El Cobre

El Cobre torpedo *revisited*

As you might know, the El Cobre is produced by Oliva and used to be a personal blend for Gilberto Oliva and it became a house brand for Brian Shapiro’s shop. Brian is the international head of sales for Oliva. A few years the cigars were also introduced to The Netherlands and I reviewed all four vitolas in the past, the churchill, the toro, the robusto and the torpedo. The torpedo review is a few years old, so it was time for me to revisit it. You can find the cigars in a few select shops in the U.S. and The Netherlands for a nice price, in The Netherlands this torpedo has a price of € 5.50
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The wrapper is dark and feels greasy. It has a lot of oil and a few veins. Once I release the cigar from the cellophane I smell a strong barnyard smell. The construction is flawless. I love the simple, pretty band. As soon as I wet the wrapper to cut it I taste the pepper. The predraw is good. I taste raisin with a lot of pepper.
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I taste pepper with some soil and coffee. I also taste a hint of dark chocolate but mainly I taste pepper. After half an inch the flavors change to herbs with lots of black pepper. After a forth of the cigar I taste herbal coffee with pepper. The pepper is not as strong as in the beginning but still strong.
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Halfway I taste coffee with herbs and a lot of pepper and it slowly changes to herbs with pepper after two thirds with some dark chocolate on the background. The aftertaste is black pepper. Some puffs later the flavors change to nuts with pepper.
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This cigar lasted me for two hours and ten minutes, which amazed me. The draw is good, just like the burn. I got a lot of thick smoke. The white ash is pretty and firm. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Without a doubt

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

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Categories: El Cobre, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

El Cobre churchill

These El Cobre cigars are a well kept secret amongst a small group of cigar aficionados who had the pleasure of tasting these fine Nicaraguan cigars. Word on the streets is that this blend, named after an old coppermine town in Cuba, was the private blend for Gilberto Oliva. I had the pleasure of smoking the robusto, torpedoand the toro in the past and I remember that all were very full bodied, especially the toro that kicked my ass. This 7×48 churchill is at least two years old and it has a price tag of € 5,50 here in The Netherlands.
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I spot a very nice band underneath the cellophane. The wrapper is nice, oily and dark with a vein here and there. The wrapper has a leathery look to it. The construction feels a bit hard, but the predraw is fine. I taste a mild raisin flavor. When I release the cigar from the cellophane I smell a strong barnyard smell.
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I taste a full and strong coffee flavor with pepper. The coffee is the main flavor. After half an inch I also taste some wood and the pepper disappeared. After an inch and a half I also taste some herbs and the pepper returns, but milder than before. The coffee becomes a bit stronger.
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Halfway the coffee disappears, I taste wood and herbs with a pepper aftertaste. After ⅔ I only taste herbs with lots of pepper, but the pepper isn’t sharp nor harsh. The final few puffs give herbs only.
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This cigar is full bodied and full flavored, but not as strong as the toro or the other vitolas. Or maybe I can take more nowadays. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes. The draw is good, just like the burn. The ash is almost white and firm. I got plenty of smoke, but the smoke is thin.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I might, although I like the torpedo and robusto better.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: El Cobre, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

