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Cigar Review – Vallejuelo Robusto Gordo

Up until earlier this year, I had never heard of Vallejuelo Cigars. I think it’s safe to assume that not a lot of people had heard of this brand, especially considering that up until recently, it’s only been available in Europe. But some of my coworkers brought back samples of these Dominicans from this year’s IPCPR trade show, and right off the bat, the eye-catching construction and gorgeous oily sheen of these stogies was hard to ignore (it’s also hard to ignore a 93 rating from Cigar Aficionado). We’ve been having some more unseasonably warm weather in the last few days, so I decided today was as good a day as any to break out a couple samples of the Vallejuelo Robusto Gordo for review.

When I say “eye-catching construction,” I mean it was almost impossible to gloss over how well-made this cigar was. The triple-cap (it looked like there were way more than three lines, but I’ve seen it billed this way) was beautifully applied and the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper was flawless and glistening with oils. After clipping the cap, the draw was firm but generous, offering up notes of pepper, leather, coffee, and rich, aged tobacco.

Lighting this stogie was fairly easy with a single-torch lighter, and it immediately started off with a picture-perfect burn. Initial flavors were coffee, caramel, and red pepper with a fairly creamy, sweet foundation. The spice became a little more subdued after about an inch and flavors of roasted nuts and leather started to come through. On the retrohale I tasted brown sugar and toasted walnuts.

The second half of the cigar was fairly consistent. In the foreground I tasted toast, nuts, and coffee, while in the background there was a little bit of clinging red pepper and some more of the brown sugar sweetness I tasted on the retrohale. Worth noting was the burn, which stayed perfect, and I mean perfect, from the moment I lit up until the moment I put down the impressively-small nub. Also notable were this cigar’s ashes, which were rock solid and hung on for well over an inch at a time.

I wouldn’t call the Vallejuelo Robusto Gordo a complex cigar by any means, but that’s not to say it wasn’t a solid, tasty smoke. The construction was some of the best I’ve ever seen, maybe even top five material, and the flavors, while not overly intricate, were clean, hearty, and satisfying. I paired this cigar with a glass of ginger ale, but I think it would have gone very well with coffee or even black tea. Especially considering its $4-5-per-stick price tag, I’d say this is one of the all-around best Dominican cigars I have ever smoked.