Value Line Nicaraguan 200 cigars are handmade by Chin Alvarez, a relative of the Olivas (who personally vouched for the quality of his cigars). Much like the Olivas, he's getting started by making high-quality bundles. Tawny Nicaraguan Connecticut wrappers conceal a blend of Nicaraguan longfillers and binders. The medium-bodied smoke offers earthy-woody flavors, some sweet spice and pepper, and a rich aroma. For the Nicaraguan taste you expect at an every day value, try a bundle today!
Well, the photos were accurate but the description leaves us just a little puzzled. "Tawny Nicaraguan Connecticut wrappers?" These are darker and oilier than we'd expect. Despite being veiny and flawed in places, with a somewhat sloppy cap, it's actually a pretty nice looking wrapper leaf. They're well-rolled enough that, if you peeled off the cellophane and repackaged them in a cedar cabinet, you could probably get away with telling people it's a boutique cigar. Weight-wise, it feels pretty substantial.
We chose this particular size because it was the only one rated by an actual customer: a chunky robusto/corona gorda at an imposing 5.5 inches with a 54 ring gauge. For all we know, this person may be a mental patient because he rated it a perfect 100. That's the kind of score we'd reserve for a late 1980s vintage Cohiba Esplendido, but maybe he's grading on a curve. Plus the review is recent:
Once lit, you immediately get some trademark Nicaraguan character that may be tempered a bit by the Connecticut-seed wrapper. It's a little gritty, but warms up to show wood and earth and spice, pretty much exactly as Famous describes it. It's medium bodied, but rich and pleasant bordering on bold. There's not much in the way of nuance but with some aging, who knows? A few samples had an underlying sourness, and all of them got a bit nasty if we burned them down to the nub.
This cigar is a good example of the saying "there's no such thing as bad pizza." It's not true, of course; there's plenty of bad and even terrible pizza in the world. But you don't necessarily need to use DOP-certified San Marzano tomatoes and imported buffalo mozzarella to make a good pie. This Chin Alvarez guy clearly knows how to make a good quality cigar, and that's exactly what the Value Line Nicaraguan #200 is.
Consistency? We ordered a few bundles two months apart, and the cigars were quite consistent in quality and appearance. Maybe they're from the same batch, maybe not. Your mileage may vary. But if you're in the market for some very decent, straightforward Nicaraguan smokes to celebrate the last of summer at a value price, we can't imagine doing much better.
We're using a different grading scale for our Bundle Pundit reviews instead of our normal range of good, very good, excellent and classic. And while this one rates a good on our tongue-in-cheek bundle scale, it would probably hover around a good on our normal scale. That's a neat trick for $1.79!
5.5" x 54
Well rolled and nice looking, especially for the price. Straightforward Nicaraguan flavors and aromas. Medium bodied but rich. Good, and not just "good for the price."