One of the more prized possessions of Toraño Family Cigar Company is a book, aptly named the Blend Book, which the company has used to record blend concepts since 1982. In 2011, the company released Vault, which used an updated blend that was first recorded in the book in 2000. Fast forward two years, and Toraño has decided to dip into the book again, producing another cigar that is based on a blend that traces its origins back to 1988.

We had the news in a post back in May:

The Toraño Family Cigar Company is once again dipping into the family vault as they prepare to release a new addition to their Vault line, as the the Toraño Vault D-042 is currently being readied for debut at the IPCPR Convention and Trade Show in mid-July, with arrival at retail in August or September of 2013.

The new cigar comes from a project started in 2004, though its roots go back further than that. In 1998, Carlos and Charlie Toraño visited a tobacco farm in Pennsylvania, and having become enamored with the tobacco set out on how to figure out if it could be used as a wrapper. The project stalled because of burn issues, so the father and son tried it as a filler.  As other projects came up, the project found itself relegated to the archives in the infamous blend book.

Having gone back to the blend book to look for inspiration, the D-042 blend has been brought back to life, this time with an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan filler and a blend of Nicaraguan and Pennsylvania filler.  Jack Toraño, the company’s marketing and public relations director, describes the cigar as “really strong with a sweet spice, definitely one of our stronger cigars.”

The Toraño Vault D-042 will debut in the same four sizes as the A-002, the first release in what will be an ongoing series of releases under the Vault name. They will be a 6 x 60 known as the BFC, a 5 x 52, a 6 x 50 and a 6 1/8 x 52 Torpedo. All will come in boxes of 20 with single cigar prices between $7.20 and $8.50.

This was followed up about two weeks later with an official press release:

June 18, 2013 (Miami, Fla.) — Fourth-generation cigar and tobacco producers, Toraño Family Cigar Company, has introduced its second Vault premium cigar. The new handmade Blend D-042 joins the top-rated Vault Blend A-008 which was launched in 2011.

This latest “Blend from the Vault” combines select Central American tobaccos, but with an unusual addition. According to President Charlie Toraño, “My father and I discovered a rare Pennsylvania leaf, while on a 1998 tobacco trip. Extensive experimentation revealed it to be an excellent enhancement to the filler tobaccos in Blend D-042, which we recorded in the blend book in 2004. The Pennsylvania tobacco’s flavor perfectly balanced the Nicaraguan filler combination. The original blend had a Sumatra Ecuadorian wrapper which was a popular choice at the time and widely available. In making some small adjustments to the original blend, we added a Habano Ecuadorian wrapper and the result was impressive. Blend D-042 is a powerful smoke, but with long and lingering sweet spice notes, it is very rounded and flavorful. It’s a fitting addition to our Vault line, complementing our runaway top-seller and widely distributed Vault Blend A-008.”

Vault Blend D-042 is available in three parejo shapes … a BFC (6″ x 60), Robusto (5″ x 52) and Toro (6″ x 50) … plus a Torpedo ( 6-1/8″ x 52).

In 1982, the Toraño Family started a “blend book” which meticulously documents the company’s creation and refinement of all their unique blends. As Toraño relates, “Our experience in tobacco, as recorded in the blend book, is our past, present and future in the world of exceptional premium cigars. Thus, the book has been securely sequestered in a bank’s safe-deposit box. Not all our blend recipes are worthy to take to market, but they are still considered special to us and irreplaceable. In the case of the D-042 blend, the recipe lay dormant since 2004 until now, before coming to life with the addition of the Habano wrapper from Ecuador which was not readily available back then.”

Vault D-042 is presented in cedar-lined boxes of 20 cigars, with the exception of the 6″ x 60 BFC, which comes in boxes of 18. The Vault boxes are made to look like the safe-deposit box which secures the Toraño blend book. The new Vault’s distinctive metallic red and gold bands are accompanied by a “Blend D-042″ in the footer band to set it apart from the original Vault blend A-008.

The Toraño Vault D-042 will be offered in four different sizes at launch, each in boxes of 20 other than the BFC, which comes in boxes of 18.

