Carlos Torano – Signature Series
Cigars and Women – A Slowly Developing but Definite Trend
There was a time when cigars and women only came together under one roof -- a strip joint (so I hear). The negative stigma associated with a woman either smoking, or hanging around with men in places where they gather to smoke cigars, has diminished quite significantly. In recent history, women like Demi Moore, Madonna, and even Monica Lewinski have helped change the general thinking and have even helped fuel the cigar boom of the ‘90s. Today, the pairing of cigars and women is a little more “mainstream.” A tobacco trade organization has recently noted, “Women bought less than a tenth of a percent . . . of all cigars in the 1980s. Now women buy over five percent of all cigars.” The Cigar Association estimates that there are now more than half a million female cigar smokers!
The industry has taken action to cater to this growing segment of the industry. For those of us who have frequented a brick and mortar tobacconist over the years, we can clearly see signs of it. More retail space, including prime space within the shop, is being dedicated to flavored cigars like Drew Estate’s popular Kahlua and Java. The flavored cigars are especially popular with women, as they are often sweetly flavored and aromatic, are typically rolled thinner and are packaged “prettier” than traditional cigars. You will also note women behind the counter working as tobacconists and advising clients. I have discussed cigars with some of the female tobacconists where I live and it is obvious that they are active smokers and fairly knowledgeable. A recent trip to the cigar shop found me as a minority from a gender perspective. I was the only male shopper among about six women. There were two employees, one male, and the other female. Now to be clear, this imbalance was certainly the exception, not the rule. However, this occurred during the week leading up to Father’s Day, so in retrospect this was not as surprising as it would be during a typical week, but it still signifies the trend.
The age-old ritual of smoking a cigar will likely remain an activity that is primarily practiced by males. It is one of the few “icon” activities of maleness we have remaining. However, it should not be lost on just the male population alone – so I, for one, welcome the ladies into the society of the leaf. My only concern is that a female market segment drives cigar demand, and in turn, prices, higher.
So let’s get smoking before that happens!
Carlos Torano – Signature Series
Size: Toro, 6 inches long, 50 ring gauge
Price: $5 to $6.50
The Torano family is still in control of the company generations after it was founded. The Torano name is synonymous with some of the best-constructed cigars in the industry. In fact, other brands partner with Torano to leverage their strong construction facilities and trained personnel. Oh, they produce some damn good tasting products, too.
- Wrapper: Brazil (sun grown)
- Filler: Dominican, Nicaragua
- Binder: Dominican
I was surprised to receive this cigar in the mail a few weeks back, gifted directly from the Torano Company. Upon receipt, I noted that the cigar seemed a bit dry, likely due to the packaging and mailing process, so I decided to rest it awhile in the humidor. I have smoked other Toranos in the past, but this was my first Signature. I smoked it poolside, and even part of it while in the pool. I had no accompanying drink to go with this smoke – a conscious decision (as I have heard a nasty rumor that alcohol is addictive and should be consumed in moderation).
Look and feel
This was a beautiful cigar topped off with one of the most attractive maduro wrappers I have seen in awhile. The wrapper was dark and oily in appearance as it should be. The Grade A construction that Torano is noted for was evident. The excellent construction contributed to the overall firm, weighty, yet balanced feel of this cigar.
Aroma and Taste
The double-guillotine cut enabled the pre-lit draw, delivering a rich sweetness to it. This cigar was lit once -- and only once -- and burned perfectly all the way to the nub. This feature is especially noteworthy because the environment was high in moisture due to humidity and the pool, and it was a breezy day, too. The flavor was rich and full, highlighted primarily by espresso and cocoa notes. This drives a toasty, somewhat sweet flavor. There was little to no peppery spice to this particular smoke, which I thought was fine.
RATING: 9.2 (on a scale of 1 to 10)
I liked this cigar. For a full-bodied smoke it never threatened to overpower. If you want to experience the flavors of a good maduro, sun grown cigar, this would be an excellent choice. If you want a durable smoke as you are active with outdoor activities, like a round of golf, it will also fit the bill. This cigar did not carry a major dose of nicotine, so it will not knock you to your knees. In the future, I would pair this with a full flavored libation, like a red wine or bourbon.
Keep the comments and recommendations coming – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the topic of cigars, cognac and of course women “. . . it's like finding the perfect woman. When you've got her, why go chasing after another.” - Michael Nouri, American actor
DISCLAIMER: At the risk of sounding too much like a TV commercial, I do want to sincerely state: This feature is NOT intended to advocate the smoking of cigars any more or any less than you already do, nor do I intend to influence the non-smoker to begin smoking cigars. Make no mistake about it; CIGAR SMOKING MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH.