September 5, 2013
Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 56
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Price : ~$5 each
The Torano Loyal was officially released at the 2011 IPCPR show and despite wanting to sample it on the advice of a friend last summer I never got around to it. Instead, it sat in my humidor resting nicely and undisturbed except for the regular rotation so I imagined it would be that much better when I finally got around to it.
I was finally able to get to it this past weekend. Unfortunately, I only had one sample so I made sure to sit down and take very detailed notes, not having the luxury of going back to smoke a second one as I usually do to test for consistency or factor whether or not I just got an unlucky sample. Thanks to the fact that it is a dense, tightly packed cigar, the burn was slow and therefore the total smoking time for this beefy robusto was just under 90 minutes.
Appearance : [rating:3.5/5]
The Loyal looked slightly rustic with a dark brown Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper with some visible spots of darker reddish brown. There was visible veining, but tight and compact seams. The cigar itself had a nice sheen but the wrapper had numerous areas where it was cracked and flaking as shown in the photo. There was a similar area on the back side. This was surprising since it came in a cellophane sleeve which leads me to reasonably conclude it must have shipped from the factory that way. The oversized band was nice enough.
Construction : [rating:2.5/5]
The wrapper held up to my straight cut but too much glue was used on the band causing the wrapper to crack as I struggled to remove the large band, even though I waited until I got close to the band to remove it.
Despite the dense and heavy feel to the cigar, I was unhappy to find some hollow areas which points directly at manufacturing and the roller. I struggled to keep it burning evenly. The Loyal required numerous touch-ups and one re-light.
Flavor : [rating:2.5/5]
The cigar had a sweet tobacco and earth aroma and despite being in my humidor for a good period of time, it really didn’t acquire many cedar notes. The pre-light draw was good and I got some woody notes, sweet floral notes and natural tobacco. Aromas were very mild. I failed to get any meaningful spice to report. What I did get was akin to extremely mild jalapeno-like heat.
The smoke output of the cigar went from good to poor depending on what point I was at the cigar. The smoke lacked texture.
The first third had mild woody and grassy notes with a touch of salt at the front of the palate. There was minimal spice which surprised me given that the filler was a blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican Republic tobacco. The finish was short and again, it consisted mainly of woody and tobacco notes with only mild spice.
The second third didn’t offer up many surprises. The flavor profile for the most part remained the same with the occasional hint of caramel, semi-sweet chocolate and leather notes. While the flavors were very subtle and almost muted, they did blend together quite well. I often retro-hale my cigars which usually gets a little more flavor out of them and tells you if there is anything else hiding behind the first wall of flavor. I was surprised at how easy this cigar retro-haled because there was almost no spice to speak of. Retro-haling did reveal a little more earthy and wood notes but really did not change the flavor dynamic of this cigar. The smoke didn’t burn my nose which tells me the Loyal had matured properly and that there was, as I suspected, very little spice to the cigar.
The final third offered much of the same. I did manage to get through some of the hollow areas and when I did the smoke output increased significantly. However, the smoke was semi sweet and unlike many other creamy cigars sharing the same wrapper, this one left no residue on my palate but thankfully the smoke wasn’t that dry smoke that leaves one parched. The smoke had hints of sweet, fruity oak to it but the finish was medium and really all flavors diminished quite quickly after exhaling.
As I approached the band the Loyal lost much of its sweetness and became mostly earthy, leathery and started to give off dark chocolate-like bitterness.
The cigar, in my opinion, was mild-medium bodied and the strength was also mild to medium. No heavy meal required. Not once did nicotine become an issue. Overall the cigar was not very complex, offering the smoker almost 90 minutes of similar flavors with the occasional short lived surprise. I can’t say the cigar was horrible yet I can’t say it was a standout. The score reflects my thoughts; it was an average cigar.
Value : [rating:4/5]
The average online price worked out to be $4.90 in my sampling of retailers. I wouldn’t pay a penny more than $5.00. Good for the golf course perhaps but I’ve had better for that price. I can’t knock the value too much though because quite honestly it is not outrageously priced. Overall, I found the CAO OSA SOL Robusto a much better cigar for pretty much the same price. You will get smoking time out of it though as I pushed almost 90 minutes on my sample thanks to the cigar’s density and relatively thicker than normal (for a robusto) ring gauge.
Overall Rating : [rating:3/5]
The Torano Loyal would make an excellent golf course cigar. You can smoke it without worrying about trying to get flavor nuances or think too much about the cigar. You can also comfortably hand them out to fellow golfers at a cost that won’t break the bank and be satisfied that they won’t get sick smoking on an empty stomach and the flavors are enjoyable enough that they shouldn’t complain. Then again, most golfers I’ve met think every cigar they light up is good while in fact they are only thinking about their next shot. Where this cigar got a good rating was in value. Please consider this when assessing the overall value of the cigar. There is often not a lot to argue about a sub $5.00 smoke when it comes to price. However, where it counts most is flavor and that is where the cigar’s rating came in at a very average 2.5.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this review. Please feel free to leave your own comments below. We all have different palates, likes, dislikes etc. No two reviews or experiences can be the same which is why I invite as much feedback as possible.
Note: I am currently working on my bio which will give the reader an indication of what the various ratings mean and when combined, you can get bet a better understanding of what the final rating score actually means.
May 19, 2017
Mine were not left in the humidor more than a week, I too found it a little tight in some areas and light in others, 90 minutes is about where I am at with these.
Per your report I love the descriptor “an excellent golf course cigar”.
I did not find them a bad smoke for the price. I got eight for $20. Would I buy more of them? If they could be found at this price, yes. If they were any more expensive that this, probably not.
Looking forward to reading more of your reports!
September 6, 2016
Interesting to read but like wine, it’s the one I like. Loyal has become my personal go to for a “fave.” I am gonna try that CAO you mentioned though. I’ve had a couple of those without issues. I’m glad it took you 90 minutes as well. Me too. Long smoke.
January 23, 2016
Spot-on review in all aspects. Nice to see an “aficionado” review of an obvious budget smoke, without the usual snooty bashing. Nicely done!
November 25, 2014
Not at all impressed. Love other Toranos, just not this one. My wife had some choice words for the aroma.
J*** (*** F********
September 23, 2013
I got one of these in a Torano sampler pack. Not impressed and construction was terrible. You’re spot on with your review.
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