Wrapper: Habano Oscuro
Filler: Peruvian, Dominican, Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 54 Robusto (Box Pressed)
Price: $8.20 by the single / $7.50 by the box
Today we take a look at Flor de Nino by Marrero Cigars.
Thanks to Joel Vazquez Marrero for the sticks.
I found one online store that carries Marrero Cigars: The Cigar Republic. There is a list of 26 retailers on the Marrero web site.
From the Marrero Cigars web site:
“The Flor De Nino is named after my Grandfather Saturnino “Nino” Marrero..
“This cigar has a Beautiful Silky Habano Oscuro Wrapper and Ecurdorian (sic) Binder.
“The exquisite construction results in a perfect draw and perfect burn.
“It’s a wonderful full-bodied cigar without the harshness. The complex flavors include roasted espresso, cedar and leather with a distinct creamy flavor and with chocolate and a touch of pepper.
“It’s time you see why I named this cigar after my grandfather.”
SIZES AND PRICING:
Robusto: 5 x 54 $8.20
Torpedo: 6 x 54 $8.50
Toro: 6 x 54 $8.50
The Flor de Nino is a gorgeous, very oily cigar. There are colors of chocolate and hickory to the very smooth wrapper.
Seams are invisible. The triple cap was applied by rollers with a bonus amount of pride. The cigar is solidly packed without any soft spots or hard spots. And there are few veins.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW POINTS:
From the shaft, I can smell: sweet caramel, cream, chocolate, malt, espresso, plump dried raisins, a touch of melon, strong pistachio, cedar, and butter cookies.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell potent red pepper, chocolate, espresso, caramel, dried fruit, malt, cedar, salted butter, and pie crust.
The cold draw presents flavors of salted dried nuts, caramel, malts, chocolate, café latte, dried fruit, cedar, spiciness, fresh kiwi, and peach.
The draw is exceptional. Immediately, I receive notes of both black and red pepper, chocolate, black coffee, caramel, salted pistachios, malts, dried fruit and cedar.
The Flor de Nino is a smoke bomb filling the room with plumes of Pittsburgh style chimney smoke.
Strength is a nice solid medium.
The spiciness begins its objective to remove all body hair from my person.
Transitions, and a wisp of complexity, begin their journey early on in this adventure. The finish is increasingly long.
It seems that a lot of readers don’t listen…or just skim the review to get to the rock n roll story at the end. But I get a lot of correspondence telling me that ROTT doesn’t cut it…or that a few days or a week made the cigar taste like hay. I repeatedly admonish those readers for not following instructions. I always make a point to mention how long it took for the cigar to be ready to smoke. And in most cases, it takes at least one month. At the minimum! Do not skim over this part. Read what your Uncle Katman is advising. Wait and desist until the time is right…don’t be impatient. Nothing worse than throwing away a perfectly good cigar because you have no patience.
OK. Church of Latter Day Kohns rests. Carry on…
I’ve mentioned way too many times how a box press is a nonstarter for me. I’ve only had a handful that burn correctly. Most need lots of attention and touch ups. So far, the Flor de Nino is doing just fine.
Flavors have become impressive only ¾” into the cigar. A wide spectrum of interaction causing a nice complexity on its way (hopefully) to a big finish.
Marrero really spent some shekels on making sure good rollers produced his cigars as this stick is burning perfectly and I’m not finding any sink holes as the cigar heats up.
The finish is lip smacking good…there seems no end in sight.
Lots of transitions make for an excellent complex blend. And the Flor de Nino is following the play book. A beautifully rich blend with tons of balance and nuance to spare.
Creaminess jumps in with both feet now. Coating the other flavors in a layer of sweet dairy.
Some cigars are blended just right so that they bring a nice warmth to the palate. Sitting alone and writing away, I am wrapped in a sense of serenity as a result of this blend hitting all the erogenous zones. At my age, I have only one erogenous zone and I can’t find it but I know it’s there.
All flavors are in play. Nothing is holding back. How lucky I must be to find a number of cigars in a row that play to my palate the way I like it.
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
Strength reaches medium/full with a slipknot of nicotine entering the picture.
The Flor de Nino finds a new gear. Flavors soar. Complexity is now fully seated and I’m getting a real blast of the blender’s intent. I feel it, baby. Transitions have now fully morphed into a whole experience. The balance, subtleties, nuances, and finish are spot on putting a silly grin on my puss.
All earlier described flavors are now intertwined and doing the “Fantasia” with all the dancing hippos.
