El Viejo Continente Mare Nostrum Robusto Extra. At the latest Intertabac trade show, last September, El Viejo Continente released their latest blend. The Mare Nostrum, inspired by and named after the Mediterranean Sea. El Viejo Continente founder and master blender Daniel Guerrero sees the Mediterranean Sea from his balcony in Barcelona every morning. He loves the view so much, it inspired him to create this blend. And the Romans called the Mediterranean Sea “Mare Nostrum” so the name fits perfectly.
El Viejo Continente never disclosed the blend, but Guerrero did say that he used Nicaraguan, Dominican and Brazilian tobacco. The blend is available in a 4¾x50, 4¾x56, and a 5½x56 vitola. Daniel Guerrero did mention that the Mediterranean Sea has three tonalities of blue, and is never the same color. That’s what he wanted to express in the Mare Nostrum.
Name: El Viejo Continente Mare Nostrum
Factory: American Caribbean
Vitola: Robusto Extra
Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Price: € 8.50 (The Netherlands)
Cutter: Xikar X2
Lighter: single flame
Smoke conditions: indoors with ventilator
Smoke time: two hours forty-five minutes
Sponsored by El Viejo Continente
The cigar is almost completely covered in blue rings. First a big El Viejo Continente ring, in blue. Then a secondary ring that looks a lot like the Cuban Regional Edition rings, but with blue instead of red. And it says Mare Nostrum. And then a blue foot ring. But the blue of the foot ring is not the same color. That makes it aesthetically unappealing. The blue of the secondary ring has the same motive as the main ring on closed inspection, which is a cool idea. The wrapper looks very leathery with some tooth. It feels well constructed. It has a strong aroma of sawdust and cocoa powder.
The cold draw is good. With a sweet yet spicy raw tobacco flavor. After lighting, its strong espresso with pepper. Earthy and dark. Wood, sweetness, and leather slowly show their presence too. The soil gets stronger with a little bit of metallic touch to it. Slowly earthy dark chocolate shows up too. Halfway the cigar brings more pepper with more dark chocolate. The soil and leather are still there, but more on the background.
The burn is great, just like the draw. The cigar produces a good amount of smoke, with a good thickness. The rings are glued on with pretty strong glue, making it almost impossible to take them off without destroying them. This is a full-bodied, full-flavored cigar with a smoke time of two hours forty-five minutes.