Travel back in time to when the famed Gilberto Leon was rolling cigars in Havana Cuba. Gilberto was a mere 14 years of age when he started rolling cigars. Then, in 1971, he moved to Los Angeles where he founded Leon Cigars, which was soon voted as “Best Cigar in LA”.
Speed up to present day; Gilberto’s niece, Marie Cabrera wanted to keep the legacy of her Uncle going and created Valeroso Cigar. Along with Marie, comes Sean Hadley, who brings to the Valeroso company knowledge of tobacco in general, blending and rolling procedures. The first line from the new Valeroso Cigar Co. is the Primavera line. This line is rolled in the Matasa Factory of Manuel Quesada.
The Primavera line is available in eight sizes:
Corona (Animoso), Lancero (El Estado), Lonsdale (Contento), Churchill (Sagrado),
Robusto (Fogoso), Toro (Arrojo), Robusto Extra (Regalo) & Torpedo (Refinado)
This 42 x 5.25″ cigar is a little on the rough and rustic side. It has a slightly mottled medium to light brown wrapper. It has a few small veins and the simplistic white band makes this cigar look like a classic cubanesc cigar. The “V” in Valerosa is composed of two tobacco leaves on the band. The overall feel of the cigar is slightly firm, but no one part is softer or firmer than the next. There is a deeply applied cap that’s adorned with a pigtail. Now, I know a pig tailed cap does nothing for smokability, but it is very eye catching. One good thing about a pigtail cap, is you can usually twist it off in the event you don’t have your cutter with you.
The draw stayed consistently thick. I would say it was a bit past the “milkshake thick” type of draw. I don’t care for “milkshake thick”, nor did I particularly care for the draw of this cigar either. But, like I said, it could have been a fluke as this was the only corona size I had to do research of. The burn did get a little off going into the second third. By the midway point, it had corrected itself and didn’t need the first touch-up. For as thick as the draw was, it did produce a decent amount of drawn and a slightly lesser amount of idle smoke.
Each ash lasted 3/4″ if not more. I usually rolled them off between the 3/4 and 1″ mark to avoid it dropping on my lap. The ashes were of a dark gray and dirty off white shades. Here and there were lines of a reddish brown color in the ash from the veins. It was a well constructed cigar, possibly an over constructed (tighter rolled) or possibly overfilled cigar. Or just a one time rolled too tight corona; it happens.
The first few draws on this cigar reminded me of a light and creamy, yet woody flavor. The flavors right off the bat are quite pleasing to me. Beneath the wood, is a slight and ample black pepper note as well. Working into the cigar some, I got a flavor similar to bitter coffee. There was a very subtle sweetness that crept up from the background. Working out of the first third, the coffee flavor gets less bitter and more creamier as it progresses.
Getting into the second third, the coffee note is starting to shine a lot more in the flavor profile. A hint of a light, but noticeable zest kick starts to creep up around the half way point; much like the sweetness did in the first third. The zest is fairly floral in aspects to the flavors of the cigar.
Heading into the final third of the cigar, the flavors are still pretty much the same as previous portion. Coffee with a floral zest that showed no signs of backing off. Eventually, I started noticing a bitterness and saw a tar build-up on the head of the cigar. The thicker draw had started to affect the heat & flavors of the cigar. The bitterness lingered on the tip of my tongue. After wiping it away and a purge, the flavors corrected slightly. Yet, the bitterness came back along with the tar soon there after. So at that point, I let it rest.
I liked the coffee flavors in this cigar. I liked the cigar, if the draw would have been easier and not so thick, I would have liked it a whole lot more. Now, granted cigars are a handmade product, so it could have just been a fluke. The ashes held for a good bit considering its a corona & the burn started out a little iffy, but easily corrected itself. Overall, I will be trying this cigar in a larger ring gauge to see if it opens up the draw, flavor and lessens the tar buildup I got. A nice upper medium bodied cigar with medium to full flavors that appealed to me. Definitely worth a try for a good late morning/early afternoon smoke with a cup of coffee.
*This cigar was provided to me, unsolicited, from Marie Cabrera, of Valerosa Cigars, for this review. Many thanks to Marie for the opportunity to review this cigar!