Brand: El Mejor
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
Price: $39.00 per box of 20
The El Mejor name translates to “The Greatest” and is crafted by Don “Kiki” Berger in the Tabacalara Esteli Factory in Nicaragua. Other cigars crafted by this master blender include the Savinelli Nicaraguan Reserve, 5 Vegas, and Cupido cigars.
The El Mejor Emerald is a budget friendly cigar coming in at roughly $2.00 per stick and is available in four sizes which include a Churchill (50 x 7.00), Corona (42 x 6.00), Robusto (50 x 5.50), and a Torpedo (54 x 6.00). Each cigar is set off by its shaggy foot, an exposed binder and filler beyond the wrapper leaf.
After removing my El Mejor Emerald from its cellophane sleeve I began removing the cedar wrap. Once removed I began to take a closer look at my cigar. The first thing I noticed was just how ugly it was up close and personal. The foot is left shaggy which adds a bit of rustic character and the head has a pigtail cap. The wrapper leaf itself showed several battle scars in the forms of lifting seams and small chips.
The aroma on the wrapper was pungent as was the aroma on the rugged foot. When pinched I found the stick to be consistently packed with tobacco from head to foot. The texture was a little on the gritty side with a few minor lumps from the occasional protruding vein.
Once clipped I found the draw to be good with some resistance and flavors of cedar.
After a tricky lighting process due to the shaggy foot, I had my El Mejor Emerald evenly lit and producing a good supply of smoke. The initial flavors were very interesting due to the lack of wrapper and came through in the form of cedar. The body starts in the medium range while the finish is smooth and easy on the palate. The lingering texture on the tongue and walls of my mouth were mildly creamy.
Once I burned beyond the shaggy foot the rich flavor or the Corojo tobacco immediately came through while the cedar flavor faded into the background. When passed through the sinuses I began to pick up just a bit of the pungent aroma from the wrapper as well as some mild spice.
To my surprise this ugly looking cigar is not burning all that bad. The burn line is thin and a little wavy while the ash is dark in color and firm. After growing to just under an inch the ash unexpectedly dropped from the cigar. After crashing onto the table in front of me, the bulk of the ash stayed in tact. The small chips and lifting wrapper were worsening as the heat from the foot approached.
As I made my way past the fifty minute mark, I found myself into the second third of my El Mejor Emerald. The body has climbed ever so slightly and remains firmly planted in the medium spectrum. The finish remains easy on the palate and adds a slight creamy texture to the tongue and walls of the mouth.
The flavor has changed very little during this portion of the cigar. The rich Corojo tobacco flavor remains as the focal point while a cedar flavor hangs in the background. The mild spice remains when the smoke is passed through the sinuses as does the pungent aroma initially detected on the wrapper leaf.
The burn line is erratic and goes from wavy to fairly even, and back again, multiple times throughout the smoke. The resting smoke is light and produces a heavy room aroma that I do not find very appealing. The draw is free with some resistance while producing a good volume of smoke with each puff of the cigar.
After roughly an hour and a half I found myself into the final third of my El Mejor Emerald. The body slowly climbed deeper into the medium spectrum but never reached the medium to full range. The finish remained slightly creamy on the palate and lingered for a few minutes before fading.
The base flavor remained very one dimensional and just like before did not change from the previous third. The primary component was a Corojo tobacco flavor with a mild cedar flavor lingering in the background. Shortly after removing the bad the cigar began to take on a harsh and dirty component which make it difficult to enjoy.
As this harsh and dirty flavor moved in, the cigar began to easily heat up. The burn line was thin and even now that I was beyond the small cracks and portions of lifting wrapper. The ash is dark in color while being firm and compacted but continues to only hold onto the cigar for about three quarters of an inch before dropping off.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this cigar. By the ugly appearance and pungent aroma on the wrapper I was expecting to have to force myself to smoke the El Mejor Emerald. The flavors were one dimensional after getting beyond the shaggy foot which made it a little boring, but the flavor was enjoyable none the less.
While I was unable to smoke this cigar down as far I like to, I won’t hold that against it. For the money I think this makes a very sound bargain buy for anyone on a budget or simply looking to cut back on cigar expenses.
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