I first met Gordo Aleman on twitter and inadvertently won a contest he was running when I sent one of my standard DM’s to him inquiring about his favorite smokes, coffees and cocktails.
Since I did not know a lot about the brand itself, I took a look at the El Gordo Cigars website. They claim to be a “full service” cigar company. Along with their own brand they will make custom bands or “packages” per your request.
Gordo sent me a sample of his Robusto sized Natural and Maduro wrapper cigars. Today, I will be reviewing the Natural blend and will follow up with a review on the Maduro at a later date.
The Natural uses a Connecticut wrapper. I do not know what is used for the binder or filler.
Looking at the cigar, the wrapper has a lot of prominent veins. The cigar is firm to the touch and has a sweet tobacco aroma at the foot and wrapper.
The cold draw was good and I could taste a berry flavor coming from the filler. I generally find this particular flavor in Nicaraguan tobaccos so perhaps that is a hint as to what is being used in this cigar.
The cigar formed a tight dark grey ash that dropped off after about 1 1/2 inches. It also produced a good amount of smoke.
During the first third, the cigar started off with a bit of a sour flavor and had a medium spice level on the exhale. I also picked up on some sweetness on my lips.
During the second half, I had the unfortunate experience of having the wrapper start to split. I think the extra air coming in through the outside caused a minor tunnel and some other burn issues.
I tried to power through the split wrapper and that made the cigar burn a little hotter than normal. Once I got past the split, I let the cigar sit a few minutes hoping it would regulate itself, which it did.
Once the cigar corrected itself, the flavor profile mellowed in the second third and I picked up on mostly tobacco flavors with some coffee notes.
The final third was more of the same but with a much better burn. The El Gordo Año Especial 2009 has a short, clean finish. I would consider this cigar to be mild to medium in body and strength.
It was not bad for a morning smoke and since this was a single sample review, I do not hold the wrapper issue against it. As we all know, cigars are a natural product and each cigar is unique. My overall feeling of the cigar is positive and I would try the blend again at some point.
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