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99call

Is Vegas Robaina the best expression of tobacco flavour?

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Ok Ok so anyone wanting to knee jerk and go "your dreaming Cohiba/Trinidad is much classier/flavourful etc etc".    It's not really where the focus of my question centres. 

I've been smoking quite a bit of VR lately, and one thing that really stands out, is the out and out sweet rich flavour of fine tobacco.  Yes, it has lots of milk chocolate and light earthiness, but the real standout flavour is just rich lush clean tobacco.   I find it really impressive that i'm quite happy to forget about trying think about what flavours can be picked out, and just enjoy the flavour of tobacco. 

If someone were to ask you to recommend to a fellow smoker "what brand offers the best pure tobacco flavour?"   What would you say?

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I would say cigar smoking is a purely SUBJECTIVE experience, and I cannot offer a brand for you. This is like asking what brand of coffee out of the thousands of brands out in the world offer the best pure coffee flavor. Not going to happen.

 

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2 minutes ago, NYgarman said:

I would say cigar smoking is a purely SUBJECTIVE experience, and I cannot offer a brand for you. This is like asking what brand of coffee out of the thousands of brands out in the world offer the best pure coffee flavor. Not going to happen.

I hear you, 

I guess the quality VR presents I find a bit confusing.  Are they my favourite cigars? No and probably no by quite a margin,   but they seem to possess a quality that hard to represent.   Your example of coffee is a really good one, but similarly some people would suggest "this coffee is wonderful as is has berry acidity, or caramel, or hazelnuts etc etc.   Sometimes the core determination of why someone is suggesting they like the flavour of coffee, is in how it tastes of something else. i.e 

- I love this Cohiba......it all honey

- I love this Iberico ham, and its nutty flavour 

I,  in one breath completely agree with you that it's subjective.   But some things shine because they are not divisible by 'like'.    For example I've had great steaks before, because you could taste the nuttiness of that element of blue cheese formed by the ageing process,     but then I've had great steak before that I could only express their quality by tasting "really beefy". 

I'm not doing a very good job of explaining myself, but I would maintain, there is a core cuban tobacco flavour, and Vegas Robaina seems very adept at letting it shine.

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If someone were to ask you to recommend to a fellow smoker "what brand offers the best pure tobacco flavour?"   What would you say?


Like NYgarman said, cigars, and pretty much anything else a person enjoys, is a subjective experience. As such, I would recommend Bolivar, Partagas and H. Upmann, specifically a Boli Tubos No. 1, 898, and Connie 1. I know you said “brand”, but for me those are the brands and vitola that provide me with the quality tobacco flavor that I enjoy for exactly what it is, tobacco.
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As far as best pure tobacco flavor I’d have to go with Por Larranaga and or Ramon Allones

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6 hours ago, THEMISCHMAN said:

 


Like NYgarman said, cigars, and pretty much anything else a person enjoys, is a subjective experience. As such, I would recommend Bolivar, Partagas and H. Upmann, specifically a Boli Tubos No. 1, 898, and Connie 1. I know you said “brand”, but for me those are the brands and vitola that provide me with the quality tobacco flavor that I enjoy for exactly what it is, tobacco.

 

I think every cigar you've mentioned are wonderful, but in a way aren't these cigars are typical of tobacco that tastes distinctly of other, secondary things.    Wet wood, roasted peppers,  gamey meatiness, leather,  shortbread, bitter almonds, floral notes etc.      I think the reason why I mentioned VA specifically, is there I don't find there to be masses present there, apart from rich, lush sweet flavoured tobacco...........It just got me thinking..."wow I'm really enjoying this, specifically because it tastes primarily of quality tobacco, and little else

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You may be right. I have little experience with VR. Outside of the three Famosos that I got from a friend in a trade recently I may have only smoked one or two and that was most likely before I switched to Cubans. I will have to smoke one soon and see. I wish I could associate and describe the flavors in the tobacco as well as you and others like JohnS. I was approaching your specific question from the stand point of removing any limited flavor associations that I get personally and only thinking about the tobacco itself in those cigars. Those are three in particular that I’m always thoroughly satisfied with pretty much every time I smoke one. Granted my experience is limited to ULA 15 box codes on the Tubos No. 1, ALT 12, RAE 14, and TOR 16 on the 898, and BRE 17 on the Connie 1. But it’s cigars like these and that took my enjoyment of Cuban tobacco to a whole new level.

 

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11 minutes ago, THEMISCHMAN said:

You may be right. I have little experience with VR. Outside of the three Famosos that I got from a friend in a trade recently I may have only smoked one or two and that was most likely before I switched to Cubans. I will have to smoke one soon and see. I wish I could associate and describe the flavors in the tobacco as well as you and others like JohnS. I was approaching your specific question from the stand point of removing any limited flavor associations that I get personally and only thinking about the tobacco itself in those cigars. Those are three in particular that I’m always thoroughly satisfied with pretty much every time I smoke one. Granted my experience is limited to ULA 15 box codes on the Tubos No. 1, ALT 12, RAE 14, and TOR 16 on the 898, and BRE 17 on the Connie 1. But it’s cigars like these and that took my enjoyment of Cuban tobacco to a whole new level.

