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In July of 2011 at the IPCPR show in Las Vegas, Toraño Family Cigars debuted two new blends, one of which was an updated version of a blend that had been thought of in 2000, the Toraño Vault. A reference to the fact that the original blend was found in the family’s blend which resides in an actual bank vault.

The original press release explains the story behind the Vault blend:

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Blends from the Vault originate from the family’s cigar “blend book” which was started by Carlos Toraño, Sr. in 1982. The blend book, which is now almost 30 years old, has a record of every blend concept the Toraño family has ever worked on. The tobacco stained pages of this book include blends that could only come from a family with the history, knowledge and tobacco experience of the Toraño family. Amongst the blends recorded are many which the family has released over the years, together with some blends which were deemed to have tremendous potential, but fell short of the family’s high expectations. This book has come to symbolize the Toraño’s blending expertise, creativity, and is now securely stored in a safety deposit box in a bank vault.

Charlie Toraño, current president of Toraño Family Cigar Co.(and son of Carlos Toraño Sr.) along with VP of Sales and Marketing, Bruce Lewis, revisited the blend book and discovered an intriguing, yet unreleased blend, Liga A-008, which was first recorded in 2000. The original Blend A-008 consisted of heavy filler tobacco from Estelí and Condega, Nicaragua, one single binder from Jamastran and was finished with a shade grown Nicaraguan Colorado wrapper. Charlie and Bruce decided to embark on a project to enhance this special blend.

After numerous attempts to slightly modify the original recorded blend, the missing ingredient was discovered – tobacco from Ometepe, Nicaragua. Ometepe is an island located on Lake Nicaragua. The island is home to two volcanoes and its soil is rich and fertile. Adding Ometepe to the original Toraño blend, specifically as a second ligero binder, brought an added layer of complexity and strength to the blend.

There were four different vitolas introduced in the Vault lineup.

  • Toro — 6 x 50
  • Torpedo — 6 1/8 x 52
  • Robusto — 5 x 52
  • Corona Gorda — 5 5/8 x 46

While the other three vitolas are regular production, the Corona Gorda was a limited release that had an original run of about 10,000 cigars, and were sold only in special humidors, each containing 20 cigars.

The new release will be the same size and blend, but there will be 750 boxes of 20 and they will be sold in regular boxes instead of humidors. Toraño Vault Corona Gorda BoxToraño Vault Corona Gorda 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Toraño Vault Corona Gorda
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Honduras & Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 5/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • Est. Price: $7.20 (Boxes of 20, $144.00)
  • Date Released: July 2011 & April 2012
  • Number of Cigars Released: 500 Humidors of 20 Cigars & 750 Boxes of 20 Cigars (25,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 1

The Toraño Vault Corona Gorda is a wonderful looking cigar with a dark milk chocolate brown wrapper that is smooth as a baby’s butt. There is a bit of oil present and a few veins as well. As far as I’m concerned, the Vault Corona Gorda has the perfect amount of give when squeezed and is the perfect weight for the size. The Nicaraguan wrapper smells strongly of barnyard, leather, pepper and a tiny amount of cinnamon.

The Toraño Vault Corona Gorda starts out the first third very sweet with strong notes of caramel, tobacco, earth and slight vanilla. There is no spice at all up front, but there is just a tiny amount of black pepper on the retrohale that fades quickly as the first third ends. Both the burn and draw are wonderful through the end of the first third, with no complaints at all in that regard. There is not much smoke production, but enough to know you are smoking a cigar. The strength ends the first third on the light side of medium.

Toraño Vault Corona Gorda 2

Into the second third of the Vault and the wonderful caramel sweetness and earthiness remain as the dominant profile, but a slight peppermint note emerges taking me a bit by surprise. Other flavors of dark chocolate, espresso and leather are also noticeable. There is still no spice at all, and the pepper from the first third has sadly disappeared completely by the halfway point. Draw and burn are still great, but the strength is showing signs of increasing, albeit very slowly and ends the second third at a solid medium.

Toraño Vault Corona Gorda 3

Coming into the final third, and the caramel sweetness is finally fading, although it is still very much in the background. The earthiness takes over the profile, along with flavors of leather, coffee and even a tiny amount of cinnamon. Construction, burn and draw continue to shine and the strength takes me by surprise and ends at the high side of medium. The finish is quite dry, but not distractingly so.

Toraño Vault Corona Gorda 4

Final Notes

  • This is not a powerhouse smoke by any means, but it nails my palette perfectly: very flavorful, complex and medium plus strength.
  • I have smoked all of the other vitolas of the Vault at one time or another in the last four months or so, although we have not officially reviewed them, and none of them have the richness and balance that the Corona Gorda possesses in my opinion.
  • This is one of those cigars whose strength will sneak up on you if you are not careful. It is a solid medium at the end of the second third, but shoots to just shy of full by the time it is finished.
  • In fact, according to Toraño, the Vault is the strongest blend available in the company’s history. Toraño Vault Corona Gorda Band
  • The foot band that reads Blend A-008 is in homage to the original blend that was used to produce the cigar.
  • The peppermint that I tasted in the second third was a bit of a surprise, as it is not a note I have come across often. It was not a mint flavor like in the Tatuaje Boris, but a cooler, not as biting note. It did not stick around long, but it was hard to miss when it showed up.
  • The sample I smoked for this review was one of the original release CGs that were rolled in October of last year and released in November. The new release is exactly the same blend and size, and were rolled in early March of 2012 and will be released sometime in April.
  • The Corona Gorda vitola is not overly popular these days, but the size was chosen in a Toraño sales meeting. And I would like to thank the reps from the bottom of my heart.
  • I would absolutely love to taste this blend in a Lancero, or better yet, a Corona. How about a single store release Toraño?
  • Although this cigar did not seem overly filled with tobacco, it took a little longer then I thought it would to finish, and the final smoking time of one hour and 35 minutes reflects that.
  • If you would like to purchase some of the Toraño Vault Corona Gordas, site sponsors Tobacco Locker and Atlantic Cigar are both Toraño retailers.
90 Overall Score

Toraño is just not a brand that I smoke very often, although I honestly can’t tell you why. But that will change with the Vault Corona Gorda. Smooth, rich, sweet and earthy profile, great construction and draw, and the perfect vitola means a box purchase for me when they are released again. This is easily the best Toraño I have smoked, and also easily the best Vault vitola by a mile.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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