Robusto by Valentia

In 2013, a new cigar company was launched called Valentia.  The company makes their cigars in the Dominican Republic.  Valentia is a new cigar company that also has an interesting giveback story. The company has established a program called “Valentia Assistance for Law Enforcement” (VALE). Under the VALE program, when a tobacconist orders from Valentia, a participating law enforcement agency will receive a credit for law enforcement equipment from a company called Mako.   As for the cigars, the company has launched two blends – the Valentia and the Lucido by Valentia.  Today, we will take a closer look at the Robusto by Valentia.  This is a cigar that uses and Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper.   Overall, this was an extremely impressive cigar from start to finish – and a cigar to definitely keep an eye on.

In terms of the VALE program,  Mathew Buck, Valentia Cigar’s Business Development Manager said in the press release for the launch of the company:  “We decided that simply entering the cigar market with a truly superior cigar would not meet our company’s criteria for public service, so we decided to do something tangible for the first responders who put their lives on the line every day. Now, any tobacco dealer that opts into our VALE program will be given special discounts for also designating one or more Law Enforcement agencies to receive purchase award credits in his name, equal to that dealer’s discount. These can add up to many thousands of extra dollars annually for the dealer, and enable the designated Law Enforcement agencies to obtain thousands of dollars worth of essential gear at no cost. I am very pleased to be responsible for coordinating the VALE program so that Law Enforcement agencies get the maximum possible benefit.

As for the cigar, let’s break down the Valentia and see what this cigar brings to the table:

Blend Profile

While the cigars are made in the Dominican Republic, the Valentia uses a four country multi-national blend:

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Indonesian
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican

Vitolas Available

The Valentia blend is available in four sizes.  The 4 x 48 Fuerza has two packaging options (one geared for men, one geared for women). According to the company, “the special blends of Valentia Cigars are formulated with the personality of each cigar in mind.”

Churchill: 7 x 48
Torpedo: 6 x 52
Robusto: 5 x 50
Fuerza Gentleman/Fuerza Lady: 4 x 38 

The cigars are packaged in boxes of 25 or 3 packs.

Appearance
As mentioned, we will look at the robusto size vitola.  The Robusto by Valentia features a classic light brown Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper.  There is a slight oily sheen on the surface of the wrapper.  The surface of the wrapper also has some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.
The band on the Valentia has a maroon colored background with a mustard colored chain link pattern on it.  On the center of the band is a gold “V” on a gray oval.  The “V” is surrounded by gold wings.  Below the V there is a gray colored design that resembles a cannon with some cannonballs and bayonets along side of it.  The trim of the band has a mustard yellow colored trim.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my smoke of the Robusto by Valentia, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut.  Once the cap was clipped, I then proceeded with the pre-light draw.  The dry draw was typical of many Ecuadorian Connecticut cigars as I detected notes of wood, cream, and orange citrus.  Overall, I considered the pre-light draw of the Valentia to be excellent.  At this point, I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the overall smoking experience would deliver.

Flavor Profile

The Robusto by Valentia started with a mix of wood, pepper and orange notes.  The orange notes had less of a citrus/acidic quality that I normally detect on many cigars. The orange flavors provided a subtle, but not overwhelming sweetness.   In the background was an underlying creaminess.

The flavor profile changed up a bit as the Valentia reached the midpoint.   The cream notes joined the orange flavors in the forefront.  Meanwhile, the pepper and wood notes receded to the background. By the last third, the wood and pepper notes moved back into the forefront joining the cream flavors and the pepper notes receded.

The close to the Robusto by Valentia was very flavorful.  It was not overly spicy and had no harsh notes.  It also finished with an ideal nub – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

When it came to the burn, the Robusto by Valentia scored with flying colors.  The burn line remained straight requiring minimal touch-ups.  The ash was as tight as one I have seen – and it had a bold white color to it.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

The burn of the Valentia Robusto

The draw scored also scored well.  It was not an overly tight draw, but I wouldn’t categorize it as a loose one either.  This was a low maintenance cigar to puff on.

Strength and Body

From a strength perspective, the Robusto by Valencia is not going to be a nicotine bomb.  The cigar started out as mild to medium in strength, but by the second half progressed to medium strength.  For an  Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade, the flavors of the Valencia have some nice depth to them.  Right out of the gate the Valencia started out medium-bodied.  By the second half, I found the flavors had progressed to the medium to full range.  Overall, when looking at strength versus body, the Robusto by Valencia is definitely a cigar where the body is going to have an edge.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I found the Robusto by Valencia to be an excellent cigar – and certainly one of the better Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper cigars released this year.   The cigar delivers an excellent flavor profile.  The flavor profile has some nice complexity and robustness to it.  I was also very impressed with the quality of the construction of this cigar.  Valencia Cigars might be one of those boutiques to keep a close eye on in 2014.  The Robusto by Valencia is a great cigar for a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast to enjoy a flavorful cigar without overpowering strength. Experienced cigar enthusiasts might be surprised by the boldness of the flavors.  As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and is definitely worth a box split in my book.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st Half), Medium (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Excellent 
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
Score: 91
Source: The cigar for this assessment were provided by Valentia Cigars.  The samples received were initiated by Valentia Cigars in order to provide feedback.  Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this write-up.