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Staff Reviews

Angry Elf Staff Review

Grant T. Thompson's picture

Grant T.

With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, it’s only right I break out a bundle of green Angry Elf cigars from my coolerdor and dutifully report how good a 6-by-50 Toro goes down with a pint of Guinness. I’m a few percent Irish and, as you’re aware, a full-blown curmudgeon, so let’s unwrap these grassy bad boys and find out what they have to offer when price is at the top of your priority list but you’re unwilling to budge on a cigar’s flavor, aroma, and construction.

Normally, seasonal crazes, like getting green cigars for St. Patrick’s Day, never influence my purchasing routine. But Angry Elf holds a special a place in my humidor. First, they’re green because they’re Candela cigars. Beginning in the 1940s, Candela wrappers were the norm on store shelves not the exception, and, although they’re less prevalent today, they’re almost always associated with one of my favorite words, “cheap.” It’s not that Candela cigars are low quality or made from cheap materials, either. They simply fly under the radar because there’s less demand for them today. That means there are deals galore to be had when you’re buying Candelas.

Angry Elf cigars were indeed named for their color, but only the original blend is green, and under the wrapper is a luscious marriage of premium Dominican and Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos. Today, this impish dynasty includes three other wrappers: Angry Elf Maduro, Angry Elf Sun Grown, and the creamy Angry Elf Connecticut. Each comes in a 20-count bundle, available in three traditional sizes, starting under fifty bucks, or $2.49 per cigar. That’s my sweet spot.

When I slice the cellophane off a new batch, the aroma of freshly baled hay brews into my nostrils like a spring breeze. Candelas are definitely unusual, but, because they’re mild and grassy, they’re easy to experiment with when you’re a novice. Angry Elf isn’t going to blast your palate with a big dose of pepper or nicotine. This mild and creamy Candela is every bit as desirable as mint ice cream, and I’m already licking lips from twisting the cigar in my mouth and pulling a few cold draws through it.

The airflow is excellent as I toast the foot of my Angry Elf Toro. A touch of resistance encourages the binder, filler, and wrapper to combust evenly without a hint of bitterness. Vibrant notes of green tea, nougat, grass, and black pepper bless the palate with a touch of sweetness as the cigar heats up. The furious fairy on the cigar bands is the antithesis of this cigar’s disposition. It could not be milder or more agreeable.

Folks who know about Candela cigars smoke them on occasion because no other wrapper leaf tastes like a Candela. When they’re harvested, they’re dried quickly in a process that locks the chlorophyll in the leaf, preserving its green color and giving the flavor a grassy taste. The aroma of Candela cigars is quite enjoyable too. The smoke is light and sweet, and it doesn’t linger long. Think of a good Candela as a quintessential yard ‘gar, even though Angry Elf is handcrafted entirely from long-filler tobaccos. You can puff on one for hours without taking the cigar out of your mouth if you’re hands are busy steering the lawn mower.

Notes of nougat, pepper, cedar, and almond present subtle nuances over a strong foundation of fresh alfalfa with hints of pine throughout the second half of the cigar. It’s a bit oaky in places, but the finish is incredibly smooth. Once I zero in on the nub and lay it to rest on the edge of my ashtray, the soft aroma of a hay mow lingers in my nose hairs. Angry Elf makes me happy – until the cigar is done. I’m already craving another. In the past, I’ve reviewed Don Lino Casa Verde, another quality Candela cigar. Add a bundle of these green enigmas to your coolerdor without delay. These green cigars are as delicious as the discounts you get when you buy them at Holt’s.

Until next time, long ashes to you!


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