It is a nice afternoon out here in South Central PA and I intend to spend it outside. I have a couple small things to do in the yard, then I need to install frets in a neck. I decided to bring the work outside. Since I will be installing frets with a hammer, I need a solid and flat (mostly) surface to work off of. I need to prep a big piece (about 8” x 8” x 36”) White Ash with a plane. A big piece of Ash, and a couple saw horses will make a perfect outdoor work surface for this. I decided to grab a cigar from a new-to-me cigar company. I will be reviewing The Messenger from Valacari Cigars today.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera de Pages
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Vitola: 6 x 50 Toro
Price: $9.00 MSRP
Release Date: June 2019
Company Website: www.valacari.com
I really love the look of this cigar. Typically I like contrasting colors between the band and wrapper, but I like the subtle contrast in this presentation. The wrapper is a bit rustic with some veins and wrinkles, but it is velvety soft. The cigar smells like straight tangerines and creamy spices. The cold draw is sweet cream and a bit of berry sweetness. The first light brings medium bodied, full flavored smoke. There’s classic Connecticut, slightly bitter grassiness with tons of citrus, and florality. The citrus is a combination of the rind and the flesh. An inch in the grassiness has subsided some, but the citrus and florality have maintained, along with a lot of cream. The retrohale elevates the citrus and cream and adds a touch of baking spice. These flavors hold through most of the first half, which is perfectly fine by me. Approaching halfway the performance has been flawless. The profile is starting to shift a bit now. The cream is more of a cream cheese like creaminess, the citrus is backing down, and the baking spices are creeping up more. The retrohale has a lot of nice baking spices and earthiness. Entering the final third there’s a big shift to an earthy, woody profile with just a touch of citrus on the backend. Past the band point there is a lot of pepper, earth, and the Connecticut grassiness present. Coming to an end at an hour and 32 minutes the profile remained consistent and the cigar performed perfect up to the end.
Overall this was a very good cigar, and certainly a great introduction to the brand. It started off fabulous, with tons of sweet, creamy, citrusy flavors with some baking spice and floral notes. As the cigar progressed, it got a bit bolder and darker in flavor and intensity, peaking in the final third at full body and flavor with medium strength. I personally would have liked to have seen the first half flavors continue to the finish, but was happy throughout. I think this is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of softer, more subtle flavors, but beware as you enter the second half. It also would be great for someone who shies away from traditional Connecticut cigars, as it offers some more of the things that that smoker may look for as well.
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