Cigar Review: Murcielago

Murcielago_web

Size: 5.0×52, Belicoso

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrea Maduro

Binder: Mexican

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 20, $176.99

Grade: 8.8

Released at this year’s IPCPR trade show, the Murcielago is one of the newest cigars to hit the market and is receiving a lot of online buzz. Developed by Erik Espinosa and Eddie Ortega of EO Brands, or Espinosa y Ortega or United Tobacco, the Murcielago cigar came about when the two visited Mexico. Walking through bat-infested caves, the idea came—name a cigar after the Spanish word for bat, Murcielago. And so here it is, what everyone is calling Batman’s cigar.

The Murcielago relies upon the volcanic soils of the San Andres Valley in Mexico for its wrapper and binder and is full of Nicaraguan filler. The cigar was blended by the ever popular Don Pepin Garcia.

All this is according to a press release, which also states its availability in 5 sizes (Churchill, Toro, Belicoso, Robusto, and Rothschild) and in boxes of 20. Founded in 2003, EO is also responsible for the well-known 601, Cubao, and Mi Barrio. You can learn more on their website.

I picked this one up while browsing a Buckhead cigar shop over the Thanksgiving weekend; the bat caught my eye on the bottom shelf! So I picked the Belicoso and brought it south to toast the foot for our readers.

Pre-light, 1.8:
The box press on this Belicoso is very nice.  There are no prominent veins on the oily and dark Mexican Maduro wrapper. The construction is solid but the weight of the smoke is surprising, as there is hardly any weight to it at all. Murcielago is featured very prominently on the label along with the bat logo, which offers a very cool look. The pre-light aroma is of tobacco, some cocoa, and barnyard at the foot. The cold draw, in true Pepin form, was a blast of peppery spice. I am excited about the flavor profile to come on this smoke.

Burn, 1.6:
The cigar toasted and lit evenly but, other than that, the burn was a disappointment. The ash was very loose and did not hold well. The cigar extinguished itself about halfway into the second third and the burn line was jagged throughout. On the positive, the draw was good, a little loose for me, but better than being too tight. The smoke temperature was pleasant but a little warm at times and I attribute this to the loose draw on the Murcielago. Not a bad performance in this category but not great either.

Flavor, 2.7:
The first puff on the Belicoso was a nice combo of roasted nuts and toasted cedar, coupled with a dry finish. The first third continued this flavor profile but with a hint of cocoa and caramel thrown in at times.  The finish continued to be very dry, with a hint of citrus on the very end. The second third seemed to be bit creamier, the finish became fuller, and there was more spice in the smoke. The spice was in the background but leaned toward a black pepper as opposed to sweet spice. As we finish up the smoke, the last third shows the same notes as above, but the spice becomes more prevalent and the finish becomes even shorter.   Cedar, cocoa, and spice are the dominant notes in this smoke, which is tasty but not quite as flavorful as I anticipated.

Overall, 2.7:
Just to be honest right off the bat, if the cigar budget is tight, and at $9-$10 a stick, there are better options. I enjoyed the smoke but with the price per stick and issues listed above, it is one I may pass on next time in favor of either a new smoke or a “go to” smoke in that price point. That being said, if you want to try something different and the cigar budget is in good shape, this would probably be a good choice as it is a new smoke from some heavy weights in the cigar business. I am glad I picked this one even if it was overpriced in my opinion—I always enjoy trying something new, whether it’s a great experience of a bad experience; this experience was in-between.

(Total: 8.8)

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