Murcielago Belicoso

Drew Estate

If I had given it some thought, I would have lit up the Murcielago for review back at the tail end of October. The reason being, of course, is that “Murcielago” is Spanish for “bat”, a common Halloween fixture. But it wasn’t until saw the short video clip on EO/United Tobacco’s website that it occurred to me that this cigar might be spooky enough to be a Halloween cigar. I could save this review until Christmas, and go with a Nightmare Before Christmas kind of theme, but to be honest, I just don’t feel like waiting.

When talking about the Murcielago with other cigar enthusiasts, sooner or later the name becomes a topic of discussion. By now, most people know it means bat. So what’s with the batty name? Well the most obvious explanation is that bats are symbolic of all things dark. They come out at night to feed and they are pretty dark colored little animals. Similarly, the Murcielago has a dark maduro wrapper (or “capa negra” as noted on the band) and is probably a little too potent a stick to be smoked first thing in the morning. So a dark cigar to be enjoyed while out and about looking for dinner. Seems reasonable.

But I suspect the real reason the cigar is called Murcielago is because Espinosa and Ortega couldn’t call it “Batman” without the risking pesky legal action. Take another look at the band. Now imagine that the blood-red background was yellow instead. And what if it happened to be projected into the night sky, or appeared on the outfit of a caped crusader? You get the picture. I think the United Tobacco boys are trying to answer the question for us, what would Batman smoke? (WWBS indeed. Feel free to comment on this below.) Sure they could have called the cigar El Hombre de Murcielago, but that’s a mouthful. And kind of stupid too. And possibly trademarked.

Of course, this is all speculation, and at some point I’ll ask someone who actually knows. In the meantime, it’s time to light up the Bat and see if it’s a smoke worthy of a caped superhero or if it’s just a creepy flying rodent.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 1/2 x 52
Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Maduro
Binder: Mexico
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: MSRP $9.61

The Pre-Smoke
The Murcielago Belicoso is a striking looking cigar, a flattened, but smooth, box-pressed stick with that blood-red band and a maduro wrapper that’s nearly as black as the stylized bat on the band. Looking over the cigars I smoked for this review, I only found one noticeable imperfection, a small, superficial hole on one stick just below the band. The cigars were consistently firm and the veins were consistently fine.

The wrapper scent reminded me quite a bit of the fatty, oily smell given off by some types of corn chips with a little compost mixed in for good measure. The cold taste offered up a cool, slightly chalky cocoa.

The Burn
Generally speaking, the Murcielago Belicoso is about is as nice looking while it slowly becomes a pile of white ash as it was before lighting. It burns evenly, and produces a sturdy, solid, bright white ash. Unfortunately it’s not all rave reviews in the burn department. The draw seemed to tighten a bit in several of the cigars as they progressed, and one stick actually tarred up a little. The volume of smoke, in part due to the tightening draw, was a little too thin at times as well. I found that re-clipping helped with these issues, and I had a better experience overall when I started off with a deeper cut.

The Flavor
The smoke began with a few puffs of nuts, chocolate, a touch of leather and spice, but quickly transitioned into a creamy cocoa and cedar combination. Along the way to the second third the creamy element grew sweeter and almost like marshmallow in character. The cedar component faded and was replaced with a more prominent cocoa.

The second third kicked things off with full, but complex medley of slightly chalky cocoa, cedar and coffee. Much like the preceding third, the flavors again became creamy before long, and then once again trended towards darker chocolates and even espresso.

The final third continued for a while with the darker chocolate, and cedar became a prominent part of the flavor profile. Again the creamy marshmallow returned, and coffee and pepper made an appearances as well.

The Price
The Murcielago is a little more expensive than most of the cigars I’ve been reviewing recently, but I have been generally impressed with it’s construction and the quality of the tobacco. I’d love it if it were a few bucks cheaper, but I don’t think the price is unreasonable either.

The Verdict
I’ve actually been smoking the Murcielago since they hit the shelves at my local cigar shop around a month ago. So by the time I sat down to light up a few more for the review, my mind was pretty well made up that I like the Murcielago. But I have been curious to see how well it would hold up to the close scrutiny of proper review. I was not surprised to find that I still very much enjoyed the rich flavors of the cigar, but I was shocked that I had any burn trouble at all, especially tar. Previous experiences were free of issues aside from the occasional uneven burn.

In spite of the burn issues, my opinion of the Murcielago remains unchanged. I love this cigar, and I look forward to smoking more of them in the future. In fact, it’s one of my favorite new releases of the year. But for some reason, it hasn’t gotten very much press since its release. But I’m actually happy about that. It’s selling quickly enough as it is. (I had planned to review the robusto I normally smoke, but they were sold out when I went to buy my review cigars.)

Getting back to my crackpot Batman theory discussed earlier, I’ve been thinking. Bruce Wayne would most likely be a Zino smoker, but when he dons the bat suit, I would not at all be surprised if he pulls Murcielagos out of the humidor in the Batmobile. I would.

Liked It: Love it
Buy It Again: Yes, again and again
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.




Ortega Cigars