EO Brands is one of the quieter companies in the industry. Cubao? Perhaps the quietest brand. 601 takes most of the attention, and those that know about Murcielago seem to love “The Bat.” But, Cubao? Not exactly in the spotlight. Admittedly, I don’t smoke a whole lot of Cubaos, but none of them have been bad, or even close to that. Most the time, I wonder why I don’t smoke more of them. The price point makes it one of the least expensive releases from Pepín’s stable of creations and unlike most of the cheaper products from the My Father Cigars Factory, it’s a bit hard to point to any cost-cutting.
- Name: Cubao No. 3
- Vitola: Lancero
- Size: 7 1/2 x 38
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Country: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- MSRP: $8.12 (Boxes of 30, $243.70)
- Source: Unknown
- Time in Humidor: 1 Year Plus
- Cut: Xikar Xi3
- Light: Colibri Boss II
- Beverage: Coke
- Smoking Time: 1 Hour 50 Minutes
EO Brands/United Tobacco was founded in 2003 by industry veteran Eddie Ortega and Erik Espinosa (Drew Estate’s Florida manager.) Cubao was introduced in 2008. Inside each box, a card tells the story behind the cigar:
Cu-bao – The Taino word for “where fertile land is abundant” or “a great place.”
Cuba is the most populous insular nation in the Caribbean. Its people, culture and customs draw from several sources including the aboriginal Taino and Ciboney tribes. It is believed that the name “Cuba” comes from the Taino word “cubao” which can be translated into either “where fertile land is abundant” or “a great place” (coabana.)
We have selected the finest filler and binder grown in the Jalapa and Esteli region of Nicaragua — where the soil is as rich as Cuba’s Pinar del Rio — and wrapped it in a rich flavorful Ecuadorian grown Sumatra oscuro wrapper to create CUBAO.
The tobacco growing is overseen by experts, the rolling is done by skilled torcedors, practiced in this centuries old art. We believe we have created a cigar with a truly old world flavor. We hope you will agree.
There are six Cubaos made, each named simplistically (No. 1, No. 2, etc…) The Lancero is No. 3, a true El Laguito No. 1 at 7 1/2 x 38. To be quite honest the cigar looks of an identical mold and roll to the My Father No. 4. It’s a dark solid earth wrapper with mild veins. Aroma from the Sumatra Oscuro is a medium-plus roasted coffee with lots of cocoa. The roll of the Cubao No. 3 is quite impressive featuring above average packing producing a slightly soft feeling cigar. Aroma from the foot is a coffee and cocoa mixture that features touches of vanilla and earth and spice on the back of the throat, not as sweet as you might think.
After removing the cap the head produces an aroma of cocoa and caramel with a bit of noticeable root beer, earth and an extremely concentrated spice on the fullish aroma. Cold draw is tight with the Cubao giving a medium-full sweet brownie like cocoa over earth. Lighting the Cubao No. 3 produces a toasty woods aroma, enjoyable, but nothing special. It starts very tight with cocoa transitioning to cedar before finishing as a faint pepper accompanies cedar on the mediumish finish.
For a few minutes the cedar sticks around dominating what ever else is going on, but eventually it dies down. What’s left is some interesting refined spice underneath an earth and sweet coffee bean, just shy of full. Finish is mainly earth and spice, with some of that root beer sweetness that I got earlier and a touch of harshness, medium-full and medium in length. Draw opens up, which is a good thing as on one or two occasions I thought about getting the draw tool out. While strength is never full; it’s the most inconsistent aspect of the Cubao registering anywhere from medium to medium-full.
The Cubao No.3’s smoothness becomes apparent in the middle portion: cocoa, cedar and earth mix each other wonderfully with accenting notes of meatiness and pepper. Finish is good, just not as good as the full-like flavor, it’s got a mainly deepening cedar with some other woodsiness and a dying spice, medium-full and still about medium in length. Draw settles, a bit tight, but with a consistent amount of woodsy smoke coming out of the No. 3, there’s not much to complain about.
Closing the Cubao Lancero is always the interesting part, sometimes a deepening cedar, other times the mixture of earth, cedar, spice and coffee; and other times a cedar-less espresso and cocoa mixture. Finish is quite different at times, but an added note of butterscotch briefly showed itself on most of the Cubaos I smoked recently. While it’s a bit all over the place, the Cubao is consistently enjoyable.
For the Novice
It’s generally on the lighter side of Lanceros, seemingly staying medium in strength for the majority of time for me, but it’s too much. You get the sense that the Cubao wants to be a bit stronger than it is, which regardless is more than what I would give to a new smoker. In addition, the nearly full-body and full flavor are not characteristic’s of the Cubao that make it an attractive option for novices.
In the End
Marketing your cigar as a “lower-priced option” is for me, an excuse. The Cubao needs no excuse; it’s good and the price just makes it better. I can’t really say the Cubao is special, but it’s good. Good flavor, good construction, good price. What more can I say? Overlooked Cubao? Definitely a mistake. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these out of the $6-$7 range, just some food for thought.
84. Need an everyday Lancero, the Cubao No. 3 is a great place to start.