Cigar Review: VUDU

Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Mexican Maduro

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Medium

Price: Box of 20, $79.99

Grade: 8.8

A Famous Smoke Shop exclusive, the new VUDU was developed by Amilcar P. Castro for Rocky Patel. Amilcar is behind other Rocky smokes, including one of my favorites, the 15th Anniversary, reviewed here.

Constructed in Esteli, Nicaragua at Rocky’s Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A., the binder and filler is Nicaraguan, which is encased by a Mexican Maduro wrapper. VUDU is available in three sizes: Churchill (7×50), Robusto (5×50), and a Toro (6×50). Today we are reviewing the Robusto, which was graciously provided by Famous Smoke Shop.

Learn more about the smoke, or purchase it, here.

On to the toast!

Pre-light, 1.7:
The Mexican Maduro wrapper on the VUDU is very dark and bumpy with a little texture in between the fingers. The Robusto is well packed with no soft spots and a good weight in the palm before ignition. The pre-light aroma is of tobacco with a sweet berry note at the foot.  On the cold draw, I am hit with the berry again, which I define as cherry, with a little bit of spice. On a side note, the band on this smoke is solid black with VUDU in what appears to be raised print; I tried to capture this in the pictures. This banding, along with the presentation of the rugged box, is really cool.

Burn, 1.7:
The draw on the VUDU is good for the duration of the smoke. The beginning ash layered up nicely but after I knocked the one inch initial ash off, it was downhill from there. From that point forward, the ash was very flaky and not inconsistent. This smoke does require some touch ups along the way. The filler seems to stay lit well but the Maduro wrapper seems to be just a bit too oily to burn well. Though this does not affect my enjoyment of the smoke, I feel it is worth a mention here. The smoke temperature is consistent to the last third and at that point it does heat up a bit.

Flavor, 2.7:
The first puff on the VUDU is of earthy tobacco with quite a bit of pepper spice. The first third mellows out pretty quickly and the spice is now well balanced with the rich tobacco base. The second third stays on this profile with just a touch of sweetness from the Mexican Maduro wrapper until right at the halfway point of the smoke. At the halfway point, the cigar really opens up; all of the notes are heavier and the spice picks up again. The finish also increases at this point and I always enjoy a long finish. The last third is ok, but the spice really becomes somewhat overwhelming on my palate.

Overall, 2.7:
The VUDU, similar to the 15th Anniversary, is not the “typical” Rocky Patel smoke in my book. It really packs a nice, spicy punch, coupled with earthy tobacco – it is very similar to another Nicaraguan blender. At around $4.00 a stick, this is a really good deal. The smoke is somewhat complex and is very hearty on the palate. My samples smoked well for the most part and, with the chilly nights in Georgia, this cigar hit the spot.

(Total: 8.8)