Vallejuelo, Gran Toro – tasting notes.

Vallejuelo Gran Toro

Artie 81 – This cigar is a big, fat toro, with colorado coloring, and an inviting sheen to its wrapper. It’s got a well-constructed triple cap, and the foot shows nice bunching. The cold nose is very fruity with lots of “barnyard” aroma. It feels smooth to the touch although there are some prominent veins. An easy draw makes lighting effortless, and this cigar produces tons of smoke right from the start. An inch in, the flavors really pick up with floral notes of rose pedals and the sweetness of caramel. The ash, however is quite flakey…no ash-length awards for this stick. Halfway through, the flavors turn somewhat unpleasant. With a harshness felt in the back of the throat, and I’m tempted to put this cigar down. The flavors have also turned bitter, with a burnt charcoal finish. Actually, I’m done with this cigar.

Rob 91 – This is a gnarly looking stick. Most of the cigars we review are meticulously assembled. This one is not; very sloppy triple cap over a dull light brown wrapper. There are several prminent veins throughout the entire wrapper making me think of the Phantom of the Opera. The seams have several gaps that lead me to think the cigar will unravel as I smoke it. The feel has a normal weight but the cigar is a bit soft even before torching. It actually has a semi sweet plant aroma from the foot that is rather nice. Let’s hope the experience over shadows the appearance. A straight cut yeilds a fairly loose draw. The nice green plant aroma comes through the pre light draw. Again I like this. On lighting hte green grocer shifted to a woody essence; not cedar but more oaky. Huge plumbs of smoke at both cap and foot. It is reminiscent of a Drew Estate cigar. One inch in and a very wonky burn generated a loose ash into my lap (no surprise)! Still pillows of smoke. The wood has shifted to dry roasted nuts. Now at the 1/2 point the mouth feel is dry but the flavors are now prominent; a toasty chai tea with some cinnamon in the retrohale. Still plumbs of smoke and wonky burn. The last third required a correction to the burn. I am getting a very slight pepper wash on my tongue. Still a very smooth smoke feel in my mouth.

Paul 80 – Light brown wrapper with mottling, light tobacco aroma on the wrapper, some soft spots, easy draw. First 1/3: Tobacco and malt, medium amount of light smoke, dark gray ash, scalloped flaky ash. Second 1/3: Some burn on retrohale, little flavor, no changes, medium strength and body, short finish. Last 1/3: No changes, no improvement. Boring.

Jim 87 – An oily sheen medium brown wrapper surrounds this bold looking cigar. Immediately after lighting it, there was a distinct taste of fresh french bread taken from the oven. As it heats up, it is developing some red peppery spice that’s hitting back of my throat. Burn is going uneven from the start. Ash is very flakey, loose and the crown fell off less than an inch of burn length. Draw is also very loose. The flavors and spice are starting to blend better about an inch into this cigar. I still detect the bread flavor but it combined with a smooth caramel creaminess now. Overall cigar strength is slightly above medium. The spice mellowed and is now more complimentary to the overall flavors. The burn is now jagged but evened out on it’s own. As I hit the midway point the flavors are changing. I’m now tasting pretzel with a leather finish while the spice is now very slight in strength. The burn went very uneven and I had to level out. In the last third the leather flavor dominated. The first 2/3 of this cigar was really good and it fell off a bit in the last third. Still a nice experience and overall a very good cigar.

Will 90 – Beautiful toro gordo with a perfect triple cap. Flawless colorado wrapper. Looks like a Liga P t52. Cold nose is lots of spice with roasted peanuts, double sneeze. Cold draw is baking spice with cinnamon out front. Early flavors are pumpernickel toast and marzipan. The finish is long and has a molasses cookie sweetness to it. This is a big cigar and it burns slow, albeit lots of smoke, this may be a 2 hour stick. At the 30 minute mark I am getting black walnut instead of the molasses, this stick has a healthy amount of ligero in it, nica bomb that is screaming for a malt whisky pairing. I want to smoke this stick with a bottle of Johnny Walker double black close by. This cigar has steady flavor for 90 minutes, quite enjoyable. Because I smoke outside and it is raining the stick is getting squishy and bitter and I must let it go. This cigar get a Wow factor of 2 because it was so gorgeous.

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