Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review of El Mejor Espresso Gordo

The El Mejor Espresso Gordo is a short (4.5 inch) fat (60 ring) box-pressed cigar that displays as the same deep, rich flavor as the other vitolas in this series--if you are lucky enough to get one that's rolled well enough to smoke.

I've smoked three and they were all constructed horribly. The first two had uneven draw and burn, with center tunneling so badly I had to let them go out. The wrapper seemed made of some fire-proof substance - it just wouldn't burn. I cut both of them back and started over. At the halfway point, they finally burned properly.

The third one, however, was a real doozy. It fired up OK. But after about 5 puffs the burn wormed its way deep into the cigar and came out the side of the wrapper - a big fiery knothole of ruin. You cannot smoke a cigar with a hole burning in its side. This is the kind of cigar you would get in hell, for torture, if hell came with cigars. The devil would laugh his head off as you puffed in futility and sank back into the burning morass from which you had crawled in hopes of a decent smoke.

Because of these three rather hellish experiences, it's hard for me to recommend the gordo. If you happen to be stuck with any, I'd suggest dry-boxing for a few days before you light up. I left one half-smoked in my garage, came back out a few days later, cut it back and finished it off. I was amazed at how good the last two inches were. 

The flavor really is remarkable for a cigar this cheap, but too bad about the construction. The other vitolas in my experience are better-rolled and provide the easy draw which makes for an exciting, inexpensive smoke.

Warning: All the El Mejor Espressos are strong and NOT complex or subtle. Either you will love them or find them harsh and punishing. Try one before you buy a box. If you don't like strength, stay away.