El Pulpo Toro
Nicaragua Cigar Review

Cigar Review: El Pulpo Toro

El Pulpo comes from Artesano del Tobacco a company that also makes Viva la Viva. While the company doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, who am I to judge the Fakih brothers and their 25 years of experience including running one the most premier cigar shops in the country, Cigar Inn. From around 2005 until I moved to Miami in 2012 I could be found at Cigar Inn where I was a regular that was immortalized in a mural that surrounds the store that is location on 54th and 2nd Avenue in New York Cigar.

After Cigar Inn was sold in 2015 Billy & Gus Fakih, two brothers realized they were not ready to leave the cigar industry. While the 3rd brother, Bass went back to his medical roots, Billy & Guy would turn to AJ Fernandez to make their first cigar in 2019.  Viva la Vida was met with critical acclaim as the brothers worked to build the brand.

Their second brand wouldn’t arrive until 2023 which is a long time to wait between brands. El Pulpo which translates to The Octopus is made at AJ Fernandez.

Cigar Review: El Pulpo
Size: 6 x 56 (Toro Grande)
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Nicaragua
Fillers: Nicaragua
Factory: AJ Fernandez San Lotano Cigar Factory
Release Date: May 2023
Box Count: 10

The Cigar: The box pressed El Pulpo features two bands utilizing red, black and gold with the primary showcasing a bad ass octopus in a top hat. The secondary denotes the wrapper San Andres as well as the company that owns El Pulpo. The reddish brown San Andres has a bit of a Colorado look to it. There are some thing veins on the wrapper that feels durable under the fingers with a sublet amount of oils. In the hand there is a nice weight to it although there is one void of tobacco about an inch up in alignment with the logo.

The Notes: The cold draw has a subtle cherry component while the foot has an aroma reminiscent of cinnamon graham. Once the cigars toasted and lit its a bit tannic with a leather profile to start.

As we smoke the first third of the El Pulpo and things settle down there are notes of dark toast and strong espresso that quickly become the focal point. Gone are any hint of leather and tannic components. There is a subtle caramel sweetness in the background but it hides most of the time only occasionally showing itself. At about the inch point the ash drops off right where the void of tobacco would have been. As the first third comes to a close the caramel becomes a little more noticeable and the retrohale serves up an abundance of pine nuts.

Moving into the second notes of caramel come and go while espresso remains the dominant flavor profile. Around the half way point notes of dark toast are replaced by a charred oak Additionally the retrohale begins to see a chocolate component appear which also appears on the palate and a bit of leather appears on the long finish.

The last third of the El Pulpo sees notes of chocolate intesify making the most delicious part of the cigar. Additionally notes of oak, and espresso remain with hints of brown sugar. The resting aroma of the cigar as it gets smaller has some white pepper with tickles the nasal passages where it is intensified on the retrohale with a touch more of leather that is elongated on the finish that lingers a bit to long.

Conclusion: Fans of San Andres will love El Pulpo with classic San Andres profile. It’s a cigar that also fits the crowd that would hang out at Cigar Inn. While the majority of the nation leans toward milder cigars I remember evenings at Cigar would be filled with a lot of people smoking stronger full bodied cigars. As a DJ was brought in and the shop would take on a night club atmosphere there were a lot of Maduro cigars being smoked. I don’t know why but whenI smoke this cigar it transport me back to that amazing atmosphere.

Score: 92
Price: $16.00 (Before any locator state taxes)


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