By now you’ve likely heard the story of how the Toraño brand came to be part of General Cigar Co., it’s only mention here is simply out of a bit of shock that it’s been just over three years since it happened.
After General gave the Toraño Vault line its refresh in May 2016, the Exodus was next in the queue, with an announcement coming in July that the line would be unveiled to the cigar industry at that year’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
Aside from the cigar itself, the most distinctive feature of the cigar was undoubtedly its packaging, which was inspired by Miami’s Wynwood District. As for the blend, it uses a wrapper from San Augustín, Honduras, a Connecticut broadleaf binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Mexico. The updated Vault debuted in four sizes:
- Toraño Exodus Robusto (5 x 54) — $6.99
- Toraño Exodus Toro Grande (5 1/2 x 58) — $7.79
- Toraño Exodus Torpedo (5 3/4 x 52) — $7.79
- Toraño Exodus Gigante (6 x 60) — $8.49
In addition to the new look and blend, the updated Exodus was a bit of a streamlining of the line, which has had several iterations since its debut, including the Toraño Exodus Gold 20th Anniversary, Exodus 1959 50 Years, Exodus Silver, Exodus Finite and Exodus Gold 1959. The line, which Charlie Toraño once referred to as the flagship of the company’s portfolio, is a nod to the family’s departure from Cuba in 1959 during the early days of the Cuban Revolution and their journey to a new life in Miami, as well as the mass exodus of people from Cuba during that time as well and the journeys that all people make during their lives.
Here’s what I said about the Toraño Exodus Robusto when I reviewed it in September 2016:
This refreshed Toraño Exodus Robusto generally had me between pleased and downright impressed thanks to some very well balanced and robust flavors that while not always incredibly vibrant, shined at more points than they didn’t. The progression of flavors is also fairly impressive, with technical performance that ranks much bette than average. While not the cigars’ fault, I wish I would have smoked them in a different sequence, as the final sample was the flattest of the bunch and the most recent memory I have of the blend, but knowing what this cigar is capable of makes it worth recommending for when you’re looking for a hearty, robust flavor profile that isn’t going to assault the palate with overt pepper and strength.
Last month, word came out that the Exodus was being discontinued, along with a host of other SKUs.
- Cigar Reviewed: Toraño Exodus Robusto
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: STG Estelí
- Wrapper: Honduras (San Agustin)
- Binder: USA (Connecticut)
- Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras & Mexico
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $6.99 (Boxes of 20, $139.80)
- Release Date: September 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
The colorful and uniquely shaped band is the first thing to catch my eye about the Toraño Exoous Robusto, but the wrapper is equally as noteworthy, with a network of small veins and just a bit of mottling and sheen that adds some depth to its earthy brown appearance. It’s a firm cigar with flat seams and a cap that could have used a bit better application as it has a slight rise in one spot, though it’s a minor transgression. The foot is surprisingly sweet with cocoa powder, a bit of chocolate syrup, leather, and cool espresso, while the cold draw is easy and offers a similar if slightly toned down offering.
The first puffs of the Toraño Exodus are slightly off-putting, coming across a bit sour and mineral-laden, though it quickly fades, almost within the first five puffs or so. In its place comes a slightly lighter than medium-bodied smoke marked by a bit of cocoa powder sweetness, salami, dry and subtle earth, and a bit of pepper, though there is plenty more available via the retrohale. The burn line moves pretty quickly through the first third, though I can’t help but think the band is throwing off my approximation given its size. After a tidy clump of ash about an inch long breaks off, the cigar makes a marked stride up the strength scale, moving to just over medium thanks to the addition of more pepper on the palate and in the nose, new woods on the tongue along with a bit more earth on the base note that settles in towards the back of the tongue and throat. While not dominant, I get a bit of irritation from this new profile on the back of the throat and some sourness at the tip of the tongue, though a bit of water washes that away and my attention is recaptured by a smoky aroma wafting off the cigar while it rests. Heading into the midpoint, the cigar seems to be settling into a fuller profile with increased body and flavor, while the technical performance has been quite good through the first half.
What the Toraño Exodus Robusto was lacking in the first half it has quickly found just a few puffs into its second half, as the campfire aroma gets richer by the puff and the flavor continues to fill out, with both it and the smoke becoming thick and chewy. While there’s still earth in the mix, it’s not heavy and dominating, instead backing up a flavor that reminds me of a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar, with just a bit of sweetness mixed in for added balance, complexity, and enjoyment. Despite lasting for a number of puffs, this high point of the cigar is all too fleeting as rocky earth begins to emerge, pushing the sweetness out of the way first, and the lush smoke gets a bit thinner and rockier. Heat becomes an issue surprisingly early, as I get introduced to some red chili flakes with two inches to go, though just as I’m almost finished mourning the loss of the previous flavor, the Toraño Exodus shifts again, settling down the rocky earth and setting up a closing of subtle, tingling pepper and newfound sweet cream that takes a bit of focus to latch onto, but once accomplished is quite good. It’s a delicate balance between everything going on with the profile in the final inch, but when kept cool the Toraño Exodus Robusto ends on a generally good note after just under 90 minutes.
Every once in a while we’ll mention a cigar hitting a certain sweet spot in terms of flavor, body, and strength, and while it may take some time and getting through less than perfect flavors for a few puffs of near perfection, it’s certainly worth it. After revisiting the Toraño Exodus Robusto just about a year after I first smoked it, that pretty much sums up my experience. The first third was decent enough, with the cigar beginning an enjoyable journey of flavor and strength once the first clump of ash dropped until reaching its high point just past the midway point. A bit of flavor rearrangement that had me disappointed was quickly corrected by a few more puffs of a different yet nearly as enjoyable final third before it was time to put the cigar down. While it’s tough to get excited about this on the whole, there are certainly a number of excellent puffs worth seeking out.