In January 2017, General Cigar Company added two new blends under its Toraño Vault line. The Vault line has been one of the focus lines under the Toraño ever since General acquired the brands of Toraño Family Cigars back in 2014. It was in 2011 when the Toraño Vault line made its debut under the moniker “Blends from the Vault”. The story of this line dates back to 1982 when then company president Carlos Toraño started a book that logged all of the blends that were being worked on by company. This book was literally kept under lock and key in a safety deposit box (i.e. “Vault”). The purpose of this series was to revisit some of those blends, tweak them, and then ultimately release to the market. Last year, General Cigar relaunched the Vault line with four new blends. The two new blends introduced in 2017 bring the total number of Vault blends to six. Today we take at one of those new lines under Toraño Vault – the Toraño Vault E-021 (also called the Toraño Vault Blue) in the Robusto size. Overall I found the team knocked it out of the park with Toraño E-021 0 delivering one of the best Toraño Cigar releases in recent years.
For each of the six blends introduced n the past year, the names of each of the blends are the names from the blend book. At the same time, they are also nicknamed for the color of the packaging.
With the addition of the two lines released in January, the Vault line has six different blends it offered:
- Toraño Vault E-021 (or Toraño Vault Blue) – an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper blend
- Toraño Vault W-009 (or Toraño Vault Yellow) – an Nicaraguan and Honduran blend
These are the four previous releases of Toraño Vault released by General list year include:
- Toraño Vault P-044 (or Toraño Vault Green, Brick and Mortar Exclusive) – a Nicaraguan puro
- Toraño Vault TM-027 (or Toraño Vault Purple, Brick and Mortar Exclusive) – a San Andres wrapper blend
- Toraño Vault C-033 (or Toraño Vault Orange, Internet / Catalog Exclusive) – a San Andres Oscuro wrapper blend
- Toraño Vault L-075 (or Toraño Vault Teal, Internet / Catalog Exclusive) – a Nicaraguan Sun Grown wrapper blend
There were also three legacy Toraño Vault cigars prior to the General Cigar acquisition of the brands:
- Toraño Vault A-008 – a Nicaraguan Sun Grown wrapper blend
- Toraño Vault D-042 – an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper blend
- Toraño Vault VLE100 – A very limited event only cigar used by Toraño Family Cigars; Blend Unknown
The new Toraño Vault cigars introduce new packaging, banding, and logos. While there is no doubt the cigars feature attention grabbing colors (this is facilitated the “color” nicknames for each of the Vault releases).
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Toraño Vault E-021 Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Toraño Vault E-021 features a four country multi-national blend highlighted by an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Jamastran (Honduras), Esteli (Nicaragua)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
As with all of the new Toraño Vault offerings from General Cigar, the Toraño Vault E-021 is packaged in 20 count boxes. The E-021 is available in two sizes.
Short Robusto: 4 1/2 x 50
Robusto: 5 x 52
The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper of the Toraño Vault E-021 Robusto has a medium brown color. Depending on how the light shines on it, the wrapper may give off a slight colorado tint. The surface of the wrapper has some oil on it. This is a wrapper that was on the smooth side. Any visible wrapper seams and veins are on the thin side.
The band to the Toraño Vault E-021 has a a blue color. When you unwrap the band, it has the shape of the new Toraño Vault shield logo when held sideways
The top of the band has blue background with the text “THE TORAÑO’S CLOSELY GUARDED VAULT OF FAMILY RECIPES HAS BEEN OPENED” (this is a slightly abridged version of this text from what was on the previous four Vault releases).
Just below that text is a black background with the text “TORAÑO” in large chrome font. And just below that is the text “VAULT” in smaller chrome font surrounded by chrome adornments. The lower part of the band also has a blue background. Sitting on the background is the text “E-021” in black font. There is a vault logo at the bottom surrounded by the black font text “GUARDED” and “SINCE 1916” on the left and right side respectively.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I typically do, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap of the Toraño Vault E-021 Robusto. Once the cap was successfully clipped I moved on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered a mix of wood, citrus, and natural tobacco sweetness. While there was sweetness on the tongue, I did not find these notes to be overly sweet. Overall I considered this an excellent pre-light draw experience. At this point I was ready to light up the Toraño Vault E-021 Robusto and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Toraño Vault E-021 Robusto started out with notes of rich natural tobacco, mixed fruit, and a combination of white and red pepper. The natural tobacco and mixed fruit sweetness became primary early. The natural tobacco had a richness and smoothness to it that really stood out. Meanwhile the retro-hale delivered an additional layer of wood and red pepper.
During the second third, the rich natural tobacco notes took over as the primary flavor. Meanwhile, the fruit notes recede into the background joining the pepper notes. I also detected a slight woody note in the background.
By the last third of the Toraño Vault E-021 Robusto, there was more of a woody component in the forefront with the rich natural tobacco. There was a slight uptick in the pepper spice in the background. I also still detected some fruit sweetness in the more distant background. This is the way the smoking experience came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall the Toraño Vault E-021 Robusto scored nicely when it came to its burn. Throughout the smoking experience, the cigar maintained a straight burn path. From time to time, there was a slight amount of unevenness on the burn line. This unevenness was quickly remedied with some touch-ups and the amount of touch-ups needed was not excessive. The resulting ash was tight and firm with a silvery-gray color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
As for the draw of the Toraño Vault E-021 Robusto, it was not too loose, nor too tight. This was a cigar that had the right amount of resistance to it. This was also a cigar that produced an ample amount of smoke.
Strength and Body
Historically when it comes to Toraño Cigars, I find many are skewed more toward the middle of the spectrum when it comes to body and strength. In the case of the Toraño Vault E-021 Robusto, it keeps true to this profile – delivering a medium strength, medium-bodied smoke from start to finish. I didn’t find much variance in both of these attributes throughout the smoking experience. At the same time, both the strength and body of the E-021 Robusto balanced each other very nicely.
It’s been a little over 2 1/2 years since General Cigar acquired the Toraño brands and things started out quiet. However, the past six to eight months has definitely seen a resurgence in the brand. This has largely due to having a dedicated brand ambassador in Jack Toraño combined with having excellent products to bring to market. The Toraño Vault E-021 Robusto is a fantastic cigar at a price point in the six dollar range. In a way it could do for General Cigar what New World did for A.J. Fernandez – a high quality, value-priced cigar for the brand that people will continue to go back to again and again. This is a cigar that I could easily recommend to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a box worthy cigar, and one I will definitely be reaching for again.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Mixed Fruit, Pepper, Wood
Burn: Very Good
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Toraño Vault Expands with E-021 and W-009 Offerings
Source: General Cigar Company
Brand Reference: Toraño