Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Size: 5 x 52 “Robusto”
Price: $6.25 at Cuenca Cigars
I’ve been a fan of EO Cigars since Moses was a teenager. My favorite, for the longest time, has been the 601 Habano Red Label. The closest thing to the Cuban Ramon Allones. The La Bomba is a real hoot as well.
So when Eddie went off on his own, there was a lot of anticipation. What would this man create? Well…this question was answered. The man is a master blaster blender.
The impressive plan of the Wild Bunch series is to release one blend every single month for 12 months. “There have been 7 Wild Bunch releases: Big Bad John, Tony the Boss, Island Jim, Iron Mike, Honest Abe, Wild Bill, and Fast Eddie.” Many thanks to Tom Ufer of Examiner.com for the informative correction. Apparently, my list was incorrect.
Although, Tom did leave out the “Dandy McCoy” which I bought (And reviewed) from Podman Cigars as part of a sampler. There is also a “Gearhead Gary” also released in sampler boxes. So there are actually 9 blends, not 7, Tom. Of the 9 blends, I have reviewed 6.
I realized that I never reviewed the D Maduro on this blog. I have on prior blogs, while working for online stores, but not here.
The D was Eddie’s first release under Ortega Cigars. It is a small batch cigar made in Esteli. The choice of using a San Andres wrapper was a great idea.
Construction on these cigars is just plain impeccable. A beautiful sight. It has a nice oily sheen with some tooth. There are a few veins but they are within the parameters of a good San Andres wrapper. The wrapper color is very close to jet black. The stick is quite solid, with proper give.
It also appears to have a triple cap but I cannot confirm it.
I clip the cap and get hit in the puss with a chocolate cream pie. Where is Soupy Sales? Is anyone out there old enough to remember Soupy? There is a potent spice aroma, a lovely sweetness and some strong cedar.
Time to light up.
The spice kicks me in the arse immediately. The cigar has a rich earthiness. The draw is perfect with plumes of smoke filling the room. There is a beefy component in the flavor department. Almost like beef jerky. Almost.
Sweetness arrives in the form of brown sugar. The brown sugar is supplanted quickly by a gingerbread quality. The spiciness continues to get stronger.
The char line is close to perfect and it’s almost a snow white ash…with just a few freckles of gray. The body has been a nice medium from the very start. But I know what’s coming.
I have to admit that I haven’t had an Ortega cigar in a few months. I was smoking so many of them that I sort of burned out. No kidding. I had all the Wild Bunch sticks and both the natural and maduro D blends swimming in my humidor. So this break was nice in that I have a rejuvenated appreciation for the blends.
Creaminess shows up in force…putting a leash on the spiciness. A big dose of sweetness arrives. And a very rich, coffee flavor. Like popping the lid of an expensive can of Kona beans. Intoxicating.
The second third arrives and the cocoa is very strong.
Back to the cigar…..I near the halfway point and the cigar has attained flavor bomb status
In order: Sweetness, cocoa, creaminess, coffee, hazelnut, beefiness, cedar, spice, and earthiness.
The sweetness has spread its wings to include a dried fruit flavor. Normally, a Nicaraguan would have a raisin flavor but that’s not it. It’s a little more exotic. Sort of a cross between fig and date. It has that slight tartness from the fig and the rich sweetness of the date. Regardless, it is a very nice addition.
The cedar breaks through and really stands out now. In fact, all of the flavors are fighting for the pole position. Complexity and character drive a stake into the heart of the cigar. The flavors change from fighting for position to morphing into one genuine article of nuance and finesse. The flavors work together to provide a perfect blend.
As I enter the last third, the strength sneaks up on me. And I get a new flavor that is citrusy. A nice complement to the profile. A bit of zest.
The char line on this cigar has been damn near close to perfect the entire time.
I am at the point in the cigar that makes me wish it would never end. A note to my friends out there who are financially tight, like me. Resist smoking these cigars right away. The soonest you should endeavor to enjoy them is at the three week point in your humidor; with the cellos off. It is at this point, the blender’s intent becomes very apparent. Obviously, if you can allow them more time; the better.
I carefully remove the cigar band. It pops off perfectly.
If you want to read my reviews of the Wild Bunch series or any other Ortega cigar, click on the names: 601 Habano Red Label, Ortega Wild Bunch Big Bad John, Ortega Wild Bunch Iron Mike, Ortega Serie D Natural #10, Ortega Wild Bunch Tony The Boss, Ortega Wild Bunch Honest Abe, Ortega Wild Bunch Dandy McCoy, Ortega Wild Bunch Island Jim. I haven’t reviewed “Fast Eddie” or “Wild Bill” yet.
The last third is a symphony of flavor. A woody component enters the picture. Otherwise, the same flavors are working in harmony to present a work of art in blending.
The full body is really pumping away and is quite debilitating to my senses. I think I am going blind. Fortunately, I do know how to type so eyesight is not necessary. I am having flashbacks from my Hippie days. And for some reason, the dog is wearing a tutu.
I highly recommend this cigar and everything else Eddie Ortega blends. And it’s nice that Eddie has brought the price down on this cigar. You can still spend $9 on it, but if you shop around, like I did, you can find some real savings.
I want to thank Ana Cuenca of Cuenca Cigars. She is a terrific person.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS