Famous Value Line Honduran No. 500 (Various Sizes)

Saxjazzman

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Does size or wrapper matter if the blend is the same?? The answer will not doubt be yes but here we will test it out. We have one blend of the Famous Value Line Honduran No. 500 but we will be reviewing the following sizes with wrapper combinations:

1) 6 X 60 Habano
2) 5 X 60 Habano
3) 7 X 50 Conneticut
4) 6 X 52 Maduro (Torpedo)


This thread will review:

Name: Famous Value Line Honduran No. 500 (Various Sizes/Wrappers)
Size/Wrapper: 1) 6 X 60 Habano
2) 5 X 60 Habano
3) 7 X 50 Conneticut
4) 6 X 52 Maduro (Torpedo)

Wrapper: Various (See above)
Binder: HON
Filler: Honduran / NIC
MSRP: 20 cigars in a Bundle
1) 6X60 MSRP=$84,
2) 5 X 60 MSRP=$90,
3) 7 X 50 MSRP=$85,
4) 6 X 52 MSRP=$84

Average Price Payed/Bundle: $21
Stated Strength: Medium
Comments: These cigars are produced in the Nestor Plasencia's Honduran factory. These are a long filler blend and were recently purchased in the last 90 days. A good question to consider in these reviews would be, "How would these cigars age?"



For original thread discussion see Start Up Thread


To keep it standard, we would rate the cigars in three categories.

A) Appearance--How the cigar looks, how the pre-light smell is, the wrapper, etc.

B) Taste---How is the taste? Spicy, strong, bland, airball, etc. How did the taste progress, etc.

C) Construction---How did the cigar perform in terms of draw, burn, ash, etc.

To rate the cigars we would use a number from 5 to 10, 5 being one you would not even give Fidel to smoke and ten being a damm good cigar. The final rating number would be determined by the following:

A + B + (1.5)C divided by 3.5. This is similar to how Cigar Magazine does it but it is a little different. I realize that this is not perfect and there may be better ways but this would work also. Thanks for the reviews!!
 

The Green Monkey

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5 X 60 Habano

I figured I'd start with the shortest one of the bunch and work my way up. I don't have any experience whatsoever when it comes to comparing different sizes of the same cigar, and very limited experience comparing different wrappers, so I'm definitely looking forward to learning a little bit with these various #500s.

Appearance/Initial Inspection: Three large-ish veins, one of the exterior wrapper leaves was considerably smoother and of a more tan color, and it had a couple of very faint stains or greenish spots. The other leaf was a bit more brown and it had a bunch of very small bumps in some places. There was a very small hole where it looked like something punctured it from the inside (a stem or something, not a beetle exit hatch). There was no real distinct smell to it, nor was there a band.

Taste: I gave it a very shallow clip about the size of a dime with my Xicar and got a very creamy and caramely taste along with a middle of the road draw. Not too tight, not too loose. Just right.

I lit it up at 7:25 this evening. It appeared to be a magnificently even and perfect light--almost total uniformity throughout. The walkoff, out of the park grand slam of cigar lights. It was so perfect I was immediately suspicious. Naturally, after the top-notch lighting, it began to burn unevenly almost at the start. The first puffs were very creamy, and there was an abundance of rather wispy, thin blue smoke. It seemed strange to me to have a high volume, low density smoke--almost like the smoke was somehow watered down. That perception eventually went away, although whether it changed or I just became accustomed to it or forgot about it, I'm not sure.

I got a quick taste of coffee beans. The smoke was almost imperceptible in my nose, which is unusual. The taste really sweetened up dramatically, almost to a degree I'd best describe as playful, while the overall profile was quite mild. Later on in this first third, the taste evolved into a sort of rich, chocolate malt flavor, and then grew even more complex akin to a Chunky bar if it were made with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

Getting to the middle third, I ashed it, and it sweetened up even more. It incorporated a floral, rosey, aspect sort of like what smoking Chanel No. 5 might be like. I developed what seemed like a pleasant coating on my tongue that tasted very interesting (in a good way) when inhaling air. Sort of like an aftertaste. It remained very mild, with a continued lack of irritation when I exhaled out my nose or French inhaled. It was mild enough that curiosity got the better of me and I inhaled a few puffs just to see what would happen. Nothing happened. It was barely perceptible.

The sweetness was really something. I expect that this cigar would be far too overwhelming sweet and cloying for some people. Something vaguely reminded me of the Oliva Serie V Figurado I had the other night, but in a sweeter, milder way. This would make a great "dessert" cigar, but not a great cigar for after a giant meal.

As I reached the final third, there was an ever-so-slight increase in strength, but I still found it to be very mild. At about the 1.5" mark, it picked up a little more and seemed a little more "roasty" with a similarity to those dark chocolate bars you can get with little cacao bean chips in them.

