11/22/15

Valentia Lucido - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
7:05pm
I shaved my kid's hair into a Mohawk today. Please don't question my cool.

THE CIGAR
Valentia Lucido
Ecuador Desflorado wrapper
Indonesian and Nicaragua binders
Santo Domingo Seco and Ligero Habano fillers
6" x 56 Grand Toro
PRE-LIGHT
Clearly visible and not entirely even hewn seams. A small handful of medium+ sized veins which seem nothing beyond cosmetic. Cap is a bit crookedly affixed. Lots happening on the brown complected barrel. There's a orange undertone and separate yellow highlights hugging the veins. Too, there are hunter green low-lights. A quite densely packed foot shows a matte brown with strawberry blonde highlights.

Squeezing the Charmin, the dense foot tobacco is echoed evenly throughout in a still lively sponge -firm packing. The hand-feel is a dry one, but only in a not oily sense, not in a dead hot turd manner. There's a bit of velvet there and a lively enough sheen.

Schnoz notes on the shaft/barrel include a musty light sweetness. At the foot, I get more musty and the sweetness distinguishes as a light bodied sweet honey. Some malt essense is there, as well -- darned if I can tell which one yet. Some black bread, too, but that might be the malt messing with me.

Nibbling off the cap, I get my malt and it's chocolate on the cold draw. The black bread stays. The rest is tobacco and musty on a -tight draw. Another cold pull gives a vegetal backing.

LIGHT
Toasting the foot gives off bitter leather and dry compost notes. That's the majority of the first hot pull, too. There is also that vegetal vibe and it has roasted quickly. On the second hot pull, a bit of sweet grass comes in as does a hint of boiled nuts. Finish is a grassy note backing a dry black bread and pine nut flavor. Third hot pull is retro-haled and doesn't add a whole lot, but highlights a now toasted pine nut and a slight bittering of the vegetal. I detect no chocolate and/or malt. Finish is lengthy when considering the delicate flavor notes, but medium legged in the grand scheme of things.

Burn is even enough and its burn-line is razor-thin. Ash is pale to medium grey and seems to be building a nice even sheath. Foot-note is of pine nuts and suede and is of medium output. Room-note is sweet grasses and a hint of woodsiness. Volume of smoke is medium. Construction has evenly softened to a medium, and boy-howdy quickly.
ACT I
There's a tick or two toward and away from ribboning at the razor burn-line. Floral notes come in, mainly in a green manner -- not perfumed, but an ornate blossoming of leaves... or is that just what a flower is? I'll aways be a Brooklynite. Save your forestry queries for someone else. Smooth mouth-feel with a hint of clove on my palate. Very much milder of an affair than I expected.

Some strong hardwood notes, let's say oak, come on about an inch in. Still quite vegetal of a backing that ain't that far from being a fronting. I've lost the bread, but have kept the pine nuts. Something like an under-ripe honeydew is happening. Zero spices, sweet or hot. 

At the close of the first act, vegetal moves to a green chile and hardwood is certainly oak and becoming seasoned wood. Draw loosens to a medium+ and softening of the packing has ceased. Still a green smoke, but roasting nicely and picking up those complexities. Tobacco itself is a dry and light compost, a somewhat spent topsoil. Pine nuts roast too, and release a nice oily bit to the mouth-feel.

Profile is medium, we'll say. With all this vegetation, I'm feeling healthier already.

ACT II
I'm not an ash grower, but I am intrigued. At an inch and a half, at least, it's not clumped yet and I am not kid-gloving it at all. That said, I do pull my protective schmatta from my back pocket and lay it out on mu lap. 

Suede is back suddenly and quickly hardens to a still soft leather. I lose my nerve and roll the inch off at 1 3/4 of an ash. Deeper nuts are coming in now -- a pecan, raw. Musty notes come back from the dead and have a certain dusty baker's spice to them. Smoke output increases a notch as does a dry bitterness that is not unkind, but very much not moistly sweet. Finish ain't much more than a lingering of the draw, but sweeter. 

I still cannot pry the band off and LOOK AT ME WORLD, I'M SMOKING A VALENTIA LUCIDO. As to its design, it's the twin of the Torpedo, with a grey backdrop, instead of burgundy. I keep waiting on the sour to go to a white wine, and I can't tell if it's happening, or I'm simply willing it on. 

At the midway marker, the ash darkens a hair and seems a bit more airy. A hint of brown sugar lasts for maybe two puffs, then clings to the pecan for another couple. All else is unchanged. Profile is still at medium. Finish still ain't a whole lot, but not unpleasant. Burn-line widens to -medium and ribbons more often, corrects more often as well. I take another shot at the band and yippee, it's off. Just a personal pet peeve of proper etiquette as I sees it.

Burn slows considerably and evens. Line is back to razor-thin. Seasoned oak, leather, and toasted nut mix pull out far ahead of the vegetal medley. Burn hastens and unevens considerably, I'll wait n see if a touch-up is needed. I roll off a good ash of inch. Very dense but a bit darker and drier and consisting of tightly spaced ladder rungs. I'm hoping that measure will prevent further straying of a bit of burn-line. 

Rye bread and perhaps rye malt is coming on. As the final act looms nigh on the horizon, a slight crack appears in the wrapper ahead of the falling back to burn-line runner. 

Still a medium profile and still of mainly unchanged but a bit more roasted. Foot and room notes sharpen but remain kind. More green chile hits there, perhaps some white pepper.

ACT III
Roasted white peppers add to a smoked sensation that's well shy of charred, but along those lines. With a heavier body, there would be a chewiness -- but there's not, so there's not. What was once a brown sugar gets heated and liquefies to a syrup. There's a trying of citrus that never quite comes on. On center stage is a nice roasted mixed nuttiness, leather, and a heavier bit of earthiness. Mouth-feel is a bit creamier in the final act, but mainly unsweetened. Finish is again a simple continuation of the draw and is of medium length.

Burn stays mainly corrected and wrapper hiccup gets smoked through with no additional damage. Ash regrows a notch paler sheath. Draw firms up a tick and if you pull too greedily, a bite threatens. The chew is nice and the smoke output is unchanged. Profile ends as a spot on medium.

Some mouth irritation happens at the band and beyond. Too, there is drool. But I do go to the band and beyond -- so that's mainly a compliment.
NOTES
See notes re: Valentia Torpedo.
I continue to be pleasantly surprised by the powerful restraint shown by this line.

PAIRINGS
Strange that nothing comes to mind as pairing completely well, or completely poorly here.

FINAL GRADE
****B-****

EPILOGUE
8:35pm
Today is Sunday. I shall wear sweats, eat left-over pizza, and watch horse racing on TVG all day. Why are you still here, gentlepersons? Please show yerselves the door. Have a great Sunday. Elsewheres.