Cigar Review: Mi Barrio

Cigar Review: Mi Barrio

 

Size: 6×50, El Aceres

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano

Binder & Filler: Nicaraguan Esteli & Jalapa

Strength: Medium/Full

Price: $7-10

Grade: 9.1

Mi Barrio is a seasonal, limited edition cigar that was created by Jose Pepin Garcia for EO Brands. The Mi Barrio cigars are presented in a box with original artwork by Edin Gutierrez; each release features new artwork. The band is a portrait and it features Don Pepin Garcia and Orestes Espinoza (father of EO Brands, Erik Espinoza).

To my knowledge, four sizes have been released so far – El Acere (6×50), El Billetero (5 ¾x52), El Puro (7½x52), and El Forro (61/8x50). I am not sure the status of this blend with the recent changes at EO, but after smoking one of these at Buckhead Cigar Shop, at the recommendation of one of their regulars Adam,  I decided to smoke another for review this week.

 

Pre-light, 1.8:
The medium brown wrapper on this smoke is somewhat oily with a few thin veins visible on the surface. As I roll the El Acere between my fingers, I notice the cigar is well packed but a bit lighter than I expected based on appearance. The pre-light aroma is of woody tobacco along the wrapper with a warm and sweet spice note at the foot. The cold draw follows the above trend with just a touch of pepper on the finish. Lastly, the band on the Mi Barrio really makes for a nice presentation and reminds me of the history and friendships in the cigar industry.

Burn, 1.8:
Clipped, toasted, and lit the Mi Barrio has a nice draw and produces volumes of smoke. The ash starts out very white but about half an inch in it transitions to a darker color and remains for the remainder of the smoke. The ash holds well and the cigar burns evenly requiring no touch ups or re-lights at all.

Flavor, 2.8:
The first puff on this smoke is nice with notes of earthy tobacco, leather, and a hint of warm spice that was present on the cold draw. Into the first third, the notes really define themselves with a base of solid tobacco with a nutty quality, a touch of pepper spice, and also a hint of sweetness. The second third finds the tobacco base remaining the same, but I do pick up some caramel on the finish, which is coupled with the continued mild spice. The last third of this smoke stays the course, with maybe the earthy tobacco coming to the front a bit more and the nuttiness fading. The mild spice is ever present, as is the caramel type notes that come and go at times.

 

Overall, 2.7:
I am not sure the status of these smokes, but I know that Mike at Buckhead Cigars has some and I have seem them online as well. This is a solid medium bodied smoke that is pleasant on the palate and complex enough to hold your interest.  I am a Pepin fan and always enjoys his blends and this is another solid offering by him and EO brands.

 

(Total: 9.1)