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Stogie Reviews: Vegas Robaina Famoso (Cuban)

14 Jan 2008

Back in December, I wrote that “when it comes to premium cigars from the forbidden island, Hoyo de Monterrey generally takes a backseat to more familiar brands like Cohiba and Montecristo.” I certainly think that’s true, but Vegas Robaina is even easier to overlook than Hoyo (Habanos S.A. lists it as “multilocal” as opposed to a “global”).

Vegas Robaina FamosoPerhaps that’s because the brand is relatively new. While most Habanos have been around for many decades, Vegas Robaina was introduced in 1997 – first to Spain, then to the world that fall. The brand is named for Don Alejandro Robaina, a Cuban tobacco farmer who became famous in the Vuelta Abajo region for his ability to grow exemplary wrapper leaves.

The 4.88 inch by 50 ring gauge Famoso vitola retails for around $7 per stick in the U.S. Not surprisingly, the light, leathery wrapper is uniquely smooth and almost vein-free. The seams, however, are less than perfect – a characteristic that suggests greater care went into the cultivation of the leaf than the rolling of the tobacco.

Even so, the presentation is undoubtedly above average, and the subtle, pleasant sweetness the wrapper immediately adds to the lips makes the cigar all the more enticing.

What I found after toasting the foot surprised me: a dry and spicy kick with an aroma more agreeable than the taste. Earthy seasonings of clove and ginger join in quickly to add depth, and a faint mushroom flavor comes and goes.

Still, the salty spice is overwhelmingly predominant, and the cigar seems to get drier as it progresses. Some citrus notes would have balanced the flavor profile and cancelled out a bit of the saltiness.

I smoked two Famosos for this review and I found burns that were either straight or self-correcting, draws that were neither too easy nor too difficult, and ashes that became unstable after one inch.

While this is one of the more affordable Habanos, the bottom line is I think you’re better off spending a little more for a better smoke. This cigar is fairly pleasing with decent construction, but it’s a little boring and way too salty on the palate. That’s why I’m giving the Vegas Robaina Famoso three out of five stogies.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

11 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Vegas Robaina Famoso (Cuban)”

  1. Mac and Nudo Monday, January 14, 2008 at 6:09 am #

    Great pic of a great-looking cigar. Sorry to hear it doesn't smoke as well as I'd think (I've never had a Vegas Robaina). Would drinking water help?

  2. furious Monday, January 14, 2008 at 6:45 am #

    I can appreciate your comments completely. I, too, was expecting more from this stick and was somewhat underwhelmed in many areas.

  3. Patrick A Monday, January 14, 2008 at 8:47 am #

    I originally tried this stick with some red wine, but the combination left me very thirsty. I would imagine other alcoholic drinks would do the same. Ice water is probably your best best with a Vegas Robaina.

  4. Fuzzylogic Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    Funny – my experience with this cigar and it is my favourite is quite the opposite – construction is always flawless other than a slight looseness of rolling, creamy smoke, no saltiness what-so-ever.

  5. Tapper Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    I've run inside and poured a big glass of water for the two of these I've had, and yes water does help for sure. I would rate this cigar a little higher – very strong even compared to a lot of Cubans, though I did find a chocolatey creaminess with a caramel undertone after the initial black pepper hit. Yes some saltiness there, I think these would take well to long ageing if I can resist smoking them.

  6. Valdi Monday, April 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Sorry but you must be out of your mind to rate this cigar 3 sticks only.

  7. CC Monday, July 5, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    I'm probably missing something here, but how does it sell for $7US per stick in the US, when it's illegal in the US, as all Cuban cigars are?

  8. Simon Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    I'm afraid I have to disagree on this one. The VR Famosos is a wonderful and smooth cigar, one of my absolute favourites. Lots of chocolatey creaminess, hints of leather and just a small amount of salt and pepper. I've always found them to be nothing more than medium bodied. Generally I find this to be a 90+ cigar.

  9. Valdi Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    I agree with you Brother Simon a 100%. It seems to me Stogy Guys are a little bit biased towards Cuban cigars; they glorify crap made by Rocky Patel and have always issues with recognized Cuban cigars.

  10. John Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    I completely disagree with your rating. This is a 5 stogie cigar all the way. I think that someone who does not smoke Cubans on a regular basis does not have a palate to do an honest review. Cubans are a totally different animal than non cubans. The ones I have smoked are chocolate, creamy, no saltiness at all. Excellent construction.

  11. love Friday, May 13, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    This review has led me to stop taking this site seriously. This is a wonderful cigar.