El Galan Maduro | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Dominican
Size: 6 x 54 “Toro”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $7.00 MSRP ($5.21 at Antillian Cigar Corp.)
Humidor Time: 10 Days





Today we take a look at the El Galan Maduro.
Thanks to Antillian for the cigars.
This turned out to be a solid, everyday cigar and was ready for review in no time.

Regular Production.
Rated 89 by Cigar Snob Magazine.
From the CI web site:
“Felix Mesa is a Cuban born master blender who can trace his heritage back generations to Cuba’s famed central region. Setting up shop in Esteli, Nicaragua, Mesa has gaining a reputation for crafting some of the best and most evocative Cuban-esque blends on the market today, and offering them for a fraction of what similar premium blends go for.

“El Galan Maduro hails from Mesa’s Nicaraguan factory and comes draped in an utterly gorgeous Brazilian maduro wrapper. The medium to full-bodied blend is completed with a selection of prime-grade Nicaraguan and Dominican long-fillers and exudes flavors of espresso, dark chocolate, hay, and cedar. If you’ve been searching for an affordable, everyday maduro blend, try El Galan Maduro and I am confident it’ll become a part of your regular rotation.”

What really stands out on the El Galan Maduro is how oily it is. The wrapper has an attractive color of espresso coffee beans.
The construction of the cigar is more on the rustic side. Big veins. Highly visible seams. Sloppy triple caps. But the mottled finish of the wrapper gives it an appealing factor.

Toro: 6 x 54 $5.00 by the box
Corona Gorda: 6 x 60 $5.25 by the box

From the shaft, I can smell peat, sweetness, chocolate, vegetal notes, spice, coffee, and cedar.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell strong barnyard and red pepper, green vegetal notes, chocolate, sweetness, cedar, and peppermint.
The cold draw presents flavors of barnyard, chocolate, peat, vegetal notes, raisins, and cedar.

The El Galan Maduro starts off pleasantly with notes of baking cocoa, malt, sweetness, raisins, and then POW! A blast of red pepper!
Also in the mix: creaminess, coffee, and cedar.

Smoke pours from the foot the same as when my first wife lit my leg on fire, while I was asleep, during our honeymoon.
A spicy aroma wafts gently into the air around me.
Strength is medium body.
The char line behaves nicely.

The chocolate brings out a shortbread cookie element. According to Wikipedia: “Shortbread originated in Scotland, with the first printed recipe, in 1736, from a Scotswoman named Mrs. McLintock.”
Photo courtesy of Amazon.com:

The years I spent in England, in the mid 70’s, every time we took a tea break, out came the shortbread biscuits. Just try and swallow while that cookie is in your mouth. Impossible. I think shortbread biscuits are the cause of 23% of the deaths in Scotland and England each year.

At the 1” burned mark, the flavor of caramel appears. The ash is holding its own and the flavor profile becomes spicier. I love spicy cigars. There is a group of us shmos that just love spicy blends. Almost to the point, the spicier the better.


The El Galan Maduro is really beginning to take off now. Big, bold flavors. It is rivaling much more expensive cigars for a delicious array of flavors, character, nuances, and smoothness.
The malts are all over the place. Along with the creaminess and spiciness, they are driving the bus.

I’m really surprised that a cigar this inexpensive tastes this good. If it continues on this route, it will have surpassed the flavor ratings of double digit priced cigars I’ve reviewed.
The El Galan also comes in a Habano wrapper which I would love to try.

The great thing about the Antillian Cigar Corp web site store is that everything is shipped free. And they have a huge selection of great cigars (34 brands) that you should check out here.

The El Galan Maduro takes its own sweet time. A leisurely smoke.
Strength hits medium/full.
This is a no brainer. A box of 24 or 25 for around $125 will keep you in pig heaven.

Smoke time is 35 minutes.
Here they are: Malt, creaminess, red pepper, chocolate ice cream, caramel, shortbread cookies, cedar, raisins, sweetness, coffee, and liver and onions. (Just checking to see if you were paying attention).


