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El Mejor Espresso

This is a discussion on El Mejor Espresso within the Non-Habanos Reviews forums, part of the General Cigar Discussion category; ...

  
  1. #1

    I'm totally serious, dude B-daddy's Avatar


     

    El Mejor Espresso

    I had swim team taxi duty this weekend. So I found myself with an uninterrupted 90 minutes to kill while waiting on the boys to finish practice. Luckily, I planned ahead and brought along a cigar that was new (to me) and Iíve wanted to try. Today, Iím reviewing the El Mejor Espresso.



    Manufacturer: Nestor Plasencia
    Brand: El Mejor
    Line: Espresso
    Vitola: Toro (6x52)
    Wrapper: Mexican Maduro
    Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran long filler
    Burn: Poor, uneven and fast
    Draw: Loose
    Strength: Mild/Light
    Body: Medium
    Smoking Time: 55 minutes
    Price Paid: <$2 (at auction)
    Age: 20 days in my humidor

    Smoking conditions: Outdoors. Cold (38-40 F). No wind.





    Prelight: Man, what a beautiful cigar. Dark, chocolate brown, oily wrapper and clean box press. (Speaking of this wrapper, I highly recommend you check out the Educational threads on Maduro.) A light squeeze reveals some soft spots. Actually, the sides (vs. the face where the label is centered) are pretty soft along the entire length. Closer inspection of the wrapper reveals a couple wrinkles/creases (at the foot and the head). Cuts easily and smooth (Xikar double guillotine). Prelight scent was of sweet tobacco. Prelight draw was loose with light tobacco and faint roasted coffee notes.



    Light: Toasted and lit with single flame torch. Lit easily and evenly.



    First Third. My first draw generates lots of smoke and it continued to put out thick clouds of smoke throughout. With the first few draws, the burn got uneven (badly). One side of the wrapper stopped burning. Flavors were of bitter chocolate with a hint of burnt (not just caramelized) sugar. Needed a touch-up. Ash is mottled grey and flaky and held <1 inch.



    Second Third. The bitterness of the first third mellows now. Iím still getting chocolate but softer. Not milk chocolate but good dark chocolate. Iím now picking up hints of caramelized sugar, almost a toasted marshmallow flavor. Maybe it's more of a scent than a flavor. Hard to tell but itís nice. Also getting some black coffee flavor. The burn problems continue. Needed two touch-ups and the ash fell both times. Really struggling to keep one side of the wrapper lit.



    Third Third. Flavor changes. All the softness has pretty much gone away. Iím getting flavors of charred wood and scorched coffee now. Burnt popcorn too (bitter). Starts out as hints and then burnt popcorn becomes the dominant flavor. The bad burn continues but I donít want to touch it up any more. (Rather smoke it than burn it.) Almost the entire final third, the cigar is hot to the touch. I let it die at about an inch.





    Conclusion: I definitely think the flavor of this stick suffered from the additional flame necessary to keep the burn from getting totally out of hand. Just goes to show how interrelated the construction/draw/burn and flavor of a cigar are. It ainít just aesthetics. One half of this cigar burned very quickly and the other had a hard time staying lit. Flame touch ups increased the total burn rate, which was already pretty fast due to the loose draw/pack. There were some nice flavors in this cigar that I hope will become more dominant if left to rest for 6 months. Maybe resting will help with the burn issues too. Iíll do that and try again.

    Recommend: Nah. Thereís better knowckaround maduros out there, even under $2. Weíll see if I change my mind after they rest a while.
    "24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?" -- Steven Wright

  2. #2

    F.O.G. MikeW's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    I've had 5 gordos and my experiences mirror yours, Brian. You had to 'huff and puff' them like an old steam engine or they go out. Consequestly they get hot and bitter. And the last one I had was a year old humi'ed at 65% +/- and it was no better than the one that was 2 weeks old.

    I gave one to my brother, the experieced cigar smoker in the family, and he gave it a "not too bad" rating. As they say, "There's an a$$ for every seat".
    Last edited by MikeW; 01-31-2013 at 03:22 PM.

  3. #3

    Puffer Fish with many spikes Btubes18's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    Interesting, you had the burn issues with no wind...must have been the construction. I have tried the regular el mejor emerald and thought it to be pretty good.

  4. #4

    I'm totally serious, dude B-daddy's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    I've heard good things about the Emerald and some decent (actually mixed) things about the basic El Mejor. I'm planning to try (and possibly review) the whole series.
    "24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?" -- Steven Wright

  5. #5

    Young Puffer Fish fenlon's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    Quote Originally Posted by B-daddy View Post
    I've heard good things about the Emerald and some decent (actually mixed) things about the basic El Mejor. I'm planning to try (and possibly review) the whole series.
    Brian,
    Great write up. Glad you pointed me this way from the Value cigar that tastes like chocolate/coffee thread. I have had a 5 pack of the Emerald's. I enjoyed them, but don't have any notes on them. They did spur me to buy the El Mejors. I have one left in the humi, and was hoping some age would improve the burn. I hope to prove Mike wrong.

    It is a shame these burn so bad. I really enjoy the taste and appearance of these. I bought a bundle of 20, and gave away about 1/2 of them. Of the 9 I have smoked and the others smoked with me, I would say about half of them burn badly. All of them get very hot at the last 1/3. I didn't find myself roaching any of these to squeeze out the last bit of smoke like I do with other sticks.

