This year marked the 10th year in business for El Primer Mundo, the Atlanta-based company owned by Sean Williams. As you might have guessed, he celebrated in part by releasing a new cigar.
The new line debuted in July and was limited to just 100 accounts nationwide, coming in three fairly traditional sizes, Corona (5 1/2 x 42, $8.50), Robusto (5 x 50, $8.75) and Toro (6 x 54, $9.75), each in 20-count boxes. Total production numbers were not announced.
For this release, Williams worked with the De Los Reyes factory in the Dominican Republic to create a blend that uses a Nicaraguan rosado wrapper over a Dominican San Vicente binder, with Dominican corojo 2006, Dominican criollo ligero and Dominican negrito ligero in the filler, with the Dominican tobacco coming from noted grower Leo Reyes.
- Cigar Reviewed: El Primer Mundo 10th Anniversary Corona
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: De Los Reyes
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Rosado
- Binder: Dominican San Vicente
- Filler: Dominican Corojo 2006, Dominican Criollo Ligero & Dominican Negrito Ligero
- Length: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 42
- Vitola: Corona
- MSRP: $8.50 (Boxes of 20, $170)
- Release Date: July 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: n/a
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
I’m immediately impressed by this particular vitola that Sean Williams selected to celebrate El Primer Mundo’s 10th anniversary with; while he also selected a fairly standard robusto and a slightly girthy toro, this corona would be the one I would reach if presented the choice of all three. It’s a fairly well rolled cigar, firm but not hard and without major visual imperfections. I notice a seam that isn’t quite flat and one cap has too much of a ridge, but that’s about it. The wrapper is a dark tan that gets into the range of toffee, with quite a number of small but very visible veins crisscrossing its length. The foot is dense and bread-heavy, particularly with the aroma of wheat crust but there is some simple sweetness to be found as well, leaning towards dark grape juice. The cold draw is near perfect and just a touch livelier, moving towards the more complex taste of nine-grain bread but also showing some some generic, light sweetness.
The first salvo from the El Primer Mundo comes by way of a punchy black and white pepper mix in the first puffs that get combined with the nine-grain bread note from the cold draw for a tingling sensation in the nose that doesn’t overshadow some rich complexity on the palate. Some samples are a bit more chalk-laden, which adds its own spin to the smoke though not always in a perfectly complementary manner. It doesn’t take long for the pepper to build and step forward in strength, particularly via a retrohale. The combustibility of the cigar becomes an issue fairly early on—more on that in the final notes—as I find myself having to relight two samples as early as half an inch into the cigars.
At the start of the second third, the El Primer Mundo 10th Anniversary Corona stays peppery but also begins to pick up a bit of earth and coffee, and at times I get a very subtle hint of sweetness that falls between barnyard and higher-end chocolate syrup. Burn issues continue to hamper two of the samples, while the third is much better and continues to get richer and more complex while staying on the course it began in the first third.
By the final third, I’m either getting inundated by the frustration of having to relight two samples, or enamored by the richness and flavor of the third. In the latter, which is really the only one that had me writing down any significant amount of descriptors, the flavor gets fuller and lusher, with the pepper staying present but moving into a supporting role. Complexity takes another step forward, and the aroma picks up a bit of warm cocoa and damp tree bark. There’s a point with about two inches left where a new oaky flavor comes out and reengages the palate, though that assumes the burn is willing to cooperate enough to get you to that point. It’s a frustrating journey to the end of this otherwise enjoyable cigar.
- I am bit confused–or maybe disappointed–by the band, as while it denotes it’s an anniversary cigar in a nice script, the fact that it’s the company’s tenth anniversary gets relegated to the back of the band and in a fairly generic font, denoted simply as 10YR.
- The first cigar was hampered by a number of burn issues, and while I wanted to chalk them up to just figuring out the pace of the cigar, they were simply too frequent to overlook and resulted in dryboxing the other two.
- The second cigar didn’t get any better after the dryboxing, and in fact performed worse than the first cigar, while the third cigar was quite a bit better on all fronts. It goes without saying, but if it won’t burn, it almost certainly won’t taste good.
- As a reminder, we deduct points for combustion issues, and I hate to say that this cigar lost a number of points because of how it struggled to burn with any normal rate of puffing.
- The third sample I smoked, which burned much better and was much more vibrant than the other two, also had the lightest-colored ash of the three.
- Also, we store and ship all of our cigars in the exact same way in an attempt to control things like over humidification as best as we can.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 35 minutes on average, though that time is hampered by frequent relights.
Several months ago and long before I had been assigned this cigar to review, I stopped into a store in Atlanta and came across the El Primer Mundo 10th Anniversary Corona, smoking it that day and finding myself quite impressed by the richness and complexity of the flavors. Fast forward a few months and I find myself having to give that cigar a score it doesn't seem to deserve almost entirely because of burn issues. Two of the samples hardly made it out of the gate before needing to be relit, while the third performed much better and as such scored higher in every category. I've hardly ever felt so passionately about saying this, but this is a better cigar than the score indicates, and definitely worth a try if you find it.