According to Espinosa & Ortega website (www.eobrands.com), the Mi Barrio cigars are a limited edition seasonally released cigar available four times a year. The boxes feature original artwork by Edin Gutierrez. According to the website this was the first of 4 cigars that were scheduled to be release seasonally. The cigar is meant to bay homage to Jose Pepin Garcia (who blended the cigar) and Orestes Espinosa Sr., Erik Espinosa’s father, who has been an avid cigar enthusiast for most of his life.”
Cigar: Mi Barrio
Size: 7.5 x 52 (El Puro)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaragua (Esteli & Jalapa)
Appearance and Construction (18/20): The Nicaraguan Habano wrapper is glistening with oils on this sleek looking stick. There are some thin veins through the wrapper, but none of them stand out and detract from the beauty of this stick which has a decent weight to it and no soft spots. As mentioned before the band features original artwork by Edin Gutierrez.
Flavor & Notes (26/30): The foot of the cigar prior to lighting up offers notes that remind me of graham crackers and mocha. As I smoked the first third of this stick there were subtle notes of pepper and toast upon first light. As the pepper faded the cigar took on a nuttiness with a hint of leather. As we approach the second third of the mocha begins to emerge but sadly it fades to fast revealing earth and a continued nuttiness. Occasionally as the cigar works into the final third I am teased with some notes of vanilla and caramel that never quite take hold.
Smoking Characteristics (25/25): The cigar featured a dark color ash, which contrary to popular belief is the sign of a better cigar. A darker ash means there is higher magnesium content in the soil. This is what sets Cuban soil apart from all else. So while a white ash is more esthetically pleasing it does not mean it makes for a better cigar. The burn line of the cigar was even and the oils just continued to show on this cigar as it was smoked. The draw was ideal and the cigar stood lit all the way through.
Overall (22/25): Over the last year or so I avoided this cigar due to some mixed reviews on the internet which in retrospect was saddening. I always tell people don’t judge by a review, judge for yourself and I did not listen to my own advice. The Mi Barrio is a very good cigar with a nice complexity that is worthy of space in any humidor. The negative is the hefty price tag that this cigar carries.
Price: $250.99 a box of 20 from Famous-Smoke.com ($12.55 a stick)