Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaragua (Pueblo Nuevo, Jalapa, Condega and Esteli)
Size: Toro 6 1/2 x 54
Price: ~$13.00 by most online stores. CI is selling them for $2.80 each.
In case you haven’t already heard the story, the Noventa (Spanish for 90) line was released in 2006 to commemorate the Torano family’s 90 years in the cigar business, spanning four generations.
To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the company (dated from 1916, the year Santiago Torano emigrated from Spain to Cuba,) Torano Cigars released the Noventa. After five years of aging, the final product was released.
First thing you notice, if you buy a box, is how beautiful the box is. Perfect for a coffee table storage container of all your cigar paraphernalia.
This is a very good looking cigar. It has a light reddish brown wrapper with some fine veins. A very firm cigar. This thing is tightly packed and has no hard or soft spots.
The wrapper has a faint caramel aroma while the foot showed some notes of raisins and vanilla.
Upon lighting it up, I expected a spicy start typical of Nicaraguan puros, but instead it is a very smooth, creamy smoke. It’s not until about half an inch in that the spice shows up.
Billows of smoke rise to the ceiling. The burn is a little erratic but nothing to get concerned over….yet. It eventually straightens itself out.
There is a little sweetness and a floral component that’s very pleasant. As the cigar progressed, it showed off a bit of power to it, and the spice geared up a tad. There is a long finish that featured sweet flavors like honey and caramel. The ash doesn’t hang on very long and makes a dash for my lap.
As the second third began, I noticed some citrus notes that are a nice counterpart to the sweetness.
At the halfway point, the stick gets very creamy. The spice is still there.. And a mild cocoa flavor shows up.
I bought these sticks about 5 months ago and let them rest. At first, they were very blah. But in those 5 months, they developed flavor, character, body, and complexity. And one of the creamiest smokes I’ve had. Like sipping from a bottle of pure cream.
I must note that I bought these from CI. For some reason, they scored a deal from the Torano family. Everyone else is selling a box of 25 for $200-$300. CI is selling the box of Toros for $70. Nice box and all. Would I spend $300 for this cigar? No. But at $70, they’re a steal.
With some patience on your part, you will be rewarded with an excellent cigar.
And now for something completely different:
I had my own TV show back in 1983. OK. It was on Public Access. But it was a well produce show. My partner was a big radio DJ named Marshall Thomas. We came up with the idea of getting some rock veterans on and interview them within a 30 minute framework.
Our first show was a disaster. We had 3 guests. Two of the original members of the band, “The Larks.” They had a hit in 1964 with “The Jerk.” It went on to be a big dance step in the 60’s. One that almost popped some of the discs out of your back. And they had a new song they wanted to promote on some obscure label.
The second guest was Richard Berry who wrote “Louie, Louie,” made famous by The Kingsmen in 1963. What we didn’t know was that Berry suffered from narcolepsy and constantly fell asleep during the interview.
We had a simple, but cool, set. We bought sheets of plywood and lots of singles attached to them. We had a small riser with chairs.
Here is what still cracks me up today. Both The Larks and Berry lip synced songs. The Larks were first. Marshall said, “So fellas, would you like to set the song up for us?”
Clearly confused, the two men got up out of their seats and started to move the furniture.
I came out from the booth and explained that Marshall wanted them to explain the song and how it came about, not move furniture.
Then it was Richard Berry’s turn and he lip synced to his original version of “Louis, Louis.” He was barely awake during the song.
Our second show was classier. We had Darlene Love and Hall of Fame drummer, Hal Blaine.
As it turns out, Darlene was in the girl group, “The Blossoms” during the 1960s. Hal has a resume that is to this day unbelievable and later became my mentor. In 1967, Ed Sullivan had a show completely dedicated to Nancy Sinatra. It was taped at her Las Vegas show. Big band behind her. Hal was on drums. The Blossoms sang back up.
In order to re-view the show, Hal went out and bought a $2500 video player. It was a Sony and reel to reel video. It also came with a heavy black and white monitor.
The show was on a reel. We had to transfer it to ¾” video. Hal was separated from his wife at the time and living on his yacht in Marina Del Rey, CA. He got the video equipment out of storage and brought it to his boat. I then went to the boat to pick it up. Of course, the damn boat seemed like a mile from the parking lot. And this shit weighed a ton. I felt like my arms stretched a foot carrying it to my car.
The transfer was made. I took the equipment back to his boat and Hal said, “Phil. Would you please do me a favor and hold on to it? There is no room on my boat.”
I shivered. “OK Hal.” And I dragged it back to my car. To this day, I still have a pristine Sony reel to reel video player and recorder.
The show went well and Darlene and Hal were lively guests. We showed clips from the show a couple times.
Hal and I bonded and, like I said, became my mentor for a couple of years doing me favors I would have never expected. If you want to check out his discography, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Blaine. It will stun you. He even played on some Beatles tracks.
We did a few more shows and then we just got busy doing other things. But I still have the shows on VHS and haven’t watched them in years. Someday, I will transfer them to DVD and not ruin my back by doing so.