Team Cigar Review: Ventura Hugo Chairman Robusto

23 comments

Cigar Details: Ventura Hugo Chairman Robusto

  • Vitola: Robusto
  • Length: 5.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
  • Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: TAVICUSA
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $12.00
  • Release Date: July 2017
  • Source: Ventura Cigar Company

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John Reiner

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a very consistent dark brown and has one slightly raised vein present. The seams are barely visible as is the triple cap applied to the head. The band is primarily silver and black and has a blue eagle on it behind a red shield. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of cocoa and earthiness while the foot brings more cocoa, some wood and white pepper. The pre-light draw is a mix of hay and leather with a slight spicy tingle on my lips and the tip of my tongue.

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper was dark, and oily, with pressed veins visible. There was a single water spot imperfection on the wrapper. The nose was strong barnyard, faint hay, with almost a bourbon sweetness from the foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Ventura Hugo Chairman Robusto has a Colorado maduro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, even bunch and roll and a well adhered triple cap. Nosing the wrapper tells cedar, minerals and white pepper. Nosing the foot gives more noticeable white pepper, cedar and mixed nuts. Cold draw gives cedar shavings, salt and dry grass.

First Third

Things start out with a unique sweet, dark wood note along with some mellow black pepper. At a half inch in, the sweetness is still there on the initial draw, but the wood note is full with a very long finish. The retrohale is a slightly ashy wood note. This same profile is how the third finishes out. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

I found the smoke production on the Hugo Chairman very satisfying. Each draw brought some pepper on the center of my tongue, and at the back of my throat, at about a medium intensity level. The retrohale was comprised of rich baking spices, with a dry cedar flavor on the post draw. After the cedar falls off, there are delayed post draw notes of cocoa, with some light spices lingering on my lips. As the first third progressed an intense tobacco flavor was present, which coated my mouth and pushed the cocoa notes aside. The blend seems familiar to me, as if I’ve smoked something similar to this before.

First Third

The first third is all about a sweetened milk chocolate. This note is accompanied by less dominant notes of cedar. Spice is non-existent until you retrohale, providing tapered white pepper, mixed nuts and the same sweetened milk chocolate note. The finish is fairly light with namely a lingering soft cedar note. Strength and body are both medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the sweetness has faded away and the dark wood note has a slightly stale/ashy note to it. At a quarter inch in, the black pepper increases quite a bit and is equal with the dark wood note. At three quarters of an inch in, the pepper settles back down as some dry cocoa powder joins in with the dark wood. As the third comes to a close, the dark wood and cocoa notes are pretty drying on the palate. The strength in this third moved up to medium-full.

Second Third

There’s some light nutmeg that develops as the Hugo Chairman transitions into the middle third. Some post draw leather develops, taking over from the prominent tobacco flavor that had built up. The retrohale has sweet cedar as the primary flavor note. The ash has been holding consistently throughout, and resists any attempts to knock it off, getting over the 2 inch mark. At the halfway point, the spice complexity returns, the nutmeg from the retrohale continues to develop and mixes in with some sweet cedar.

Second Third

The prominent sweet milk chocolate note from the first third becomes slightly less distinct, which allows the cedar note to shine a bit more. Spice is still all in the retrohale giving a nice break from the lack of spice on the mouth draws. The finish picks up some body now, being dry earth and soft cedar. Strength and body maintains medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the cigar begins to get a bit harsh with a large amount of bitterness pairing with the wood. There is no cocoa to be found at this point. After a flaming purge, a fair amount of the harshness goes away, but there is still some left pairing with the wood. As the cigar comes to a close, a slight creaminess joins the dark wood as there is still some harshness in the background. The strength in this third remained at medium-full.

Final Third

The cocoa notes return as the Hugo Chairman moves into the last third, but the strength level is quite light. At the halfway point, some earth and bitter flavors develop, at a light strength level.

Final Third

The last third shows some much needed spice and minerals on the mouth draws. It was getting to the point where the sweetened milk chocolate was a bit too much. The spice and minerals also show on the retrohale, but with greater intensities. Strength and body are still overall medium.

Burn

The burn was absolutely perfect as it stayed straight the entire way. The ash held on in just over one inch increments.

Burn

The Hugo Chairman built up over 2 inches of ash several times during the smoking experience. Although I had a slight touch up in the middle third, I don’t recall the last time I had a cigar where the ash simply would not knock off.

Burn

Burn performance was overall very good. The only downside was a wavy burn throughout the entire time. Aside from that, tight ashes and most importantly, never a need to revisit my lighter.

Draw

The draw was also perfect with just the right amount of resistance I prefer.