Once I got to the 1.25/1.5" mark, it was like a switch flipped. It was suddenly much more medium bodied (still wouldn't call it full at this point), and the flavor shifted to a more grassy, hay-like taste with a quick hint of a domestic macrobrew lager. There was also a little bit of pepper suddenly intruding into the taste.

This sudden and radical change intrigued me, so I speared it at about the 3/4-1" mark to further investigate. This was at 8:16, so but for nubbing it, this would have been a 51 minute smoke. More pepper and spice emerged, and it began to make my throat tickle just a little bit. It still tasted outdoorsy with a dash of burned coffee pot dregs and eventually turned a little harsh. This last phase was an absolutely different flavor profile than the first 4" of the stick. I actually began to break a little bit of a sweat here at the very end (82* F, 75% RH, 88* heat index) from the different profile.

It turned hot and yucky at the 1/2-3/4" mark so I put it down at 8:34 to make it a 1:09 smoke when nubbed. It could have gone on a while longer with more dedication, but since suddenly no longer tasted very good, I didn't really see the point. My sandwich pick nub-stick was a bit tarry upon extraction.

Construction: Canoe city. No amount of rotating, blowing, or touching up with the torch could control it, thus the range of lengths given above. As soon as I got things back to an even burn-line, it would just start right back up immediately. I'm not going to belabor the point, but I made a total of six separate references to canoeing, uneven burning, and the impossibility of correction in my notes. While it was omnipresent, it wasn't so outrageous that it terribly upset me or seriously detracted from the overall quality of the cigar.

The ash was heavily striated, and after my first ashing at about the 1/3 mark, it came off a little jaggedly with a large, bluntly pointed ember core.

Not much else to report about the construction.

Grades:
Appearance: 7.5
Pretty average. Not horrifying, not sexy, a few cosmetic idiosyncracies, nothing glaring.
Taste: 8.0 This was really tough to assign a number value to, but I enjoyed the sweet majority of it as well as the more robust minority. This was a very schizophrenic and complex smoke, and I was tempted to give it an 8.5, but the proportions of each flavor profile were just a little too unbalanced in favor of the sweetness for me to rate it quite that high.
Construction: 6.75 The uneven burn was just too prominent of a feature, but that's the only thing I'm marking it down for.

Total: 7.32 That seems about right. I'm curious to see how another inch of length will change things. If it's another inch of supersweetness, my grade for taste will go down. If it's another inch of the surprising peppery/outdoorsy segment, the taste rating will likely go up. Adding a maduro wrapper to this blend is going to be interesting. I'm also very curious to see how this cigar will age. I think I might sit on it for a while and review the second set of #500s in 6 months or so. I have a feeling that a little age will do wonders for these.
 

Kingantz

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Messages
7,648
A) Appearance: I really like a large gauge cigar, and this was definitely large at 5 x 60. I found this cigar to be very well constructed with the wrapper a golden brown with a nice oil sheen, very smooth with no prominent veins. The foot showed good bunching and a two-capped head that was well rounded. I used the largest ring on my Swiss Army punch and pre-draw was sweet tobacco however a tad bit loose. (9)

B) Taste: After toasting and lighting the foot, a good volume of smoke poured forth. First couple of draws was a medium to full strength and full of delicious earthiness and dark worn leather. Possibly a hint of fruit. A bit of spice tickled the back of the throat. There was quite a short finish, however I really liked this smoke. The medium turned into a full strength with a good bit of spiciness, yet there was a subtle creamy sweetness in the large volume of smoke that was full of earth and leather. This flavor profile continued throughout most of the smoke, however close to the last third it began to really heat up, and I had to slow down the draws quite a bit. (8.75)

C) Construction: As mentioned, the draw was a bit loose which could have contributed to the strength, however I do enjoy a strong cigar and really enjoyed the easy draw. There were no burn issues to speak of until the last third where I had to do a bit of touch up with a prominent run. The ash was a light gray and held on the entire smoke, even stood it up at the end of it. (8.5)

I really did enjoy this smoke. Large ring gauge, loads of smoke, good flavors with just enough spice throughout. I’m looking forward to trying the others to see what they hold in store. I’m not sure if aging would improve as I feel it is ready for smoking now IMHO. It would be curious to see what a year would do though.

A – 9
B – 8.75
C – 8.5

Total 8.71






 

The Green Monkey

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Wow. Interesting how divergent our reviews are. Whether the cigars are inconsistent, our tastes differ, or a little bit of both factors are at work, I'm not exactly sure, although after smoking the 6x60 yesterday, I suspect there's a bit of inconsistency in this line.

6 x 60 Habano

I figured I'd keep knocking this series down, one per day, just so that the profile was fresh in my memory for better comparisons. Going into this, I was curious where the extra inch was going to be found in comparison to the 5x60 reviewed above. Would it be in the supersweet mild segment? The husky, medium-strength outdoorsy stretch? The yuck at the end? We'll see...

