Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Size: 5 x 54 Robusto Box Pressed
The original ME blend was a limited release in 2012. Only 1000 bundles of 15 cigars per size were put on the market.
The ME II (Mexican Experiment) is a regular production cigar.
The blend, this time around, has the same leaf stats but they have been tweaked. No one seems to have the exact info as to what was tweaked; meaning Pete Johnson is keeping his cards close to his chest.
They are manufactured at the My Father Cigars S.A. factory in Nicaragua.
For some reason, that I have no explanation for, I never reviewed the original nor this 2019 release. I bought a fiver from Atlantic Cigar several months ago and as I stared at my last stick, I checked and found I had not been diligent in reporting just the facts, ma’am.
I checked out the usual suspects on their thoughts and find that most of these reviewers placed their rating of the ME II in the 90 range. One complaint I found, as a thread throughout some reviews, is that it ain’t a bad cigar…just not up to everyone’s expectations for complexity.
So, I’m going to give it a whack.
SIZES AND PRICING:
Robusto 5 x 54 $10.00
Toro 5.75 x 50 $10.00
Churchill 6.5 x 48 $10.00
Belicoso 5 x 52 $10.00
My first impression is how stout and heavy the cigar lays in my hand. (I have a couple jokes, but it’s too early). A very nice sheen of oil coats the bronze patina wrapper. Veins are running wild in the street…but staring at it with just old eyes, instead of a close-up photo, they are nearly invisible. Seams are visible but shut with a bang. The triple cap is expertly applied. For those very self-involved smokers, the ‘ME’ is what stands out on the cigar band. The box press has held its shape through manufacturer to recipient.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Dark chocolate reigns supreme. It is probably a brain washing technique, but I swear I smell Mexican mole sauce (tomatillos, chiles, dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate), serious maltiness, vanilla pudding, cedar, barnyard, and over ripe banana. The mole sauce is so potent with chiles that cigar to schnoz makes my eyes water.
The cigar is dense, like most of my high school teachers, but the airflow is on the money. My PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool climbs back into its sepulcher and weeps.
The cold draw presents flavors of barnyard, cedar, Saltine crackers, chocolate, espresso, mixed nuts, malt, Mexican peppers, and dried fruit.
THE WHOLE MEGILLAH:
Smoke pours from the foot like a 1969 Ford Pinto in flames.
Complexity stands up and bows. The cigar heard all the things I wrote about it not having a soul and is giving me an “Oh yeah??!!”
The stick is very mild. But having smoked a few prior to this review, I know it is merely a ruse for what’s coming. It helps if you are wearing vaudevillian tear away clothing.
A lovely sweetness shows up with notes of dark cocoa, malt, creaminess, Mexicali hot peppers, almonds and hazelnuts, and a bit of sourness.
Strength is barely medium. Like I’m barely alive.
The hint of complexity is just that…a hint.
Yet the balance is pleasing to this earth man. Savory v. Sweet is on a see saw. Don’t see those much today. Must be a liability issue. Who hasn’t tried to launch a friend’s small child into the air like a rocket?
The cigar is not packed as tightly as I described. In less than 10 minutes, I’ve smoked 1-1/4”.
The spiciness drops its drawers and stutter steps its array of spiciness. Creaminess seems to tamp down any permanent burns to my tongue. In fact, creaminess moves to the front of the pack.
Nice tasting blend…but the complexity isn’t moving. It is like the Fonzi statue in downtown Milwaukee. Wait. They took that down a couple years ago. I need another analogy…it is not moving like when I play fetch with my cat. He just sits there as I run after the dead mouse to show him how.
Naturally, right after typing the above nonsense, the complexity makes its move. Baby steps.
Despite the cigar lacking a searing sense of intensity, the flavor profile is tantalizing and very pleasing.
The burn requires a touch up or all will be lost.
I visited an ex-girlfriend who had moved from Long Beach to Paradise Ca. If you’ve kept up with the news, Paradise burned down last year. Anyway, I rented a speed boat and off we went on a journey on the Sacramento River. It is lined with 100-foot sheer cliffs and a myriad of branches to explore. And I took all of them because we smoked a joint. Before long, the gas was running low, and I turned the boat around. We were lost. I paid no attention to all the tangents we followed. I gunned the boat and half an hour later, we saw another speed boat and they stopped, and I asked directions. The guy laughed and said follow me.
My boat could reach speeds of 50mph. His boat could break the sound barrier. I tried to keep up, but he began to be a dot on the horizon. We were now going 50mph and the wind literally burned the sides of my eyes. When we returned, the kid dipped into the gas tank so he could charge us. With big eyes, he said, “Wow. You guys really disappeared” as there was virtually no gas left. I carried scars on the outside of my eyes for years. Then I got old, and they melded into my old man facial lines.
The complexity of the cigar hangs back without any forward movement.
Like all the other reviewers claimed, a nice tasting blend but not much complexity. So, now I feel like an idiot hoping I’d find something they didn’t. And the scores of 90 were totally based on the nice flavors the cigar dished out.
While the price is $10, everyone sells them for $9. For that price tag, this is still a very good cigar.
The halfway point arrives without fanfare.
The sweet spot shows up increasing the balance of the blend. Sweet v. Savory has maintained the peace.
Strength hits medium/full.
Now the complexity is a real thing. It would be nice if it had attained this essential ingredient for a good cigar from the start…but my parents never bought me a pony either. You can’t always get what you want…
The depth of the cigar may lay in the hands of time. Extended humidor hibernation could be the mediator.
Somedays, I feel like a nut…and sometimes I write like this. This is the result of writing contemporaneously and not preparing a script beforehand. I haven’t said fuck once.
Getting to Paradise CA means landing in Sacramento and taking a puddle jumper to Paradise. A 45-minute adventure in which your knuckles turn blue from grabbing the seat in front of you and sounding like your head is inside a jet engine. It was the only time that flying scared me. The thing barely flew above the trees.
The ME II is now pretty damn fine. Balance…check. Intensity…check. Big flavors…check. Transitions are taking a slow boat to China. The finish is redolent with every flavor I’ve described.
We now have full strength. Vision blurs. And delirium sets in.
Not a killer blend. But a very nice blend your mother would approve.
The second half becomes all it can be. I can be persuaded to buy more; but allow it more humidor sleepy time.
The strength creeps up on me like a serial killer in a dark alley.
You can purchase this cigar from my dear friends at Atlantic Cigar.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
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