Overall

The interesting sweet and dark wood note that the cigar had through the first third was quite intriguing. I wish that maintained itself throughout the cigar. Things were fairly standard in the second third with the wood and some cocoa and things went a bit downhill in the final third with some harshness. I couldn’t ask for better construction and had to pay zero attention to the cigar other than for flavor. I would be interested in trying this in the Toro or Torpedo, just to see what differences these bring and to see if I could dodge the harsh finale. I wouldn’t mind smoking another one and might find myself pairing it with a spicy bourbon.

Draw

Using a Colibri S-V cutter, I found the draw towards the tight end of the spectrum. Because of the satisfying smoke production, this actually worked well for the cigar as I didn’t have to draw too hard.

Overall

The Ventura Hugo Chairman Robusto is a great example of a cigar that is destined to do quite well in B&Ms, but didn’t push the envelope for me in terms of flavor innovation or complexity. The strength and complexity is just under medium, and overall the flavor profile is going to be quite approachable for your every day cigar smoker. The construction was excellent, and with a 1 hour and 31 minute smoking time you’re getting textbook Robusto smoking times.

Draw

The draw was a bit tight within the first third but opened up quite nicely from the second third onward. No real issues.

Overall

The Ventura Hugo Chairman Robusto, in my opinion, was a sweet dessert. The sweetened milk chocolate note was upfront and dominant the vast majority of the time until the last third where much needed spice and minerals was available. I find a cigar like this to be more on the side of a unique rotation as compared to a regular rotation. The sweetness is not something that I would always want, but instead when I do want it, I know exactly where to go to. Overall, a unique and interesting bundle of flavors by Ventura.

Aaron
John
Jiunn
Good Pre
Light
Very Good Pre
Light
Good
Good First
Third
Good First
Third
Good
Average Second
Third
Average Second
Third
Good
Subpar Final
Third
Average Final
Third
Good
Amazing Burn Amazing Burn Very Good
Amazing Draw Very Good Draw Very Good
Average Overall Averaged Overall Good

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$2.09

Scoring System

John Reiner

SCORE

5.95

Cost/Point

$2.02

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.92

Cost/Point

$1.73

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Ventura Hugo Chairman Robusto
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Ventura Hugo Chairman Robusto

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23 comments

Join the conversation
  • atllogix - February 5, 2018 reply

    Sounds like a decent smoke. Thanks for the review and the opportunity to try these!

  • Christopher L - February 5, 2018 reply

    Thanks for the review and contest!

  • Tony Vinoya - February 5, 2018 reply

    Another great review. Sounds like a stick I’ll enjoy. Those cocoa and wood flavors are right up my alley.

  • William Williams - February 5, 2018 reply

    Thanks for the review and contest.

  • Amit - February 5, 2018 reply

    Solid Review!

  • Swede214 - February 5, 2018 reply

    A very good cigar blog, enjoy reading your comments about the cigars you review.

  • nikko - February 5, 2018 reply

    interested in trying this one

  • TXRebel - February 5, 2018 reply

    Thanks for the review, will give it a try.

  • Tim McCabe - February 5, 2018 reply

    Somehow I’ve never seen these before. Hopefully my local shop can stock these. Thanks for the review.

  • Bob Langmaid - February 5, 2018 reply

    Welcome to the Cigar Surgeon!!

  • Donald Santos - February 5, 2018 reply

    Sounds like a delightful smoke great review also

  • Steve C - February 5, 2018 reply

    Would love to try them, thanks for the contest.

  • Paul Kelsey - February 5, 2018 reply

    Honestly the band kinda pulls me in. Makes me think of a superhero.

  • P. M. - February 6, 2018 reply

    welcome fellow Canadian John Reiner! nice flavour profile – sweet chocolate/cocoa, cedar,  nuts, + earth. the price, however, is a bit steep. thx for the review Jiunn, John and Aaron. cheers!

  • Tom P - February 6, 2018 reply

    Sounds like a great stick! I’ll have to try one! …thanks for the chance in the contest!

  • lorri langmaid - February 6, 2018 reply

    Great review and great contest!

  • CHRIS DOUGHERTY - February 6, 2018 reply

    Thank you for the chance to win. Hopefully I will get to try these out soon

  • John B - February 7, 2018 reply

    Thanks yet again for the reviews and contests.

  • Miguel Rocha - February 8, 2018 reply

    Ventura has definitely had some interesting releases.

  • LouisvilleChris - February 9, 2018 reply

    Thank you for the contest. Just discovered your site last night- really enjoying the detailed content.

  • Peter Villavecchia - February 10, 2018 reply

    Great review, thanks for the opportunity to try them out

  • Ken Fellenstein - February 11, 2018 reply

    Love you’re reviews, very informative. Also appreciate the contests!!

  • Aaron Loomis - February 12, 2018 reply

    Jeremy E. is the winner and has been contacted via email. He has 72 hours to respond or we’ll pick another winner. Thank you to everyone that entered the contest.

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