Ortega Wild Bunch Warrior Joe | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Dark Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6.5 x 50
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $8.00


Warrior Joe was the October 2013 release of the Ortega Wild Bunch series so I am beginning to catch up.

I’ve gotten my last three of the series from Podman Cigars. They seem to have an “in” with Eddie and manage to be able to carry what others don’t. Such as the Sampler #4. Which contains the last three cigars in order of release.

The wrapper is something else. An extremely oily, dark wrapper that is mottled and rustic. Seams are highly visible. Some very big veins along with little spider veins. The triple cap is expertly done. The wrapper feels full of tooth.

Eddie was quoted in an interview to say that this blend will bring Sumatran sweetness to the table. This is the first and only one in the series that doesn’t use a caricature on the cigar band. Instead, it uses a pair of dog tags with the words Warrior and Joe on each one.

I clip the cap and find aromas of bittersweet baking cocoa, very potent spice that causes me to sneeze twice. I bring the clipped cap to my nose once more and the spice makes me double sneeze again. There is espresso, citrus, and leather. Now my nose is stuffed up from sneezing four times. But that intense cocoa aroma is one of the strongest I’ve experienced in a long time.
Time to light up.

The first puffs are strong tobacco and pepper. The spice builds, rather than a pie in the, puss like a Garcia cigar usually does. The draw is fine. The char line is a tad bit wavy.

This is a big cigar and will take a while. Yet, the Wild Bunch series has managed to bypass my rule that big cigars aren’t flavorful unless they get months and months of humidor time.

An inch in, I get some orange zest. It’s not as tart as lemon. The strength of the cigar feels a little stronger than medium this early in the cigar.

So you folks getting pummeled by snow like us in Wisconsin…how’s your back? Tired of shoveling? Or pushing a car or truck to get it unstuck from the driveway? I am a friggin cripple as a result of the aforementioned that occurred over the last two days. Snow is damn pretty if you don’t have to go outside. Yet, the maniacs are still storming the mall here. I was smart, like so many of you, and did my shopping online.

Creaminess enters the picture. And a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg. With a touch of clove. The sweetness that Ortega spoke about shows itself. This just amazes me. I think out of the 10 Wild Bunch blends I’ve reviewed; only one was not to my liking. And this man just whipped up 12 blends like it was nothing. I am truly amazed. This is a very nice cigar and I’ve not hit the end of the first third.

This is a wonderfully full flavored cigar with that special oomph from the Sumatran wrapper. I still have Da’ Byrdman and Crazy Jack to review. I have the jitters about Crazy Jack as it is 7 x 58. It looks like my left leg…if I wore a garter.

The char line needs an occasional touch up and I see no point in allowing it to get all messed up to show how cool I am and embarrass the manufacturer. Minor touch ups are just a part of cigar smoking. Crisp, razor sharp burn lines are rare and don’t give me no shit that yours are always flawless because you know how to correctly light a cigar. You have no idea how many Bozos send me messages instructing me how to light a cigar. I’ve been lighting cigars for 46 years. I think I got it.

The second third begins with a nice panoply of flavors. In descending order: Tobacco earthiness, spice, creaminess, sweetness, citrus, leather, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

A little bit into the second third, the sweetness expands into some buttery caramel. The cigar becomes very chewy. This cigar shows on paper many of the typical Nicaraguan flavors but the wrapper brings another dimension to that profile. It gives the flavors an edge. With every Wild Bunch cigar I review, I keep saying I’ve found my favorite blend. Same goes here. A stunning cigar. And well worth the $8. Every cent of that dough is accounted for.

I should note that the cap is outstanding in its construction. What a pleasure it is not to have loose tobacco going wild. I hate that shit. I can’t count how many caps end up looking like the hair on a troll doll.

The halfway point is here and flavors are eventful. The creaminess becomes the leader of the pack. Behind that is the terrific tobacco element. Such a deep and rich flavor. It is here that the balance becomes near perfect. It has a very long finish. And the body has ratcheted down to classic medium.

If I were a rich man, I’d buy a box of these. But since I’m not, a 5 pack will do.

The sweet caramel fights for the front of the pack. And those baking spices are a constant in the background.

The last third builds on what came before it. The cigar is extremely complex now. The spiciness moves up the food chain.

I’m alone in the house. The wife went to work. The kid slept over her boyfriend’s house. The TV is silent. And I can hear the constant dribble of water from snow turning into water from the roof where the sun hits it. I look out the dining room window and it is like a Bob Ross painting.

Remember this guy from the early 80’s to the middle 90’s? He had a TV show where he taught you to make a painting in 30 minutes. We used to get stoned and watch and laugh. He kept his white man’s fro well after it was out of style. Cracked me up. This is him in the photo below.

Yes, the cigar is a flavor bomb but it is something else as well. This is a special blend that took some loving care to develop. The use of tobaccos was perfect. The process in blending them was perfect. The cigar is all the better for the sum of its parts. I can only imagine what the flavor profile will be with several months humidor time.

I sense that nothing new will happen except maybe the intensifying of flavors.

The cigar finishes out in one of the smoothest manners I’ve experienced in a long time. It hits the medium/full mark but there is not a modicum of harshness, it is not hot, and only the tiniest bit of nicotine kick.
Well done, Eddie.




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3 replies

  1. This is your warm weather weenie friend kicking back in 70 degree weather under mostly sunny skies…Wild review…Wild Bunch…Wild man…Keep up the good work katman…later !