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Stogie Reviews: EO Mi Barrio El Acere

25 Aug 2009

United Tobacco—also known as EO Brands—has created some great blends since it was founded in 2003 by Eddie Ortega and Erik Espinosa. The 601 Green and Cubao come to mind as particularly outstanding. But before I take a look at their newest lines, Murcielago and Cubao Maduro, I thought it appropriate to review Mi Barrio, which debuted at the IPCPR Trade Show last summer.

EO Mi Barrio El AcereSpanish for “my neighborhood,” Mi Barrio boxes feature the artwork of Edin Gutierrez, a Cuban-influenced artist who is good friends with Don Pepin Garcia and Orestes Espinoza (Erik’s father). The two are portrayed on Mi Barrio bands.

This blend is a limited edition seasonal release, available four times per year in batches of 100,000 sticks. While EO’s website maintains that each release will be the same unique size and shape with a different blend, we have reason to believe the opposite.

The first Mi Barrio, El Puro, was a large (7.5 x 52) Nicaraguan puro. The El Aceres that I sampled for this review, however, are clearly a different size (6 x 50) and probably the same blend. My colleague pointed out this anomaly in a recent Quick Smoke.

At any rate, El Acere hit the market in October 2008 with a price tag in the lofty $9-11 range. It features a Nicaraguan habano wrapper and binder and filler tobaccos from Esteí and Jalapa, respectively. The pre-light aroma of cocoa and vanilla is simply amazing—enough to make your mouth water.

The actual taste of the smoke, however, doesn’t really live up to expectations. While I enjoy El Acere’s unwavering flavor of cedar, spice, and dark chocolate, I wish it included more balance. The overall profile, for instance, is a tad salty for my liking. And instead of being thick and rich, the smoke is light and airy, contributing to its hollow texture.

Perhaps I’m being too critical. This is, by most accounts, a very fine medium-bodied cigar with many of good qualities. The flavor is nice, the resting smoke is intoxicating, and the combustion qualities are top-notch. But I just keep thinking how much better El Acere would be with a little more depth, especially for the price.

Maybe other sizes are better suited for this blend. So, assuming EO’s website is wrong and my colleagues and I are right, I’ll have to try the other Mi Barrio releases (El Forro and El Billetero) to see if they strike the right chord with me. For now, the El Acere earns three stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

5 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: EO Mi Barrio El Acere”

  1. Padronnie Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 8:15 am #

    I agree wholeheartedly with this review. It isn't that Mi Barrio isn't a good smoke, it's just that EO's other cigars like Cubao, 601 Red and 601 Green are all better.

  2. Padronnie Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 8:16 am #

    Better smokes and at lower prices I should add. (Although the artwork on the band and on the box of the Mi Barrio are pretty cool.)

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