Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
So I was sitting in Calypso Cigar, waiting for the Alec Bradley event to start. They have quite a nice little lounge area, with no liquor license so the drinks are free (with some tipping of course).
Can't go wrong really. While I was waiting (I was an hour early) I decided to hit up the shop humidor and see what they had that I hadn't tried yet in the $5 range. Wanted to save most my extra $$ for the event so I had a better chance of winning some swag.
Randy, the Calypso cigar god, recommended me an El Baton. Upon first inspection I was less than thrilled. The band was a cheesy looking blue/white and black that looked like it was made on a dot matrix printer (ok it wasn't that bad but it lacked a certain style). He pressed it into my hand with force and said "trust me" as he tipped his hat like Indiana Jones.
With that, I couldn't say no.
I moseyed up to the bar (I am in Texas, we mosey quite a bit here) and asked the bar keep (ok it was just Randy without the hat) for a water. I wanted to give this stick a fair chance and not mess up my palette with any foreign objects.
I cut it off cap and went for the cold draw. What I got was a sort of woodsy taste, coupled with a pretty strong Tobacco flavor. Not as bad as I was expecting considering the almost poo smell I got off the wrapper.
The wrapper was pretty nice, minimal veins, tightly wrapped with a nice consistent color to it. There was no spots, or nicks present so I gave it a good squeeze which revealed no soft spots. Better than I expected (I was judging this book by its cover pretty hard core).
After sparking this up (toasted of course) the first few puffs revealed a little spice coupled with a strong tobacco taste. About what I expected from a stick in this price range. Not a lot of complexity to it but, we just started so I don't want to label it "bland" just yet. After letting it rest a good minute or two I drew on it again and got tobacco mixed with a nice sweetness.
Second Third: After about 15 or 20 minutes into the cigar a few other flavors came to the party. I got a slight tinge of caramel and an earthy kind of dirt flavor. Not a bad thing, just mixed with the caramel it kind of turned slightly bitter. Worried that I may have been smoking it a bit fast because the Alec Bradley event was starting in less than an hour and god forbid I be caught smoking one of these by the AB rep. He might cut me off from any possible swag and ban me from future events!! Ok probably not but hey, I can be paranoid can't I!
I decided to let it sit for a good 3 to 4 minutes and talked shop with the guys at Calypso. After I returned to it was very surprised to find, it was still lit and tasting better than ever.
The Caramel had turned into more of a chocolate/mocha flavor and that mixed with the hard tobacco flavor brought some complexity to the El Baton that I was pretty happy about.
After a few swigs of water, to cleanse the palette I moved on to...
The Last Third:
Earth mixed with chocolate power/mocha still persisted but now the spice was coming back. It wasn't so much a black pepper as it was just a slight paprika tinge. A slight hotness that coupled with the earth, caramel/choco turned the El Baton into quite the tasty treat.
This cigar burned extremely well. It was an even burn throughout with NO retouching needed. I burned it down to the nub, probably a little further than I would most cigars for the sheer fact that, the darn thing never got hot. It burned so cool it was hard to tell if it was still lit! The smoke was a little thin at first but became quite billowy as the cigar progressed. By the 2nd third it was smoking the room up quite nicely and the ash burned a nice clean white most the way throughout.
I had to thank Randy for his recommendation. What I expected was an adequate smoke. One that I wouldn't be afraid to put out early if need be. What I got was a good quality, medium bodied smoke with some complexity to it, great smoke, a nice ash, at a great value. I wouldn't mind owning a box of these bad boys for the sheer fact that, if the quality is this consistent, it would make for a great every day smoke. Tasty indeed.
sorry no pics this time as I really didn't intend to do a review of this bad boy but was so impressed that I was surprised to not see on here. So, posted this up in the hopes that a few fellow BOTL will give the El Baton a try themselves.
Side Bar: After doing this review I read up on the El Baton a bit and saw that the flavor profile includes Leather and nuts. I really didn't get any of this but I have only been smoking cigars for about 6 months now so maybe my palette isn't quite there yet. Has anyone else smoked one of these? If so, what flavors did you detect? I would love to know. Also the manufacturer seems to consider it a full bodied smoke, to me it was medium at best and really more light to medium. I have had full bodied and this was not it. Again, this is all just an opinion! Thanks for reading it.