The word terroir means “land” in French, but it is most commonly used in the wine trade to indicate the qualities that are imparted to grapes by the growing environment. This basically comes down to soil quality and weather, both of which have a tremendous impact on the quality of the fruit.
The same thing goes for tobacco (and coffee, and probably all agricultural products.) Tobacco is a resilient plant that will grow almost anywhere, but black tobacco suitable for cigar making is much more finicky and is in many ways sensitive to the terroir. A tobacco grower does everything he can to produce the ideal conditions that will result in the type of leaf he wants — from buttressing the soil with minerals and fertilizers to shading the plants with cloth to create a lighter shade of wrapper leaf.
Cigar blends usually incorporate leaves from several different regions to create a balance of the best qualities of each region. As an example (maybe not a great one), piloto cubano from the Dominican Republic might be used for spice, combined with a milder volado leaf to promote an even burn; a broadleaf binder from Connecticut might be used to give it a round leathery taste, and it might be finished off with a maduro wrapper from the San Andres Valley of Mexico for a chocolatey sweetness. It would be unusual to find tobacco with all of those qualities in one region, let alone one farm.
But that is exactly what the Toraño family has done with its Single Region release. Part of the reason they are able to do this is because it’s a hell of a region — the Jalapa Valley of Northern Nicaragua is one of the most fertile and productive places to grow cigar tobacco outside of Cuba. The Jalapa Valley is known for the sweetness and rich flavor of its tobacco, and is sometimes contrasted with tobacco from Esteli, which tends to be sharper and stronger.
All of the tobaccos in the Toraño’s Single Region come from one farm called El Estero after a stream that runs through the farm. Three sizes are in production:
- 5 x 52 – Robusto
- 6 x 54 – Toro
- 7 x 50 – Churchill
The Toraño Single Region Toro is a finely crafted cigar. The wrapper is ruddy, slightly veiny and rough, but it’s oily and luscious all the same. The roll is solid and the head is well formed. The neatly wound triple cap clips cleanly. The tobacco is packed tightly but it draws perfectly. The burn is slow, albeit somewhat uneven at times, and the ash is remarkably dark. I’ve only seen ashes this dark on Cuban and a few Nicaraguan cigars.
Overall construction: excellent.
The Single Region toro is nicely balanced from the very first puff. The smoke is soft and subtle with a peppery note that serves as an accent rather than the central flavor. It is medium in body, but high-toned with a notably acidic zing. Notes of cedar are prominent.
Cocoa and caramel come to the fore in the second stage, creating a sweetness that is almost syrupy at times. The aroma is complex, balancing cedar with something slightly fruity. It’s fairly unusual.
The last third becomes more concentrated as the pepper returns and the tobacco picks up a touch of char. At one point I found overtones of whisky on the nose, or maybe butterscotch. The body of this cigar seems to be uniformly medium, with a relatively light nicotine kick.
Based on some lukewarm reviews I was prepared to be underwhelmed by the Single Region, but it turns out this is a fantastic smoke. It reminds a little of Pepin Garcia’s Troya Classico, another medium-bodied Nicaraguan puro that I like a lot (and which is unfortunately no longer in production.) In some ways it’s a classic Nicaraguan cigar — woody with notes of cocoa and that characteristic zing — but it’s more complex than most cigars in its class, particularly on the nose.
This is a really interesting cigar that is both wonderfully complex and also very easy to smoke. I enjoyed it a lot, and with a price around 5 or 6 dollars, I’m think I’m going to be enjoying it a lot more in the near future.
14 thoughts on “Torano Single Region Jalapa Serie”
It’s a pretty good smoke I had mine last week. Thanks Torano rep Miguel Schoedel. Along with the Master and 50 Years.
Even though I have to smoke of them and the sizes I would say I likw the 50 Years the best.
But the are all pretty good smokes. And promise good things from Torano since them going their way from CAO.
Nice review as always. Like the Don Diego Fuerte, I’ll have to wait for my local B&M’ to rec’v a stock of these to burn. Thanks again…
These are rolled by Tabacos Raicas Cubanas for Torano in Honduras. It seems these guys along with Pepin and AJ Fernandez cigars are the ones to watch and to wonder can they keep coming up with new blends (especially Pepin).
I got two of the Toro Grandes and a 5 pack of 50 Years Box Pressed today.
I had my first one of these over the weekend. I’ll have to give it another shot (I probably should have let it rest longer), but I found the flavors underwhelming and overly tannic. I too have noticed the split in the reviews, so you’re in good company.
You’re right — it’s not a bold cigar, but to be honest I sometimes want to be underwhelmed. Nuance can be nice sometimes. As far as the tannins go, I think they’re there by design. When the tannins go, I bet the rest of the flavors go with ’em!
I agree that nuance is a good thing. I have another in my humidor and hopefully will enjoy it more than the first. Maybe I’ll decant it first (bad joke about tannins).
Nice review! I had this cigar tonight and bought it at Kremer’s Smoke Shoppe supplied by Miguel Schoedel last Friday. I also grabbed the Master and the 50th.
My review: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=188324861201829
FB won’t let me access your review, Andy, but I’ll try again later. I liked the Single Region better than the Master, but I have another size to try so maybe that will make a difference. The 50th is a beautiful smoke, btw. Enjoy it!
Uggh sorry about that. I’ll probably have to move or reviews to the discussion page on FB since notes seem to be somewhat private. Thanks for pointing it out though.
I would have to agree I liked the Single Region better than the Master, but still enjoyed the smoke.
I was given this cigar about a year ago and took it on a cruise with me…so glad I did as this cigar was a big hit with the other lounge lizards. I’ve since bought a box but know I’ll buy another box as they smoke great with about 9 months of rest on them. For the price of how much they give back this is a no-brainer.