JC Newman

June 13, 2023

El Pulpo Robusto Grande (5 x 56)

Video review HERE.

(Description provided by Artesano del Tobacco and taken from Halfwheel.com website)

The EL Pulpo project started back in 2016. El Pulpo means "the octopus" in Spanish. 

"We want to focus more on the blend it self, flavors, look, feel, smoke notes. We have been waiting a long time for this cigar." (Billy Fakih, co-owner of Artesano del Tobacco)

El Pulpo—Spanish for the octopus—uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a binder and fillers from AJ Fernandez’s farms in Nicaragua. It is offered in three vitolas, all of which are box-pressed:

El Pulpo Robusto Grande (5 x 56) — $15 (Box of 10, $150) REVIEWED TODAY

El Pulpo Toro Grande (6 x 56) — $16 (Box of 10, $160)

El Pulpo Belicoso Grande (5 3/4 x 58) — $17 (Box of 10, $170)

“We wanted a blend that fits people’s palates the way an octopus fits in different shapes , spaces and becomes that shape, we wanted a blend that becomes hard for any smoker to put down once they light up like an octopus that doesn’t let go of its prey,” said Billy and Gus Fakih, owners of Artesano Del Tobacco, when the cigar was announced in February. “Once again AJ Fernandez has done an amazing job creating EL Pulpo Cigars. We couldn’t be more satisfied with the finished product and cannot wait for everyone to try it. As they say, ‘good things come to those who wait’ and this statement continues to ring true with the EL Pulpo Cigars.”

While the company’s first line, Viva La Vida, is made at the AJ Fernandez factory in Estelí, the new line is made at Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. The company said it spent more than five years developing this blend.

I did a pre-release review last year but wanted to do a new review since the cigar has now been released.

The cigar is beautiful and has a nice feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was tart apple, brown sugar, and a lot of black coffee which you could easily call espresso. There was black pepper rated at 8 to 8 1/2. It already tastes like it's going to be very full. Nice dark, sweet start.

At the first third (27 minutes) there's toffee and cinnamon in the mix. The black coffee/espresso has toned down a bit allowing the sweet notes to come out. So now I had tart apple, brown sugar, toffee, cinnamon, and black coffee. The thing that hasn't really toned down much is the black pepper. The cigar right now is medium bodied but I don't expect it to stay there. The finish is tart apple and toffee with very good lingering black pepper. The cigar is very good. I rated the first third 95.

As I moved through the second third (52 minutes) about the only thing you'll notice is the black coffee/espresso has risen again. Not to a critical point but it's noticeable. The cigar is now full bodied. The finish is apple, toffee, and a touch of black coffee with very good lingering black pepper. I rated the second third 94.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 8 minutes. The cigar reverted back to much the way it was in the first third. The black coffee came back down to a manageable state. The cigar is full bodied. The black pepper is still very good. The finish is unchanged. The cigar is very good. Dark, sweet, and powerful. Put this one on your list. I rated the final third 95. Definitely box worthy.

Overall Score: 94.67

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