The Brick by Carlos Torano | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 60 “BFC”
Body: Medium
Price: $2.50-$5.00

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Today we take a look at The Brick by Carlos Torano.

Now this is a stick that has been around for a while and has peaked my interest from time to time but never pulled the trigger on it. No reason.

This was a gift from a reader. I’ve had it a few months and I have no idea how long he had it before me.

So for a lark, I thought I’d give this monstrosity some time in the gladiator ring.

Apparently, The Brick was re-tooled and made its “new version” debut at the 2014 IPCPR trade show.

The stick looks like a big wrinkly turd. Or wrinkly candy bar. The box press is crisp giving this felled red wood tree a sharp look. Like a brick, in fact. Go to Cleveland and the whole town is made of these cigars. Or at least, looks that way.

The stick has the look of being knocked around a bit. Tiny cracks. But perfect seams, nice triple cap; which is unexpected on an inexpensive cigar, a very oily sheen that also has a matte-like finish depending on the light. The foot band is it. Once it’s gone, you are stuck smoking a giant log with no identification.

I clip the cap and find aromas sweet coffee, cocoa, spice, orange citrus, cedar, and hay.
Time to light up.

Once the foot band is removed, it shows the sharp edges of the box press.

The draw is excellent. A nice sweetness appears followed by chocolate; lots of chocolate. And a touch of coffee. There is a very omnipresent element of dark raisin.
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I’m guessing, based on price, that this will be a nice one trick pony blend. Chocolate, coffee, creaminess, dried fruit, cedar and some other element will be all its got to give and no complexity will show itself. Let’s see if I’m full of shit.

BTW- If you go to the Gallery section of the Torano Cigar web site, you will see approximately 18 of my photos taken during reviews. Torano used them without my permission or giving me credit. I’ve messaged them several times to either give me credit, send me some cigars for the use of my photos, or remove them. They ignore me each time. I do not exist in their eyes.

I checked copyright law and its hazy about photos when you are taking them of a product. It’s about 70/30% in my favor but their arrogance pisses me off. I’ve just never gotten along with the Toranos. And for once, it is not my fault. Well, yes it is. I spoke up when they were sending me samples for review. They only sent me one cigar for review. I made a deal with them that they send me a 5 pack. They just ignored it. Luckily for me, the Kings of the $5.50 Cigars sent me crap cigars to review. So most cigars got crappy reviews. Not out of bitterness; but rather out of them sending me a dog turd. Which most Torano blends are.

If I wanted to be a real asshole, I could take their web site down. I have a copyright service called DMCA. You see the emblem at the bottom of each review. Each review and each photo is protected under U.S. Copyright Law. DMCA will gladly take down a site that has infringed upon my rights for a mere $200. But someone has to be the better man here and I can’t bring myself to go to war with these schmucks if I take down their site.

Betcha a buck they take one or two of the photos from this review and post them. Although, technically speaking, they don’t acknowledge The Brick on their web site. I guess it is beneath them to advertise a $3 cigar amongst the $5 cigars they show.

The Brick tastes pretty good. Very creamy and chocolatey. That perfect touch of coffee and cedar with a bit of citrus is really quite nice. So far, this $2 stick is better than the $5-$6 sticks they sent me for review.

The cigar is jam packed tightly with tobacco. Man, is it a slow burner! I’ve been on it for almost 10 minutes and only hacked away at 5/8”. Oy Gevalt! I am going to be here all day.

This is definitely a chocolate candy bar. I remember trying one a couple months ago and it was horrible. Took a few puffs and tossed it. So time is what this baby needs. Lots and lots of time. But them and forget about them. That’s pretty much what I do with any Torano cigar I get.

This cigar has been around for years! And there is no more than a handful of reviews. That should have been a warning for me. But then, reviewers are snobs. Me included. And the thought of reviewing a $3 cigar runs against the grain.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…The Brick is doing fine. No changes. Nothing special going on. Just a nice, easy going, medium body chocolate bar.

I’m bummed that there isn’t a lick of spice to be had. This would have been a much more interesting cigar with some pizazz in it. But Nooooooo……
I reach the second third in much quicker time than I expected…20-25 minutes.
5third

The Brick is a very decent cigar. As long as your expectations are low, you will enjoy this all day sucker.

The ash is now over 2” long. I test it once again and it gently disembarks the mother ship peacefully in the ashtray and not my lap. Huzzah!

It appears that The Brick is not meant to be an all-day sucker. The size belies the fact that it is a quick burner. It will probably end up being an hour and 15 minute smoke. If I can last that long.

The same flavor in the “hold” spectrum gets old after half an hour. I keep waiting for the blend to do something and surprise me. But like most Torano cigars, it lays there like a flounder. Nice gentle flavors but nothing that challenges me. This is the perfect cigar for newbies. Or your mooch friends. It’s big and looks expensive. Wink, wink.

