The Toraño family has been around for over ninety years making some of the most luxurious cigars. It all started in 1916 when Don Santiago Toraño immigrated to Cuba from Spain. He immediately started working with the tobacco leaf and became a broker for the prized crop. One of Don Santiago’s sons, Carlos Toraño, took his knowledge and passion for the tobacco leaf to the Dominican Republic where he is credited as one of the driving forces of the country’s tobacco growing industry. Making the shift into cigar production about 25 years ago, the Toraño clan has been making premium cigars that are available throughout the world. Feeling nostalgic over his family’s past, Charlie Toraño recently discovered a deep-list of cigar blends. Looking it over, he came up with an idea and the Circa Series was born.
The first installment of the Circa Series, the Dominican Selection, originally hit the shelves in 1995 during the tail-end of the cigar boom. Like many premium cigars during that time, the Dominican Selection didn’t last long due to an obnoxiously over-crowded market full of sub-par handmade cigars and poor marketing. Back for the second time, this beauty was recreated with the same blend recipe it had back in 1995 with a handsome brown Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper leaf that secures a blend of perfectly aged Dominican long-fillers. Together, this mild to medium-bodied smoke will deliver perfectly balanced flavors of cream, coffee, nuts, and black pepper. Pair it with a Lambic.
Though tobacco is indigenous to Hispaniola, the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic existed in the shadow of Cuba’s dominance through the 1960s. When the exodus of Cuban cigar makers began in the wake of the revolution, many decided the Dominican Republic would be ideal for the resumption of their livelihoods. Unrest in Nicaragua in the 1980s fueled the Dominican cigar industry further. The country now makes more than half of the premium cigars imported into the U.S.
The Cibao Valley and the nearby city of Santiago are the center of cigar production in the Dominican Republic. Three main varieties are grown here: the mild and native Olor Dominicano; the intense Piloto Cubano, brought from the Vuelta Abajo of Cuba; and San Vicente, a milder and more acidic Piloto hybrid. Dominican puros were once unheard of as it was widely thought impossible to grow quality wrapper leaf on the island, but new growing techniques are now allowing some exceptional puros to be produced.
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