 

BRE 17 Connie 1's, wish I  had another 10 boxes. They have been spectacular.

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23 minutes ago, THEMISCHMAN said:

But it’s cigars like these and that took my enjoyment of Cuban tobacco to a whole new level.

I completely agree with you mate, Cigars like Boli 1s  to me represent complete blending.  Rich aspects of meat, leather, cream, salt, but with a soft floral profile weaved into it all.   I think you put a great selection together

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1 hour ago, TBird55 said:

BRE 17 Connie 1's, wish I  had another 10 boxes. They have been spectacular.

More off-topic. Is BRE confirmed the Upmann Factory for 17 and 18? My BRE OCT 18 are no slouches either.

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I'm trying to get my hands on decent VR famosos, I tend to like the darker savory flavors of Monte and Bolivar, so they sound up my alley, I just am afraid to buy blind from anywhere except FOH. So have to wait for that magical moment they are available, and I actually have enough money to spend...

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For straightforward tobacco flavor - Upmann comes to mind first.

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This may sound silly, but the first Quintero Favoritos I had (and I believe I reviewed for a weekend comp) was probably the best plain tobacco flavor I've ever had.  I loved it.  I immediately bought a box, and, well, they've been close, but not quite there.  In my mind it is still kind of a reference for what classic cuban tobacco tastes like, as opposed to dominican or nicaraguan or whatever.

Otherwise, I'd say Fonseca No. 1.

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13 minutes ago, slowsmoke said:

This may sound silly

Doesn't sound silly at all.   JLP Cazadores has cuban twang in abundance. and really exhibits a great core tobacco flavour

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17 minutes ago, BrightonCorgi said:

For straightforward tobacco flavor - Upmann comes to mind first.

I would agree that Upmann is towards the top the list for sure.  I love the fact that their catalogue all have that core profile but do genuinely all have their own personality.  Apart from the 54 which I just think is needless

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  I see what you're getting at. Montecristo for example doesn't spring to mind when someone says tobacco. 

  I've never had great experiences with VR so I can't put too much weight into them. 

  I think I'd probably pin the tail on the tobacco donkey somewhere between a Partagas 898 or Quintero Panetela. That rich aromatic tobacco that harks back to when you were younger and could smell the pure tobacco old men smoked in pipes in pubs etc

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I haven't had many great experiences with VR but I can totally get where you're coming from.  To me, it's almost just a tobacco flavor and nothing else.

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4 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

For straightforward tobacco flavor - Upmann comes to mind first.

This was my first thought.

Upon further review though, I think I agree with the original premise. Upmanns have a wonderful tobacco core, but with more "other" flavors weaving in and out. VR, to me, have much less "other."

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3 hours ago, slowsmoke said:

This may sound silly, but the first Quintero Favoritos I had  was probably the best plain tobacco flavor I've ever had.  

I lit a Quintero Favorito yesterday and could not believe how satisfying the experience was .....

Tons of smoke, a perfect burn, relatively rich plain and simple tobacco flavours

 

Regarding the question posed by the OP -  'budget' offerings like the Favoritos may fit the bill as compared to more premium / blended models.

 

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I'm with @CaptainQuintero in that I find the pure tobacco taste with Quinteros. My first one was a Brevas in 2015, my first ever Cuban. Was just blown away with how good it was.

Nowadays I find the Quintero Panetelas to be really good pure tobacco taste. Well, maybe a bit on the sweet side. Need to try the Favorite.

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@99call I’m totally on the same page with you regarding VR and the flavors you described. For whatever reason, this is the only marca that instantly transports me to a finca porch somewhere in Pinar Del Rio. If you were to wrap Cuba up into a flavor, for me it would taste like a VR. 

Needless to say I’m eagerly waiting for some PSP offerings on 24:24.  

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I can see it in VR. You described it perfectly. 

La Gloria Cubana No 2 does it for me.  Clean Cuban tobacco at it's finest. 

There are cascading flavours everywhere but it is all underpinned by pure Cuban tobacco. 

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I've had it in a Petit Edmundo a few months back, and the wrapper went really shiny and silky as I smoked it down, into a lovely golden light chestnut brown colour, ending up like it was box pressed.

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For me the VR Unicos does it for me. :) Also a good SC La Punta 

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15 hours ago, 99call said:

If someone were to ask you to recommend to a fellow smoker "what brand offers the best pure tobacco flavour?"   What would you say?

Guantanamera

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