An anniversary cigar, this one is intended to remind us that adversity can be overcome with hard work and patience. 1959 was the year that the Toraño Family, among many others, were exiled from their homeland of Cuba and had to begin life anew. As expatriated Cubans, they have since triumphed both as people and as creators of a new cigar industry in the countries where they settled. So the Exodus 50 Years is a celebration of that triumph and was released in 2009 as a part of the Toraño families "Our Roots Run Deep Tour". This cigar is the most full-bodied blend of the Exodus line, but with a subtle, natural sweetness and balance.
If you are familiar with the Exodus line of cigars, you notice right away how much darker and chocolatey brown this wrapper is. The 50 years is dressed in a Brazilian Arapiraca sun-grown wrapper and sports a copper colored double band. The Exodus "Gold" cigar utilizes a slightly lighter Nicaraguan wrapper with gold band, and the Exodus Silver is wrapped with a Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper and silver band.
Slightly rough to the touch, the Arapiraca wrapper is also oily, glistening in the light. With excellent construction and firmly packed, the Exodus 50 Years is a beautiful cigar to behold.
Torching this cigar takes some time to get it evenly lit as it is so firmly packed. Once lit however, the Exodus 50 burns slowly with a mascara-thin burn line. Not always even, the burn does self correct and is helped by rotating the cigar as one smokes it. The resulting ash is very tight, medium grey and hangs on forever.
If you like deep, dark flavors in a cigar, you will love this one. Rich flavors of dark chocolate and coffee attack the palate initially. The smoke is abundant and thick, but smooth.
As the cigar warms, flavors of spice and leather gradually appear. A perfect draw means enjoying this cigar is effortless. The flavor development continues as the cigar nears the center with the addition of raisins - similar to the dry flavor in a Tawny Port wine, intermingling with a darker espresso note.
In the final stage, the Exodus 50 amps up the espresso-chocolate-leather combination and finishes full strength. This is a powerful cigar and leaves a long lingering finish.
Carlos Toraño fans should love this cigar. While strong, the Exodus 50 is well balanced and the blend is fabulous. Enjoy this one for dessert after a fine meal, with or without accompaniment, it is very satisfying.