The character of the Flor de Nino is now friggin’ outrageous. Holy cow. One more coffin nail proving that an $8 stick can be every bit as good as an $18 cigar…better in most cases.
I did smoke one of the sticks sent to me about 10 days in to determine how much humi time it would need and it was nothing like what I’m smoking this morning. This day finds the Flor de Nino landing in Peru without a parachute and leaving a giant indentation in the fiery earth’s crust. (Damn those flashbacks).
Halfway point arrives after 50 minutes of smoke time.
Strength is hanging at medium/full.
Amazingly, the nicotine assault has receded allowing me to stay conscious.
A heavy array of malts do the Hully Gully on my palate. The creaminess is Bozo crazy. Yet my beloved spice has become a background fixture. Smoothness coats the mouth and the brain sensors. Synapses are snapping out of control.
The leveraged sweetness of this blend is made up of several ingredients: Caramel, raisins, sugarcane, a touch of peach and melon, and buttery shortbread cookies.
I must admit my ignorance about Marrero Cigars. I’m glad that Joel felt I needed to give his blends a shot. I am truly grateful to be introduced to his line.
Marrero Cigars has 6 different blends. And all are in the $7-$8 range. A great line with affordable pricing. How odd.
I look down at my feet and apparently my socks have been blown off.
This blend reminds of those kiddie carnivals with the small roller coaster that won’t make the little ones puke their cotton candy. A nice even flow of ups and downs that don’t scare the crap out of you but gives you that sense of adventure and adrenaline.
This is the third, and last, cigar given to me by Joel. I went through the first two with the first being a failed experiment; but the second one showing great potential. Ten days later, I’m smoking and reviewing this on the money third stick. A month was perfect.
I read a smug reviewer say that boutique brands are only a passing phase and that most run out of steam in a year or two. That’s pretty pessimistic as some incredible cigar companies started out as boutique brands that went on to fill the coffers of online stores and B&M’s.
I get a lot of criticism for reviewing mostly boutiques instead of reviewing a bevy of catalog brands. I don’t know about you but I like to be introduced to new things. And since I have the bully pulpit, I brush those criticisms off as ignorance.
The Flor de Nino is a kick ass cigar. I have another blend that Joel sent me called Tesoro Mio and I shall review it soon. Again, I received 3 sticks and this blend seems to be taking a bit longer to hit the mark than the Flor de Nino.
I don’t have any serious criticisms for this blend. It has a lot going for it. The price is fair. The complexity and balance are so pleasant that I want to pet a kitty.
Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.
A big transition occurs at this point. Strength reaches full. But the creamy smoothness takes over and takes the Flor de Nino to a new level. The complex flavor profile and the incredible balance are like riding in an Audi A6 Premium Plus. No bumps or sudden jars.
The cigar blend has been on a steady upward trajectory since it started. No gaps.
It is during the final third that flavors juxtapose themselves into the final denouement of this three act play.
Construction has been near perfect. The char line has been steady. The draw is consistent and without problems. Nothing better than a cigar that builds in flavor and character intensity. No looking back.
Several flavors have moved to the back of the line: coffee, cedar, nuts, spice, and chocolate. The most prolific flavors are pure cream, malts, fruit, sweet caramel, shortbread, and some new elements such as a little black licorice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
The black pepper rests at the back of my throat. I would have liked to have seen a little more potency.
The last bit causes the cigar to become soft interfering with the draw. It’s just a bit too open. It makes a difference…especially to the final score.
We now have full strength. And dreaded nicotine settles in. This is the part of the review where I wish I had eaten something. And my motor functions are therefore punished.
Joel Vazquez Marrero is an impressive blender of fine tobacco. I am anxious to try his other blends.
A dichotomy appears. Even with the cigar becoming soft at the end, it doesn’t interfere with the slow roll of the experience…or the complexity and flavors.
A sip of water and the cigar explodes in my face. Wow. This blend is going down fighting. No let ups in exhibiting its excellence.
Be careful for what you wish for…the black pepper rushes back with extreme prejudice. Now it’s a firecracker. In a nano swish of time, the flavors all rush to the surface with every element described returning to the fold.
What an interesting blend. This was a fun cigar to review. And I highly recommend trying this blend or any of the other 5 blends Marrero has to offer.
You can go to The Cigar Republic web site and purchase your cigars there. Or go to the Marrero Cigars web site and track down the B&M’s that carry Joel’s cigars.
Final smoke time is one hour 30 minutes.
