Rocky Patel Valedor Robusto

Reviews12 Comments on Rocky Patel Valedor Robusto

Rocky Patel Valedor Robusto

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is how quickly a conversation in a cigar shop can turn into an in-depth discussion of firearms. I’m sure the number of cigar smokers who are packing heat varies considerably from one area to the next, but I’d guess it’s pretty significant percentage overall. And it would seem Rocky Patel thinks so too, because he recently released a cigar exclusively for the National Rifle Association (or NRA), called “Valedor”.

I don’t have many of the juicy details I’d like to include with this review, like whether or not Rocky himself is an NRA member, and whether any of the proceeds go to support the organization. And I can’t help but wonder if this is Rocky’s attempt to the get the NRA’s lobbying muscle to help back our cigar-smoking rights. But I did get the Valedor basics from the folks at Rocky Patel:

Valedor by Rocky Patel is exclusively made for the NRA. It has a gorgeous reddish – brown Sumatra wrapper from Ecuador with a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan & Honduran filler tobaccos. The Valedor is a medium to full bodied cigar with loads of rich complex flavors consisting of sweet spice, white pepper, dark chocolate & hints of leather. Valedor is a B&M exclusive & is available in 3 sizes; Robusto, Toro & Torpedo all in 20 count boxes with a retail price of $7-$7.50 (excluding state & local taxes).

And now it’s time to find out if the Valedor is on target, or if it misses the mark.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $7.00

The Pre-Smoke
The Valedor does have an attractive reddish brown wrapper, as noted above, with few, medium-sized veins and a smooth appearance. It’s solid, and by all appearances well constructed and without any glitches or flaws that I could find. If you didn’t know it was made for the National Rifle Association, that fact wouldn’t remain a mystery for long. It says as much on the main band, and includes the organization’s logo on either side.

The cigars were firm to the touch, with a little bit of give. The cold draw was just a tad on the snug side of good, and offered a lip tingling sweet raisin and wood flavor.

The Burn
The Valedor was a little off the mark in the burn department. I had to touch up, and in some cases, relight the cigar several times, most right after it ashed. There was also some inconsistency in the draw, from stick to stick. Some were firmer, others much looser.

On the plus side, the ash was solid, compact and strong, and a reasonably attractive light gray. Once it you get it burning straight, it’ll stay that way most of the time. Also, it’s a slow burning smoke. You might want to budget a little more time than you ordinarily would for a robusto with this one. I am a slow smoker, but this stick easily took me half an hour longer to burn than most smokes its size.

The Flavor
The Valedor started off creamy and sweet with a rich combination of graham, leather and wood, but the graham note was short lived. A little way in, I also picked up a flavor that very much reminded me of green beans. By large margin, the leather and wood team owned this third, but a faint cream and sweetness was present throughout. (The cigar with the loosest draw was the most leathery of the bunch.)

Sweet wood and leather continued to be the dominant flavor in the middle third. There was a peaty character early on as well. The pepper mentioned in the blurb above made it’s appearance in the latter half of this third when the cigar took a turn towards a less sweet, drier paper flavor.

The paper, wood and leather closed out the cigar without the sweetness and the slight creaminess that preceded it.

The Price
No complaints about the price, it’s right were we like it.

The Verdict
I wouldn’t say the Valedor is a bulls-eye, but it’s definitely on target. The burn glitches aren’t too big of a deal, the flavors are good, if a little inconsistent, and I liked how slowly it burned. The name means something like “supporter”, “defender” or “champion” in Spanish but I can’t help but notice how close it is in spelling to “value”. Probably because it’s a good value for your money, and worth giving a shot.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Probably
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.

enjoying cigars since 1997

12 thoughts on “Rocky Patel Valedor Robusto

  1. I smoked this and didn’t taste the leathery *** you did but I enjoyed it overall. I agree for the price it’s worth the value.

    1. And you’d know the taste of leather! LOL

      Seriously though, I think these really shine when the draw is looser. I’d recommend either dry-boxing them a while prior to smoking, or keeping them at a lower humidity to begin with. The one I had with easiest draw was very good.

  2. Great review Brian, Ben at the ” Nice Tight Ash” didn’t like the favors( bitter and sour) note of the Toro size. I’ll trys the robusto size, maybe……

  3. I couldn’t keep it lit and the draw was the worse I ever had. The first puff (which actually requires my Dyson vacuum) was spicy to the lips and tongue, felt like it might be pretty good but couldn’t keep it lit past 1/16″. Something was definitely plugging this cigar.

  4. I just finished one of these a few moments ago. This is the first real cigar, not including the cheap stuff you can get in 711, that I’ve ever had. I didn’t taste the things that others have but it’s probably because I’m new at this. When I was in the shop deciding what cigar to get and I saw the NRA logo, myself being a die hard NRA member, it was like a sign from above. Overall I enjoyed it and thought it was a good introduction to cigar smoking, it’s a hobby I hope to continue with.

  5. I find all the “finer” points of defining cigar “characteristics” as distracting contrivances totally superfluous to the smoking of a cigar. I can’t say for certain that I could isolate the myriad flavors that those “in the know” are capable of detecting, but I can say whether I like the cigar or not… The Valedor Robusto I smoked is the first one I had, but won’t be the last… I had no trouble with the draw or burn. I may buy a box if I find the proceeds or a portion of them go to the NRA… I might even if they don’t. I will not try and match taste bud wits with the biggies in trying to define the Valador. I will just say it was rich, tasty, and smooth. I don’t smoke any cigar to the nub. I find them too much for me. I usually get about half way. Might be a bit wasteful, but… It’s how I “roll”… Try one… You will like it.

    1. If you’re not thinking about what you’re smoking and what it tastes like while you smoke it, what are you doing? And if flavor is distracting contrivance, does it even matter what you’re smoking?

      If a friend asks you about a cigar and you tell him it’s “rich, tasty and smooth” you haven’t told him anything that will distinguish it from a myriad of other cigars on the market. You might as well say, “I liked it because it produced smoke.”

  6. Do I have to know my cams numbers “at 50” to enjoy grabbing second as my competition fades in my mirror? Or that Leo Kottke might prefer phosphor bronze over brass on his signature model “Taylor” to be able to enjoy hearing “Louise”? If I don’t know all of “Ichiro”s stats, does it mean I can’t enjoy a Mariners game? Hardly… Not everyone needs to be able to identify or define the complexities of taste to enjoy a good cigar… Besides, if I have to defend my opinion, it means someone is attacking it. If that’s what you got from my first comment, perhaps you are taking things a bit too serious… Loosen up a bit and enjoy the game… (and a cigar)…

  7. I just got a box at the NRA Convention in Nashville. They had a deal that if you join, or re-join in my case, for a 4-year membership, you got a box of 20 Valedor Robustos, a subscription to Cigar Aficionado magazine and a CRA (Cigar Rights Association) hat. By joining the NRA Cigar Club, I get 5 premium cigars sent to me every month for about $33…didn’t think it was too bad of a deal with everything I got/get.

  8. I love the NRA theme. The stick for me was peppery at the start and just about overpowered the entire smoke. That’s a shame because I would buy more due to the theme. Just a little too peppery for my palate.

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