow” factor, and it made the Captiva an uninteresting smoke. I also didn’t get a ton of complexity from this cigar. If you are looking for a very basic and traditional smoking cigar, this might be a cigar for you. This is also a cigar that either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast can smoke. As for myself, I’ll still revisit it again down the road and see if it develops some more.
Strength: Medium, Medium to Full (Last Third)
Body: Meidum to Full