Bandolero Picaro Cigar Review

The Bandolero comes to us from Nelson Alfonso’s Selected Tobacco. At times I feel like the Bandolero is the red-headed stepchild of the company often not getting the love of his other brands Atabey and Byron and today’s Bandolero….

The name Bandolero is historical in nature and according to the website the story goes likes this…

Cigar history has followed a difficult path between crime and pleasure. Demonized on arrival to Europe, in which latter tobacco trade was monopolized. The success of the tobacco expansion is explained by the attempts of being controlled.

During a century, between 1717 & 1817, the Spanish Crown prohibited cigar production in the Caribbean Islands & the rest of the American Colonies, and although its precious leaves continued growing on the other side of the ocean, the “puro” cigar rolling that we all know today, could only be done  at the Sevilla Royal Factory, supplying an even more demanding market in the world.

But such absurd prerogative led to the price raise of tobacco and of course the birth of Bandolero, an intrepid figure that hidden in mysterious roads with tobacco leaves & rolled in other countries, led to an excellent price and authenticity combination, dressed with the charm of what was then forbidden.

The cigars that we offer here today know the secrets of those mystic Bandoleros old routes, from places where tobacco plantation still a long tradition, thru countries where wise hands shaped them, until its final destination, where a cigar expert recognizes its aroma and flavor – the quality of a unique product.

Cigar Review: Bandolero
Country of Origin: Costa Rica
Wrapper: Not Disclosed
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Dislclosed
Length: 5.5
Ring Gauge: 54
Vitola: Picaro
Strength: Medium

The Look: On each size of the humidified tin jars that the Bandolero comes packaged in a different scene is show that tells the story of this mythological figure. The jars which can be utilized long after the original cigars are gone is a nice touch, but you can’t smoke the packaging. The Bandolero Picaro features an incredibly oily wrapper that is rolled to perfection.  The band of Black, Mahogany and Gold denotes the brand name and ring gauge. In the hand the cigar is firm, with no soft spots and a slightly spongy foot which has a nice swirl of some darker tobacco.

The Notes: The cold draw of the Bandolero Picaro serves up notes of molasses and figs while the nose of the tobacco has an incredible mix of mocha, raisin, and lemon rind. Once the cigar is lit there is a little bit of citrus present, with some spices that remind me of curry and a faint hint of mocha in the background.

As we dive into the first third of the Bandolero the lemon rind becomes more of a citrus like note over a base of earth and hay. Some of the mocha experienced on the first light tries to fight through as the citrus notes begin to fade.

In the second third of the cigar there is a nice spice through the nose with a hint of steak prepared on the rarer side of medium, almost black and blue. The pepper note reminded me of peppercorn, making this seem more like a meal at a top steakhouse than a cigar. The taste is incredibly enjoyable though I could go for a little more complexity.

In the last third of the Bandolero the complexity stands out with the mocha taking hold especially on the finish with subtilies of red pepper, and earth. Some of the peppercorn notes remain through the nose and I wish I could get into a hammock as I enjoy this masterpiece, especially the final third of the cigar which has an intoxicating aroma of roasted nuts.

The Burn:  The construction on Selected Tobacco products are unmatched in my opinion, and this continues to prove dominance. The draw serves a perfect amount of resistance, has a solid firm ash with a great burn line. It’s impossible to find a deduction on any of the cigars I have smoked from Nelson Alfonso.

The Finish: The Bandolero serves up notes that were hearty and enjoyable, and if they had a name attached to them that was well-known to the consumer I am convinced that they would be chased down like many rock stars have their cigars chased down. While not as refined as a Byron or an Atabey, the Bandolero smokes like an $18.00 cigar and I would put up against many of the popular cigars in a blind taste test.

Score: 97
Price: $12.79 / $318.99

Bandolero Cigars

Bandolero Cigars

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Bandolero Cigars Foot

Bandolero Cigars Burn

Bandolero Cigars Burn

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