The other week I was lounging around my local cigar shop , Paradise Cigarz, in Rockledge, FL enjoying the afternoon and talking up the world series that was yet to be finished. While there, one of my “Cartel” friends, Mr. Mike Holmes walked into the shop and sat next me and struck up a decent conversation. Mike asked me if I have ever tried a Valacari cigar? I have to be honest, because that’s how I roll, and responded I have never heard of the company. Lucky for me, Mike has been all about this new company ever since he met the rep I a little while ago.
As we chatted, Mike gifted me a couple of Valacari cigars. one known as the NeoClassic and the other named the Invictus. Just looking at the craftsmanship on them I knew I was going to be in for an experience. I thanked Mike for the gift and bought a drink and we finished out the day. I told him to tell the company that I will add these to my rotation. Well, the other night it was time, I opened that humidor cabinet up and I guess the Valacari Logo just called my name, “Pick me Boston, Pick ME!! So I did I chose the darker of the two sisters, the Invictus. I took her out to the Stogie Press lounge and sat down with a glass of water,, my Palio cutter, and torch lighter. By the end of the next hour this dark beauty was going to be a memory, nothing but cold ash.
So let’s get started on the Valacari Invictus cigar and the company itself.
Valacari Invictus Cigar
The Valacari Cigar Company is owned by Nimmer Ahmad. The company is based out of Tallahassee, FL as he is a “Nole” but was originally from Cleveland, OH. I have yet to get Nimmer on a call to interview him but we will get that done before I review the NeoClassic. I do know this is a young cigar company and I give great credit to anyone who gets into the business these days and can stay the course. We all know the best way to do that is have a fine offering for the consumers.
As for the cigar itself let’s break it down. The blend is described as:
- Wrapper – San Andres Maduro
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The Valacari Invictus is available in 3 vitolas and comes packaged in 24-count boxes:
- Perfecto (6 x 54)
- Toro (6 x 52)
- Robusto (5 x 50)
The price range is in the wheel house of mid $8.00 to $9.00
For this review, I sampled the Robusto and also purchased a Toro. The review is based primarily on the robusto.
So now that have this dark beauty alone with me it was to check her out from head to foot. The first thing catches my eye, is the coffee been brown wrapper. It is well capped. The wrapper has a light grit to it and had a few noticeable veins. Nothing that would be a problem. The packing is solid throughout.
The cigar is adorned with a two bands. The primary band uses a white and gold motif with the company’s logo centered in the middle. The logo is an image of a trident bold and bright. The secondary is a narrow red and gold band with the name Invictus centered in it. I am not sure of the symbolism of the Trident but when joined with the name Invictus it makes sense in that Invictus is Latin for unconquered. Once again, I will try to have a full up interview with Nimmer to answer all these questions when I review the NeoClassic later this month.
Well she is well-built, neatly dressed but what about aroma and early taste. I ran the Invictus across the nasals and picked up a mild fermented leaf aroma along the barrel and pepper off the foot. Once cut, the cold draw was tight and offered just a gentle pepper burn on the lips and tongue.
I don’t know who will conquer who here, but it was time to set the torch to it and get the party started.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial light provides pepper through a tight draw
- A solid white ash develops on a thin char line
- The pepper grows into a noticeable hot red pepper
- Pepper settles after a half-inch as savory notes enter the profile
- Draw opens up
- Ash is solid resting a thin char line that has just a slide wave to it
- Ash is a bit flaky
- Fruit notes enter joined with a nut aroma
- Ash after the first third revealing an off-centered burn cone
- Hint of coffee joins the profile
- The fruit turns to a light citrus midway through the second third
- Smoke is fairly smooth through the retrohale
- Burn continued to be off-center and required a touch up midway
- Aroma is turning more spicy
- Savory notes return in final and mix well with the spice to the finish
- Strength was close to medium
- Total Smoking Time was just over one hour for the robusto and one hour and twenty minutes for the toro
Overall, the Valacari Invictus was a decent cigar that offered pleasant flavor transitions through the burn. I feel the construction of the Robusto could be better as the off burn limited what this cigar could really offer in flavor. I have to say the Toro behaved better but I was smoking that one without paying much attention to the flavors as it was the 4th cigar of the day. I will have to pick another one up and report on the flavor notes.