Sometimes I just want a good cigar in the morning. As I’ve written before, I think it’s a bit like coffee; lighter tobaccos with stronger stimulants are better in the morning, while darker tobaccos with less stimulant are better in the evening.
I happened to have a Famous VSL Nicaragua cigar in my humidor. I didn’t know anything about it, but its wrapper was the right shade of Connecticut, so I thought I would give it a try.
The VSL Nicaragua is another Famous Smoke exclusive. It’s described as a blend of Nicaraguan Viso, Seco, and Ligero tobaccos with what they describe as a “dark” Ecuadoran wrapper. I didn’t perceive it as “dark,” but what the heck. They tell me they balance the blend from all three sections of the tobacco plant. We’ve discussed the reasons for that in previous articles, but the point is essentially to provide a balance of flavours and burning qualities.
It had a light hay scent out of the wrapper, with a hint of coffee and cream. I found the pack to be firm but yielding; a good sign. Being a relatively compact 5 by 50 robusto, I clipped it with my desk cutter in a V-cut, and sat down with my morning tea to light it up.
Unfortunately it tore and flaked a bit as soon as I did, and this is a matter of some concern this early in, because it can lead to the cigar falling apart later in the smoke. Strike one; not an auspicious start.
It wasn’t billed as a high-end cigar, but I thought I would make a go of it with a cigar spill anyway. Toasting the foot produced a scent like buttered toast. Mmm, promising! Of course, I imagine my frame of mind contributed to the issue; it was, after all, morning.
For a cigar that’s received little professional attention, I found the first few puffs to be surprisingly good! It had a buttery toffee taste. It’s been a long while since I enjoyed the first few puffs of a cigar like this! The whole first third was like that, with a dry leather undertone. That lasted about 40 minutes.
I had to break up the second third for breakfast, so there were differences in perceived flavours between the two stages. In the first part of the second third, there was an element of nutmeg. In the second, I noticed more cedar flavours, which gradually came to dominate the cigar over the last third. The second third ran about 45 minutes, give or take.
The last third was a crisp, astringent cedar with an undertone of leather. Unusual, I find, having this element as the cigar’s finish, rather than it being a hallmark of the second third. And of course, to a cigar reviewer who is always looking for an experience, that was a definite feature!
In reference to construction elements, it did indeed fall apart at the very end, but not until it was a finger-singeing stub anyway. All in all the construction was proven in the pudding; it burned with an even, light-grey ash light all the way.
Another surprisingly complex offering from a Famous Smoke exclusive, and the perfect compliment with my morning English Breakfast tea. And just the right amount of wake-me-up without slapping me in the face!
All in all, even considering the frayed cut, this is a:
cigar in this lady’s perspective!
You can get the Famous VSL Nicaragua from Famous Smoke in Toro, Robusto and Churchill sizes. The robustos will run you $3 USD for a single, but they’re having a sale right now, and you can get a pack of five for $4.99 USD or a pack of 20 for $19.99 USD.