El Borracho by Dapper Cigar Co. | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Mexican / San Andrés Natural / San Andrés de los Perros S.A. de C.V.
Binder: Nicaraguan /Jalapa / Cofradía / Habano Rosado / Oliva Tobacco Co
Filler: Nicaraguan Estelí (La Joya, Oliva Tobacco Co), Jalapa (Cofradía, Oliva Tobacco, (Ligero, Oliva Tobacco Co)
Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $10.00 MSRP (The best deal is $7.00 at Famous Smoke)

Today we take a look at the El Borracho by Dapper Cigar Co.
Thanks to Charles Lim.

Factory: Nicaragua American Cigars S.A.
Released: July, 2017
Regular production.
From Halfwheel.com:
“Say the word Fresno, and cigars are likely not the first thing that come to mind. In fact, they don’t come to mind at all. Yet, that’s where Dapper Cigar Co. is located, an “artisanal” cigar company that has been in operation since 2013 and has built up an impressively sized portfolio of cigars coming from a handful of well-known factories.

“Like a number of brand owners, Ian Reith entered the cigar industry from the consumer side, at first wanting to make a single cigar. He comes from the tech world, working as a network communications engineer for a large group of hospitals in California’s central valley, as well as starting a small software company that writes custom software for the education sector.

“In building his line, he said he wanted to avoid the gimmicks that he felt were too prevalent in the cigar industry and instead focus on making brands and cigars that were simultaneously nostalgic and fresh. To do so, he enlisted the help of Dan Gretta on the aesthetics side, while a neighbor of his, Chris Alvarez, prompted the company’s name. A barber by trade with a focus on old-school cuts, he looked at one of Reis’ first creations and remarked, “now that’s a dapper cigar.”
“And yes, El Borracho translates into the drunk.”

Robusto 5 x 50 $10.00
Edmundo 5.5 x 52 $11.00
Toro 6 x 54 $12.00

The two-tone wrapper reminds me of a 1950’s Pontiac. The top half is dark as coal while the bottom half is much lighter and closer to the hue of an old penny. Seams are tight. The box press is crisp. Lots of veins. A well-executed triple cap. But there are serious soft spots near the cap and along the shaft ending near the foot. Seems underfilled.

Dark bittersweet chocolate permeates the nostrils. Big citrus notes. Barnyard, cream, strong black pepper, cedar, malt, black cherries, vanilla shortcake, black walnuts, and lots of bitterness at the foot.

The draw is spot on. I can put my PerfecDraw cigar poker away.

First out of the gate are very creamy notes with notes of milk chocolate, malt, a touch of caramel, some spicy cinnamon, black coffee, cedar, and a portent of a deep character that is on the way. No peppery notes.

Strength is a gentle medium.
Moments later, the blend starts a search party for its complexity and character. The cinnamon transforms to cinnamon graham crackers with notes of lemon zest. The milk chocolate goes dark on me and is now bittersweet dark cocoa.

I’ve had my sticks for a few months now. In my opinion, this is not New Breed blending. I tried reviewing this stick a month ago and it stunk. I kept the review hoping it just needed more time to mature and I was right.
Now the El Borracho finds itself comfortably seated at the big boy table.

My advice is that if you plan to purchase your own or have some in your humidor, show some patience as these sticks aren’t cheap and no one wants to chuck a $10-$12 stick because it’s not ready to smoke.

Oddly, I find no peppery elements…just the spicy cinnamon.

I find myself not paying attention to the lit cigar while I’m writing and minutes pass which usually means I have to re-light the cigar. Not this time. This little bugger remained on point and no lighter required. That’s nice.

Patience wins out with this baby. Full of interesting flavor notes that are rich and complex. A nice chocolate malt finish. Some red pepper appears and gives the cinnamon a kick in the ass. The graham cracker gets some cream cheese and candied lemon. A fruitiness shows up but is unidentifiable at this early point.
The blend is smooth as Italian gelato.

The stick is underfilled like my previous ones; thereby burning a little too quickly. I make it to this point in less than 20 minutes taking my time.
Still, this is a good cigar. Is it worth $10-$12? Sure, I like the blend but it may be a tad bit overpriced. Lots of very good new releases in the $7-$8 range. But of course, we are talking about a boutique brand and blend and that always means more dough out of your pocket. So, you’re paying for the heavier costs that the big guys can absorb more easily.

The lemon morphs into a sweet/tart pineapple flavor. It makes the whole blend pop.
The dark chocolate reminds me of powdered cocoa. Either it’s the cigar or my mouth is dry.

Strength is now medium/full. I like that. The cigar has some oomph now. Yet it remains every bit as smooth as its earlier version of itself.

We get nutty. Small notes of almond, hazelnut, and peanut…all in the background giving the creaminess a big boost.

