A few months ago I picked up a bundle of various Carlos Toraño cigars, and they’ve been percolating in my humidor since then. Recently I decided I’d try the Vault D-042, or Vault Red. The original Vault, A-008, was wonderful, and I wanted to see what else the Toraño family had deemed worthy to resurrect from their vault (yes, this is the story behind the name of these two lines).
This cigar features a nice milk-chocolate wrapper that’s satiny smooth. No blemishes whatsoever on the wrapper, although there were a few visible veins. Not a big deal. Great aromas on the stick itself, a coffee and hay that was surprisingly potent. If there is any earmark to be found on Toraño cigars, it’s the pre-light aromas and the aromas off the head once lit.
I cut off the tip of the head with my trusty double guillotine cutter which has a covered back so I don’t accidentally cut too much off. I love the cutter, but I wish it had a hole in the middle so I could get a little deeper on torpedoes. As I generally don’t like to smoke torpedoes anyway (I find that 3 out of 5 have too firm a draw), I haven’t looked too hard for another cutter. This stick was a 5×52 robusto, so no worries there. Once the tip was off and I had tested the draw, I started toasting.
First light revealed an initial burst of pepper, but not strong. It was mellow like pepper on your eggs in the morning. There was some cedar in there, too, but predominantly was earth. I called it a medium-full, but I think that depends on personal opinion. I’m sure some out there would call it a medium (all you diesel spice-dogs out there know exactly what I mean), but the flavors weren’t at all elusive. A solid tobacco core to back up the earth and cedar. The draw unfortunately was pretty loose, and I found out why as I smoked on. More on that in a bit.
One inch down and the pepper had pretty much evaporated. There was still a nice warmth on the tongue that I usually associate with pepper, but one could hardly call it prominent. The earth was still on top, but the cedar had morphed into something sweeter: herb-like with a little citrus. It wasn’t overwhelming, and it never made it to floral; It was just there – subtle and pleasant. Aside from the (still) very loose draw, this thing would have been perfect.
When the ash fell off at around one inch, I immediately saw why the draw was so loose:
It’s a bummer, and maybe the other sticks I have won’t have this problem, but I was a little disappointed. Anyway, once I moved past the hole, the draw tightened up appreciably. Around the half-way point the sweetness morphed a bit into a ginger with a hint of raisin. The whole flavor profile was led by earth and tobacco, but it was enjoyable to get that little bit of complexity. And, as with every Toraño I’ve smoked, the aromas off the head while lit are superb – lots of nuts and chocolate. Delicious.
In the last third the strength started to ramp up, and I ended it at the 55 minute mark. Not the longest burn ever recorded, but certainly respectable and not disappointing in a robusto size. I would definitely smoke this again, although if given a choice between the silver or red vaults, I think I would choose the silver. Overall I gave this an 8 out of 10. Not perfect, the burn was a little wonky (no touch-ups required, though), and the very loose draw was annoying at worst, but given the price-point ($7 for a single), well worth the experience. Something every cigar smoker should try.
From Distinguished Ruffian member @thejfraney