The Carlos Toraño Noventa is a cigar I’ve been meaning to smoke for years, but for one reason or another, never got around to it. So when I saw a special on a fiver of them on one of the many cigar websites out there, I bit. And with so many reviews lately focusing on the most recent cigar releases, I thought it’d be fun to shake things up a bit with a look at one that’s been out there for a while. Long enough, perhaps, that you may have forgotten about it.
In case you haven’t already heard the story, the Noventa (Spanish for “ninety”) line was released in 2006 to commemorate the Toraño family’s 90 years in the cigar business, spanning four generations. The original press release, that Brian the Torano rep on twitter was good enough to forward me, informs us:
The medium- to full-bodied cigar comes in three shapes: Santiago (5 x 50), La Esperanza (6 x 52), and Latin (6-1/4 x 54). The names symbolize landmarks for the Toraño family: Santiago, the founding of the company; La Esperanza, the family’s principal tobacco farm in Cuba; and Latin, the current family-owned cigar business. Noventa is presented in cedar boxes of 25 cellophaned cigars that are, according to Toraño, “stunningly beautiful.”
Now let’s get down to business.
Size: 6 1/2 x 54
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaragua (Pueblo Nuevo, Jalapa, Condega and Esteli)
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: ~$13.20 ($12 original MSRP)
The Noventa Latin is a very nice looking torpedo, with its light reddish brown wrapper, fine veins and a striking band. Other than the occasional small dark spot, or stray flecks of tobacco stuck to the wrapper (there were a surprising amount of those flecks), there were no cosmetic flaws to be found.
The cigars were firmly packed with tobacco and had a consistently dense feeling to the touch. The lovely wrapper had the usual compost aroma, but also had some similarities to the smell of a hoppier beer, like an IPA. The cold draw was good, and had a little creamy sweetness to it.
For the most part, Noventa Latin burned very well. Good draw, solid, light gray ashes and even burn lines. But there was the occasional need for a touchup. One stick required numerous crooked burn corrections, and that particular stick had a flakier ash than the rest.
Ordinarily, I’d break this section up into thirds, but with the Noventa, I just didn’t find enough variation from one third to the next to call for it. The flavor profile was a pretty consistent creamy nut and earth one, with hints of cedar and spice. Earlier on in the cigar, there was a little sweetness and a floral component to the cedar. And as the cigar progressed, I began to notice that the cigar had some power to it, and the spice warmed the back of my mouth. Also worthy of mention is the long finish, that frequently featured sweet flavors like honey and caramel, even when those weren’t present in the initial puffs.
The world looks a little different now than it did in 2006. The economy is a little shaky and SCHIP has tacked on another buck and change to price of these already spendy cigars. There’s a lot of quality tobacco, artfully combined to make the Noventa, but it’s still a hard sell.
The Noventa is a very good smoke, with a lot of refined flavor and a lingering finish that will treat you right if you take your time with it. That being said, it could be too much of the same good thing. Around the time I bought these torpedos, I also smoked the shorter, robusto-sized Santiago, and I think if I were to buy more, I’d probably go with the Santiago. If you haven’t tried the Noventa yet, you really should, it is a great cigar, no matter what size you choose, and it’s still pretty widely available.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes, I think I would, just not very often.
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.