August 3, 2010

SERIES REVIEW: El Triunfador #7 (Pre Release)

So I'm picking up where I last left off with the El Triunfador series review, with the new Pete Johnson pre-release stick El Triunfador #7! For those that are newer to my blog, I did a whole line review of the El Triunfador back in March when the initial 6 sizes were released. It was a great experience for me to smoke all of the different sizes and see just how different cigars within the same line could be. After smoking all six sticks, I really felt like I knew the blend inside and out.

As a refresher, here are some details on the New El Triunfador blend from New Havana Cigars: "A medium bodied blend that gets a ton of flavor from the Seco leaves originating on Pepin's La Estrella farm in Esteli, it features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan filler and is available in 6 sizes, including a lancero. (Not to be confused with the original lancero, which is still being produced with it's dark Broadleaf wrapper.)"

The El Triunfador #7 is by far the biggest vitola in the line and should produce some interesting characteristics of the blend.

Let's get to the review.

Vitola: Robusto extra ?
Length: 5 7/8
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $8.00
Smoking Location: My back deck
Beverage: water

After smoking a lot of smaller-sized cigars recently, the first thing I noticed about my El Triunfador #7 was just how big it felt while holding it in my hand. The cigar is only 5-7/8 in length, but with the tightly packed weight of it, it really felt like a really big smoke. The light brown wrapper was dry and very toothy, with some large veins running around the body of the stick. Some of the veins were quite big, but almost all of them felt like they had been smoothed down, which gave me the impression that they would not cause any burn problems. The pre-lit aroma was sweet tobacco with more of a earthy barnyard smell at the open foot. I clipped the triple cap and the draw was free with slight resistance, and tasted of those sweet, natural tobacco notes.

First Third   
My El Triunfador #7 flavor profile started out with a mild white pepper that tingled my taste buds, mixed with mild cedar notes on the front. On the finish I was picking up a natural sweetness that was really obvious by the taste left on my lips from the wrapper. I also got lots of thick smoke on every draw although the burn was slightly wavy, though I never had to touch it up with my torch. The biggest difference I saw in the first third of my El Triunfador #7 from other sticks in this line was just how much slower this cigar was burning. Some people have complained that the El Triunfador line of cigars just blaze through to the nub. If all of the new El Triunfador #7 sticks are like my sample, that problem may have been resolved with this size. The body was in the mild to medium range.

Second Third
The second third of my El Triunfador #7 was much more flavorful than the first. The profile changed a bit and the strength of the flavors really picked up, with the exception of the pepper. The white pepper notes seemed to back off a bit more and now on the front I was getting a very strong cedar flavor that mixed in with a new almost sweet hay taste. On the finish, things got really interesting because I was still getting slight white pepper, but I also was getting kicks of mint notes. Not that the cigar was burning hot or anything, but with the large volume of smoke that it was producing, the mint was really cooling on the palate and refreshing. Like the first third, the cigar continued to burn very slowly and was very relaxing. The body of the stick was now firmly in the medium range.

Final Third and Final Thoughts
The same strong and rich flavors were what dominated the final third of my El Triunfador #7. The profile was the same as the second third -- cedar with sweet hay on the front,  white pepper and refreshing mint on the finish. It seemed that these were all blending and playing together nicely, creating a excellent finish to a very nice cigar. The body stayed in the medium range and the burn, although not continuously perfect (like a lot of the other Pete Johnson sticks) never needed relighting even after resting for minutes at a time.

My final thoughts on the El Triunfador #7? I love the El Triunfador blend. And I love it for different reasons than I love the brown label or the reserva lines. This stick is just really flavorful and relaxing to smoke. It never over powers you with spice, or tobacco strength. It just smokes cool, and goes about it's business with out disappointing. Being a big college football tailgater I can see the El Triunfador #7 being a great cigar for those occasions,  It burns slowly (over two hours for me on this one) doesn't need a lot of maintenance and most importantly,  I think the flavors would pair well with beer.

Would I buy it again? This is a great cigar for when you have a lot of time to smoke. I will be picking up more of these for before game time come Fall.

Would I buy a box? This is not a size I tend to smoke, but this is box worthy in my opinion.



  1. Over two hours?! On an El Triunfador! My prayers have been answered :)

    Great review man.

  2. I was thinking of you when I wrote that heh.

    thanks for reading


  3. Great review ! I ordered a 5 pack pack of these and lit one up while reading your review. Spot on is all i can say. I am a fan of large ring sizes and smoke the Oliva Cain habano 660 on a regular basis so this was a comfortable size for me. Up front pre-light and first third was slightly spicy, white pepper is a good description but then the nutty flavors really came through, cashews and almonds predominant with a hint of vanilla flavor on the finish. What a great smoke throughout. Although the cigars remained in their wrappers a nice slight white "fuzz" was apparent on the wrapper which i always find to be a good aged stick. Looking forward to smoking these for a long time.