Like many cigar makers, the Toraños celebrate anniversaries with new cigars, but unlike most anniversaries, this one has a bittersweet flavor. 1959 was not a magical year for the Toraño family, but it is the year that made them what they are today. Hence the 1959 Exodus line of cigars, which includes this recent addition, the “50 Years” blend.
In the words of Charlie Toraño, the Exodus 50 years blend was created “to remind smokers of the hardship inflicted by Cuba’s Marxist communist regime, especially its exile of the world renowned tobacco and cigar families, including ours.”
The 50 Years blend, released last year, is an addition to the familiar Silver and Gold Exodus 1959 labels. The new blend features a dark Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, a nice contrast to the Silver label’s Honduran and the Gold’s Nicaraguan covers. The ornate copper-colored label has some people referring to the 50 years cigar as the “Exodus Copper.”
The “50 Years” 1959 is rolled in Toraño’s Nicaraguan factory, while the other Exodus cigars are made in Honduras. Currently only three sizes are in production:
- Robusto – 5 x 50
- Short Churchill – 6 x 48
- Torpedo – 5 1/2 x 52
Beneath the Brazilian wrapper is a binder from Honduras, and the filler is a combination from two areas of Nicaragua: Esteli, and Pueblo Nuevo.
The Toraños introduced the new line with their “Roots Run Deep” tour that traveled across the U.S. during the spring and summer of 2009, and it looks like they plan to keep the show running in 2010. Carlos and Charlie travel with a veteran torcedor who rolls special “Tour Blend” cigars that were so popular with event attendees that the blend is now available by the box at events. So check out the tour when it swings by your town.
The 1959 “50 Years” is not advertised as a maduro cigar, but in appearance (as well as in performance) that is what it is. The wrapper is dark and oily with the slight chipping that maduro leaf is prone to. The roll is solid and the draw is firm, just the way I like it. The burn is a little uneven due to the oil-drenched wrapper leaf, but it corrects itself and builds a solid ash.
Overall very good construction.
This blend has been prescribed for dessert by some aficionados, and after smoking a few I can see why. The “50 Years” smokes like chocolate pie, the Mexican kind, with plenty of cinnamon and a splash of coffee liqueur.
The first slice is served up with a nice dose of pepper, not too strong, but assertive. There is a woody base flavor, cedary with a touch of cinnamon. It starts out medium to full in body and stays in that range for the duration of the cigar.
These are fairly short cigars, so the flavor transitions aren’t dramatic. It does seem to get a little smoother in the mid-section though, with the pepper dropping off a bit and dark roasted coffee flavors coming to the fore. The flavor remains rich and semi-sweet.
In the final inches the wood gives way to leather, but the overall flavor is still soundly in that coffee-cocoa-chocolate territory, especially in the aroma. The sweetness coming off the wrapper has a distinctly liqueur-like quality, something almost like Kahlua.
I think most maduro lovers will get a bang out of this cigar. It’s balanced and well-blended, but on the heavy side with a lengthy finish and a little bite. Overall, this is an excellent smoke that would go really well with a glass of tawny or vintage port after dinner.
Prices are in the medium range at 7 USD for the robusto and short churchill, and a dollar more for the torpedo.
Final Score: 88
Other Reviews of Note
(There are quite a few reviews of the Salomon, which is unfortunately not a regular production size. The following are reviews of cigars on retailers’ shelves now.)
Cigar Jack calls the Short Churchill his favorite cigar of 2009.
The Stogie Guys give the Torpedo a favorable Quick Smoke.
Barry rewards the Robusto with a 93 for A Cigar Smoker’s Journal.
A balanced review of the Robusto from the Cigarnut.