Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler : Dominican/Nicaraguan mix
Binder : Connecticut
Price : on-line price for a box of 20 can be found for $29.99 ($1.50 per)
More info about purchasing Pioneer Valley cigars...
This cigar, in my opinion, has a gorgeous, very dark, wrapper. The wrapper is slightly toothy with a light oily sheen. The stick is firm, with no worrisome soft-spots and only a few prominent veins but not concerned about them affecting burn. A quick whiff and I’m met with a strong cedar scent, thanks to the cedar sleeve that covers more than a third of the stick. Behind that, I get the standard barnyard presence. Double band, red, that stands out against the nearly black wrapper. Straight cut, torch lit…
I’m not one to identify things such as saddle leather, black currant or green wood. Seriously, what the hell does leather taste like, and why would someone even know this? I focus on construction, draw, strength, burn and volume of smoke. I do appreciate the feel of the smoke in the mouth and make note when pleasing. Let's see how this cigar plays out.
The Pioneer Valley maduro burns like a champ. The several I’ve smoked produce a nice white ash that is fairly strong requiring no touch-ups, with a straight burn line that, when does get wavy, corrects itself. This is important to me as this is my fishing cigar and its constantly being bumped and put down, often going extended periods of time without attention. Draw tends to be on the loose side, maybe too loose for some. I have to remind myself to slow down as it tends to get hot if drawn to fast/often. I get a very, very mild nicotine flavor and rate this cigar in the medium category. This robusto produces a good amount of smoke, but it does not coat the mouth as a more expensive cigar might. For the price however, I don’t knock too many points off. I must point out that with the cedar sleeve on, and the age of the sticks in my collection, I do get a nice cedar taste; my horrible palate notwithstanding.
The Pioneer Valley Maduro will not blow you away with multiple flavor profiles, nor will it be a stick you reach for on special occasions. This is a stick however, that I enjoy on a regular basis and bring fishing for a few reasons. First, it’s not a full bodied cigar which is great for early morning as is often the time I fish. I don’t need to worry about a full stomach before smoking one of these. Second, I don’t get upset if I have to put it down to handle a fish and it falls overboard, or gets stepped on. The low-cost of the cigar eases my mind that if it goes to waste I haven’t burned a hole in my wallet. Lastly, the great burn and short size of the robusto doesn’t force me to commit to a 2-hour smoke. 60 minutes or under affords me both the enjoyment of a cigar and the time to fish. This cheap smoke, one that I do not hesitate to hand to others, is certainly box-worthy for those of us not concerned about hints of raisins or earth.