I reach the halfway point.

There is a slight change to the flavor profile: Spiciness. A bit of black pepper shows up to my delight. Otherwise it is same ol’ same ol: Chocolate, creaminess, coffee, cedar, and a touch of citrus.

The spiciness gives The Brick a bit of character.
6half

There is even a bigger version of this cigar: 7 x 62. Oh lord. And for some reason, they call it a Churchill.

The last third begins.
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And so it goes. Another stunning Torano blend. But if you are on the cheap, you could do worse.

The construction was good until the end when it seemed to disassemble. No burn issues. No wrapper issues. Solid.
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I haven’t smoked a DE Java in years. Way too sweet for a serious smoker. But his baby, The Brick, would make a good substitute. It maintained a huge dose of chocolate and creaminess throughout. The only difference is the level of tobacco and the blending. The Java actually becomes complex. No such thing happening in The Brick.

So do I recommend it? If you are a golfer, hand them out to your mooch friends. Or if you are at a BBQ, hand them out to your mooch friends.
That’s the best I can do. Take The Brick and hand them out.
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And now for something completely different:

Feb. 11, 1975, the day after my 25th birthday, and the huge LSD fest we had the night before still lingered in our blood stream.

We had our first gig of the European tour in London. Most tours were 6-7 weeks long. We’d take a two month break and hit it again. I went crazy in those two months. Once you’ve tasted the exhilaration of playing live, improvising, and the audience…well..it’s an addiction.

You wander the city or drive all day from gig to gig. But you live for those 2 hours on stage that night.

The band Renaissance had also taken the same acid as my bandmates. Another Miles Copeland band with a lead singer that was a chick. While her band was a bunch of regular guys who smoked the ganja like us, the chick; Annie Haslam did not.

Apparently, the potent dose of Berkeley California acid that Stewart passed around was too much for the Renaissance guys. They were too fucked up the next day to do anything and ended up canceling their first gig of the tour that night in London. Just like us. LOL.

Of course, Curved Air were tough fuckers. What’s a little LSD to idiots like us. We went on stage that night, high of course, and did 5 encores.

Now I didn’t hand out the acid. Stewart did. But it was my birthday party and the dumb bitch Annie decided it was my fault that they had to cancel their gig. Miles was furious with Stewart and the boys in Renaissance.

Just before going on that night, Stewart the drummer, decided to smoke a huge bowl of hash. Well, there were consequences to pay for that. It brought all that LSD rushing back.

We had the same boring set list every night. No spontaneity whatsoever. Just one night it would have been nice if Darryl called out a different song. But no. It was deemed by the All Mighty that we did the same songs in the same order every fucking night.

Throughout the 2 hour set, Stew kept doing long extended drum solos. Not only when they were designated, but during the songs. Stewart Copeland would go on to be a beloved drummer by the masses once he was in The Police. But while in Curved Air, he was an out of control mad man.

The violinist and guitarist did a lot of wood shedding by trading riffs during the instrumental breaks. Darryl would play 4 bars. Mick would play 4 bars, etc.

Stew would do a Keith Moon through the whole thing and the boys couldn’t find “1”. The first beat of the bar. They were completely lost because of Stew’s incessant soloing through their solos.

They were just completely lost and couldn’t find the beginning of each bar. I saw Darryl, the violinist, give Stew the stink eye a’ plenty.

But Stew was as high as a kite. He didn’t care. After all, his brother was our manager. And he was hooked up with the lead singer. So his place in the band was secure.

So I had to save the day. Instead of me playing what I would normally play, I hit quarter notes with the emphasis of hitting the 1 at each new bar. This allowed the boys to find their way back to the start of each bar.

After the gig, in the dressing room, Darryl fired Stew.
This was nothing new.

Stew got fired every week. Yes, the drummer from The Police got fired weekly.

But since Stew and Sonja were an item, Sonja would quit. This happened over and over. It got very tiring.

It basically gave Stew carte blanche to do whatever he wanted.

It was at this concert, that at the end of a song, Stew raised his arms to signify that the song was about to end and then bring his arms down with a flourish on top of the kit. But the acid threw him off his balance and he fell backwards off the stage.

Most stages were 6 feet or so off the ground. But even farther on the back side.

The roadies always stored the drum cases behind the stage and drum riser. The drum riser was about four feet tall making it about a 10 foot drop to the stage floor. Fortunately for Stew, the drum cases broke his fall as he tumbled through them; all the way to the floor.

Sonja went running back stage to see if he was alive. We stopped playing.

He jumped up with large dinner plate sized eyes, and said he was alright…meanwhile, blood dripped from his forearms where he scraped long layers of skin away from the drum case latches

He jumped back on stage and we finished.

The audience, of course, loved it thinking it was part of the show.

The entire couple years I was with the band, we never did a gig where we weren’t high on hash or weed.
But this night was a most memorable experience.

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