Another house blend, I have smoked a few before and with very different results but I know that this house blend is a good one. Every time I’m in Florida I take the time to drive to Key Largo to have a smoke at the Island Smoke Shop where my buddy Bill used to work. And every time I bring home at least a box of their El Original house blend, usually in the lancero vitola but I got myself a sampler with different vitolas of the maduro line too and I decided to review the robusto.
I asked several times but Bill or his employer wouldn’t disclose where the cigars are made, only that they are American made so I can’t tell anything about where they come from or what the blend is, all I know is that its a mighty tasty cigar for less than 5 dollars. If you are curious after my review, they do ship within the USA.
The dark wrapper has a leather look and feels like it too, the wrapper looks smooth. The ring is simple, white with a burgundy circle and silver letters saying El Original and Santiago Cabana, which could be a huge hint to where the cigars are made as Santiago Cabana is a master blender who has a little factory in Little Havana, Miami. The construction feels good, the cigar is well finished so thumbs up on construction. The cigar has a manure/barnyard aroma which is medium strong.
I cut the cigar, the cold draw is great, quite spicy, peppery and with a hint of dried sultanas. After lighting I taste a lemony espresso and a little icing sugar. After a few puffs I taste a mild coffee, with some salt and licorice. Halfway I taste wood with honey, spice and pepper. The pepper grows stronger with a little floral background.
The draw is perfect. The white smoke is good, not super thick or full but enough. The salt & pepper colored ash is firm. The burn is straight. This cigar starts out medium but grows to full bodied & flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.
Would I buy this cigar again? Every time I’m in Miami I drive down to the Island Smoke Shop for a box of El Original.