The Bandolero is a cigar from United Cigar that also distributes Atabey and Byron cigars. We’ve reviewed these cigar before, but I haven’t had any of them since that review. They are a little hard to find and no shops near me, at the time, carried United Cigar. The cigars from United Cigar are blended and made by Nelson Alfonso and his Selected Tobacco company. Some of you might not have heard of him in the age of cigar celebrities, but Nelson was the man behind all the Habanos SA branding and more specifically, Cohiba including the Behike, since 1999. He also is the man that designed the Padron 50th Anniversary humidor. The one thing about all three cigar lines from United Cigar is their amazing packaging and that is thanks to Nelson Alfonso. The cigars either come in exquisite jars or humidified cigar tubos. Not only are the cigars really good, but the packaging is world class. The only problem is that, with all three lines, there are no blends listed. The tobaccos used in each line are a mystery to all but those at Selected Tobaccos. The Bandolero is the more budget friendly of the three coming in at around $12 per cigar at Two Guys Smoke Shop in New Hampshire. I was sent a few different cigars from United CIgars line up over Christmas thanks to their cigar rep, Oliver Nivaud.
The cigar is a nice belicoso shape which actually reminds me of a rifle cartridge perfectly. Maybe its just the gun guy in me, I don’t know. The wrapper has a leathery, slightly mottled appearance. The draw is somewhat tight though, but I’m hoping it opens up as the cigar warms up.
The cigar starts off with notes of oak, leather, cinnamon, molasses and a slight citrus note. The backbone of the cigar is the oak, leather and molasses notes with the cinnamon and citrus notes adding a nice accent to fill out the flavor profile. The draw did open up some and is now smoking perfectly. The burn is a little off, but nothing require me to touch it up. The body is medium bodied.
The last half start with a more savory flavor profile. It had notes of oak, cinnamon, molasses, pecan and mocha. The cinnamon note is much stronger in the last half as well as the molasses note. The citrus twang has pretty much faded away. The cigar is still medium bodied and smoking well.
I really like this vitola of the Bandalero over the Bravos I reviewed in 2015. It didn’t have that sour note the Bravos had and it also had a much richer flavor. Thankfully, these are cheaper than the Byron or the super tasty Atabey at around $10 per cigar. That’s easily approachable for a cigar this well made and it has a lot of great flavor for the price. This is one of the best of the boutique cigars out there. They aren’t available everywhere, but if you see these in your local cigar shop, give these a shot. I don’t think you will be disappointed.