“E” by BOTL LLC

The “E” is the second cigar released by BOTL, LLC.  BOTL, LLC is a company that is most famous for their Palió brand of cigar accessories, but they have also been in the cigar making business. About five years ago, they released their first cigar, the Esencia.  Both the Palió accessories and Esencia cigars have gained a loyal following from BOTL, LLC’s consumer base.  Now the company hopes to strike gold again with the “E”.   I recently had an opportunity to smoke the “E” and found this to be a very good cigar – and a cigar that should be one to look out for.

This past February, the “E” was announced as a part of the distribution agreement BOTL LLC was entering with Toraño Family Cigars for its products.  The distribution agreement also includes Palió cutters and the Esencia Cigar line.

Let’s take a closer look at the “E” cigar and see what this cigar brings to the table.


Blend Profile

The “E” uses tobaccos from three countries.  The binder has not been officially disclosed.  In addition, the factory of where the blend comes from has not been disclosed – although BOTL LLC says it is a different factory than the Esencia.

Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Seed
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican

Vitolas Available

At this time, the “E” is available in three sizes:

Corona Gorda: 5 5/8 x 46
Robusto: 4 7/8 x 50
Churchill: 7 x 47


Appearance

For this cigar experience, I smoked the Corona Gorda vitola of the “E”. The “E”‘s Ecuadorian Habano wrapper has a medium brown color. The wrapper does have an oily complexion to it. There are some veins that are visible on the surface of the wrapper.  The wrapper seams are well-hidden and visible upon close examination.

The band to the “E” has a white and silver color to it.  On the front of the band is a very elegant looking silver scripted “E” sitting on a white diamond-shaped field.  The field is surrounded with silver trim.  To the left and right of the “E” is the BOTL horse logo. Going around the band is the text “BOTL” in light colored font arranged in wallpaper mode.  On the left side of the band is the text “AMANO” in a very small silver font.  On the right side of the band is “TOTALMENTE” – also arranged in a very small silver font.  The remainder of the band has silver trim and adornments.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my smoking experience of the “E” Corona Gorda, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap.  After the cap was clipped, I commenced with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes provided a mix of chocolate and a spice that seemed to be a cross between a cedar and floral spice.  Overall, I considered the pre-light draw to be satisfactory on the “E”.  At this point, I was ready to light up the “E” and see what the remainder of the cigar experience would deliver.

Flavor Profile

The start to the “E” has a mix of citrus, natural tobacco, and pepper.   The citrus notes were definitely the dominant ones early on. The pepper spice was more present on the after-draw and lingered on the tongue afterwards. The retro-hale provided a very interesting exotic sweet spice. The “E” is definitely a cigar you want to retro-hale on as it provides an integral part of the flavor profile.

As the “E” moved toward the end of the first third, some chocolate, earth and cream notes surfaced as background flavors.   The chocolate and earth notes soon increase and eventually displace the citrus and pepper notes as primary flavors.  The citrus and pepper receded to the background.  

Throughout the second third of the “E”, the chocolate, earth, and natural tobacco notes alternated as primary flavors.  The citrus component was still present and remained a close secondary flavor.

In the last third, the pepper notes increased and joined the chocolate, earth, and natural tobacco flavors.  The close to the “E” had some complexity and was flavorful.   The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

From a burn perspective, the “E” performs quite well.  Overall, the burn line remained razor-sharp from start to finish requiring minimal touch-ups.  The resulting ash was tight and white in color. There was an occasional flake or two along the way, but nothing major that impacted the smoking experience. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn of the “E”

As for the draw, I normally do like some resistance on my draw.  In the case of the “E”, I felt the draw was a little more on the tight side.  This was a draw I had to work harder at to enjoy the flavors produced by this cigar.

Strength and Body

From a strength perspective, the “E” starts out on the medium side.  By the time the cigar enters the second third, I felt the strength progressed just enough to qualify it for medium to full strength. As for the flavors, there are a lot of depth of them.  I assessed the “E” as being a full-bodied smoke from start to finish.  When looking at strength vs. body, I felt the body had a significant edge. 

Final Thoughts

I felt the beginning of the “E” had some rough spots.  The citrus component was definitely a little more overwhelming than I preferred, but the “E” seemed to settle down nicely.  By the time the “E” reached the second third, I was amazed of the turnaround of this cigar. The “E” is going to offer complexity and a lot of flavor.  This is the type of cigar I’d recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast that is looking for a “flavor bomb” without overpowering strength.  As for myself, this cigar definitely got my attention.  I’m curious to see how this smokes in the other vitolas.  Still this is a cigar I would definitely seek out and smoke again.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Good
Complexity: High
Strength: Medium (1st third), Medium to Full
Body: Full
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: Nice to Have
Score: 91

Source:  The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Two Guys Smoke Shop in New Hampshire.