E.O. Brands Murcielago Toro
A few days behind this week, I got the pleasure of finally getting to a review I have been dying to kick out for months. I posted a few options of cigars I wanted to review, and the users picked it. E.O. Brands Murcielago.
The Good Stuff: The Murcielago is the newest blend kicked out by Espinosa and Ortega at E.O. Brands. The Murcielago made its big debut at this past year’s IPCPR convention in New Orleans. It took a while for me to get my hands on these sticks, but luckily the first batch that hit my front door were ever so graciously sent over to me form the guys over at Buckhead Cigar.
I’m not entirely sure where Espinosa and Ortega got the name “Murcielago” or “Bat”. There are a tons of theories from them just coming up with it out of the blue, to the metaphor of the dark characteristics from the cigar itself. The Murcielago is primarily constructed from an ultra dark Mexican wrapper grown in San Andreas, and bound with a Mexican binder, stuffed with the finest Nicaraguan filler.
Size: 6.12 x 50 (Toro) – Wrapper: San Andreas Mexican – Binder: Mexican – Filler: Nicaraguan – Body: Medium/Full
Prelight: The Murcielago is an extremely darkly wrapped, box pressed cigar. The wrapper itself is and extremely dark, chocolatey brown and very toothy. The toothyness I am referring too looks a lot like that texture on a cat’s tongue, or sandpaper. The color is extremely consistent and the wrapper gives off a slight sheen as light is bounced off its oils. The Murcielago is then capped off with a round triple cap. The cigar is very firm to the touch, and the only soft spots I was able to find were near the foot of the cigar. There is a very slight separation in the wrapper that exposes just the slightest bit of the binder near the head of the cigar, but it’s not anything to worry about I am hoping. I do however see band removal being a chore and even tearing the wrapper if it has too much glue on it due to the separation. The wrapper on the Murcielago gives off a very bold smell with scents of oats, cocoa, tobacco, and musk. Where as the foot of the cigar is a bit more on the sweet side, carrying the tobacco and cocoa smell. The cap of the Murcielago clipped right off under my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw produced although effortless, produced only very subtle hints of tobacco and pepper.
First Smoke: The Murcielago kicked out quite a bit more flavor than expected from what I took off the cold draw. The more dominant flavors are cocoa, strong tobacco, wood, a sweet nutmeg, and hints of pepper. The draw the Mucielago gives off is amazingly large and effortless, and results in a huge cloud of thick, bluish-brown smoke. The cigar gives off very little stationary smoke so it was a bit harder to conclude what kind of aroma this stick gives off, but the notes I picked up were very leathery, with scents of spice and wood. The burnline is dead even and razor sharp leaving behind a very thick, white, compacted ash. I got about an inch and a half into this cigar before the first ash gave way.
Halfway There: The flavors in the Murcielago keep on coming. I absolutely love when the flavor profile of my cigar changes up on me and the Murcielago definitely keeps you on your toes. The pepper has all but faded, giving way for a much sweeter tobacco flavor back with hints of cocoa, raisin, leather, and oats. The Aventinus double-bock style wheat ale is really adding the “fruity” element to this flavor mashup. The burn line is still dead even, draw is magnificent. This cigar is very smooth and I am not getting even the slightest nicotine buzz from it, even though I am smoking like a champ. One side note is the stationary smoke has become quite a bit larger over the course of the smoke. Giving off a very pleasant spicy/woodsy aroma.
Finish: I have ashed a total of 3 times up until the final third, all of which ended up on my shirt. And it’s not cause the ash flakes off and falls unexpectedly, it’s actually just the opposite. The ash produced by the Murcielago is very thick and each time I try to see how far it holds on for, consequently they fall on me instead of the ash tray. The flavors have remained pretty similar to the second third of the stick, with the exception of slight pepper being reintroduced into the experience, and a very subtle cardboard type flavor that I didn’t care much for. I am feeling a slight nicotine kick from the end of the stick, but nothing too alarming. I am still enticed by how large and easy flowing the draw on the Mucielago is. I wish all cigars were this easy to smoke. Luckily, my fear never became a reality and the band had just enough glue to come off with ease. All in all this Murcielago took me about an hour and a half to smoke. It really took off at the beginning and I was scared it would burn too quickly, but once that binder and filler got a chance to mashup it was smooth sailing.
Overview: The Murcielago is a solid stick. The complexity is gratifying as well as the consistently superb construction kicked out by E.O. Brands not only on this stick, but pretty much anything they produce is top notch. This cigar is smooth enough for a novice smoker, and complex enough for any aficionado. The Murcielago does come with a higher price tag, cresting in the upper $9 range for stick, but I wouldn’t mind paying for it any day. Definitely box-worthy.
Pairing: I decided to pair this Murcielago with some Schnieder-weisse Aventinus Dopplebock. The Aventinus is a strong wheat based double bock with tons of fruit and spice flavors that range from apples and cinnamon to Orange zest and pepper. The combination of those flavors and that of the Murcielago create a complete package for flavor and aroma therapy. I would recommend anything sweet or dark as a proper pairing for this cigar. Apple juice, sweet tea, coffee, porter, or hell, even a lambic.
UPDATE: Shortly after posting this review, the Man Eddie Ortega himself left a comment with some very exciting news:
Great review, this is my favorite cigar we make. As you know by now, we have just merged with Rocky Patel. Because of the merger, we were able to significantly drop the price on all our brands. The murcielago’s new MSRP price range is between $6.20 and 6.80, the prices on the cubao and 601 lines are also down anywhere between 2.50 and 3 dollars per stick.
Now, at those prices.. This stick is a STEAL. Go out, buy some, buy a lot. Its worth it! Not to mention the 601’s at the price point. I’m a sucker for the blue.