A Toraño, an Undercrown, a Cain and Hockey With No Cigars!

ToranoVault_A008_ToroThursday I took a half day at work because I won tickets to the NCAA Frozen Four at the Wells Fargo center in Philly from our local NBC TV Station. So, in preparation,  I took a walk with the dog and a Toraño Vault A-008 toro thst I believe came out of the 90+ sampler that Jack Toraño sent me last year (many thanks again, Jack!). The cigar has a flawless shade grown Nicaraguan wrapper, and there’s some filler from Ometepe that gives it a distictive flavor. The cigar lit and burned perfectly and was an excellent after lunch smoke. These Vault releases are unique in that they are blends that the Toraño family have had tucked away for years. This one is a really nice smoke and I give this a 98 on the new CigarCraig scoring scale (more on that later).


I had expected to have a cigar in the cigar bar at the Wells Fargo Center, but apparently you can’t have indoor smoking in a CIGAR Bar at a NCAA event. Sell all the beer you want, but smokers are relegated to a fenced off area outside, which is where I enjoyed a PDR A. Flores Gran Reserva Half Corona between games (a 97 on my scale, a great short smoke). I also was able to prevent a horrific injustice from happening. As we were standing there, a FrozenFourcouple guys walked out with BSB#1 Bernie Parent by Rocky Patel HOF 84 torpedos and started lighting them up. These are expensive cigars, in the $12 range in a shop, if they bought them at the arena they would have been nearly double that. Much like the Toraño Vault, they have a foot band, and I had a feeling the one guy was going to try lightning his without removing the band. It turns out, I was right,  and I intervened at the last second, yelling “wait!” (imagine it in slow motion for dramatic effect), and telling him that smoking the band isn’t the best way to appreciate the flavor of that particular cigar. Meanwhile, his buddy smoking a cigarette was howling with laughter as he apparently had told the guy that lighting the cigar that way was the right way to do it. I chastised him for his transgressions and finished my smoke. All the games were great,  I hadn’t paid any attention to college hockey and it was really entertaining. We also went to the finals last night and saw a really good game. Too bad the cigar bar was no smoking, it was packed with people drinking though!


Undercrown_DogmaFriday evening I decided to break out one of the samples of the Drew Estate Undercrown Dogma, which was recently released in very limited quantities and celebrates the one year anniversary of the Cigar Dojo Community app and website. Sadly, I just can’t seem to find the time to dig into another cigar community, and I’ve never been a big fan of web forums. The time required to keep up with them is more than I care to spend. So the Undercrown Dogma is a 6″ x 56 box pressed toro that is based upon the blend for the Corona Viva, which is slightly different than the regular Undercrown line in that the ratios of the fillers were tweaked to fit into the corona gorda format, resulting in a little different taste. I personally like the Corona Viva the best of the line and have smoked them the most.  So, I was interested in trying this new size. This is a spectacular cigar, and I hope they broaden the distribution of these, and make them a regular product. It’s rich and delicious, with a little bit of power. I don’t know Eric, Master Sensei at the Dojo manged to pull this off with Drew Estate, but I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try this (Thanks to JB at DE), although it bums me out a little that I won’t be able to get my hands on them easily!  This is a 99 on my new scoring scale.


I few weeks ago I was interviewed by a gentleman for an article on SpareFoot about cigar storage. I didn’t make a big deal about it at the time, as it happened to be published about the same time I made a little rant about “experts” and I certainly don’t consider myself one.  However, I find myself in good company in the article, with Patrick Ashby of StogieGuys.com and Tad Gage, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cigars”.  The article is at  www.SpareFoot.com and you can also read it below.

Title: Tips From the Experts on How to Store Cigars


Cain_Daytona_LanceroYesterday, before the Flyers beat the Penguins, and I went to the NCAA Finals game, I slipped in a Cain Daytona Lancero on a nice, Saturday afternoon walk.  This is a cigar that’s hard to get a hold of, and I was the fortunate recipient of a couple of these from my formerly local, former Oliva rep a couple years ago.  The Daytona blend is probably about my favorite of the line, although I do enjoy most of them for one reason or another. I find the Dayona to be slightly more refined than the rest of the line, and this Lancero is probably the most refined of the bunch. Great burn and draw, outstanding flavors and lasted a good hour and a half.  I’ve long held the belief that the length of a cigar is more of a determining factor in the smoking time than the ring gauge. This burned for easily an hour and a half, straight as an arrow and perfect from start to finish. If you see these, snag them up. I think the No. 4 corona is a reasonable substitute, as it’s right up there. Definitely a 98 on the scale.


I’ve decided to play around with a scoring scale.  My scale will be a little different as it will be a 10 point scale from 91 to 100, with a 91 being a really terrible cigar to a 100 with is the pinnacle of perfection in all aspects.  I can hear you now, “CigarCraig, that’s the biggest bunch of BS I’ve ever heard!  Why not just do a 1-10?”  Well, I hear you, and all I can say is that for one person to assign a score to a cigar, however arbitrary the method, is relatively useless, so I’m just making my useless scoring look really good to whoever happens to look at it at with pre-conceived notions.  So, if you see someone advertising that “CigarCraig gave our Perro Cohete Gran Reserva a 91!”, you’ll know to stay away!


That should make up for Wednesday’s weak post!  Enjoy the day! Un til the next time,









Filed under Editorial, Review

6 Responses to A Toraño, an Undercrown, a Cain and Hockey With No Cigars!

  1. Dan Colley

    I have to agree with you when you state that the Undercrown blend used in the Corona Viva is “better” than the blend used in, for instance, the robusto. I read somewhere that it has to do with the ratio of wrapper to filler and that the blend was changed to accommodate that difference. Let’s hope that we see the Dogma get into wider circulation so that some of us peons can have a taste !!!

    Also, thanks for the review of the Torano Vault A-008. I just received a catalog from Famous that has that stick advertised at a fairly good price. I’ve enjoyed Torano cigars for quite a few years, but found myself drifting away from them. This one may be a good reason to come back. I’m also curious about the Vault D-042 blend. It’s just too bad that neither of these cigars come in a corona vitola. With the trend to larger ring gauges, I see fewer and fewer coronas available.

    • jjo

      Dan Colley – The Vault A-008 does come in a 5-5/8×46 corona gorda, which I think is much more flavorful than the robusto, although the ash is pretty flaky.

  2. Mike Perry

    Craig, I’m guessing you git to see Union play? That campus is about 30 minutes from where I live. Sitting with a happy Union alum today, smoking a Nica Puro.

  3. Is that the same scoring scale you use for women too?

  4. Commish

    Big Torano Fan and nice selection on that one. Great games at the Frozen 4!