29 Aug 2013
El Cedro is a new brand recently launched by Anwar Elboustani. Elboustani experienced what he calls “love at first smoke” while stationed in Iraq as a translator in the U.S. Navy. In early 2013, nearly ten years later, Elboustani founded El Cedro Cigars, a new boutique brand “inspired by the men and women of America’s armed services.”
The name means “The Cedar,” which refers to the ancient Mediterranean cedar trees which dot the mountains of Lebanon, some of which date back nearly 2000 years. “I chose the cedar tree because to me it embodies eternity… I want ‘The Cedar’ to memorialize those who have fallen for the freedom that every American enjoys,” Elboustani says. (Spanish) cedar also happens to be the type of wood most closely associated cigar making and proper cigar storage.
El Cedro cigars are produced at the new Kelner Boutique Factory in the Dominican Republic, run by Hendrick Kelner Jr.(son of “Henke” Kelner, who oversees Davidoff production and produces many other cigars). Henke Jr. also makes his new Tuxedo Cigars at the new facility.
El Cedro has a Dominican wrapper and binder around a blend of Dominican tobacco (supplied by Kelner Jr.’s sister Monica) and Nicaraguan ligero from an undisclosed source. The blend comes in two sizes: Robusto (5.5 x 50) and Corona Gorda (5.5 x 46), the latter of which is really more of a traditional corona size; they retail for $8 and $7, respectively. I smoked four of the Corona Gorda size for this review, all provided by El Cedro before its national release next month.
With a white and gold band around a medium brown wrapper with only a few veins, it’s a classic-looking cigar. It’s well-constructed with a flawless draw (just enough resistance, but not too much) an even burn, and a solid ash that holds for at least an inch.
The cigar is medium-bodied and distinctly Dominican. Dominant flavors are dry cedar and dusty earth. It’s nicely balanced, even if it’s not overly complex. The tobaccos have a character that suggests they are properly aged and not rushed.
These are the first cigars I’ve smoked from the Kelner Boutique Factory and I’m largely impressed. It doesn’t feature the mustiness that characterizes most Davidoff cigars, but it is smooth, balanced, and well-aged. Those characteristics earn this fairly-priced cigar a very respectable four stogies out of five.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys