Cigar Review: El Baton by JC Newman Belicoso

El Baton is one of J.C. Newman’s vintage brands made by their founder, J.C. Newman, back in 1914. This nickel cigar was originally hand rolled in a Cleveland, Ohio factory with Cuban tobacco. Although it was popular for many years, the onset of machine-made cigars caused El Baton to disappear from the marketplace in the 1920s.

In 2008, J.C.’s grandsons, Eric and Bobby Newman, re-launched the brand as the company’s first Nicaraguan cigar. El Baton cigars are grown in the most fertile areas of Nicaragua, providing for a smooth, hearty smoke with a little spice. When it debuted, El Baton was only offered in one size, the Double Torpedo, since then the brand has grown to include three more sizes, a Double Toro, Robusto and Belicoso.

Now the cigar is relaunched once again in 2022 with an updated look and blend.

Cigar Review: El Baton by JC Newman
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 56
Size: Belicoso
Humidimeter Reading: 64%

The Look: Packaged in 25 count boxes and available in four different sizes today we review the Belicoso. The update band has a retro look it with a modern twist of new printing techniques. El Baton in white text with a gold border sits on a field of blue with additional colors light blue and black. The Belicoso is flawlessly rolled and the Ecuador wrapper is pristine. In the hand the cigar feels light considering it’s size with a slightly loose foot but no voids of tobacco along its length.

The Notes: The cold draw serves up a subtle fudge alongside a hint of cayenne while the foot reveals earth and spices. Once the cigar is toasted and lit there is an abundance of flavor which is unexpected based on the muted flavors prior to lighting. Initial notes are chocolate, cedar, walnuts and earth that hold on throughout the first third. The retrohale amplifies the notes of walnuts and cedar with the addition of some subtle pepper.  As the first inch comes to close the chocolate notes dissipate completely.

As we approach the halfway point the cigar sees earth become the dominant note with continued cedar and nuts. As the cigar progresses past the band the spice ramps up considerably showcasing a classic Nicaraguan profile. The finish is long with notes of pepper, nuts and a subtle underlying sweetness that make the cigar enjoyable all the way to the final puff.

The Finish: El Baton was always one of those cigars that I looked at as something old, for the older cigar smoker. I took a chance on the new look, tweaked blend of El Baton and a glad I did. The El Baton offers a lot of complexity and a nice amount of spice. It’s medium to full in strength but full in flavor. Something I will definitely smoke again and on the regular.

Score: 93
Price: $7.99 / $177.99

El Baton by JC Newman

El Baton by JC Newman Foot

El Baton by JC Newman Burn

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