The Vivalo Serie Exclusivo is the debut line by Vivalo Cigars. Vivalo Cigars was founded by Patrick Vivalo, who previous spent over 12 years working for Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. During his tenure, at Rocky Patel, he had the opportunity to create a personal blend while at the company’s Honduras factory. Vivalo’s creation, a 6 x 44 lonsdale caught the attention of two retailers in Maryland. In 2013 it was made available to both of them to carry in their shops and dubbed the “Vivalo Serie Exclusivo”. The line was eventually expanded to five vitolas. Earlier this year, Vivalo made the decision to leave Rocky Patel, and focus full-time on his brand and thus Vivalo Cigars, the company was born. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke through the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo offering line. Today, I will take a closer look at the Robusto Grande vitola in the line. Overall I found the Robusto Grande to be an excellent cigar, and the Vitalo Serie Exclusivo to be an impressive line as a whole.
Since launching Vivalo Cigars, Vivalo has also made the decision to take the Serie Exclusivo line national. The company had an official launch at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show, and since then he has been building up his presence in various brick and mortar shops across the country.
The Vivalo Serie Exclusivo is a Nicaraguan puro. For the five offerings of the line, Vivalo employed a philosophy to blend each of the five sizes specifically to the length and ring gauge of the vitola. This has allowed each size to have its own flavor profile, yet share common characteristics of the blend with the other sizes.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo Robusto Grande and see what this cigar brings to the table:
The Vivalo Serie Exclusivo blend incorporates Grade A tobaccos from the Jalapa and Esteli regions of Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Jalapa Colorado Shade
Filler: Esteli and Jalapa
Country of Origin: Honduras
Each size of the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo is sold in twenty count boxes. As mentioned the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo is blended specifically to the size of the vitola. The five vitolas are listed below based on how the company assesses each vitola from a strength perspective. The Lonsdale is considered the mildest offering in line while the Robusto Grande is considered the strongest.
Lonsdale 6 x 44
Robusto: 4 7/8 x 50
Belicoso: 5 x 52
Gordo: 6 x 60
Robusto Grande: 5 1/2 x 54
There is also a sixth vitola, a Toro size that is currently being used as an event only cigar.
The color of the Jalapa Colorado Shade wrapper of the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo Robusto Grande definitely lives up to its name as it is a rich medium brown color with a nice Colorado red tint to it. There is a light sheen of oil on the wrapper, yet there are also some silky characteristics to the wrapper. The surface of the wrapper is also quite smooth. There are a few visible veins, and most of the wrapper seams are quite thin.
The bands to the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo were recently changed following the establishment of Vivalo Cigars as a company. There are now two bands on each cigar. The primary band has an antique white-colored background with a dull gold-colored trim. The middle of the band features the silver, black, and brown Vivalo logo on a square background. Below that is the text “VIVALO” in a non-metallic gold font that is a cross between classic and contemporary. On the left side of the band is the text “VIVALO CIGARS Est 2013” while on the right side of the band is the text “SERIE EXCLUSIVO”. The text on each side of the band is also in the same classic / contemporary-styled dull gold-font. To the far right is a small square with a tiny black Vivalo logo.
There is also a secondary band just below the primary band. This also features an antique white background with dull gold-colored trim. The text “SERIE EXCLUSIVO” sits on the background consistent with the same color and font as the rest of the band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo Robusto Grande, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was successful clipped, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw wasn’t overly complex, but it was quite flavorful as I detected a combination of coffee and cedar notes. Overall I still considered the pre-light draw to be excellent on this cigar. At this point, I was ready to light up the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo Robusto Grande and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Vivalo Serie Exclusivo Robusto Grande started with a mix of coffee, cedar, and white pepper. It didn’t take long for the coffee notes to emerge as the primary note. The white pepper and cedar moved into the background and was soon joined by some cocoa notes. Meanwhile the white pepper was prominent on the retro-hale.
Throughout the first third, I found the coffee notes became richer. The cocoa notes started to increase while the cedar and pepper remained a little more distant. Meanwhile, a creamy note also surfaced in the background that kept the flavor profile quite smooth.
By the second third, the cocoa notes joined the coffee notes in the forefront. I found the cocoa and coffee notes were not “fused together” and were each individually identifiable. As the Serie Exclusivo Robusto Grande reached the midway point, the cocoa notes became primary and the coffee notes moved into the background. Meanwhile the cream, pepper and cedar notes remained in the background.
As the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo Robusto Grande reached the last third, I found the cedar notes joined the cocoa in the forefront. The coffee and pepper notes remained secondary while the cream notes dissipated. This is the way the Serie Exclusivo Robusto Grande came to a close. The cigar was flavorful right until the end with no harshness. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
When it came to burn and draw, I found the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo Robusto Grande to score very nicely. The burn path and actual burn line remained relatively straight throughout the smoking experience. I didn’t find this was a cigar that required an excessive amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash was on the firm side. The ash itself had a salt and pepper color to it. Meanwhile, the combustion of the Robusto Grande was excellent as this cigar had an ideal burn rate and burn temperature.
The draw was stellar on this cigar. It had a touch of resistance – something I enjoy when smoking a cigar. This made the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo Robusto Grande a very enjoyable smoke.
Strength and Body
As for the five vitolas in the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo line, the Robusto Grande was considered to be the one to have “full strength”. I’ve gone through the five regular production offerings and I would agree this vitola definitely had the most strength (and body). At the same time, I didn’t consider this cigar to be a nicotine bomb. I found the strength level to start out medium and increase in a gradual, linear fashion. By the last third, the strength progressed into the medium to full range.
The body followed a similar path. I found this to be a medium to full-bodied cigar to start. Like the strength, the body increasef in a gradual, linear path and by the last third, the Vivalo Exclusivo Robusto Grande was in full-bodied territory.
The Vivalo Serie Exclusivo Robusto Grande impressed me quite a bit. This is a cigar that hit on “all cylinders” from start to finish. I found this to be a flavorful and well-balanced cigar from start to finish. I found this cigar had a nice amount of complexity, and had excellent construction. I’ve also found the Vivalo Serie Exclusivo line to be excellent as a whole (we will cover other vitolas in the future). In the meantime, this is a cigar I would recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast, but it also is a great cigar for a novice to try something on the fuller side. As for myself, I really enjoyed this cigar. It is one I would smoke again – and it’s easily worthy of a box purchase.
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Body: Medium to Full (1st 2/3), Full (Last Third)
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
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