Boutique Wedneday Cigar Review: El Tiante Series 23 Habano

El Tiante1

Size: 6×54, Belicoso (Torpedo)

Wrapper: Nicaraguan

Binder: Indonesian

Filler: Habano Nicaraguan

Strength: Medium

Price: Box of 23, $175

Grade: 8.8

The El Tiante 23 Series is named after and created by Red Sox legend Luis Tiant. Completely handmade at the Tabacalera Tambor factory, it is rolled in the style of Old Cuba. Available in a Habano and Corojo wrappers, the 23 Series is the staple of El Tiante. Currently there is not a lot of information about the cigars on their website, but they are working on a new, interactive website that will unveil very soon. With these changes, they are also working on a new blend and updating the bands on the Series 23, which currently makes no distinction between the Habano and Corojo. Today we are taking on the medium bodied Habano and we will visit the Corojo later.

For more information be sure to check out our interview with Luis Tiant (here) or visit El Tiante online and on Twitter. Now, on to the toast!

El Tiante 2Pre-light, 1.7:
The Habano torpedo was quite stout, having been well rolled and packed, and had minimal veins. The light brown exterior was slightly rustic but overall very clean. The band is highly glossed and shows Luis Tiant in full windup, with 1964 and 1983 on either side. The aroma was very clean with a nice zest to it. It also had notes of earth with an aged barrel aroma in the background. The pre-light draw was excellent and revealed some leathery notes.

Burn, 1.7:
This stick lit easily with a couple matches and pulled nicely from the start. The burn was slow up front but sped up as the smoke progressed. The smoke emitted is very thick with a very sweet aroma. The ash was a nice whitish gray and held well, with a bit of flake along the edges. The second third required some minor touch-ups and had some hilly burning; the draw also got a little tight so I had to pay a bit more attention, but it never went out. There were no real problems to speak of in this category.

Flavor, 2.7:
The mouth was covered in pepper at first light, on the tongue and in the back of the throat, and there were some very strong earth notes immediately present. This profile continued through the first third, with some creaminess and a long finish. Overall, some fairly typical Nicaraguan flavors of earth and pepper dominated the first third. The Habano produced one of the thickest finishes I’ve had on a cigar. As the second third began, the pepper faded and the earth remained with a continued long finish. The final third brought a return to the creaminess evident up front with some continued hints of spice.

Overall, 2.7:
With all of the spice on this stick, I’d personally prefer a smaller size; the Robusto would be ideal for me. At just under $8 a stick, the price is just a bit strong in my opinion for a boutique cigar that has similar flavor profiles to Tatuaje, Illusion, and Brickhouse—I’d likely pick these up before I grabbed the El Tiante. These are also hard to come by. But overall, it provided a good burn, solid flavors, and a great exterior. If you see this one, go ahead and grab a couple; you won’t find anything necessarily new, but you’ll find a very comfortable and consistent smoke.

(Total: 8.8)

Question of the Day: Do you have a cigar budget or do you just stock up when you start getting low?