Cigars celebrating milestones are fairly common in the industry, so much so that I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve written about them, let alone how many times we’ve written about them on this website. And far too often, it’s all too simple of a formula: take the company’s name and the anniversary being celebrated; put them together and you have the name of the cigar. The vitola is generally a fairly common one, such as a 6 x 52 toro, and you can flip a coin as to whether it’s a limited edition or a regular production line.
But then, every so often, a cigar like the Eiroa 50/10 comes along.
Given my earlier words, the name is surprisingly formulaic. It gets its name from the two milestones it celebrates: the first, the 50th birthday of Christian Eiroa, and the second, the 10th anniversary of CLE Cigar Co. The cigar was created by Raul Flores and Flavia Salzano Scott, who were seeking a way to celebrate the two milestones.
To bring the two milestones together, the pair created a cigar that is 10 inches long with a 50 ring gauge, a vitola that is best referred to as a giant robusto. The blend is officially undisclosed, though at the 2022 PCA Convention & Trade Show, there was a report that it is the same blend as the Eiroa Classic line, meaning it’s a Honduran puro but without further specifics about the tobacco disclosed. The cigar is made at The CLE Factory in Danlí, Honduras.
The cigar debuted during a party celebrating Eiroa’s birthday that was held during the 2022 PCA Convention & Trade Show, and while originally intended to be limited to that event and the people who attended it, a number of the roughly 70 retailers in attendance expressed interest in selling the cigar. The company granted their request, producing 600 boxes of nine cigars, with individual cigars priced at $30. Those cigars shipped to stores in late November 2022.
- Cigar Reviewed: Eiroa 50/10
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: The CLE Factory
- Wrapper: Undisclosed
- Binder: Undisclosed
- Filler: Undisclosed
- Length: 10 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Giant Robusto
- MSRP: $30 (Box of 9, $270)
- Release Date: November 2022
- Number of Cigars Released: 600 Boxes of 9 Cigars (4,500 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
There’s no overlooking the length of the cigar, so I’ll acknowledge it and move on. I don’t know if the length makes the cigar feel a bit thicker than it actually is, but something does, and measuring it with my ring gauge guide suggests it’s a bit closer to 52 than 50. The cigar is rolled to a good level of firmness and very even in both firmness from head to foot and from cigar to cigar. It’s also rolled quite well visually, with no immediately noticeable issues. If anything, the only thing that reveals any sort of imperfection is when I slide the tissue paper off, as there is the occasional bit of resistance or looseness that indicates a very subtle change in ring gauge. The wrappers are evenly colored save for the notably lighter hues of the veins. It’s a medium shade of brown that I could call nutty as it makes me think of almonds, but what it really makes me think of is the shade of many Cuban cigars, especially when I look at it from the back side and am not reminded that this is an Eiroa product by way of the band. The aroma off the foot is one that immediately registers as familiar in my brain, though I can’t quite pinpoint what it is. In some ways it reminds me of a box of new cotton t-shirts, both the shirts themselves and the box in which they are packaged. There’s also some unsweetened graham crackers, touches of dry, dusty earth, a bit of generic bread and a very light amount of pepper. Air moves well on the cold draw, which has me both relieved and optimistic for how the cigar will smoke. The flavor is quite neutral as the cigar doesn’t seem interested in exploring the flavor wheel at this point, offering some dry earth, very neutral cake donut, and in one sample, a damp graham cracker, which, while a bit odd, is enjoyable and familiar.
The Eiroa 50/10 starts off quite nicely, with a soft, warm profile that has a bit of baking spices providing the tingle, while the base notes are much the same as I picked up from the cold draw and aroma. Those baking spices really propel the cigar into a special place, as one cigar leans more into black pepper and doesn’t elicit nearly the same reaction. Once the first clump of ash falls, the cigar develops pepper, dry earth and rock, making for a more robust profile with a subtler tingle on the taste buds. The longer the cigar can hang onto the baking spices, the better, as when they are prominent, I seem to get a bit of creaminess as well as the graham cracker, but what is most impressive is the delicate layering of flavors, which taste as if they have been gently placed upon each other with the delicate hand of a high-end chef. The cigar continues to bring in creaminess to give it a fairly full body and vibrant flavor intensity, with the two balancing each other out quite pleasantly. Retrohales thus far are generally mellow and very enjoyable, with just a touch of wood and white pepper tingling the nostrils, though one cigar’s is markedly more potent than the others due to black pepper. If anything, the retrohales are mellow enough to make me wonder about the vintage of the tobaccos, as there is something about them that suggests that the leaves might have some age on them. Dry wood begins to tickle the top of my throat, but the creaminess hangs on to provide some balance. Retrohales at the end of this section have a wonderful pepper to them that tingle the nostrils quite well. Construction is very good, particularly the draw, which shows no issues due to the length. If anything, the ash is a bit flaky and tends to end up all around where I’m smoking. Flavor is medium-plus, body is medium-full and strength is just shy of medium.
