El Mejor Emerald

Reviews17 Comments on El Mejor Emerald

El Mejor Emerald

El Mejor Emerald - 1Brand: El Mejor
Vitola: Robusto
Ring Gauge: 50
Length: 5.50
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Origin: Honduras
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.

Pre Light:
El Mejor Emerald - 2
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.

First Third:
El Mejor Emerald - 3
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.

Second Third:
El Mejor Emerald - 4
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.

Final Third:
El Mejor Emerald - 5
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.

My Thoughts:
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.

Happy Smoking

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enjoying cigars since 2005

17 thoughts on “El Mejor Emerald

  1. Great review Walt. Have to agree with you 100%. Good cigar for the money. I’d smoke it again and matter of fact, I have one more sitting in my humidor waiting for me to get around to it heh. So many other cigars though 🙁

  2. Lemme see, a one-dimensional, medium bodied cigar with cracked and lifting wrapper and occasional “hints” of dirty and harsh flavors. Hey, is this the Holy Grail, or what?

  3. Walt,

    Excellent review as usual! I was given one of these to smoke, and like you, I was skeptical by the look and smell. It was an okay smoke and rose to good once I found out the price.
    I do enjoy these budget cigar reviews from time to time, as this seems to be what most people smoke, most of the time.

  4. M.J.

    I don’t expect much from a $2.00 cigar and generally avoid them for that reason. There are too many really interesting cigars like the Edge Sumatra at $3.55, the Padilla Obsidian at $2.50 or less, and the El Cobre at $4.00. I didn’t much like the El Mejor line. Some do and that’s OK. I wish that I could have enjoyed it but just didn’t. Sorry if it came off negative, but disagreement, plus a few other things, makes the world go ’round.

  5. Ace,

    My apoligies for misunderstanding. I thought you were out taking pot-shots at someone.

    We can agree to disagree. That’s the beauty of this fine hobby.

    Again, my bad.

    Long Ashes,

  6. Walt,
    Another great review. Once again I can see why Jerry refers to you as the best “technical” smoker he knows… Picking out specific types of tobacco by the color of the ash… small details like that don’t even occur to me why enjoying a cigar.

  7. Walt,

    I believe a lot of the confusion around this cigar is due to the fact that it is a re-release. The Emerald was originally made before the El Mejor Espresso and then discontinued. As far as I know, the re-release is made by Nestor Plasencia in Honduras and is a completely different blend from the original. From what I remember the original did not even have the pigtail and shaggy foot. Great review, happy smoking!

  8. Hey Walt,

    Glad you for the most part enjoyed it. 🙂 Most of the ones I got actually have pretty nice wrappers but about 1/5 have the cracks and chips. I’ve never noticed the harshness at the end but my neighbor who smokes more of these than I do gets it every now and again.

    Now how about that Equus review? 😀

  9. I get these regularly and I love the wrapper. Mine have always been flawless and oily. A great cigar.

  10. I have just finished my first Emerald (shaggy foot – rerelease – whatever you want to call it) accompanied by a highball topped with ice and Knob Creek Kentucky Bourbon.
    I personally found it to be a decent smoke. The first third was the most intense; very sharp leathery tobacco tones and I initially thought this to be an exceptionally hot cigar. The second portion of the cigar became increasingly more mild, almost to the point of wondering if it had gone out… The smoke did not have a hard draw, but was very thin and waifty. By far the most enjoyable portion of this cigar was the third and last section. Cool, creamy smoke poured from the head of the cigar, even as the butt itself became very warm to the touch. The tasty corojo wrapper was the predominant flavor throughout, although some slight aromas of a more pungent, boutique cigar shined through the last two thirds. The burn line was solid and the ash held strong, mostly due to an extremely impressive build quality.
    Overall, a decent smoke that started a little harsh ended up being an experience that I didn’t want to end. I had to extinguish the stogie as it reached the 1.5″ mark and began to burn my fingertips.
    I give this cigar a C-plus (79/100) for consistency throughout, but I’m looking for a little more than a relatively one-dimensional flavor.
    Hope this review helps you choose to give this cigar a run for it’s money, especially if you favor the stong, sharp taste of a well-made corojo-wrapped cigar.

  11. I have been looking for bargains and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I bought a sampler of 20 cigars for $39 and there were a bunch of these in it. I also had a hard time getting through the unwrapped beginning and frankly, I didn’t bother smoking it down to the bottom third, but the middle was better than I expected.

  12. Bought a whole box of these emeralds which included a freebie 6 pack of the espresso box press. Personaly I am very impressed by both, but think I prefer the espresso a little more due to its bolder flavor profile. I have smoked a total of 6 emeralds so far and have had pretty consistent results, no burn issues, always loaded with creamy smoke and flavor is sufficient for an everyday smoke. I must admit I am not crazy about the shaggy foot and always happy when I have burned past it. The other minor complaint is the cedar sleeve which uses clear scotch tape to bind it together, It is hard to remove and looks a bit crude. I will definately consider buying again for the price and because they are reliable.

  13. this is a good solid smoke , picked up a box of robusto and my only real complaint is the cedar sleeve its in other than that its great. nice dark intense taste of ligero tobacco as well as notes of cedar and some spice best of all price.

  14. I, like Stu, didn’t want it to end. I liked it. The “creamy” word describes the whole experience for me. I’m a novice and was given the cigar. I looked it up and was surprised to find it in the category of “inexpensive” smokes like the Flour de Olivia line I’ve enjoyed for years. I’ll do it again!

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