We are in the midst of moving to a smaller place. A 2 bedroom apartment. I swear it feels like being 20 and being in college all over again. So we are dumping 50% of everything we own because there just isn’t room.

Hours after I put up stuff to sell on craigslist, they all came a’ runnin’. Yesterday we sold the fridge, the stove, washer/dryer, and assorted other things. Instead of ending up in the hospital in traction this morning, the plan is to hit the basement and separate trash from old papers we will have shredded. Oh boy. I plan to have an IV, full of Demerol, hooked up to me for the whole day.
“What a man, what a man, what a man,
What a mighty good man
Gotta say it again now
What a man, what a man, what a man,
What a mighty good man”

Thank you Salt N’ Pepa.

Damn. The El Galan Maduro put its phaser on kill. My palate is awash in such wonderful flavors. Now this is not a flavor bomb. And it doesn’t have the extra special experience a Bespoke or a Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur; it is far above other blends at this price point.

And it only took a bit over a week to be ready to smoke. Now that’s New Breed blending.
The spiciness, alas, is on the wane. To compensate, the creaminess moves up the line.

The El Galan Maduro reminds me a bit of the Ave Maria Divinia, the Alec Bradley Post Embargo, and the Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne.

I reach the halfway point. Smoke time is almost 50 minutes.
Strength remains at medium/full. A very smooth blend.
Construction is excellent. In 3”, I’ve only knocked off three pieces of ash. No wrapper issues. And just a couple minor touch ups of the burn line more for prettier photos than really necessary. I’m impressed.


I don’t know about you, but I have the worst time with box pressed cigars. I get runs in them like nobody’s business. And it appears that box press has taken over to the point that it seems like every other cigar has that type of construction.

None of the usual boutique online stores carry this line so no discount. And none of the cigar auction sites carry this blend. But at a little more than $5, you really have to be a miser to want that 50¢ back. Sure on a box it would save you $10-$12. But how many cigars have the price point of $12? A lot.
The char line is now dead nuts razor sharp.

Transitions separate the good cigars from the ordinary. The El Galan Maduro is chock full of transitions. Something you rarely see in a $5 cigar.

The move is creeping up on us. On Friday, I pick up the 26’-0 U Haul truck. Saturday morning, the movers show up. At our age, our friends are either dead or infirm and in no physical shape to help move. Not like in the Way Back Machine when all one had to do was get a keg of beer, pizzas, and doobies to get a huge crowd to help you move.

As I near the last third, the El Galan Maduro is pumping out incredible complex flavors. I tried one a few days after I got them and that was a waste. Not even close to being ready. Then I tried one a couple days ago and lightning shot out of my arse. Time to review.

You gotta try these cigars. Or try the Habanos and let me know what you think. Five packs are only around $25 and free shipping on the Antillian Cigar Corp. web site.
Tell them the Katman sent you. The folks at Antillian have been very kind to me over the years.

Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.
The El Galan Maduro is so ultra smooth that the medium/full strength is hard to acknowledge. A great blend for newbies.
A bit of nicotine creeps in.

Our daughter, Katie, has been a prison guard in the Milwaukee area for a month or so by now. I believe she had 6 weeks of training. She hopes that a couple years of doing this will get her on the Milwaukee PD. She took the test and was in the top 5% but didn’t get hired. This bummed us all out. She had her EMT background and all for naught.
If she accomplishes this, we won’t be around to see grandchildren.
She is a real card. The kid can tell funny stories like I used to be able to do. And her daily experiences with prisoners are hilarious. I should sit her down and take notes and report back here.

The El Galan Maduro gets my highest recommendations. I am having a rip roarin’ good time.


Both the experienced smoker and the newbie will dig the El Galan Maduro.
It is super complex and oh so flavorful.
Final smoke time is one hour 25 minutes.
Be a self-guided missile and snag some.



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2 replies

  1. Know you can’t wait to finish the move and get settled in. Close one door, open another!

    Many thanks from all of your faithful compatriots for another tasty cigar journey.

    Earth to Major “Buzz” Katman! Hang in there kitty…

  2. Holy crap, these are good! Can’t wait until you’re back on your feet after this scare.

    Take care!

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