Team Cigar Review: El Artista The Slugger by Big Papi

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Cigar Details: El Artista The Slugger by Big Papi

  • Vitola: Double Churchill
  • Length: 7″
  • Ring Gauge: 60
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
  • Binder: Dominican Negrito
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and United States
  • Factory: Tabacalera El Artista
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $12.50
  • Release Date: July 2019
  • Source: El Artista

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the El Artista The Slugger by Big Papi is dark brown and has a few raised veins present. The seams are easily visible as they are slightly lifting while the head is finished off with a well applied double cap. The cigar has two bands, with the primary being the standard design for the line. The foot band is a navy blue ribbon .The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of damp wood, damp earth and slight pepper while the foot brings sweet and spicy cedar. The pre-light draw brings an airy dry wood note along with a medium level spiciness on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The El Artista The Slugger by Big Papi is rather imposing in its 7 inch by 60 ring gauge format. The wrapper is an evenly shaded chocolate color, with a very smooth appearance. There is a blue ribbon foot band, along with the Big Papi primary band. Aromas from the wrapper included light hay, barnyard and cedar. From the foot, medium strength barnyard and light plus hay.

Pre-light Experience

The El Artista The Slugger by Big Papi is a big slugger of a cigar with a weighty 7×60 format. The wrapper is a Colorado Maduro showing quite a bit of oils. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head well wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper give rich cedar and hay. Aromas from the foot tell roasted nuts and a hint of black pepper spice. Cold draw tells cedar, hay and a hint of floral perfume.

First Third

The cigar begins with a very musty wood combination. At a half inch in, some chalkiness joins the profile. The retrohale is toasted wood and mustiness. At an inch in, the mustiness has lessened and is now even with the wood. At an inch and a quarter, the wood, mustiness and chalkiness are all even. As the third comes to a close, the wood, mustiness and chalkiness all remain even. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

Graham cracker, cream, cedar, with trailing spices and cedar leading into the post draw. Some minerality and earth on the post draw as the cigar begins to settle in. While the initial flavors are balanced, I don’t find the profile particularly engaging. As the cigar progresses, sweetness, cedar and hay combine, with mild nuttiness to finish the draw. About an hour and twenty minutes in, some mild tannins appear on the post draw.

First Third

The first third has a medium body and strength profile. Flavors of naturally sweet roasted nuts, leather, cedar and a hint of baking spices. Retrohaling gives amplified sweet roasted nuts, baking spices and adds a bread like dimension. The finish is a mix of soft baking spices and cedar.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the mustiness and chalkiness are slightly ahead of the wood. At a half inch in, the chalkiness is now up front, then mustiness and then the wood. The retrohale is mustiness and chalkiness with light wood. At an inch and a half, the wood comes back to the front of the profile. As the third comes to a close, the wood, mustiness and chalkiness are all even again and a light menthol note joins in. The strength in this third bumped to medium.

Second Third

Dry cedar and mild sweetness move the profile into the second third. Earth comes into the middle of the profile. As the second third settles, baking spices start to come through. By the halfway point, the earth has faded away. For roughly the next hour, the above profile is relatively unchanged.

Second Third

The second third is still medium strength and body. The profile seems to smooth out overall, not having one flavor dominate another. Flavors still consists of naturally sweet roasted nuts, leather, cedar and a hint of baking spices.

Final Third

The final third begins with the wood and mustiness even and the chalkiness and menthol notes light in the background. At an inch in, the chalkiness has left the profile and a slight char joins the wood. The retrohale is just musty wood. At an inch and a half, the menthol note has increased. The cigar finishes out with musty and charred wood and the menthol note. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

Earth and cedar combine to define the profile moving into the last third. Earth also comes through at the front of the tongue, to linger between draws. Once the last third has settled in, the profile becomes a creamy cedar, with earth to finish each draw into the post draw.

Final Third

The final third’s profile within the last couple inches gets a bit muddled. It’s still a relatively smooth delivery, but the flavors taste like it’s being all lumped into a slight mess. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn line was slightly wavy in the second third but straight the rest of the time. The ash held on in two inch increments.

Burn

Overall, the burn was very good, which is impressive when you take into account the total smoking time. There are times where parts of the wrapper do not burn, but the cigar self corrected. Ash held on well up to 2 inches. A touch-up was required in the second third, and last third.

Burn

The burn had one main fault. There was a clump of filler tobaccos that required me to give a couple near 1 inch touch-ups. Aside from that, the cigar burned cool, had solid ashes and good smoke production.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The cigar begins with a very musty wood combination. Some chalkiness joined in fairly quickly. The second third saw the chalkiness take the lead for a bit. The final third saw a menthol note and char join in as the chalkiness left. The construction was very good and strength built from slightly below medium to slightly above. The El Artista The Slugger by Big Papi started pretty average and saw a drop in enjoyment in the second third as the chalkiness was too full. The profile came back to average as the chalkiness left. For a cigar of this size, I need a better flavor profile to maintain my interest. I’d rather go back to the original Big Papi in comparison to this cigar. The size, enjoyment level and price will likely keep me from returning to this one.

Draw

The draw was right in the ideal zone of resistance.

Overall

The El Artista The Slugger by Big Papi was overall an average experience. I didn’t find the Mexican San Andres wrapper added much complexity to the flavor profile, which is not surprising to me given the large ring gauge. One of the challenges with large ring gauge cigars is that the filler tobaccos will add more to the profile than the wrapper will. I was fortunate to have been invited down to El Artista back in December and had the benefit of smoking everything that they offer, including The Slugger by Big Papi. I’m sure in total I smoked at least a dozen or more.I found that the review experience was very consistent to the profile I experienced in the Dominican Republic. Between The Slugger and the original Big Papi, my taste preferences leaned to the Big Papi with its Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 56 minutes.

Draw

The draw on the other hand was flawless.

Overall

I would call this a smooth, but at the same time, semi-rustic cigar. The flavors in themselves (naturally sweet roasted nuts, leather, cedar, hint of baking spice) are more rustic style of flavors, but it’s smooth because the flavors were in good balance with no one flavor dominating another. It was a good mix of utilizing the filler tobaccos and pairing with a quality wrapper to achieve the balance. Although I would smoke the El Artista The Slugger by Big Papi again, I am curious what the cigar would taste like with greater wrapper influence and less filler influence. If I’m in for 2 to 3 hours of smoking, I’d do it again. But for mouthfeel, can we move out of the parejo head and give it a tapered head?

Aaron
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
Good
SubparSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnGood
Very GoodDrawAmazingDrawAmazing
AverageOverallAverageOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.15

Cost/Point

$2.43

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$2.21

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.62

Cost/Point

$1.89

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: El Artista The Slugger by Big Papi
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: El Artista The Slugger by Big Papi

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