Review:1999 Toraño Reserva Selecta Torpedo Crystal Tube

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Been a bit out of sorts lately, getting over a cold, and under a lot of work related pressure and stress, so I haven't been smoking much. Frankly the cold I had four weeks ago really messed up my taste buds, so every cigar I've smoked in the past 5 or 6 weeks tasted off and rather ashy. Over the past weekend I managed to get through a full cigar, and was thrilled my taste was returning to normal. As luck would have it, I was able to work from home on a nice breezy moderate day, and I decided to take my work outside for the afternoon. I was really looking forward to a treat, so I brought this nice little gift out with me.


Back in early 2000, Charlie Toraño himself graciously presented me with a box of these at a cigar related event I was hosting at the Ritz Carlton in Miami. It was a beautifully packaged royal blue box of 20 cigars in crystal tubes on two wooden trays, with sheafs of cedar around each cigar, and a little foam pillow to protect the tip of each cigar. Impeccable presentation. I haven't smoked one of these in several years, I remember smoking about 4 or 5 in the first few months, and I gifted a few to friends. The remaining few have dwelled in the cedar tray at the top of my wineador for over 10 years. From what little I recall, these were a lovely mild/medium smoke, ideal to gently ease me back into the groove.

The slightly reddish hued connecticut shade wrapper had a couple of pronounced veins, but nothing rough, and it was evenly rolled with a nice sheen. The cigar felt relatively solid and slightly pliant, well filled, no soft or hard spots. A very shallow cut was enough to get a perfect draw. For libation I was looking for something light and neutral that would not color the taste of the cigar. A can of La Croix sparkling water fit the bill nicely.

First Third

Lighting immediately produced white plumes of delightful smoke, with a slightly pungent earthy aroma, and a backdrop of barnyard twang. A pleasant surprise. Flavors started light, with what tasted somewhat like tea biscuits dipped in creamy coffee, and a faint sweetness. Although delightfully mild, I was a tad concerned that age may have weakened the cigar, but after a few minutes the flavor intensified a little to a very balanced mild to mild/medium. The burn was flawless, producing an even burn line and a nice solid white ash. 


Second Third

Baked sourdough bread permeated the flavor, along with notes of tea, vanilla and a slight sweetness. A very nuanced and balanced mild flavor profile. There is a nicely evolving complexity to this cigar, not the type of complexity that steals your focus and demands your attention, but a more subtle, passive kind. Burn continues to be flawless, and the aroma has evolved to be a bit more cedary. I'm enjoying this mild cigar.


Last Third

Flavor has remained pretty consistent but the tea and cookies have become a little more intense. Body has increased slightly, though not quite medium bodied, but close. Burn continues to be flawless, I don't recall making any touch ups. The evolution so far has been very gradual, and overall balanced. I could get a bit greedy and wish for a little more  body, but seriously this is not a knock on the cigar.

Final Thoughts

Few cigars rival the presentation and the roll quality of a Toraño, and the Reserva Selecta certainly sets that bar high. I was hoping for a relatively mild and well balanced cigar to ease back into the swing, and I was not at all disappointed with this well mannered cigar. It is my understanding Toraño has continued to make this blend, but no longer in crystal tubes, which is a shame because the tubes have preserved the flavor very well. I look forward to next one of these. Overall I would rate this a 8.5/10 or possibly a little higher.  



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