Sitting at work, I asked my buddy Ed to pick our a cigar for today’s review. The mindset behind that was that he would pick something that isn’t on my radar, and that plan worked to perfection.
Back in 2010, Vallejuelo was voted as the best bargain cigar by Cigar Aficionado where it received a 93 rating. As much as I love the boys from CA, I don’t put a lot of stock into their ratings so lets see how this one fairs in The Cigar Authority review.
According to their Facebook page: “Vallejuelo is a small village in the Dominican Republic, it is situated in a gorgeous Valley. In this area they grow special tobacco which is used to smoke in a pipe, when reading a book about tobacco growing history in the DR I came across the name, that dayI was approached by a swiss cigar distributor to make a new brand for the swiss market, he needed a blend and a name, so i asked him, what about Vallejuelo, he said what the heck means Vallejuelo, well actually the meaning is Small Valley, so he agreed and Vallejuelo Cigars was born, the blend is made towards the by Cuban Cigars dominated market, so this blend is imho a Cuban Blend with a dominican & dutch twist, i love the blend and i am sure once you smoke a Vallejuelo you will agree that this is a wonderfull smoke. I always wanted to have a cigar on the US market with an affordable price point, so when i had the chance, thats exactly what i did.”
(Ed. Note: Even though English isn’t their primary language, its nice to seem someone type worse than me.)
Size: Robusto (5 x 50)
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Filler: Dominican & Nicaragua
The Look: The Vallejuelo features a reddish-brown wrapper with a fair amount of oils and virtually no veins visible. The cigar is rolled to perfection with a seamless roll and a triple cap which isn’t common for the Dominican Republic where these cigars are rolled. The band of brown and gold doesn’t stand out and it’s easy for these cigars to get lost on the shelf amongst the more vibrant brands of the cigar market. In the hand the cigar feels like velvet with no soft spots and a well packed foot.
The Notes: There is a subtle blueberry sweetness on the cold draw mixed with notes of cashews while the foot of the cigar serves up a cedar like aroma. On the initial light of the cigar the blueberry becomes more pronounced and the cigar comes across as balanced to the next level.
Smoking the first third of the Vallejuelo the sweetness of the blueberry begins to fade as notes of toast and coffee begin to emerge with the slightest essence of cashews. As we work our way closer to the second third of the smoke, the coffee notes take hold as the dominant component.
In the middle portion of the Vallejuelo some of the sweetness returns especially and surprisingly on the retrohale. The blueberry notes are front and center with notes of bread that has been perfectly toasted. As the second third comes to a close, the sweetness exits and some cashew notes return into the fold.
As we conclude the smoking experience of the Vallejuello the last third has notes of nuts, specifically cashews with some growing spice through the nose. As the cigar comes to a close and only a small nub remains, the finishing notes are of a subtle pepper and an abundance of toast.
The Burn: As we began smoking the Vallejuello the ash was extremely flaky and didn’t hold on for more than a half-inch, however as we smoked further into the cigar the ash became more sold and it held for much longer. The same can be said for the burn line which was jagged like a seismograph reading before flat-lining into a near perfect burn. The draw was perfect and the cigar remained lit from first pull to last puff.
The Finish: I can see why this scored so high in CA and in retrospect this cigar might of started a trend in more affordable smokes. However, the market is now flooded with cigars in the $5.00 price range. Despite this, the cigar still stands out among those that fit that demographic. Complex with notes that relax the mind and ease the soul the Vallejuelo is an excellent cigar.