Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tabacalera Falto "El Josco"

When I first tried this cigar it wasn't, how can I say it, very good. It had some really weird notes to it (it tasted like a bitter, musty attic). I was generally concerned. While not all of the Falto stuff has been right up my alley I've gotten to the point where I kinda get the general gist of most of Luis' blends and such. And let me tell you, this was wayyyyyy off. It was like smoking water-damaged 70s shag carpet. I knew it couldn't be the cigar. It had to be me. So I chalked it up to a bad day: maybe allergies, maybe what I had for lunch. I decided to give the El Josco it's due the other day and I'm glad that I did. It's pretty...pretty goooood. Here are the notes:

First quarter: Starts out with a rush of spice. Not spicy, but spice. It's like liking an Arab caravan in Lawrence of Arabia. A touch of cardamom, a dash of mace. But the biggest contender was cinnamon. And it had a nuttiness to it as well. The best allegory I can come up with is this: have you ever been to a county fair (or ANYWHERE in NYC's Chinatown) and seen those saintly vendors that sell sugar-coated roasted nuts? Y'know, the ones that are shellacked in a cinnamon-y sweet goodness? The smell of which pervades a 100 foot radius, drawing people in like mesmerized flies to a bug zapper? It kinda tasted like that. It had a peanut nuttiness, cinnamon, and a particular sweetness from the tobacco that I found rather alluring.

Half-way: Unfortunately, much like that tiny package of nuts you buy, the flavor is fleeting. The cinnamon and sugar taste faded to leave just hints of cinnamon with plenty of nuts and an emergence of leather. For the record, those nut guys should sell the "Fat Boy Special", which should be a pound of those nuts. Those tiny little tubes are just not gonna cut it with those things. Anyway, at this point it's hovering around a medium which is cool because the main line is a little light. Nice, but lighter than I typically reach for.

Note: it's not exactly at 3/4ths in this picture but I had to snap it early due to the sun setting. Sorry.
 Third-quarter: Heavily leather, still peanut-y, and some cedar now. It's shaping up to be a solid medium bodied cigar. The burn on it was a bit roughshod at this point but it was a little windy out so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. It tunneled a touch even though I'd kept it at about 70% humidity for awhile. But still, not a bad cigar.

Would I reach for it? Maybe. Depends on the price. It's got more body to it, which is nice, and some nice flavor to it but I couldn't see myself paying more than $6.50 - $7 for this (NY prices).

EDIT: Just checked the MSRP on these El Joscos. They're $3.68 each but it looks like they're no longer in production. As a matter of fact, his MSRPs are insanely low. I'll see if he'll let me put them up online because frankly, they're so cheap I'd be all over buying boxes of most of his stuff.

At this point I'm winding down with the Falto cigar line. Unfortunately, mold claimed a few vitolas so I won't be able to review them (the Robustos and another size that I can't remember off the top of my head didn't make it). No fault of Luis' though. It's all me. I kept 'em too close to the humidity beads.

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