Team Cigar Review: El Baton Belicoso

No comments

Cigar Details: El Baton Belicoso

  • Vitola: Belicoso
  • Length: 5″
  • Ring Gauge: 56
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: J.C. Newman PENSA
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $7.90
  • Release Date: August 2022
  • Source: J.C. Newman

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Pre-light Experience

Aaron: The wrapper on the El Baton Belicoso is a marbled medium brown with some lightly raised veins. The seams are smooth and the tapered head is extremely well finished. The band is gold, dark blue, light blue and white, and denotes the brand and origin. The aroma from the wrapper is lightly musty cedar and dusty earth while the foot brings stewed fruit, wood and light anise. The pre-light draw brings stewed fruit and cedar along with a mild spiciness on my lips.
Seth: The El Baton Belicoso is solid in appearance. Nice belicoso. Aromas of dried earth, dried fruit, leather and cedar. Smooth in texture with small veins throughout. I would classify it as a solid Colorado, and it has this antique brown coloring. Classic Colorado color. Firm throughout.
John: The El Baton Belicoso comes in cellophane and has a UPC sticker with a tear tab so it remains intact when opened. There is a single El Baton band, and the cigar is a belicoso shape. Aromas from the wrapper included sweet tobacco and sweet hay. From the foot, I was getting sweet hay, wood and faint barnyard.

El Baton Belicoso

El Baton Belicoso

First Third

Aaron: The cigar begins with toasted cedar and dusty earth. At a quarter inch in, the earth becomes dark and heavy. At three quarters of an inch in, the earth goes back to light and dusty. The retrohale is toasted cedar and dusty earth. At an inch in, the cedar transitions to oak and the overall profile is fairly dry. As the third comes to a close, the toasted oak is up front with dusty earth a bit behind, and a light chalkiness has joined the background. The strength was slightly below medium.
Seth: The first third starts out with some sharp pepper spices. There are some herbal qualities present as well as some dried earth and leather. Medium-full in strength and body. Stronger than the old El Batons.
John: Sweet wood combines with hay to lead off the first third, as dry wood and hay linger into the post draw. Earth and minerality join the post draw as it settles in. Soon after, earth joins the retrohale with light spices. A cinnamon component is present through the center of the profile as it continues. Chocolate flashes at the end of the draw a few puffs later.

El Baton Belicoso

El Baton Belicoso

Second Third

Aaron: As the second third begins, the oak gains a light char. At a half inch in, the earth becomes a bit heavier and is now even with the lightly charred oak up front, while a light minerality joins the profile. The retrohale is toasted oak and dry earth. As the third comes to a close, the profile is lightly charred oak and earth even up front with some chalkiness and minerality in the background. The strength remained at slightly below medium.
Seth: The second third delivers those first third flavors. It continues with some sharp pepper spices. Black pepper. With that is some dried earth, wood and herbal notes. Medium-full in strength and body.
John: Creamy baking spices start the second third, with a trio of graham cracker, wood and light spices on the finish. Sweet wood moves into the middle of the profile as it settles in. By the halfway point, the profile is defined by wood and that continues for the remainder of the second third.

El Baton Belicoso

El Baton Belicoso

Final Third

Aaron: As the final third begins, the char picks up a bit. The retrohale remains toasted oak and dry earth. At three quarters of an inch, the cigar warms up and brings a vegetal mintiness. As the cigar wraps up, the charred oak and earth are even up front with chalkiness, minerality and vegetal mintiness in the background. The strength bumped up to medium.
Seth: The final third is really a continuation of the first two thirds. Peppery with dried qualities of herbs, earth and barnyard. Medium-full in strength and body.
John: Sweet, creamy wood starts the last third, giving way to baking spices and wood into the post draw. By the halfway point, earth is at the end of each puff, and spices have moved up to medium strength. The bottom half is defined by a combination of wood and baking spices.

El Baton Belicoso

El Baton Belicoso

Burn

Aaron: The burn was a bit wavy through the first third, but then straight the rest of the way. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.
Seth: Very good burn.
John: The burn is wavy through the first third, and by the second third, there is a strip of wrapper that has not combusted, necessitating a touch-up. The uneven burn continued into the last third, requiring another touch-up. Unfortunately, removing the band was challenging, resulting in some glue from the band tearing a strip of wrapper in the last third.

El Baton Belicoso

El Baton Belicoso

Draw

Aaron: The draw was fairly snug, even with a second cut and the use of a draw tool.
Seth: Perfect draw. Smoked great at the tapered finish.
John: The draw was two notches into the resistant spectrum, which puts it just inside the range for a very good draw.

Overall

Aaron: The cigar began with toasted cedar and dusty earth. The earth became dark and heavy for a half inch before returning to the dusty dry version. The cedar later transitioned to oak. The second third saw the oak gain a light char. The final third saw a vegetal mintiness join as the cigar warmed up. The El Baton Belicoso looked and smelled beautiful pre-light, but the smoking experience was a completely different direction. The flavor profile was dry and charred. Not sure if the tight draw played a role in this, but it just wasn’t all that pleasant of an experience. I might come back to this to see if a better draw provides a different experience, but I’m not sure if I’ll actually follow through.
Seth: I have a family member that use to smoke El Baton. It was the cigar he smoked, and I smoked many with him. This was right when they came back to the market in 2008. Because of that, I have some recollection of how El Baton smoked when it was first released. This revamped version looks better, smokes better and is stronger. The El Baton Belicoso is not overly complex, but it produces a core profile with some body and strength for a great price. I like the smaller vitolas, and the new packaging is much better. It’s not a cigar I would smoke, but it is definitely a cigar I would smoke again with that family member who loved them years ago. I think he would enjoy them more now as well.
John: The El Baton Belicoso started out with engaging flavor combinations in the first third. By the second third, it became wood forward, and while pleasant, I didn’t find it dynamic enough to stand out. The last third started out with interesting flavor combinations but settled into wood and baking spices. The draw was a minor amount into the resistant spectrum, while the burn was wavy throughout the review, requiring two touch-ups. While the price point on the El Baton Belicoso is attractive, I’m not sure the flavor profile was engaging enough for me to return to. With that said, it’s affordable enough that I could take another pass to see if a better burn resulted in better flavor combinations. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 51 minutes.

Aaron
Seth
John
Very GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
Good
SubparSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Average
SubparFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnGood
GoodDrawAmazingDrawVery Good
SubparOverallAverageOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

4.28

Cost/Point

$1.84

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$1.40

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$1.37

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: El Baton Belicoso

John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: El Baton Belicoso

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *