Traficante – El Chapo

El ChapoThe original El Chapo blend is back form Traficante Cigar Company. This Belicoso is a well-blended combination of aged tobaccos including a maduro wrapper leaf and a blend of Dominican and Honduran long-fillers.

The cigar has a nice thin smooth maduro wrapper with some veining. It has a nice oily sheen to it and is a dark tan leather color. The construction seems well and the cigar feels full yet gives to bit of pressure between the fingers without damaging the wrapper. Pre-light draw is easy and clear.

The smell from the body is very floral with clear notes of nutmeg and spice, from the foot the same notes are present but with an added sweet chocolate smell as well. The cold draw gives flavors of the nutmeg noticed from the smell, light roasted coffee beans and a punch of rich tobacco.

The cap cuts with no problems and lights easily. Immediate flavors are loads of tobacco, saltiness and dark chocolate. The cigar flavor stays fairly consistent until reaching the midpoint. The burn stays even with no need to retouch at anytime, the ash hangs on tightly until knocked off and is dark grey in color. It produces plenty of dense smoke which has a medium weight on the tongue.

At the middle of the cigar the flavor mellows a bit and the bitter dark chocolate subsides and pepper and spices pull to the front. This flavor continues for the remainder of the cigar and is very enjoyable.

The El Chapo is definitely not for the faint of heart; it is a full-bodied powerhouse of a smoke that will give you plenty of flavor and smoke. Make sure you put some time aside to smoke this you’ll want to enjoy the flavors and not rush through it.

 

Size: Belicoso 6×54

Wrapper: Maduro

Binder/Filler: Dominican/Honduran

Price: $12.32

Website: Traficantecigar.com

Traficante El Paso – Cazadores

Traficante El Paso CazadoresAs the popularity of Traficante Cigar Company grows so does their line of available cigars. While they add new products to their catalog they also like to offer small batches of limited releases as well. The El Paso – Cazadores happens to be one of those pieces. Unlike most companies limited editions which are usually somewhere in the 10,000 range only 915 of these cigars will be produced.

The cigar is covered in a silky, oil rich wrapper that is the color of espresso and has medium veining but is smooth to the touch. The seams are nice and snug with a well-filled roll that felt consistent through the majority of the stick.

The odor from the foot is of heavy dark roasted coffee beans and from the body there are notes of wood and leather. The prelight draw is easy and offers a sweet fruitiness, which leaves me with high hopes for what the overall flavor of this cigar will be. The cap cuts with no problem and the cigar lights easily, the draw after being lit offers an appropriate amount of resistance.

The first flavors noticed are bitter dark chocolate and almonds with a long enjoyable finish that seems to last for days. As I continue through the stick the flavor intensifies offering some rich tobacco notes to the chocolate and almond. The burn is even, the smoke production is nice and full as well it produces a tight brownish grey ash that falls off easily when tapped.

As I approach the second half the flavor has really begun to intensify with the tobacco flavor becoming more noticeable and a dash of spice being added in. The finish is still long but now has an added sweetness to it helping to balance out the spice.

For a triple maduro this cigar isn’t for the casual smoker. It has a rich full-bodied flavor that is incredibly enjoyable. I would run out and grab some now while there’s still a few left, and don’t forget all DR members get 15% off on their website. Just contact us for the discount code.

 

Size: 6×52

Wrapper: Classified

Binder/Filler: Classified

Price: $10.08

Website: Traficantecigar.com

Rating: 4.4 pints out of 5

Tatuaje’s Skinny Frank

Tatuaje Skinny MonstersAs is the case with the S&M Smoke Shop (AKA DR Headquarters) Different things are always popping up. This time they managed to get their hands on the entire Skinny Monster series from Tatuaje so I figured why not try a few and see what I thought. For my first go around I decided to try the Frank, since I had had it in other vitolas, it seemed like the right place to start.

The cigar wrapper is a dark espresso color with some noticeable veining, however this doesn’t detract from the overall appearance but seems fitting for the cigar name. There are some oils present on the wrapper but it has mostly a matte finish to it. The seams look tight and flat and it has the usual dense feeling of a lancero with little give when pressure is applied.

The smell from the body is barnyard or hay with a sweet jasmine floral scent and hints of milk chocolate; from the foot it has more of an anise odor, with the jasmine floral scent as well. The cap cuts with no damage to the body, which with lanceros I prefer to cut a bit heavier to open a decent airway to prevent the draw from feeling too tight.

From the cold draw it has a (what I would consider typical) lancero hard draw but is not off putting, the flavor is rich tobacco and cinnamon. The cigar lights easy and burns evenly from the start. The first few draws have a deep smoked meaty flavor with a long red pepper finish that lingers until the next draw.

Through the first third the meatiness of the cigar stays and a bit of cedar comes in accompanied by the long pepper finish. The burn remains even and it produces a loose greyish ash that holds on for about an inch at a time before falling off on its own accord. Smoke production is good and is a medium weight on the tongue.

Entering into the second third the meatiness drops off leaving the cedar flavor and now leather enters the profile, the peppery finish is still there but has nearly disappeared. Reaching this point I was starting to classify the entire cigar in a mild in flavor category.

Reaching the final third the flavor becomes a bit fuller with the cedar still the forerunner yet roasted pine nuts and bitter dark chocolate are joining in. There is also the return of the long peppery finish, which was nice to have back.

In all I did enjoy the cigar. While the draw was tight I found that it was not as tight as most lanceros and there was no struggle in smoking it. The flavor profile changes kept me on my toes trying to find a good description for the flavors I was tasting. The ash held tight and the burn was even for the whole smoke showing that the construction was quality and their was the overall novelty of smoking a cigar named after one of my favorite classic horror movies. If your new to Tatuaje and are wondering where to start you can’t go wrong with the Skinny Frank.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Country of Origin: Nicaragua (My Father Cigars SA)

Website: Tatuajecigars.com

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 pints