Appearance/Initial Inspection: It had a bit of a stubbed toe with a few small cracks at the foot. There was a long, bulging "undervein" in one of the inner layers of the wrapper, and it caused an irregular crack about an inch long up near the head. There was a small hole in the outer layer of the wrapper that looked like it was probably put there by an insect of some sort back when the leaf was still connected to the plant. There was a greenish squiggly line, not unlike a varicose vein, in the wrapper at one point. The wrapper was more consistent in color (light brown) and texture (smoothish) than the 5x60, but the edge of the wrapper was ever so slightly raised on the entire stick. There was a big rodent turd-like stick or stem or nard or something visible at the foot, inconsistent bunching, and a mildly peeling cap on the other end. It smelled a bit like the sausage smell from the La Gran Fubar, so I suspect that they may have travelled next to each other or something. I think I'll put my remaining LGF into a cigar baggie right now just to keep it from further contaminating anything else.

Taste: I gave it a rather poor cut with my Xicar, and lots of jagged crap was sort of hanging out of the head with assorted crumbly detritus littering my table and ashtray. The prelight draw was sweet and chocolaty.

I lit it up at 1:36 yesterday afternoon. Immediately the Big Nard seemed like it might be an issue--it didn't want to ignite as readily as the rest of the filler. The first draws were sweet with an unidentifiable underlying hint of something else. There was almost a bitterness to the sweetness as well. The early stage was still quite mild like the 5x60, but not nearly as sweet right out of the gate. I was reminded for a few moments of a vaguely bunk Padron Londres Maduro that I had a while ago that just didn't seem right. This cigar holds on to the same mildness, but the sweetness evolves into a much more mellow, understated presence rather than an in-your-face, almost aggressive sweetness like the 5x60.

At 2:07, the ash looked like it was about to jump so I helped it off, and it left a short, squat ember core/cone. I usually prefer to ash my cigars twice (at the 1/3 and 2/3 mark) but this one wasn't going to make it that far. After ashing it was still a much more bland, banal taste than the 5x60. I got a quick scent of a very brief, but very bad odor in the smoke--sort of like an applefart. Boo.

Into the middle third, the mellow sweetness gives way to the same sort of hay, grassy, outdoorsy flavor as I got a glimpse of in the 5x60. I've got a very pleasant taste lingering in my mouth at this point, and it provides a very refreshing twist on plain old water. It's still mild, although it's more irritating to my nose than yesterday's stick. I get another quick, harsh, ripe smell, and the taste turns a little peppery. Although the flavor is changing, it isn't really developing that much, if that makes any sense. Sort of a muted, pastel flavor evolution. A bit later it tastes like an overcooked pecan pie where the nuts were burned and the sugar was carmelized. The smoke begins to be uniformly stinky. This is an outdoor cigar.

I ashed again at 2:32, still a little ahead of my preferred schedule. 2.5-2.75" remain. The ember core was pretty flat and even now. It starts to get a little harsh and yucky tasting, and just a little bit spitty. The back of my throat tastes cheap (make your own joke here). It seems to be paralleling the development of the 5x60, so it seems like they just added the inch to the wrong part--the very end. Like some sort of miracle product that promises to add 10 years to your life--those 10 years wouldn't be added to the years where you're in your prime.

Approaching the final third, it starts tasting a little hot and making my mouth unkindly watery. It got away from the grassy, outdoorsy taste quite a while ago but I didn't notice it at the time until realizing at this point that the flavor is just basically unvarying harshness and yuck.

I put it down at 2:50 with about 1.75" left, making for a 1:14 cigar, but if not for the review aspect of this project, I probably would have set it down at about the 1 hour mark with 2.5-2.75" left before the taste went south. It was just getting obnoxious, both in taste and in construction.

Construction: I noticed plenty of minor flaws and idiosyncrasies before lighting it, but few of them really made much of an impact in terms of construction issues through the life of the smoke.

Very shortly after lighting, I noticed what appeared to be a 1/4" vertical slice in the outer wrapper down from the cut in the head. I didn't notice it when I was cutting it, so it must have burst somehow. I'm not sure. It's only in the very outermost layer of the wrapper, so it doesn't seem to be presenting any problems at this point. Early on, the ash was a very solid white on the outside, and segmented and "bunchy" on the inside. It burns very evenly--especially compared to the constant runners in the 5x60. It burns very, very slowly at first. Barely more than an inch is gone after the first half hour. At that rate, this is a six hour cigar. After ashing (it just plopped off with barely a tap) a little bit of uneven burning develops and I wait to see what happens with it.