  • Toraño Vault D-042 Robusto (5 x 52) – $7.20 (Boxes of 20, $144)
  • Toraño Vault D-042 Toro (6 x 60) – $7.60 (Boxes of 20, $152)
  • Toraño Vault D-042 Torpedo (6 1/8 x 52) – $7.80 (Boxes of 20, $156)
  • Toraño Vault D-042 BFC (6 x 60) – $8.50 (Boxes of 18, $153)

Toraño Vault D 042 Robusto 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Toraño Vault D-042 Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadoran Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua & Pennsylvania
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $7.20 (Boxes of 20, $144.00)
  • Release Date: August 2013
  • Number of Cigars to be Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 4

The cigar seems expertly-rolled with a dark coffee bean brown wrapper that has some obvious tooth to it when touched. There is a noticeable sheen and a very slight box-press, although whether by design or not is not known. It is just a bit more spongy then it should be when squeezed, and the aroma coming off of the wrapper is a combination of strong leather, sweet cedar, hay and chocolate.

The first third of the Toraño Vault D-042 Robusto starts off with flavors of leather, cedar, earth and a wonderful vanilla sweetness that is noticeable in the mouth as well as the nose. There is a black pepper note on the retrohale that is punishing at first, but begins to die down after about 10 puffs or so, although it definitely sticks around and continues to make itself known. There is also an obvious spice on the tongue that ebbs and flows, and is fairly strong at some points. The burn and draw are both excellent through the first third, and the smoke production is massive. Strength-wise, the D-042 ends the first third just below the medium mark, but does show signs of going higher.

Toraño Vault D 042 Robusto 2

The combination of black pepper and vanilla are easily the most dominant flavors as the second third of the D-042 starts, interspersed with other notes of coffee, dark chocolate, earth and leather. There is a nice nuttiness that starts to come in right around the halfway point, gaining strength from there. Construction-wise, the burn and the draw remain ideal, and the amount of smoke that is being produced does not seem to be letting up from the high amount in the first third. The strength of the D-042 continues to increase, and ends the second third at a solid medium.

Toraño Vault D 042 Robusto 3

The final third of the Toraño Vault D-042 Robusto sees the sweetness from the first two thirds shift to a bit to more of a maple note, combining extremely well with the nuttiness from the second third, as well as other flavors of earth, cocoa powder, hay, chocolate and leather. Both the burn and the draw continue to impress, as does the smoke production. The strength builds quickly in the final third, and ends the cigar much closer to the full mark than the medium mark.

Toraño Vault D 042 Robusto 4

Final Notes

  • I smoked four of these for this review, and each one of them performed flawlessly construction-wise with no problems at all with the burn or the draw.
  • I am assuming that the “BFC” that the 6 x 60 vitola is named stands for Big F*cking Cigar, but I don’t have any insider knowledge about that specifically. If not, then that is what it should stand for, in my opinion.
  • While I am not usually a fan of foot bands, the one on this release (which reads “Blend D-042”) works well with the main band, especially since it is the same metallic red as the color under the “Vault” name.
  • Speaking of the bands, the band design from the first release and the newest release has not changed at all, other than the  obvious new color scheme and name change, which reminded me immediately of some of the newest Iron Man suits, something that Charlie pointed out as well. I do love the fact that both of the different blends in the Vault series so far use very different color combinations to differentiate them, something I wish more manufactures would do.
  • The overall smoke production is enormous, almost to the point of annoyance sometimes.
  • Like the Vault A-008, the D-042 has a sneaky strength, and will surprise you if you are not careful.
  • While I like the overall branding of the Vault series of releases, using the name D-042 seems overly convoluted to me. Having said that, using a combination of letters and numbers in cigar names seems fairly ubiquitous these days.
  • The final smoking time for all four samples averaged one hour and 20 minutes.
  • Cigars for this review were given to halfwheel by Toraño Family Cigars at IPCPR 2013.
  • While the Toraño Vault D-042 have not shipped as of yet, site sponsors Famous Smoke Shop (1.800.564.2486) and Best Cigar Prices (888.412.4427) have pre-order pages up already. In addition, Atlantic Cigar (800.887.7877), Superior Cigars (1.800.733.3397) and Mike’s Cigars (1.800.962.4427) all carry Toraño.

Update: The original version of this post indicated that the BFC size was offered in 20-count boxes in one place in the review. As is noted elsewhere and below, it is sold in 18-count boxes.

90 Overall Score

Much like the first Vault release, albeit the limited edition vitola, I really enjoyed the Toraño Vault D-042 Robusto, finding it to be very well-balanced, fairly complex and excellently constructed. We were able to pick up a few more of these than most other cigars from IPCPR, and I found myself looking forward to smoking it again when I was doing my review. Having said all of that, I have not been able to try any of the other vitolas, so I can only recommend the Robusto vitola until that changes. Thankfully, these are regular production, should be very easy to find and are well worth trying, especially with an average price of about $8.

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Brooks Whittington

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.