My usual burn issues with box pressed cigars is absent at this point. No touch ups required. Nice.
And then nirvana…the El Borracho spreads its wings. Complexity is deep and rich. Balance is spot on. Transitions flow gently but effectively. The finish is satisfying.

We are inching towards full strength.

The transitions this blend is providing to my palate changes my mind about the cigar and its value. The retail price is fair.

The cigar gets more interesting the further I get into the blend. It is basically like getting a Cracker Jack surprise during the progression of the review. My first reaction is that the blender really thought through this constant level of change as the tobacco burns down beaming with flavor and richness. This is my kind of cigar.

And so far, no nicotine. (I just jinxed it.)

There are plenty of flavors for your palate to choose from as they continue to morph into deeper versions of themselves. It’s a very complex blend. There are a bunch of reviews out there. One thing I noticed is the reviews that didn’t allow for months of humi time gave the stick a lower rating. And other reviewers plotzed all over themselves.

The under filled portion of this cigar must only have been in the foot area as now the cigar is burning normally and slowly. My last try at this saw the cigar burn at land speed records. Not sure why.

I decided to try writing a review naked. First time. I wish Sammy the cat would stop licking me with his raspy tongue. Oh wait…that’s Charlotte. Her winter coat threw me off.
And here is the nicotine. Drat.

The journey has been a fun one. Constant morphing of flavors that prove to be intoxicating. Strength is now full.

The insolent red pepper becomes black pepper. Strangely, I did not find the absence of a strong peppery element to cause a sense of something lacking in the blend. It more than makes up for it by the whole being superior to its parts.

I’m smoking this cigar on an empty stomach which I do not recommend but that’s how I review all cigars. I want nothing to interfere with my palate’s appreciation, or rejection, of what a cigar blend has to offer.

The creaminess makes a huge leap. The cocoa is dazzling. Nutty, fruity, citrusy, malty, the perfect dose of cinnamon, and an unrelenting element of graham cracker come and go on their own recognizance.

Zero construction issues. No burn issues. Just nicotine poisoning.

When I wrote this review a month ago it was nothing but hate for this cigar. I’ve had to delete everything I previously wrote. Time matters.
There is only one thing that puzzles me. Did you notice the leaf stats at the beginning of this review? Holy shit. The only thing I don’t see listed is old newspaper.

Did it really take that entire laundry list of tobaccos to get where I am now in the final third of the cigar? Common sense tells me it must have been very expensive to blend. The combinations must have been a real chore to perfect.

I’ve got this nice long ash and the cigar goes out forcing me to knock it off and forgo a final pic that shows off its construction.

The last third is friggin’ ridiculous. One of the more satisfying blends I’ve smoked.
Thankfully, the nicotine hasn’t caused a blackout or blindness.

I wouldn’t recommend this stick for newbies. The strength creeps up on you and suddenly you are dancing in a tutu while singing show tunes. It might be lethal to smokers who prefer their blends on the medium strength side.

The El Borracho by Dapper Cigar Co. is an excellent blend that will satisfy even the most stubborn, snobby palates.
I’m very happy that I didn’t give up on this cigar.
Get some.


And now for something completely different:
It was my 25th birthday. February,1975.

My band, Curved Air, decided to celebrate by taking me to England’s most famous club, The Marquee. It is the English equivalent to the Whisky A Go Go. I have no recollection of who was playing that night.

All my flat (apartment) friends and the CA… as well as the band, Renaissance, showed up. I remember hanging out in the lobby with Stewart Copeland (The Police) and our chick singer, Sonja. Stewart pulled out an 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper that turned out to be blotter paper. A friend of Stew’s sent him a blotter fully engorged in LSD. A piece the size of a dime was a trip. Stew’s friend was a chemistry student at Berkeley.

I told Sonja I didn’t want to do it. She smiled her Cheshire Cat grin and shoved it into my mouth. She told me to down the giant vat sized glasses of ale….it would get the acid off to a good start.

Minutes later, I was inside where the band was playing. No seats. Everyone stood. The acid hit me like a freight train. I looked over to Sonja and told her I had never gotten this high, this fast, in my life. She smiled again without saying a thing.

After a short while, I begged her to take me out of there and she led me to the lobby where I plotzed on a soft bench in the lobby. She sat with me while the acid did its thing.

3 hours later, I was still sitting there and had no sense of time passing. All my friends and the other band members approached us as the bar was closing and Stew handed out dime sized blotter paper to all.

I was vividly hallucinating and very uncomfortable. I told them I was really high and not to fuck with me…wrong thing to say as they fucked with me relentlessly.


We went outside to the bitter cold of a February English night. Everyone was trying to hail a cab but it seemed useless. I saw a cab on the other side of Piccadilly Circus and screamed, “Taxi!” The driver actually heard me and came for us. My friends all patted me on the back.

