Valacari The Messenger Portofino | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan Estelï, Condega, Ometepe
Size: 5.5 x 42 Corona
Strength: Mild/Medium
Price: $8.00

I’ve had my sticks marinating naked in my humidor for 7 weeks.
I’ve strayed, for the moment, by reviewing an inexpensive cigar. It was overdue.

From February 2021 Core:
“Valacari Cigar Company was established in 2016. Our goal was to push cigar crafting into new boundaries to create unique cigars to the market. We started our journey by spending years in development of every aspect of our cigars. We wanted to take a more scientific and experimental approach to crafting cigars while maintaining some of the old traditions. We began experimenting with hundreds of cigar blends in search of those truly unique cigars that customers would come to enjoy. After rummaging through so many of these blends we found only a select few that were worthy of being crowned with our name. We take great pride in developing a factory that holds the most strict quality control measures to ensure that we maintain our reputation of close to perfect construction on all our cigars. Every cigar we produce is handled by almost 300 diligent hands before it lands into yours. This is a craft, not a product.”

Reviews are scattershot in their reaction to this blend. Some rave…others, it’s a thumbs down. I will now offer my opinion to add to the chaos.

The cigar comes in 5 sizes, but I felt I’d have the best chance of discovering how good this cigar might be by trying the Corona.

The cigar feels solid. Like my Aunt Trudy…who passed from being married to a man in the Jewish mafia.

The draw is a tad bit tight but my hopes are that it will loosen once the heat gives the cigar a chance to expand. Or not. And if not, I will perform surgery using my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool. I shamelessly plug PerfecSmoke products because Dr. Rod and I grew up together in Long Beach, CA. He pays me thousands of pesos per month but that’s only because he has more money than Howard Hughes. Even so, his products are first rate and his draw tool can’t be matched.

The Ecuadorian Connie flavor hits my palate first with hints of creaminess, baked bread, lemon citrus, black pepper, and a bowl of Wheaties.

I’m no fan of mild strength cigars. In my experience, they fall short of being complex and flavorful. Fingers crossed I’m not wasting our time.

Milk chocolate shows up along with malted milk ball, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and some sweet baking spices.

A wisp of complexity is apparent. Some depth is present. The finish is the most interesting component…a tiny orca using its blowhole inappropriately in my cigar gateway.

Strength is mild/medium as advertised.
But the character is active and pleasant.

Lemongrass appears. Love it.

So far, this is a typical flavor profile of a cigar with these leaf stats. Yet, this blend has some panache going for it. I know saying this will jinx it, but I like it.

Construction is excellent and the burn is a slow roll. The char line is on point.

The lemony flavor works well with the inherent creaminess that reminds me of lemon crème pie.

An excellent cigar for newbies. Sophisticates? Hang on. Only an inch burned.

If you can get 45 minutes from a Corona, thank your lucky stars. Of course, the manner in which you smoke the little wanker is the determining factor. Don’t huff away like an out of breath cow.

Valacari’s description about how they do things is a bold statement.

I recently reviewed the Valacari Astronomia (rated 94) and the Valacari MK19 Black Iris (also rated 94), so it is clear that the company is a solid up and comer.

A nice sweet spot occurs 1-1/2” into the little bugger. The sweetness is dominant. The black pepper offers a counterpoint. The tobacco leaves make their own statement.

Nothing linear at hand. A very good sign. Nothing worse than smoking a cigar that goes nowhere. This blend gets better with every puff. I let it rest for a couple minutes, take a couple swigs of water, type something stupid, and pick the cigar up again.

The creaminess offers a very rich heavy cream, with vanilla bean, as Valacari’s website describes the blend.
Strength is a solid medium.

I’m pleased that the cigar does not burn like an out-of-control cigarette. It takes its time. Experienced rollers were employed. The char line remains dead nuts.

20 minutes in, only 1-3/4” burned. Can I get an amen.

Ah. “Brick House” by The Commodores. Great song. 1977. Even us white chilin’ were dancing in the street upon its release. In fact, I’m doing The Bump as I write.

The late 70’s was a sad time for bass players. We either had to play like Larry Graham or DeeDee Ramone. There were no other options unless you played in a blues or jazz band.

The flavor spectrum widens. Flavors aren’t added, but the ones I’ve mentioned are intensified…giving the blend some added complexity and style.

It is now lemonade while shooting canned whipped cream into my mouth. I’m not cleaning that up. That’s why I’m married. (Thank God Charlotte hasn’t read my reviews in years).

The halfway point arrives at 35 minutes. Lovely.

This is a nice little blend. I am glad I chose the Corona.

For me, mild/medium strength cigars are appreciated in small doses. But that’s me. But since this cigar is so nicely blended, I’m guessing that the 5 different sizes should possess their own character with diverse qualities.

‘Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye is playing. I will never allow myself, or Charlotte, to be placed int a retirement home. These old farts spend their evenings fucking. The places are rampant with STD’s. That is a fact. I somehow managed to avoid my schmekel falling off throughout my years in the music business. How I never got herpes is a baby Jesus miracle. I dated a stripper and not until I tired of her that she told me she had herpes. Jump back.

This stick is just excellent. Really. Super flavorful. Just short of a flavor bomb. There is a nice edge to the mild strength. Amazing field of depth.

And…a very affordable cigar to boot. A fiver whose price point you won’t need to hide from your wife. Tell her you bought a case of ribbed condoms for her pleasure.

Chocolate reappears. Now we have a creamy chocolate mousse. There are also alternate flavors of Tiramisu. I get a hint of berry jam.

My son in law stopped by a couple days ago and we went out back to smoke. He is Milwaukee SWAT. He told me some stories that reinstated my fro. I’m sure the cops that read me are nodding their heads. It’s a shame that more stories of good cops aren’t picked up by the media. I could never in a million years do what he does for a living. Of course, he is built like a tank. While I am squishy.

I’m having a bloody good time with the Valacari The Messenger Portofino. Well done.

Gotta get me more sticks.

No heat. No harshness as the cigar dwindles.

The cigar glides to the end of its journey in one hour 10 minutes. I am impressed.

This is an excellent go-to cigar stick.

You can purchase these from sponsors Small Batch Cigar (promo code ‘katman’ gets you 10% off.) And Luxury Cigar Club (promo code ‘katman’ gets you 15% off).



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