El Compartir Belicoso

El Compartir - 1

A couple of weeks ago one of the guys from Sir Stogies sent me a text message. He was letting me know that Edolara from Cigar Noise was in town and planned on stopping by the shop for an impromptu smoke, if I wanted to join them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get away and missed out on a very good time.

I stopped by the shop a couple of days later and got caught up on what I had missed. Eduardo de Lara is the brand owner and his cigar, The El Compartir, is being produced in the Quesada factory in the Dominican Republic.

The cigar is still in the early stages at this point. I believe it was just recently rolled out to a couple of accounts (which is the reason Eduardo was in town). The only place that I know of for sure that these can be purchased is SmallBatchCigar.com

Prior to lighting up my El Compartir, I was getting mixed reviews. The guys on Cigar Noise seem to love it. The guys in my local shop (the ones that got to hang out with the brand owner) also loved it. The shop owner though, he had mixed feelings.

The Shop Owner went on to tell me that his first smoke was kind of flat and tasteless. In defense of the cigar, it was his third or fourth of the day. His second cigar was very impressive. His third was very much like the first, only this time it was his first cigar of the day.

Before ever lighting up my one and only El Compartir, I was concerned about consistency. Would I wind up with the cigar that everyone on Cigar Noise raves about or would I have the Shop Owner’s experience?

Pre-Light:

The first thing that jumped out at me was the band. Orange and black with white lettering, and odd shape with lots of hard angles. It isn’t the most attractive band on the market and I find it a little difficult to read.

The cigar, on the other hand, is beautiful. The wrapper color is consistent from head to foot and features a pleasant medium brown color. There is a mild toothiness while the veins are all fairly small.

Aroma on the wrapper and foot are both mild and non-distinct. The cold draw produces a mild woody and floral note.

The Smoke:

The very first puff of smoke from my El Compartir was a little off-putting. The taste was rough around the edges, mostly woody with some bitterness. A dry finish that did not play well with the initial flavor profile. On the bright side, the draw was solid and provided a good supply of smoke.

As I burned deeper into the cigar, it began to grow on me. The dryness in the finish wasn’t as hard on the palate as it was initially and the flavor profile picked up a bit. The primary flavored remained woody but was accented with some floral and coffee undertones.

The body very much makes this what I would consider a mild cigar. There wasn’t much in the way of flavor changes throughout the early stages but the subtle changes in secondary flavors held my interest.

Around the half-way point my El Compartir took a hard left turn. The flavor became bitter and the aroma turned pungent. The woody flavor became overwhelming and was distinctly cedar. Fortunately, the flavor didn’t stay this way for long before returning back to the way it was earlier.

Construction:

El Compartir - 2

About half way through the cigar, I had it sitting in the ashtray as I typed up this post, when I heard a little pop. I looked down and saw that the wrapper had cracked. Fortunately, it wasn’t more than cosmetic and I could continue smoking without issue.

Aside from the cracked wrapper, the construction was actually rather impressive. The weight of the cigar felt good and there didn’t seem to be any under-filled sections (I gave it the old pinch test before I got underway).

The draw was easy going and produced plenty of smoke from start to finish. The ash was light and had a powdery sort of texture about it. While it did hold firm onto the end of the cigar, it was a little on the messy side.

Final Thoughts

El Compartir - 3

When I take my experience and compare it to the Shop Owner’s experience (who I trust very much) it leaves me uncertain. I found my El Compartir to be a decent mild smoke but I am still a bit concerned about consistency. I’ll have to smoke a few more to make up my mind.

At about $7.80 per single (breaking down the price for a 5 Pack of Belicoso) I think the asking price is fair. I do think it has some tough competition in that price range though.