Named among the bargains of the year in 2010 by Cigar Aficionado, the Vallejuelo went from being relatively unheard of, to something people want in their humidor. A bargain cigar is something every stogie fan should be constantly on the prowl for. Because, there are those gems that line the top shelf of any collection, and then there are the rest. The tricky part is making sure “the rest” are up to par, it’s not as easy as it sounds! So when I find this “bargain of the year” siting at the bottom of my humidor, it’s almost as if it’s my duty to smoke it, I happily oblige.
The Vallejuelo had actually been hiding out in my humidor for over a year. I got the Vallejuelo as a free throw-in cigar, part of a bundle that usually accompanies a ticket to the larger cigar festivals. Packaged in a promotional, 2-pack box (Robusto Gordo & Gran Toro sizes) that boasted its rather high 92 rating by Cigar Aficionado, I chalked the high rating up to a marketing tactic and let it sit.
Now let’s get down to business: I chose the larger, Gran Toro size (6 x 54) and gave it a nice clean cut. The pre draw is smooth and the smells are a light hay and sweet tobacco, with a stronger tobacco smell coming from the foot. Lighting up, I can tell right away this is a mild to medium body cigar, which was plenty fine with me, I had this as an early morning smoke with a warm cup of coffee. I’m glad I chose to smoke this with a coffee, because that’s exactly what I got: smooth creamy coffee throughout! The smoke output is decent, it’s no chimney stack, but you certainly won’t need to double puff this guy.
Moving into the second half (yes I’m reviewing this cigar in halves, not thirds, you wanna fight about it?), it’s important to note the fine construction of this cigar. For it’s $6 price tag, the burn is truly more than you could ask for. Aside from a few notches and waves, the burn line stayed true to course, only requiring one relight near the end (I could’ve stopped, but I was really enjoying the smooth flavors). The wrapper did peel a bit, but didn’t affect the smoke. The flavors began loosing some of the creaminess – creamy coffee became more like black coffee, some added bread notes, and a nice sweet tobacco and spice aftertaste now accompanied the palate. This was a welcome progression and made for a relaxing smoke that lasted longer than expected, right up to the band.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
I might not give this cigar the generous 92 rating CA did, but I would certainly smoke the Vallejuelo again. The flavors didn’t stand out as being particularly interesting or complex, but sometimes that’s just what you need – something that isn’t demanding your attention, just sitting back, complimenting the ambiance of a peaceful morning. And while a $6 stick isn’t exactly “cheap”, it’s worth noting that their Robusto offering is only about $4.50, sounds like a bargain to me.
- Great price
- Enjoyable flavor
- Good performance
- Tails off in second half