    Can you suggest a good alternative ~$2 knock around?

  6. #6

    Leading Puffer Fish Gdaddy's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    I had a box of these a few years back and the wrapper was dyed. My experience was not as good as yours. I loved the look of them but when I lit it things went down hill from there.

  7. #7

    I'm totally serious, dude B-daddy's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    Quote Originally Posted by fenlon View Post
    Brian,
    Great write up. Glad you pointed me this way from the Value cigar that tastes like chocolate/coffee thread. I have had a 5 pack of the Emerald's. I enjoyed them, but don't have any notes on them. They did spur me to buy the El Mejors. I have one left in the humi, and was hoping some age would improve the burn. I hope to prove Mike wrong.

    It is a shame these burn so bad. I really enjoy the taste and appearance of these. I bought a bundle of 20, and gave away about 1/2 of them. Of the 9 I have smoked and the others smoked with me, I would say about half of them burn badly. All of them get very hot at the last 1/3. I didn't find myself roaching any of these to squeeze out the last bit of smoke like I do with other sticks.

    Can you suggest a good alternative ~$2 knock around?
    I hope you get better results with the rested version too. I've got three more of these resting and I'd like to see them improve.

    Regarding the decent knock arounds, I'd recommend the Bahia Maduro and Nica Libre for a similar (-ish) flavor profile to the Espresso (or maybe what I was hoping to get from the Espresso). I'd recommend Blue Label (a Gran Hab line) and the Famous Nicaraguan 3000 for a nice med-full flavor stick. I also like the Cu-Avana maduro. I get all of these under $2/stick on Cbid.
    "24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?" -- Steven Wright

  8. #8

    Young Puffer Fish fenlon's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    I will have to check some of your recommendations out. I have a Nica Libre that was given to me about a year ago. I have been saving it for a sunny beach day. I have been spending way too much time on cbid lately, so I will put the others on the radar.

    Looks like you are bravely suffering the cold during that smoke. It hasn't been easy to get a smoke in these days.

  9. #9

    Twerking ain't for Smurfs Packerjh's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    I had bought a bundle of these about 5 years ago...didn't care for it ROTT but after about 3 years they lost the harshness and were ok...I think I my have one or two left in the bottom of a drawer...now I'm curious about how 5 years napping would treat them.
    Just one little Smurf against the world....I feel sorry for you World! BOOM, suckas!

  10. #10

    I'm totally serious, dude B-daddy's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    Quote Originally Posted by Packerjh View Post
    I had bought a bundle of these about 5 years ago...didn't care for it ROTT but after about 3 years they lost the harshness and were ok...I think I my have one or two left in the bottom of a drawer...now I'm curious about how 5 years napping would treat them.
    Wow, I'd be really curious to hear how these are after 5 years in the humidor. Please let me know. Thanks.
    "24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?" -- Steven Wright

  11. #11

    Full grown Puffer Fish JG5000's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    great review

  12. #12

    I'm totally serious, dude B-daddy's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    El Mejor Espresso REVISITED

    I pretty much panned this cigar in the my last review back in January. I left them to rest a few months at 63% rh and tried it again.
    All the critical stats associated with my original review are the same except the following:

    Burn: Poor, unevenÖ [but not ďfastĒ, rather it was so slow that it went out a couple times.]
    Draw: [Not ďLooseĒ but rather so tight that it was difficult to get much smoke volume from it.]
    Smoking Time: [40 minutes for 60% of the cigar that I actually smoked]
    Age: [Now about 80 days in my humidor]
    Smoking conditions: [Outdoors. Cool (50 F). No wind.]



    Prelight: Pretty much the same as the original review but the draw was very tight. Still a nice looking cigar and nice aroma. This stick is certainly dyed its pretty Ďespressoí color. I took it out of my mouth and touched it to the back of my hand leaving a stain.



    First Third. Very little smoke. Within the first Ĺ inch, the burn got uneven (badly). One side of the wrapper stopped burning after the first [couple] draw[s]. Flavors were of bitter chocolate, leather, and dark tobacco]. Needed 3 touch-ups. Ash is mottled grey and flaky and held <1 inch.



    Second Third. Still a very tight draw with low smoke output. The burn problems get worse and I decide not to burn this stick up with the torch as I did with the previous one. I try to get what decent flavor I can out of it. The bitterness of the first third mellows now. Start to get some nice coffee and wood flavors. After one more touch-up, it goes out for the last time and I leave it that way.



    Final Third. Unsmoked.

    Conclusion: This was a poorly made cigar. Three additional months at proper rh did not help it. Flavors were actually ok but itís not smokable.

    Recommend: To the target audience of this cigar (presumably noobs or bargain shoppers seeking a decent value knock-around maduro), I encourage you to LOOK ELSEWHERE AND NOT BUY THIS CIGAR.
    "24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?" -- Steven Wright

  13. #13

    Young Puffer Fish fenlon's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    Thanks for the follow up.

  14. #14

    Leading Puffer Fish Gdaddy's Avatar


     

    Re: El Mejor Espresso

    Agreed. it's one of the worst I've had. Full of dye.


    Here's my rating...


    Attachment 76952


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