Eiroa First 20 Years

Holy Smokes! Do you have a moment to talk about our lord and savior Christian Eiroa?


In 1995, Christian entered the cigar business working for his father, Julio, at Caribe. Later that year, the family purchased Camacho cigars where Christian was able to make a name for himself in the premium cigar world. Business was good enough that, in 2008, Davidoff acquired Camacho. And in 2012, Christian started CLE Cigars, his current venture where his lines include Eiroa, Asylum and Edgar Hoill OSOK. In November last year, Eiroa started shipping a new premium cigar called First 20 Years to commemorate his first twenty years in the cigar industry. One of CLE’s reps is a friend of the show and we joke that he might as well be a co-host. Jason said early on as this cigar was just shipping that this was going to be a tremendous cigar and that he’d personally purchased a box and intended to purchase another one. I’m unaware that he’s given out any free samples of this cigar to anyone, meaning I’ve also personally paid for every one I’ve smoked.

I think I grabbed one from the first box to pass through Cigars and More 280 before they’d even been put into inventory and I’ve had a couple more since. What a stick! Anyone who has listened to the show knows that I’m a big fan of the Nat Sherman Timless Nicaraguan and the Liga Privada T52 by Drew Estate. Those two cigars and an occasional Padron 1926 are the mainstays of my “I’m going to the beach for the weekend” cigar lineup.

So this past weekend, Mrs MagicCity Burn and I headed down to the beach. I shook things up and didn’t take a Timeless or a T52 with me. I smoked four cigars while I was there, including the 2015 Cigar of the Year, My Father Le Bijou boxpressed, and the unquestionable star of the show was this Eiroa First 20 Years. It’s a full bodied masterpiece. The exact blend hasn’t really been discussed or released, but we’ve been told it’s a boxpressed Honduran puro and that’s good enough for me. It has a deep, rich Maduro wrapper and its construction and burn have been flawless every time. The flavor profile sits well with my Nicaraguan leanings lately. It’s heavy on cocoa and espresso, with just a hint of cinnamon. And this stick has a really pleasant aroma from start to finish. It’s on another level from most other handmade premium cigars.

It absolutely holds its own with an Opus X or a Padron 50th at a fraction of the price. From a budget perspective, I want to say these run about $13 locally, plus sales tax, as opposed to $20 or more for an Opus and $17 to $100 depending on exactly which Padron you’re lighting up.

MagicCityBurn’s New Adventures in Charcoal

So, I’ve largely used the same charcoal for years now. It’s an 80/20 Oak/Hickory blend and not some secret recipe like the Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe Natural Lump Charcoal. Lately, ownership of my favorite local store changed hands and they’ve stopped carrying the good stuff in favor of the branded stuff from Kamado Joe. They assure me that it’s the same, but, especially, for low and slow cooks, any shift in charcoal can really impart changes to the flavor of your meat. And I’ve been reluctant to make a large scale change, preferring to buy small bags of whatever natural lump coals I could find at the grocery store. Anyway, I ran out of charcoal before my last NY Strip cook and had to sear steaks over apple wood chunks with hickory chips. It was a sad day in the Magic City (the steaks were fine, but it took a couple days for the smell to wear off).

Fogo

So, after some significant time reading reviews, I have begrudgingly accepted the newest member of the Magic City Burn family, Fogo All Natural Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal. It extols supposed virtues like a brown bag, mild, oaky flavor, no sparks (which may be worth the switch all on its own), and is apparently the #1 Best Seller for Lump Charcoal on Amazon. Of course, like all natural lump charcoal, it isn’t loaded down with chemicals, fillers and lighter fluid.

I’ve got 35 lbs of the stuff on the way. So I should be able to give it a good trial run. I may re-run through some old recipes or try some new ones to kick the tires and light the fires, so to speak. Stay tuned for rum and bourbon laced opinions.