During the middle third, the head is starting to get really mooshy and sloppy, and I'm not a particularly wet smoker. There's still 3.5" left, and I wonder what it will look like when I'm through. The Big Nard doesn't seem to impact the burn at all. Later on, the burn takes on some mild scalloping shapes, and the head continues to deform. As I hit the 1 hour mark, I've got about 2.5" left--the burn has been very inconsistent so far. The big, irregular crack up near the head (the one caused by the hidden vein) haven't caused any problems, unless they're somehow responsible for the sloppiness of the butt, but that soesn't seem to be the case.

As I get into the final third, the half inch closest to the head is absolutely black from moisture, it's soggy and tasting bad to boot. The taste begins to really deteriorate, and while it's managed to hang together so far, the butt seems poised to catastrophically fail at any moment, so I put it down to prevent the impending disaster that would have no payoff in the taste department anyway.

Grades:
Appearance: 7.0
Lots of little flaws and quirks. None of them seemed to cause any functional problems, but there were enough of them that they just sort of added up. A smoker who highly values the appearance of a cigar would likely ding it a bit more. I wish my camera weren't on the fritz because I feel like my simple description doesn't do it justice.
Taste: 6.5 The aggressive sweetness never really appeared, and while it was sweet towards the start, it wasn't as interesting of a sweetness, and the grassy/hay/outdoorsy taste didn't stick around for very long. The majority of this cigar was just sort of muted and blah in the taste department--at least until it got ugly towards the end.
Construction: 6.75 All the little flaws added up, and while it burned fine with just a little bit of unevenness, the butt crapping out on me was the real dealbreaker. I expected the Big Nard to cause a problem (it didn't), the faint unraveling of the wrapper to be an issue (it wasn't), for the irregular cracks to leak smoke (they didn't), but it did have other significant flaws. It held together well enough as long as the taste was decent, so no real harm was done.

Total: 6.75 This seems about right. A bit below average, but not a total dog rocket or anything. If given a choice and just based on having smoked one of each, I'd buy the 5x60s before I'd buy the 6x60s (although I don't see myself rushing out to buy the 5x60s either), but they were so inconsistent that I don't feel like any meaningful conclusion can be drawn (especially considering how radically different Kingantz's impressions were--even beyond what is obviously personal preference). In fact, it's a stark enough contrast that I suspect that there is quite a bit of inconsistency in this blend. Otherwise, if an extra inch makes this radical of a difference, I have a world of revisiting to do and a lot of revising and asterisking to do in my journal.
 

Saxjazzman

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These are great reviews and comments from you gents. The question here is not if these are as good as DPG or AF but, between the times when we smoke those outstanding ones, would these suffice? Your descriptions really help a lot of guys decide if these yard gars are up there alley or not. Again, thanks!!
 

The Green Monkey

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These are great reviews and comments from you gents. The question here is not if these are as good as DPG or AF but, between the times when we smoke those outstanding ones, would these suffice? Your descriptions really help a lot of guys decide if these yard gars are up there alley or not. Again, thanks!!
For sure--I realize that no cigar can be all things to all people, but of the ones I've had so far, I think there's a market for all but the La Gran Fubar. I'll try to make a better note of this aspect of things in upcoming first reviews and will make sure to mention it in the second reviews of each stick.
 

The Green Monkey

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7 x 50 Connecticut

Despite having the different wrapper and a different size than the other two, this one was a nice compromise between them.

Appearance/Initial Inspection: A nice, light brown wrapper that was a little wrinkly in places and a tad puckered near the veins, and what seemed like either a faint box-pressing or else a coincidental placement of a few of the veins. The bunch had a variety of different colored leaves, ranging from very pale to medium to one very slim, dark leaf in the center. Very simple and unremarkable in appearance. Other than the wrinkling and puckering, no noticeable flaws or characteristics.

Taste: It smelled a little spicy to start with. Cut it with the Xicar, and prelight draw gave me spicy lips and a rich taste through a slightly tough draw. The butt was a little soggy and infirm, but not catastrophically so. I lit it up at 6:40 PM, and it gave thick, mellow smoke right from the start. I couldn't really put my finger on any readily identifiable adjective or descriptor for the taste. It was a pleasant taste though. The smoke was fairly smooth in my nose despite the overall taste being a little less mild than the other two (5x60 and 6x60 above). There was a bit of leather for a few minutes that I hadn't noticed in either of the other two, but it faded away fairly quickly.

Once I started getting into it, there was just an echo of the now familiar sweetness, sort of hidden behind a more medium bodied "huskiness" (for lack of a better word) than the other two showed. There was a pleasant taste in the back of my throat--not exactly an aftertaste, but just sort of an influence. It got a little woody (insert your own penis joke here) at the forefront with the sweetness lurking in the background. After burning about 1.5", the sweetness started to pick up a bit, but still remained very subdued compared to the level of sweetness in the others--especially the 5x60.