El Cobre toro

As you may have read, last October I got to smoke two El Cobre by Oliva cigars, a torpedo and a robusto. The El Cobre is a very heavy cigar, nicknamed ‘the lobotomizer’ and ‘el muerto fuerte’ and till this month only available at Brian Shapiro’s shop but now Non Plus Ultra in Den Bosch will start selling them too. As the torpedo’s were not available, I ordered a bundle of toro’s. When I got them last Thursday I thought that there was a mix up, as there toro’s look more like coronas to me with the 152mm length and ring 46.
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The El Cobre cigars have a very nice appearance, dark wrapper and a sophisticated black and copper band. The wrapper has some nice veins which give it a strong and rough look, the aroma is heavy and full but the cigar does feel a bit hard, rolled to tight and that causes the predraw to be kind of heavy. The cigar was a bit dry though, so hopefully it will improve if I let them rest for a while in my humidor. The predraw gave a black pepper flavor.
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The pepper is also clearly there when I light the cigar. It’s like being kicked in the balls, this cigar is heavy, very heavy. There was a piece of paper at the bottom of the bundle warning me, it said “super fuerte” but I thought I was a big boy, until I lit the cigar, damn, what a power. To the palate again, heavy black pepper with leather and after a couple of centimeters a few hints of dark chocolate. The pepper is so strong it completely overpowers the chocolate and all other flavors, if there were any. I do notice that the pepper is not really consistent, with some puffs the pepper is stronger then with the next puff or the puff before, sometimes is heavier and spicier then the other time.
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At about ¾ of the cigar I start to feel light headed, like I drank too much wine in a short period of time. This cigar is beating me, it’s too strong for me. I felt like Michael Spinks in a fight with Mike Tyson (Spinks was the reigning champion in the light heavyweight champion who had the idea that he could beat Tyson back in 1988, “the fight of the champions” lasted 91 seconds). I try to take control and keep on smoking, but like a fish on a line, I know I will lose the fight anyway. This cigar got me and it got me good.
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The draw is heavy, maybe because the cigar is too dry. The smoke is white, but it could be fuller and the burn is pretty and straight. The ash is fantastic, strong and firm. It breaks only once.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, just to remind me that I am only human.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 6 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: El Cobre, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

El Cobre robusto

A day after the El Cobre torpedo we tried an El Cobre robusto, 127mm long and ring 50, and while the torpedo builds up to a powerhouse, the robusto is a slap in the face. If you’re not ready for this cigar it will blow you away and make you run to the toilet. The cigar has a dark oily wrapper, a strong aroma and it feels hard, well constructed.
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As mentioned, the cigar is much heavier and more of a powerhouse then the torpedo, the smoke is thick, much thicker then the torpedo and the first flavor that I could taste were herbs and a little bit of chocolate. Later on I could taste something I have never tasted before in a cigar, liquorices combined with some notes of wood. When those flavors disappeared the cacao came back and grew in strength until the turning point. Even though this cigar started much heavier then the torpedo, you can still notice a growth in strength to the end. This is by far the biggest powerhouse I’ve smoked so far.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, if it becomes available in Holland or online.
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Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: El Cobre, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

El Cobre torpedo

The El Cobre by Oliva is a very special and unknown cigar, it is the personal blend of the old man Oliva, the father of current Oliva CEO Jose Oliva and they are only sold at the shop of Brian Shapiro in the USA. The blend was used for family use only and was named after a little mining town in Cuba and is nicknamed ‘the lobotomiser’ and ‘el muerto’ while discountcigars mentions on their website that this cigar should come with a warning label because it’s such a full bodied and full flavored cigar.
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A friend of mine met Brian Shapiro and Jose Oliva at a dinner in Amsterdam and Brian Shapiro was kind enough to send a bundle of torpedo’s and a bundle of robusto’s to the Non Plus Ultra shop in Den Bosch, as the owner of NPU is also the official importer of Oliva cigars in The Netherlands. My friend invited me to come to Den Bosch to try the El Cobre torpedo & robusto in the smokers lounge at NPU. And I gladly accepted that invitation, my curiosity was bigger than my fear of the reputation of this powerhouse.
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We started with the 6.5 inch ring 52 torpedo, which has a heavy scent of manure, a nice dark wrapper and a distinctive band that compliments the cigar. The predraw released some sweetness.
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While we all expected a big bang right at the start, the cigar surprised us with a nice, easy coffee flavor, not a powerhouse at all, but we could feel that the cigar was building up to something heavy and something special. The coffee was replaced by herbs and pepper and about halfway I discovered dark chocolate, my favorite. At the end of the cigar the pepper made a comeback.
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The El Cobre torpedo produced a lot of smoke and light gray ashes. The draw was fine.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, if it becomes available in Holland or online.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 9 / 10

Categories: El Cobre, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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