And now something to annoy my readers:
I have written about my 1983 project with Butch (Eddie Munster) Patrick countless times over the years. But I’ve kept the video from being shown on YouTube so I could control the method of how it was seen by the public. I own a federal copyright that is good for life plus 65 years.
I decided to finally exhibit the music video on YouTube a week ago. Here is part of the backstory.
You can click on “Whatever Happened to Eddie?” here or on my home page near the bottom.
I have all the original ¾” video rough cuts, the final ¾” video, DVD’s, about 50 singles, maybe 100 promo photos, the unmixed audio on 8 track 3” tape, the final stereo ¼” reel to reel tape, and eight T shirts.
If you look for Butch pics online, there are lots of them with him wearing the T shirt.
I was contacted by the owner of a web site called “Hollywood Hi-Fi.”
This is the description on their web site:
“Welcome to HollywoodHiFi.net, the long-awaited Internet home of non-singing celebrities…bizarre, hilarious and sometimes lethal stabs at musical stardom! As immortalized in the brilliant book “Hollywood Hi-Fi” by record collectors/pop culture mavens, George Gimarc & Pat Reeder!”
They wanted to know about Butch Patrick and my project “Whatever Happened to Eddie.” And they wanted me to confirm that Butch lip synced and I was who I said I was.
I confirmed both. This is not news. So this is the story of the project in a nutshell.
Here is what I wrote back to them:
“Yeah, that’s me.
I owned a recording studio in Long Beach, CA in the early 80’s.
A friend brought Butch to me because he had an idea for a song. It was a crude living room cut that was the seedling of what would become a major project. Some changes were made to the lyrics. Getting permission to use The Munsters theme was the next step.
“I got a 2 year license from Universal Studios to use the theme from The Munsters and off we went. Which by the way, was no picnic. Universal Studios office building is called The Black Tower because it is 35 floors of lawyers.
“The B side is called “Little Monsters.” It was written by one of the Monsters, Brent Black.
I played bass on both songs even though Butch was given credit for the purpose of the project.
I brought in some fine musicians but the only Monster to play an instrument on the single was drummer, Reek Havok.
“Brent Black did the vocals on both songs…not Butch.
Brent now has his own church in Hawaii.
“Through my PR agent, I got a record deal with new record company on the block; Rocshire Records in Anaheim, Ca.
Rocshire has one of the most interesting histories in the music business. Money was supplied by shady people and some of the best executives in the record industry were stolen and put into play. The owners, Rocky and Shirley Davis were merely fronts. (Rocky and Shirley = Rocshire).
“I was able to talk legendary cinematographer Marvin Rush into running my film crew.
I wrote the script the night before filming began. I sat on a couch, in my studio, and had 33 scenes written in about 20 minutes. Nothing like a little pressure to make you produce.
We filmed at four locations. Only three were used in the final cut. We used Hollywood High School, the chapel in the Princess Louise boat in San Pedro, and my recording studio in Long Beach.”
We sold 181,000 units before Rocshire was brought down by the FBI. The owner’s wife worked for Hughes Aircraft and was embezzling millions of dollars and funneling the money into the record company…or as rumored…to pay back the mob. Rocshire got too big for their britches early on. They tried to grow too quickly dumping millions of dollars they weren’t budgeted for.
Because I had signed a production deal, not an artist’s deal, with Rocshire I got the first 25 cents on the first single sold. My debt to the record company was minimal.
A production deal is where you hand over a completely finished product to the record company. I gave them the master of the two songs, artwork for the single, PR material, and a finished music video.
All they had to do was press, distribute, and promote the record. I did find a couple financial backers I trusted to help me. But I put a lot of my own dough into the project and was seriously invested in its successful outcome.
The first quarter ended just two weeks after the start of record sales and I got around $900.
The second quarter was payday for me. I expected a minimum of $50K…remember this was 1983.
Just before I was to get my major royalty check, the record company was shut down by the FBI. I lost everything. Shirley Davis worked for Hughes Aircraft and managed to embezzle $15 million and that was frowned upon by all involved.
I don’t allow the video to be seen on YouTube or any other media. Why? Because every now and then a TV show about child stars goes into production and I can charge a fee for them to use it. If I make the video public, I lose that right. But since I decided the time was right to finally show folks what has been a mystery, I thought as long as I make it known I have a copyright on YouTube, no one can use it for airing without my permission.
I have all the original rough cuts. Including outtakes which are on the final DVD cut.
I still have a lot of pristine mint condition 45 singles. I have T shirts. I have autographed 8 x 10’s. And as I said, the DVD.
So there you have it.