As I get into the middle third, the same sweet and earthy/grassy taste elements that tended to dominate the other two sort of melded together for a sort of hybrid/combination taste as it picked up in intensity a little bit to a good solid medium. The sweetness crescendoed towards the midpoint, but was still far more subdued than the 5x60 Habano. Upon reaching the approximate midpoint of the cigar, it tasted just plain tobacco-y, which then devolved back into a well-rounded, even, and complex marriage of the sweet and grass/hay tastes. The flavor and strength continues to build a little more to approach the upper ranges of medium, but without any hints of spittiness, hotness, or generalized yuckiness.

Into the final third, a spiciness and pepperiness kicked in a little, and at the 1.5-1.75" remaining mark, a little bit of hot crept in, but not objectionably so. With the heat building a little more after the 1.25" mark, I got a new taste of fresh soil. The cigar was enjoyable enough that I decided to give it a bit of nubbin' (which it didn't seem to particularly like) and after getting a bit spitty and a bit north of medium, I put it down at 7:57 with about .5-.75" remaining for a total duration of 1:17, although about 10 minutes was nubbing, so I'd put normal time at just a few minutes past an hour.

Construction: After about 1" was burned, the ash was a nice, healthy gray color with two black "Bride of Frankenstein" sorts of stripes running down opposite sides. It only took 11 minutes for the first inch to burn, as compared to the 30 minutes from the 6x60. It had a very even burn early on. At 6:57 the ash fell off, leaving a fairly flat, nubby little core.

As I got into the middle third, a soft spot emerged around the area where my index finger was holding it. It wasn't crippling, but it merited attention. The ash became very multicolored--white, gray, black, brown, spotted, mottled, smooth, and scaly. It was all over the map. Kind of weird. I ashed again at 7:14, and was rewarded with an even flatter, squatter little ember core--a testament to the evenness of the burn up to this point.

During the final third, the burn got a little uneven, but nothing worth trying to fix at first, but after giving it 10 minutes or so to shape up, I gave it a quick graze with the torch to get things back on track. A geologist would have a field day using arcane adjectives to describe the ash at this point. I ash one final time, and the burn gets a bit helter skelter again. When I hit the 1" mark, the head starts to protrude a little bit but holds off on any actual extruding. When I put it down and removed my nubbin' stick, it was too coated in tar for reuse. Better there than in my mouth though.

Grades:
Appearance: 8.75
The only things I'd ding it for is the ripples and puckers, and the fact that I couldn't tell if it had been box pressed, mooshed a little, or just an interesting alignment of veins.
Taste: 9.0 The tastes of this particular cigar were often very difficult for me to describe very effectively in case you didn't pick up on that. However, I hope that doesn't dissuade anyone from trying this cigar--it was very enjoyable. It was a perfect combination of the two more overpowering flavor profiles in the 5x60 and 6x60. Hopefully the other reviewers will be able to nail down their perceptions a little better than I was.
Construction: 8.75 It was perfect for the first 2/3, but got a little uneven and mooshy by the end. Nothing handicapping though.

Total: 8.82 That seems about right to me. I found this to be by far the most well-rounded tasting of the three FVLH #500s I've tried at this point. I'd recommend this cigar to just about anyone, whether for use in the yard, to have on hand when you need to pass out a bunch at once, when you need/want to take a break from fancier sticks, or simply when you can't put your finger on what you feel like smoking and don't want to worry about possibly being wasteful. At a dollar apiece, these are a no-brainer--much moreso than the other two. They wouldn't be outrageously priced at $3 or $4 in my opinion. I only hope that the maduro I'm planning on trying this afternoon is also this good--the FVLH #500 bar has been set.
 

The Green Monkey

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6 X 52 Maduro (Torpedo)

The last of the four FVLH #500s in the array, left a bit to be desired and a pretty limp impression overall.

Appearance/Initial Inspection: Very oily wrapper, three quite prominent veins (including one that was so pronounced that it appeared to be creating some sort of cavity underneath) and a seemingly hastily applied multi-layered cap. It smelled flowery, chocolaty, and sweet. The bunch was slightly darker in the center, and the body was a little soft in places in other spots beyond the vein-induced depression. It was almost a maroon color in certain light.

Taste: Clipped it with the Xicar, good draw, and tasted nutty, sweet, and chocolaty--like a mixture of Raisinettes and Goobers. I lit it up at 4:32, and it was sweet-ish (not Swedish) at the start. It smelled similar to how the two Habano wrappered FVLH's tasted, but it doesn't taste like much. After the 20 minute mark, it still doesn't taste like much. It's got a very mild and weak flavor so far, and the smoke is absolutely unnoticeable in my nose, and wispy and fleeting otherwise.

Entering the middle third, it starts to get a little sweeter, but is still pretty insubstantial. It continues to base most of its character on smell, not taste. At the midpoint, it picks up slightly, although it's still the weakest of all four FVLH's--almost muted somehow. It muddled through first gear and butchered the clutch getting it into second. As I passed the halfway point, it picked up a little more, including the now-familiar sweet/hay tone, but it's still muted.

The last third finds it continuing to lack much presence, but it's a little less impotent at this point. It tastes like the dregs of flat Coke found at the bottom of an old 2-liter, but still somehow innocuous and inconsequential. With about 1.75" left, it starts to heat up a bit.

Into the home stretches, I pick up on a little more of the grassy taste, and it starts getting spitty. I put it down with 1.25-1.5" left at 5:46 for an elapsed time of 1:14.

Construction: From the get-go, my hands seem unusually dirty, and I begin to suspect that there might have been a stop at the maduro paint factory involved in its production. It burned razor sharp for the first half inch, but then began to burn unevenly, following along one seam in the wrapper for almost 1" of diagonal burning before I gave up on it self-correcting. The ash started out beautiful but quickly transformed into a Frankensteiny hodge-podge. I ashed at 4:53, and it was one of those crummy, diagonal ashes.

After the first touchup earlier on, the ash went back to a crisp white color, even though it still wasn't burning exactly evenly--just not bad enough to require further maintenance. At 5:11 I ashed for the second time and gave it a little more touching up. Well into the final third, and the burn was still progressing along the seamline of the wrapper. At this point my left hand looks like I've been holding on to an angry grasshopper. I decided to give it one last touchup at 5:25 with about 2" left. It remained a bit uneven when I finally put it down.

Grades:
Appearance: 7.5
This was a reasonably good looking stick to the tune of being absolutely average, but I think it might have been the first one I've had that got the paint treatment so perhaps my noobishness may be misguided in some way. The veins were pretty pronounced and the cap confused me.
Taste: 6.75 Just nothing doing. It wasn't a bad tasting stick, but rather just a boring one with very little going on.
Construction: 6.75 The burn following the seam was annoying, as was the light paintfinger treatment.

Total: 6.96 That seems about right. I wouldn't recommend this stick to anyone, but I wouldn't harangue someone over enjoying it either. It just didn't do much for me, and if that's what you're looking for, this one is perfectly innocuous. It just seemed impostor-like to me somehow. Like a cigar created by someone who had only read about cigars. I'd compare it to sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house, only to be served a turkey TV dinner. While it may technically fit the bill in every dimension, the reality of the situation is much different. A while ago I read a review of an Acura (TL, I think) where the reviewer said that it was the perfect "sports sedan" for someone who only thought that they wanted a performance-oriented sports sedan. This would be a good stick for someone who only thinks that they like cigars.
 

Kingantz

Growing too fast.
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Oct 6, 2007
Messages
7,648
A) This was a large smoke measuring 7 x 50 with a smooth Connecticut shade wrapper. There were signs of a smidgen of oil and quite a bumpy feel to it. A bit of give when squeezed. A fairly nice rounded cap and pretty decent bunching in the foot. (9)

B) Once the head was punched, fire was put to it and a good volume of smoke was produced. The first several draws were a bit on the mild side, however the flavor was quite good. Some sweet hay and toasted almonds developed. I did get a small whiff of staleness dancing around in there somewhere, however not much. About 1/3 in the strength built to a nice medium and a distinct flavor of toasted almonds came through. This thing lasted a good hour and a half with medium strength and quite consistent. (9)

C) The draw was perfect for me with just the right amount of resistance, and the burn near perfect. A very nice grayish white ash developed and dropped on it’s own about every 1/3. (9.5)

This was a great smoke for when you have a decent amount of yard work to do.

A – 9
B – 9
C – 9.5

Total 9.21



















I was watering these amongst other stuff whilst smoking it...

 

whopper

Active Member
Joined
May 21, 2008
Messages
1,500
I like the added flora pictures. It show's your feminine side. ;)

Ummm....you owe me a new modem those 100,000,000 gigabytes of pictures just blew it up.. ???
 

Kingantz

Growing too fast.
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
7,648
I like the added flora pictures. It show's your feminine side. ;)

Ummm....you owe me a new modem those 100,000,000 gigabytes of pictures just blew it up.. ???
Modem? AH HAHAHAHAAAAA! :sign: :D
 

Kingantz

Growing too fast.
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
7,648
6 x 60

A) Appearance: This was a well-constructed cigar with smooth, light brown wrapper and a rounded cap. Felt heavy in the hand and very firm when squeezed. I thought it may have been a bit overfilled, however when punched the draw was quite loose. Was a strange taste when drawing pre-light. Not quite sure what the flavor was, but didn’t quite taste like….tobacco? 8.5

B) Taste: I put fire to the foot and first impression wasn’t bad. Sweet hay, a hint of cocoa. I found it to be very mild. Too mild for my tastes. I continued puffing on this huge smoke and was quite disappointed as there just wasn’t much smoke coming from it. Almost dry. It seemed there wanted to be some good flavors, however it was taking quite a bit just to get any smoke at all. I had hoped that maybe at the halfway point, it would pick up a little strength, but alas it just wasn’t meant to be. 6

C) Construction: Even though the draw was quite loose, there still wasn’t much smoke flowing. The ash was whitish gray, however the burn was all over the place. I was constantly having to do touch ups to this thing. 6

Not very happy with this smoke. Maybe if I had dry boxed it for a number of days to get it good and dry, there may have been a little more strength to it. However, way too mild for my tastes.

A – 8.5
B – 6
C - 6

Total 6.71







 

Kingantz

Growing too fast.
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
7,648
Torpedo

A) Appearance: The wrapper was a dark maduro and coarse with a good bit of oiliness to it. Very heavy in the hand and firm when squeezed, surely overfilled. Especially when looking at the very tight bunching in the foot and at the head once clipped. Draw was very tight, however not enough to write it off as yet. It did have a sweet chocolate flavor drawing cold. 6.8

B) Taste: I torched, then lit the smoke and immediately got that sweet, dark maduro flavor. The smoke was very mild, I think mostly due to the draw problem. I got distinct flavor of how moist, rich dirt smells. Very earthy. About ¼ in the draw started to open a bit and it became a medium strength, almost perfect. That sweet maduro flavor kept coming and a dark roasted nut flavor, possibly walnut. Towards the end it started to get a bit hot and had that slight metallic, somewhat bitter taste. 8

C) Construction: The ash was a dull gray, and I had to do several touch ups throughout due to runs. However, it wasn’t too bad. As mentioned, the draw was tight in the beginning, however once the tobacco warmed up the draw opened up and really started hitting dead on. 6.5

Aside from the draw issue and some burn problems; the flavor of this smoke was really good to me.

A – 6.8
B – 8
C – 6.5

Total 7.01

















 

punk_lawyer

Habeas Punkus
Joined
May 6, 2008
Messages
2,005
5 X 60 Habano
My apologies to SJM for delay in getting the rest of these reviews up. I have been delving into the Famous Value Line Hondurans and so far I have been pleasantly rewarded. They are not going to re-write the book on excellence in cigar making but they make a solid cigar. Here goes:

Appearance: These unbanded cigars are pretty average in appearance. I did not notice any defects, wrapper problems or other issues. The wrapper did appear a bit dry to me but not so much as to make it unappealing.

Taste: The light up was a bit tough and some of the filler did not want to take to the flame. I ultimately got it going with a good burn. The flavor at first was not too strong. In fact I was thinking this was going to be an air bomb. Ultimately after about an inch of the cigar I wound up finding a great deal more flavor coming through. Chocolate flavors were prominent in this for a long time. Toward the end of the cigar it was more spicy in taste with considerable stronger flavors.

This one is a study in how taste can evolve in an hour! This went from no taste to full on flavor from start to finish.

Construction: Other than the original problem lighting up, I had no real construction concerns. The burn was nice and even and I did not have to do any mending. It could have been a bit tighter on the draw but overall I think the folks who made this knew how to put a cigar together.

Grades:
Appearance: 7.5

Taste: 7.8
Construction: 8.5

Total: 8.01 I am not sure this is a cigar that I would rush out to buy. This is, however, a good cigar if offered at the right price. I wonder if some age would help the flavor balance. In fact, if the flavor was more balanced, this would be a really good cigar...maybe those guys making the NUB are on to something when talking about cigars having a sweet spot...this one did!
 

punk_lawyer

Habeas Punkus
Joined
May 6, 2008
Messages
2,005
6 X 52 Maduro (Torpedo)
This is the stick that makes me think that SaxJazzMan took a life insurance policy out on all of the participants in this taste test. Seriously. I smoked both of these and while the Gran Fuma may be worse, this is a seriously bad cigar. Seriously.

Appearance: The oily maduro wrapper was only attractive in color. This thing had more veins than any cigar I have ever seen. They were large, uneven and ugly. I swear that the first one smelled like a pile of dead fish. Yes, dead fish...rotting fish. The second one smelled like burnt sugar (at least it wasn't dead fish). The first cigar was also flattened on one end of the torpedo and had an almost hollow spot in the middle. The second was a little more even in construction but still was pretty soft in the middle.

Just a guess here but the quality of maduro wrappers available for this line must be very poor. Really not a good wrapper at all.

Taste: Thankfully this thing did not taste like dead fish. It really did not have much taste at all. What taste it had was really unpleasant. I would compare it to eating burnt peanut brittle - that kind of taste that is not good and sticks around in your mouth for a day or two. My son who was walking by and usually disregards my cigar smoking even looked at me and said "Eww, what is that smell".

Construction: I started touching up immediately because part of the foot on the first one would not light well enough. It burned evenly but was almost hollow in the middle of the cigar and thus burned hot quickly. I was not impressed with the construction on these. Certainly a rookie tried to put these together.

