The 25 Best Cigars of the Year 2006
Carlos Toraño Exodus 1959 Torpedo
In 1959, the Toraño family owned 17 tobacco farms in Cuba, but they lost them to nationalization under Castro. Like some latter-day Johnny Appleseed, Carlos Toraño brought Cuban-seed tobacco to the Dominican Republic, and soon Toraños were growing in several countries, hoping to find a new source of leaf in the wake of America's embargo on Cuban goods. Today, Carlos's ancestors Carlos and Charlie Toraño have carried on his name by creating a cigar brand named for him, which fittingly uses intriguing blends made from a host of countries, including many that aren't known for their cigar tobaccos. The Exodus line—which is made with tobacco from five countries —gets its name from the diaspora of Cuban cigarmakers and tobacco growers such as Toraño who were evicted from their former home, and this rich, medium-bodied torpedo has wood and vanilla notes and a sublime, easygoing style. It's also a stunning bargain—the 6 1/4 by 54 smoke retails for only $5.45.