In August, Maya Selva released a new exclusive cigar for Underground Cigar Shop in Fort Worth, Texas. Only, it wasn’t a new cigar. Rather, the 6 x 29 x 49 x 43 perfecto is the same cigar the company released for the European market in 1999. Originally, Underground’s cigar was to be known as El Galán, the same name the vitola has in Europe, however, due to a trademark dispute with Felix Mesa’s El Galan brand, the cigar’s name was changed simply to El Figurado.
It was released on Aug. 29 during an in-store event, with only 100 boxes of 10 cigars made for the store and pricing set at $11.99 per cigar.
- Cigar Reviewed: Flor de Selva El Figurado
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Tabacos de Oriente
- Wrapper: Honduran Connecticut
- Binder: Honduras
- Filler: Honduras
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 29 x 49 x 43
- Vitola: Figurado
- MSRP: $11.99 (Boxes of 10, $119.90)
- Release Date: Aug. 29, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 10 Cigars (1,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
While the boxes are notably different, there’s nothing about the cigar that designates itself as something different. The Flor de Selva band has a pretty classic look to it and the shape, along with the Honduran-grown Connecticut-seed wrapper, reminds me of cigars of yesteryear. The cigars are rolled pretty well with the tip of the perfecto being pointy enough to almost poke through the cellophane. One sample is a bit spongy, but the other two are fine. Aroma off the wrapper has a lot of cedar with some barnyard and a touch of floral flavors behind it. The foot is pretty much the same with a bit more cocoa.
It begins creamy with a sweetness on top of some cedar before turning earthy with some added bark. That theme continues as the first third of the El Figurado settles to a core of oak, toastiness, some sweet meatiness and a touch of sharp lemon. There’s a really distinct lemon cookie note[ref]This reminded me a lot of Lemon Oreos.[/ref] on the finish along with some barnyard. The nose is spicy with a heat that reminds me of an overproof whiskey and some more wet bark. While the flavor in the mouth is only medium, the nose and finish are much stronger. The draw is a touch open, but once the figurado starts to burn from its widest point it reverts back to a pretty typical range. The burn isn’t even, but I avoid having to touch-up any of the Flor de Selvas in the first third.
The cigar was by no means light in strength in the first third, around medium-full, but it noticeably ramps up in the middle portion of the cigar. As for the flavor, the mouth remains much the same with some buttered toast adding itself in there. The nose sees the added toastiness, as well as that lemon cookie flavor moving from the finish to the nose. That’s not to say the finish of the El Figurado isn’t still rich and detailed; there’s now burnt almonds and burnt butter, a really refined toastiness. Flavor jumps to full in the mouth and stays there on both the retrohale in the finish. A touch-up is required at some point during the final third, but the smoke production remains strong and the draw remains enjoyable.
On two cigars there’s a bit of an added harshness in the transition to the final third, but it quickly subsides at the inch and a half mark. What’s left is burnt popcorn, some coffee and that mixture of toasted bread and some freshly roasted nuts. On one sample, there’s a freshly roasted coffee flavor through the nose, which only adds an additional layer onto the El Figurado’s array of toastiness. Construction is fine until the end, although the cigar does get a bit hot around the one-inch mark.
- This is most certainly a “don’t judge a book by its cover moment.” The idea that a Connecticut-wrapped cigar would not only pack this sort of flavor–but also this much strength–is probably a foreign concept to most.
- One sample I smoked was simply not as good as the other two, as there were a few more burn issues and the flavor wasn’t as developed.
- Galán is Spanish for gallant.
- This very much represents one part of trademark law that doesn’t get discussed much in the cigar world: if you have a trademark, you have to protect it by stopping any potential infringement. Once you let one person use it, it becomes a lot easier for another party to (potentially) violate the trademark.
- While the cigar is identical to the one released in Europe, the boxes for the Underground release are much different.
- The El Galán was originally introduced as a limited product in 1999, but was brought back in 2013 as the company’s 18th anniversary cigar. The company celebrated 20 years this year with a limited edition lancero.
- One sample was almost plugged for the first few puffs, but opened up after puff number five.
- Strength was full for much of the cigar.
- Final smoking time was two hours on average.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- This cigar is exclusive to Underground Cigar Shop. (817.507.3640)
The Flor de Seleva El Figurado is a good cigar, but not without its flaws. There were minor burn issues and some inconsistent draws, but Maya Selva got the more important part of the equation right: the flavor. I think it might be easy for American consumers to dismiss a European-focused brand, a more traditional size and a lighter wrapper, but the Flor de Selva El Figurado is full cigar with a lot of unique flavors.