Grades:
Appearance: 6.3

Taste: 6.0
Construction: 6.3

Total: 6.22 This cigar is miserable. I survived the experience but I would rather smoke some burning hair. You owe it to your friends to physically remove this cigar from their hand if you ever see them smoking one.
 

jnknzz

Shankopotamus
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
949
Famous Value Line - 5x60 Habano



Appearance) Looks to be a very well-made cigar. Has a stout and beefy feel. Medium brown habano wrapper with a few major veins…has that “Frankenstein” look. No major hard/soft spots. Presmell has a pleasant, light leather aroma. Took to the punch very well. On the loose side of perfect. (8)


Taste) Prelit draw tastes of soft wood with a hint of cocoa. An easy light gave way to masses of smoke. First few draws overwhelmingly remind me of a Hemingway natural. Has a fairly strong leather taste with hints of toasted wood. Solid ash with a fairly even burn.

Past the 1/3 mark continues with straightforward leather and cedar. It’s a billowing “chewy” kind of smoke. The aroma of the smoke itself is easy on the nose. I give a quick touch-up with the torch, an ash and purge. After a quick cool-down, the cigar kicks off with a fuller Camacho-type earthy flavor. Spice mixes in with the leather and cedar. Smoke is still easy to roll off the nose despite the volume.

Towards the nub and this cigar is still performing flawlessly. The spice begins to really pick up, but not overpower. Each flavor is balanced with the next and easily discernable. The smoke gets incredibly dense but never hot or bitter. The finish is full-on leather with a hint of sweetness(?)…very clean and smooth. (8.8)

Construction) Extremely well-made. I only had to ash twice. The draw was easy but easy to control. (9)








Final) 8.65
Talk about a cigar that can impress!!! This “Value Line” cigar had me wrapped around it the entire hour and half. The only word that comes to mind while recalling this medium-full cigar: balance. The flavors had me reminiscing of some of my favorite cigar lines. These have had a few months to rest, so that may lend to its stability. I’d say even more downtime could put these in the same ballpark as (if not surpass) the Padron XXXX for an outstanding budget cigar. Two thumbs up :thumbs:

Derek

ps - I'm new to the whole pics thing...
 

jnknzz

Shankopotamus
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
949
6 x 60 Habano

After smoking both of these monsters this week (one on the course, one at home), I can very easily conclude there is no discernible difference between the 5x60 and 6x60. I even compared my notes between both sizes of the same habano wrapper; they were nearly verbatim. Only difference: the 6x60 wasn't as underfilled, yielding a cooler and more flavorful smoke; and of course the extra inch!! :blush: This cigar scores easily a very high 8.

Still, this Value Line continues to wow me. :thumbs: I'm smoking the 2nd of the maduro torp's right now...review to come afterwhile!

Derek
 

jnknzz

Shankopotamus
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
949
6x52 Torpedo (maduro)

Appearance) Very dark and oily maduro wrapper with minimal veins. Pre-smells are of a dark, sweet earth. The torpedo head is slightly off center. The Xikar has quite a tough time getting through it. Yup, just like the first go-around with this cigar…way too overfilled. :angry: I cut down until I got to the end of the cap. Draw is very tight but I‘ll get through it. Chocolatey… (7.5)

Taste) Easy light and first puffs have the cocoa of the wrapper leading the way. Through the first 1/3 and it’s big woodsy flavors with a heavy, wet earth notes. The sweetness from the wrapper is still very present (like bittersweet baking chocolate). At this point I realize there is NO smoke coming off the cigar. I don’t know if the ash is that dense? ???
Halfway and the cigar opens waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay up. Full-flavored, in your face earth, with old leather and wood. This is a man’s beefy cigar; my nic-buzz will second that. :D Each pull doesn’t yield much smoke, but it is rich and flavorful. The wood notes are easiest found by nasal exhale (which is nice).
The last inch turned hot and bitter so it gets the toss. The finish on the palate was strong (not the cleanest finish), but at least it was tasty!! (8.5)

Construction) This cigar tended to run a little but didn’t need any major touchups. Ash was a light-gray that held at least 2.5 inches. If the draw wasn’t as tight, this thing would be an absolute flavor bomb. Decently made… (7)

Both times I had this cigar it was enjoyable…tough to draw but easy to enjoy. Something about this cigar calls to me. I’m a huge maduro fan and this cigar is a perfect example of why.

TOTAL: 7.6


Derek
 

lovetheleaf

New Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2007
Messages
463
I have been looking at getting my hands on these but it looks like the Value line Habano is discontinued? What would you recommend out of these?
 

jnknzz

Shankopotamus
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
949
I have been looking at getting my hands on these but it looks like the Value line Habano is discontinued? What would you recommend out of these?
Looks like these are the only habano-wrapped they have left. I'm ordering one for sure. All three shades, IMO, are well worth the money.

Derek
 
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