As the Eiroa 50/10 gets into its second third, the profile seems headed towards more robustness, particularly by way of a dry earth that slides into the driver’s seat, with a light rockiness as an undertone that isn’t shy about making itself known. Creaminess is holding on but in a reduced role than what it offered in the first third, something I can also say about the dry woodiness, which makes sporadic and fading appearances. Retrohales punch up the experience with black pepper and seem to be serving as a bridge between where the flavor was and where it might be heading, filling in where the flavor alone seems a bit thin. The second third seems to require a more frequent puffing rate in order to stay burning. Either that or I’ve begun to show some fatigue and my pace is falling off, as it’s about two hours and I’m right about the halfway point. After a hiatus, the creaminess starts slowly returning to the profile, which I think is for its benefit. Flavor spends time at medium, medium-plus and medium-full in this section, body is medium-plus and strength has crossed into medium-plus territory. Construction is still good, particularly the draw, though combustion can struggle at times and the ash remains more delicate than I would like.
About three hours into the cigar and I’m finally hitting the final third, and the cigar is showing no sign of taking a respite; if anything, it is working to increase its flavor intensity and its nicotine strength. Many of the same flavors carry over, though the earthiness feels less intense, and the creaminess is dialing back a bit as well. A new flavor that reminds me of the outer crust of a soft pretzel joins the profile, contributing both in flavor and with a bit of oiliness. I’m definitely beginning to suffer a bit of palate fatigue and mental fatigue as the progression and definition of the flavors seem to be slowing, but I can tell that the cigar isn’t venturing too far away from where it has been thus far. The most prominent change comes in the final two inches, when the profile begins to get a bit sharp and biting at the top of my throat. I can’t attribute it to a specific component of the profile, or at least not one consistently, as sometimes it feels like the wood is driving the change, other times it’s the rocky earth and other times it’s coming from the pepper. This creates an interesting predicament as slowing down the puffing rate helps a bit, but it also leads to the cigar going out and needing a relight, which doesn’t help the flavor. It also tests my patience and fortitude, as I’m approaching the five-hour mark by this point and really wondering just how much effort I want to put in to smoking this down to a nub. Flavor finishes medium-full, body is medium-plus, and strength has ended up just shy of full. The draw and smoke production continue to be great, the ash continues to be flaky, and all three cigars show some struggles staying lit throughout the final third.
- I’m not exactly sure what to call this vitola, as it’s sort of a double robusto, but that usually means something more toro-esque in the world of Cuban cigar naming conventions. The more fitting name might be Giant Robusto, which is used to describe the 9 x 55 Maravillas vitola that is found in the Hoyo de Monterrey portfolio.
- Coincidentally, just about 10 years ago, Christian Eiroa was featured in halfwheel’s Portraits Series.
- While I’m glad that the draw on each of the three cigars was absolutely fantastic, I do have to take some issue with the flakiness of the ash, mainly because a 10-inch long cigar produces a lot of ash, and a lot of it ended up somewhere other than the ashtray.
- That also means you shouldn’t enter any long ash contests with the Eiroa 50/10, which is kind of a shame, as I would love to see how much ash a skilled long ash smoker could get out of a 10-inch cigar.
- For as big of a cigar as this is, it pales in comparison to The Woody by Oscar, a 21 x 80 log that I reviewed for April Fools’ Day 2016.
- There is definitely some nicotine strength to be found in the Eiroa 50/10, and I’m willing to make the assumption that a lot of it is a cumulative effect. It didn’t set in until the final third, but by that point, I’d already smoked a toro and had three inches or so to go.
- In one of the more accurate Instagram captions I’ve seen, the company said, “You’ll need to clear your schedule when you light this one up.”
- As some of you might know, I work for Major League Baseball, which made a number of rules changes in order to speed up the pace of play and hopefully reduce the average length of a game. It has been working remarkably well, as games are now averaging two hours and 36 minutes. That got me thinking that this cigar takes just under the average length of two baseball games to smoke from start to finish.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was four hours and 45 minutes on average.
There’s no doubt this is a lot of cigar, and when thinking about how it debuted as a cigar at a celebratory event, it makes sense for that event. It can—and probably should—be enjoyed over an extended period of time, where the conversation is plentiful and it can likely last the entire night, crossing from cocktails into dinner and dessert. Smoked on its own, it’s a tough one to get through, a multi-course meal that takes not only a lot of time but a lot of patience, as this cigar can only be smoked so quickly. But this is more than just a lot of cigar, it is a quite good cigar, particularly in its first third where the complexity and layering of flavors is simply superb. The cigar sets a high mark quite early, so much so that I think it's fair to say it peaks in its first third. Thankfully, the second third is quite good and provides an interesting and enjoyable evolution of flavor that sets up a fairly potent and flavorful final third. I really can't say enough about the construction of this cigar, as the draw on all three samples was fantastic, which I can't imagine is an easy thing to accomplish. If I knew I could get this exact same cigar in a Churchill or gran corona vitola, I'd be a lot more inclined to pick some up for myself and recommend them without reservation. But this giant robusto is just a lot of cigar that you really have to have the time and appetite for, which is more than I can say I have these days. That said, if you do choose to light one up, I think you'll be pleasantly impressed by what it has to offer.