*Note: This is not a blind review, this is just to give a quick take on a cigar that was provided to us by the distributor.
Bandolero is a brand from Selected Tobacco Company. It was created by Nelson Alfonso who is a graphic designer that is behind designs for all of the major Cuban brands including the famed Behike. The cigar comes from Costa Rica and the Tremendos vitola is 5” x 50. Blend information is undisclosed which is common for all of the brands released by Alfonso.
This cigar was provided to me by David Garofalo of United Cigar Retailers which is a group of 33 retailers which has had exclusive distribution of the Selected Tobacco brands in the United States thus far. Distribution will be opened up to more retailers during the IPCPR trade show this month. The MSRP for the Bandolero Tremendos is $12.00.
The wrapper is a nice milk chocolate brown color. There are very few small veins that you can see. The seams are pretty tight but still visible. There is a very neatly applied double cap. The band is very nice looking as the gold borders and lettering play very well against the color of the wrapper. I get a very light barnyard aroma from the wrapper. From the foot, just a subtle tobacco aroma.
The pre-light draw gives me a dry unsweetened cocoa experience. Once lit, the cigar has a crisp cedar flavor with an oily feel that coats the mouth. The retrohale brings a bit of coffee aroma. The cigar is producing lots of smoke. An inch in and some pepper is starting to make its way in. The oiliness of the smoke has gone away and now it’s a bit drying. I would put the strength as well as the body at medium-full.
Starting in the second third and the dryness has eased up a bit and I’m starting to get a bit of citrus spiciness which lingers on my tongue. The retrohale adds so much flavor to the experience that I’m retrohaling on every draw. It is bringing a very creamy cinnamon flavor. The strength and body maintain a medium-full profile.
As the final third starts I am getting a toasted bread flavor on the retrohale which is a very nice addition. Strength is picking up a little more and moving to the
full side. I’m now getting some meatiness with the thick smoke that is being produced. In the last inch, I began to get a nutty flavor on alternating draws.
The draw was pretty good. Slightly firmer than what I prefer, but nothing out of the ordinary. The burn was pretty wavy throughout, but always kept up. Never requiring any touch ups. The cigar was firm throughout with no soft spots detected.
This is a cigar that got better as it went along. Plenty of transitions to keep things interesting and one that just begs you to keep retrohaling to experience all of the flavors that it offers. The fuller strength is something that may be better suited for the end of the day or after a meal. The price point fits the experience, so I wouldn’t hesitate on pulling the trigger on getting some of these if they are available to you.
This lasted 2 hours and 25 minutes for me.
I would give the Bandolero Tremendos a personal score of 91.