In the past, any time someone sneaked the video on to YouTube I’ve filed a claim and the video was removed. I’ve done this numerous times to the point that they have my copyright on file and the illegal showing of the video disappears within 24 hours or less.
I have also followed Butch over the years and for 40 years he was an alcoholic and drug addict. It appears that in the last 5 years, he has cleaned himself up.
I contacted an old friend closely associated with Butch for over 20 years. This person told me a different story:
“What made you decide to release this now? Butch continues to screw people over. You may have seen the work I did on the “(REDACTED) Project.” It was a treatment for a paranormal reality show. I did have a tentative sale with a production company in Canada. We were just waiting for Butch to get ownership of the house. Once he did, I get a “Thanks baby, I don’t need you anymore” phone call.
Everyone associated with the project was given the boot. He is now supposed to be starring in a new show called “Property Horrors.” The so called medium is a production staff member and Butch is already not showing up for pre-production meetings.
“He married a woman who books car shows and she is keeping him busy on that circuit. She had him dress up in Munster makeup for one show. Not a pretty sight I can tell you. She absolutely hates the house in (REDACTED). Butch is selling himself as a haunted house owner and expert; but in interviews says he has never had an experience, but the wife has and doesn’t like it. LOL Still an idiot.”
Damn. This guy is only two years younger than me and he still never fails to disappoint me.
Butch has the uncanny ability to only be loyal to folks that can do him some good. Everyone else? Fuck ‘em.
Butch hasn’t worked as a serious actor as an adult. Too unreliable and his addictions made him box office or TV poison. So instead, he makes a living being Eddie Munster.
I followed up with another email to Hollywood Hi-Fi going into more detail:
“Butch plays down the Eddie and the Monsters period of his life in interviews. I’ve got stories galore about being forced to babysit him constantly because he was always drunk. The record company made me go everywhere with him while doing publicity on TV shows all over the country to keep him in line.
I’ve heard from Butch over the years but only when he wants something and then he is very nice to me.
“Something I can never forgive. I wrote a TV movie script that put Eddie & the Monsters into a weekly TV show ala The Monkees.
“Butch stabbed me in the back. The project was now dead thanks to the FBI.
“After Rocshire went down, Butch had a meeting with Ann Beats of Saturday Night Live fame. She was one of the original writers on the show. She later went on to become a big time writer and producer. She was a big shot at NBC at the time of our project.
“Butch contacted Beats and tried to sell the idea of the TV show to her. He brought her all the stuff from the project; including my script.
She said she liked the idea.
“Meanwhile, he did this all behind my back. Everything he showed Beats was done by me. Naturally, he took full credit. (Which he continued to do for decades anytime he went on a talk show and they showed my music video without my permission because Butch lied to them and told everyone he owned the rights.
“In all actuality, it worked out for me because it is better to negotiate a licensing fee after the fact than before. So I went in and dictated the fee and there wasn’t a damn thing they could do as the TV shows and production companies could not take a hit on copyright infringement.)
“So, he got called back to Beats’ office two weeks later and she said they were going to do the show….without him.
“He lost it and called me for help. I told him to go fuck himself. If I was there, I could have negotiated with her. I’m sure the outcome would have been different even if it only benefited me. This was my project. Butch was Milli Vanilli.
“Butch told me they made a few shows but they were so bad they ditched them and instead brought about a remake of The Munsters with John Schuck as Herman. The show went into syndication for two years but was really terrible. It died a slow and miserable death.
“So…it seems my project spawned the remake. Oh the irony. And my apologies to those that found themselves watching the dime store new version.
“If you go to my cigar web site and punch in Butch Patrick or Eddie Munster in the Search Window, you will find lots of stories about him…at the end of my reviews.
“His second career was finding rich people. He found idiots with dough who thought it was cool to hang out with Eddie Munster.”
I hope he remains clean and sober. Hopefully, he makes better business decisions. But after reading the message I got a couple days ago, I see now that Butch is doomed to make a living as Eddie Munster for the rest of his life.
I put all my own dough into that ill-fated project 35 years ago and in the end lost everything. I have no love lost for Butch. But then I was an idiot too. But by the time I realized he was a drunk, we were right in the middle of the project and it was either go forward or can the whole thing. I was fucked before I even knew what was going on.
The only time I hear from him is when he wants something. I finally confronted him and he stopped tracking me down.
Remember…the video was done only 18 months after the start of MTV. We were the first video shown on MTV that was an unsigned act. It led to the development of MTV’s Basement Tapes show that featured all unsigned acts.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS