El Fulao Malverde Maduro
It’s finally spring time weather here! To celebrate, I find myself out back with an El Fulao Malverde and a bottle of Side Project Pulling Nails batch #10 beer.
The Good Stuff:
El Fulao is one of the new kids in town. Based in the Dominican Republic, they recently debuted their first blend, the Malverde. Malverde was an old folklore hero similar to Robin Hood who was often called “generous bandit”, “angel of the poor”, or the “narco-saint”. The blend itself is composed of Dominican fillers in a Sumatran binder and Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper. The cigar is offered in three sizes: Robusto: (5 x 50), Boxpress (6 x 50), and Torpedo (size not mentioned). Each size comes package in boxes of 20 running between $12.99 and $16.99 per cigar. Big thanks to the El Fulao team for sending a few of these our ways to review. You can find more information about the company here.
- Size: 6 x 50
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
- Binder: Sumatran
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Body: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Price: $16.99
- Pairing: Side Project Pulling Nails Batch #10 (Sour Quad 13% ABV)
El Fulao’s Malverde starts out with an extremely consistent and extremely dark brown wrapper. There were only a few darker areas around the foot of the cigar. The wrapper’s texture is slightly toothy and gritty with a ton of oils coating it. The wrapper feels very thick and hard while the cigar as a whole is nicely packed. There are a few minor veins leading through the cigar’s soft box pressed body leading up to the cigar’s double wrapped cap. The cigar is then polished off with a gold embossed band with an image of Malverde on the front and the El Fulao crest.
The cap cut clean and easily using my xikar XO double bladed cutter. The wrapper gives off strong coffee and earth aromas while the foot of the cigar is much more grainy and earthy. The cold draw carries a ton of pepper and spice over dark chocolate and earthiness.
The El Fulao Malverde starts out with a very quick black pepper pop which faded very quickly leaving behind bold notes of leather, coffee and vanilla over earthiness and musk. The draw on this cigar is absolutely perfect as each puff kicks out massive clouds of thick, white smoke while the cigar releases a ton of stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. the burnline is on the ticker side, but is burning even and smoothly with no issues leaving behind a trail of slightly compacted, white ash which held on for about 3/4 of a inch before falling into my ashtray.
The body has started to ramp up in the second third of the El Fulao Malverde as it leads with vanilla, coffee, and dark chocolate over some great light red wine notes, earthiness, and musk. The retrohale brings out a bit of the spice I picked up on the cold draw. The burning started running a bit wild in the second third, however by the end of the second third it had corrected itself and is now burning perfectly. I close out with only a minor nicotine kick.
Into the final third of the El Fulao Malverde and the dark chocolate has really taken over the profile backed by coffee, musk, and earthiness. The cigar took me almost 2 hours to smoke down to the nub. I experienced no harshness, no sap, and no extended heat while the cigar did not leave me with much of a nicotine kick at all.
The El Fulao Malverde was solid. There wasn’t a ton of complexity, nor did anything really stand out in terms of flavor, but it didn’t need to. The cigar offers a consistent and enjoyable profile while the construction was perfect and the cigar performed great from start to finish. My only gripe here would be cost, however with small boutique blends such as this I believe it’s priced right in the middle of where other comparable releases from other companies are.
Side Project’s Pulling Nails batch #10 is a mead-inspired sour quad aged in bourbon and red wine barrels with Raspberry, Cherry, and Black Currant. The beer leads with strong cherry and tart black current with huge notes of red wine, chocolate, and just the right amount of acidity. The mouthfeel is thin and fizzy while the beer finishes with heavy berry and black currant with just a hint of bourbon. I really enjoyed the way this beer paired with the El Fulao Malverde. The cigar kept telling me that berry would bring it up to the next level and the pairing did just that.