We climbed into two cabs and headed back to the communal flat I lived in. Inside the cab, let’s fuck with Philly’s head game, continued. I begged for mercy but got none.

By the time we got to the flat, they were in the same acid land as I was.


I remember sitting by myself in the living room staring at a poster on the wall, watching it gyrate and melt. I laughed. It was all the entertainment I needed.

One of the girls, clearly distressed by the acid high, popped in and asked me if this is what acid is really like? I said no. “Usually, it’s not this good.” With that, she ran screaming out of the living room. She decided she needed air and went outside and walked over to the Hyde Park across the street where she place her head between the wrought iron pickets…. completely flying to the outer reaches of the universe.

When she returned, the door was locked and no one could hear her knock. She spent an hour outside, blasted on acid in total darkness that 2am brought, before someone heard her and let her in. She was crying and then began to vomit from panic. So, a small coterie of friends held her head in the toilet. I had none of that as she bragged before taking the acid that she had done this many times before. Apparently, not.

My buddy Skip was in the kitchen following Sonja around while she walked her lemon that she found on the kitchen table.


Skip, being an artistic bloke, had kept all the glass milk bottles that the milk man had placed at our door step. He filled them with colored water. He then placed them on to the stairway to nowhere. We lived in a basement flat that had once been part of a very large house. The door at the top of the stairs had been boarded off. I’m guessing that the house must have been at least a couple hundred years old. And the stair to no where terminated into a door long ago sealed off from the first floor.

There was at least 100 glass bottles full of water on those steps.
In front of me, and half a dozen people, Stew ran up the stairs without knocking a bottle over. He ran down the same way. Everyone applauded. It was a baby Jesus miracle.

Skip was still in the kitchen with Sonja. I yelled for both of them to come see something and I asked Stew to do it again.

In his acid stupor, he had no idea what he was doing…and instead of flying up the stairs, he took a giant leap into midair. He hung there for a Looney Tunes instant, and then gave us a horrified stare, and collapsed on to the bottles breaking all of them.
He emerged without a scratch and received more applause.

Night turned into morning and we were still stoned. Curved Air had a gig that night. Their first of an 8 week tour. So, did Renaissance.

Being a bunch of stoners, we did the gig along with the fun of a few encores. The boys in Renaissance called the gig off. They were pussies. Annie Haslam, the chick singer in the band, did not do drugs. She was furious that they had to cancel an important gig because of an LSD party in my honor.

Each time I saw her after that night, she refused to talk to me, or even look at me, because it was my birthday and therefore my fault her band was a bunch of limp noodles.

It had been a wonderful night of mind expansion, but that was it for me. I had taken very clean acid, not mixed with other drugs, and therefore got a fun trip…. except for the stomachache I got sometime in the middle of the night. Being that high, I wasn’t sure if the stomachache was in head. So, I went into the very cold bathroom and sat on the toilet. Cold air emitted from my mouth and nose. These old buildings did not have central heat and we had to buy small space heaters. There was none in the bathroom so it was the same temp as outside.

Here is my advice: Never take a dump while on acid. All of my senses fixated on my asshole. Not pleasant. But I did have to go and my stomach felt better afterwards.

I never took LSD again. It was a perfect trip not to be followed by imperfect ones. The missive of the hip….show up late, and leave early.
Now I take Lipitor and blood pressure meds.
Fond memories.


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10 replies

  1. It’s good to see you back. I trust you’re well?

  2. I’m not sure Famous Smokes has these.

  3. You’re right. They had them for sale a month ago. I guess they ran out. SBC carries them.
    So does Serious Cigars, Cigars Unlimited, & JR Cigars.

  4. another great story…lol. You’re a really good writer, Kat.

  5. Thank you Anonymous…much appreciated.

  6. Another solid review, Phil. Have to pick some up. On an unrelated note, JR Cigar has many of the Senorial line on closeout right now, if you are in a position to snag some. Take care.

  7. That compliment was from me, pal. I was just too lazy to sign in😃

  8. I’ve been digging Dapper cigars lately. I also like La Madrina, and even though I don’t normally care much for CT blends, I like the Cubo shade a lot.

  9. Great story. I recall an evening in Dec 78 (or 9) on Wardour Street in a similar state, watching John Foxx and Ultravox do their thing. The Marquee is (was?) the balls, though. And saw Ozzie with Black Sabbath the next night (in Hammersmith). Alexei Sayle came out to open the show with stand up, which was nearly as surreal as the Marquee on blotter.

    Met Annie H in Boston in 1976, they were opening for Gentle Giant and a friend got us backstage. She didn’t care for tripping fans, either. We didn’t care as Renaissance wasn’t why we came. Still listen to Giant’s”Free Hand” album, now and again.

  10. Miles Copeland also managed the band Caravan…good guys but I loved their 1975 album for the name: “Cunning Stunts.”

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