El Primer Mundo La Hermandad Costa Fuerte
Last year, El Primer Mundo Cigar Co. released a new cigar called La Hermandad, which means “the Brotherhood”. That release featured a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, with Nicaraguan binder and filler. From what I gathered from other sites (Cigar-Coop, Cigar Federation), this was the first collaboration between Sean Williams of El Primer Mundo Cigar Co (EPM) and Abe Flores of PDR. Having smoked several of them and really enjoying them, I was looking forward to smoking the Costa Fuerte.
Costa Fuerte means “Strong Coast”, in this case, the East Coast. Word on the street is that EPM cigars do well there. I have seen the CF on shelves already and can be found in shops that carry EPM cigars and at several online retailers. They come in three different vitolas, the Caballito (5×50), Embajador (6×52), and Consejero (6×60). I’ve also heard that there is or will be a lancero in this blend, but cannot confirm that at this time.
Victoria Buczynski sent this particular Costa Fuerte sample to us from PDR Cigars. We appreciate the offering, however, will still rate it based on its performance. Speaking of, let’s get to the review!
Like the RyJ Capulet, the first thing I notice on this cigar is the band, or in this case, sleeve. There is a mostly white sleeve that covers almost 2/3 of the cigar that features the name “Costa Fuerte” across the top with the La Hermandad logo near the bottom, all in black print. While the logo is quite elaborate and eye-catching, the amount of white space on the sleeve is a bit of a turn-off. It almost appears to be more of a pre-release type band than the actual release. While not loose, the sleeve does come off easily, not tearing the wrapper at all.
Once I remove the sleeve, I begin inspecting the “naked” cigar. The wrapper is a rich, dark chocolate shade, almost maduro. I find this to be common on many Brazilian wrappers. There are some small veins, but no real visible seams. It appears rustic and rough, but feels very smooth, albeit one prominent vein.
While most of the appearance of the cigar looks enticing, there are a couple of issues that stand out. One, the cap looks very jagged, as if it were applied as an afterthought. Second, the cigar is very spongy and feels under packed. I immediately begin to fear a fast burn and wide-open draw.
There are two main aromas I get on the pre-light sniff of this Costa Fuerte: sweet tobacco and chocolate. This is very pleasing, as I like both of those notes in a cigar.
As I surmised from the pinch test, the pre-light draw is very open. Knowing how strong the regular La Hermandad is and seeing the “Fuerte” on this blend, I was a little worried that I might be in for a rough ride. I went with a punch cut for two reasons; one, I thought the draw would be too open, and two, the cap was very flat and looked like it needed to be punched.
The flavors are, you guessed it: sweet tobacco and chocolate. With such pleasant aromas and flavors, I’m ready to light it up.
I lit most of the cigar using two matches, but had to finish up with my triple flame torch to get it even. Right off the bat, there is a ton of rich, spicy smoke that is produced with the slightest pull. The draw on the Costa Fuerte remains wide-open for the duration of the smoke.
The burn is nice and mostly even for the first half. Then, the cigar went out. From there, the burn gets wavy, needing a couple of touch ups as it goes along. It also went out one more time before I finished it. Lastly, as I feared, it burned really fast. A toro usually takes at least 1 hr 45 minutes; this one took about 1 hr 10 minutes to smoke.
Like the burn, the ash had issues too. It was flaky for the entire cigar. It would last no longer than ¾” and spread out like a flower for most of the cigar. Definitely not ideal!
So the appearance was so-so, the construction was not solid, and the burn/ash/draw were problematic. Will the flavor be enough to save the La Hermandad Costa Fuerte?
The beginning of the cigar presents a strong black pepper, wood (maybe cedar), and sweetness. As it develops, the sweetness tastes like tobacco and chocolate mixed together. I also detect a note of chicory in the mix.
In the second third, the pepper starts to smooth out a bit, blending into the other notes of cocoa, wood, and sweet tobacco. It also starts to get savory. By the halfway point, my mouth is getting a little dry too. The strength is hitting its peak around this time as well.
The final third has even less pepper, but more savory notes. The only other change is the addition of nuts. Near the end, the wood and savory notes take over.
The La Hermandad Costa Fuerte is medium-full in both strength and flavor. Smoke time was 1 hour 10 minutes. Other than making my mouth a little dry, the flavors were enjoyable, but seemed like they had not reached their peak.
Would I Buy It Again?
Yes, but only because I don’t think this stick was a good representation of the line. Also, I am a fan of EPM cigars.
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
Only for those that like stronger cigars.
Would I Buy a Box?
Not at this time. I see me buying at least one more to give it another chance. If I have a better experience, then it would probably be more of a 5-pk candidate.
Being a fan of the La Hermandad (and other EPM cigars), I was very disappointed with this Costa Fuerte. I read some other reviews after writing this one that gave it much higher ratings and actually praised its construction. This leads me to believe that I just got a bum stick. Based on that, I will give it another chance.
My general feeling on this cigar is that it isn’t quite ready for release. While the regular La Hermandad was great from the very beginning, my initial impression of the Costa Fuerte is that it isn’t quite at its peak. My recommendation would be to get one of each and see for yourself. I know I certainly will.